Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Create your own mosaic

Database News : Thursday December 06, 2007


Create your own mosaic


Foto-Mosaik is probably more entertainment than usefulness, but it certainly does show how a computer can help immensely in making one picture from tiny thumbnails of thousands of other graphics.

Mosaics always are eye-catching, and in some cases downright arty. It's debatable whether letting your computer make a photo for you is anything like art, but there is no denying you can come up with some excellent results, occasionally one worth framing.

In essence, Foto-Mosaik analyses the photos on your computer and figures out how to use them to assemble the best-looking representation of any single photo or graphic you designate.

The program plays two major roles in making the picture (and you play little role at all).

First, it makes its own database of all the photos you can give it. Obviously, the more pictures you can let Foto-Mosaik analyse, the more options it has to work with for colours, and therefore the better the final result will be.

Making the database can be slow. On my Windows XP machine, the program took close to half an hour to digest more than 5,000 pictures and graphics. It also will use video if you wish, picking out each frame at a time. The database can get huge, but not unmanageable; in my case, it ate 70MB of hard-drive space.

You then pick the photo you wish to turn into a mosaic. There are a number of settings here, some of which are well explained and some of which will be trial and error, involving how many thumbnails to use, how often to use them, and what size they should be.

Then Foto-Mosaik makes your photo.

Foto-Mosaik is the work of Steffen Schirmer of Altdorf, Germany, who would like you to mail him a postcard of your own town if you like his small (820KB) program. At


By : Bangkok Post

No comments: