mosaic-feat

Project 365 2011 – making my mosaic

After taking a photo every day for a year, I thought it would be worth a few extra hours putting it all together in to a nice looking mosaic.

I think the easiest way to do this is using Google’s Picasa program.

The problem with this is that you need to have all your photos in on folder, which I didn’t have. Rather than spend ages going through each folder and finding the photo I had chosen for that day, I just downloaded mine from Flickr. Since I had them all uploaded in one set and all named with their correct numbers, this seemed like it would be the easiest method.

I downloaded the Saleen Flickr Downloader (which didnt seem the most elegant solution, but worked well enough) and told it to download my Project 365 set. I set it to download just the Large size, rather than Original, which would take hours. It still took quite a while and one photo didn’t download properly (lucky I noticed that!) but after that I had the folder of every image.

The next problem was that the downloaded images had the Flickr ID in the file names, so they weren’t being sorted properly. They also had no EXIF data, so I couldnt arrange by date taken. To fix this, I used the trusty old Bulk Rename Utility.

The files were named like this:

5794243281_ee16c5544c 121_365_L.jpg

So I just told Bulk Rename Utility to remove the first 22 characters from all the file names. And just to neaten them up, remove the last 2 characters too.

Which left much nicer looking file names which also could be sorted by name:

121_365.jpg

Note: This is only useful for the Picasa mosaic which is in chronological order. For the final mosaic, I didn’t need to do all this as the photos are arranged by colour.

Now the photos are in a folder and sorted by date, we can find the folder in Picasa and click on “Create Photo Collage” (make sure you only have the folder selected, rather than any of the individual photos within the folder, or it will just make a collage with the selected photo).

There are a lot of options here, so play around and see what you like. Since all my photos are square and I wanted an orderly, linear mosaic, I chose “Grid”

This was my result (after adding some space around the edges and text in Photoshop):

This was good, but it looked a bit messy. I wanted to see if I could arrange the photos by colour.

The closest thing I could think of was using a Photomosaic program. AndreaMosaic seems to be one of the best and is also free.

So after installing that, I found the image I wanted the images arranged on – I went for a rainbow type image. Basically a colour picker box.

Note the settings in the above image: “no duplicates”, no colour change, only use the original tiles. This ensures that only the 365 photos we have will be used, won’t be used multiple times and the colours won’t be modified to match the rainbow image.

Another thing to watch out for is having half-images on the edges of the frame. The first mosaic I made, 5 photos were right on the border and only showing about 5 pixels of the photos, so I almost missed them. I just needed to change the mosaic size so they weren’t being cut off.

Now we need to tell the program to use the images in the 365 folder. Click on the number 2 (at the top right, the dolphin photo)

Click on “Add Folder” and select the 365 folder. Then at the top click “Save List”. AndreaMosaic will go through and analyse the photos, ready to put it all together. Once that is done, click OK.

Finally, click number 3 (the Van Gogh) and see how it turns out.

There will be a warning saying there will be gaps (because we turned off duplicates and colour changing).

Mine had quite a few gaps, but I realised the photos would all fit.

After some cutting, pasting and rearranging in Photoshop, the mosaic was done!

2 thoughts on “Project 365 2011 – making my mosaic”

  1. Very cool. Thank you for taking the time to write a detailed overview of what you did and how.

    I’m starting my P365 for 2012 (my first time). I want to use Picasa to tag and organize my pics. I’m thinking I’ll make a contact sheet collage for each month.

    I’m not too savvy with photo editing and want this to stay simple. So my plan is to (a) tag each day’s photo, (b) crop to square, (c) and save a copy in a new P365 folder.

    A google search of Project 365 + Picasa led me to you.

    1. You should be able to easily do all that with Picasa. Are you going to be uploading your 365 photos online anywhere? It’s good to get feedback as you go. I used Flickr which is good, but the free limit is 200 photos – meaning you have to buy a subscription if you want to be able to see all your photos (if you dont have one already).

      Anyway, good luck on your 365!

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