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April 4, 2011 / arthill

Collages


A collage is a great way to show a bunch of related pictures. I posted this one of our recent Arizona vacation to the smugmug Dailies. Notice how the program blends the edges of all the pictures together.

This was created with Microsoft Research’s AutoCollage

I’ve also used collages for calendar pages, greeting cards and even to make a mug

I put this one on a mug

Live_AutoCollage_10_Images

I used this one for my son-in-law’s birthday card, showing one image from each of the past 12 months.

keir bday card

There are lots of ways to create collages – I’ll talk about four.

  1. Using your favorite photo editor
  2. Using the collage maker “wizard” in your photo editor e.g. Photoshop Elements
  3. Picasa
  4. Microsoft’s AutoCollage

The first one is a lot of work.  You create a background image and then manually take each of the pictures you want to include and paste it into the image you’ve created.  Lots of work – I don’t recommend it.

Photoshop Elements (and other image programs) come with built-in templates for collages.  I find them pretty lame.  They don’t offer very many options and require a lot of tweaking.  If you’re interested you can check out this video of how to use PSE’s collage feature. http://tv.adobe.com/watch/learn-photoshop-elements-9/creating-a-photo-collage/

That top collage was created with Microsoft Research’s AutoCollage

They have a demo video here

http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/cambridge/projects/autocollage/Demos/

This program will cost you $20 but you can download a free demo version to see if you like it.  It uses face recognition technology and does a great job with people pictures.  You can do other things too though; the coffee mug picture above was also done with AutoCollage as was this one

flower calendar_AutoCollage_8_Images

I’ve saved the best for last.  Picasa from Google has fantastic tools for creating collages.  You just select the pictures you want to include and hit the collage button at the bottom.

 image

I selected a few pictures and got this

image

This is what Picasa calls a Picture Pile

image

Select a picture and the program puts a grey circle up which allows you to rotate and resize.

image

Or, choose another format

image

and you get this

image

Adjust grid spacing and

image

Using the same pictures I used for the first collage shown at the top I made this one with Picasacollage

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3 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Maryann Goldman / Apr 5 2011 11:49 am

    Good summary of collages and the tools and concepts. I had intended to write up something like this and just hadn’t gotten to it yet.

  2. Ed Spadoni / Apr 5 2011 12:43 pm

    I’m a big fan of Picasa’s collage tool as a quick and easy solution. I didn’t know about the MicroSoft product but will check it out. I really like the soft edges on those flower collages. Thanks Art.

  3. Howard Hull / Apr 13 2011 12:12 pm

    Great info on collage creation. Thanks!

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