[7] Switch to the Cell Images tab and you'll see a list of pictures used for the cells that form the final image - by default these are the ones supplied with the program. Click on any of the file names to see it in Overview. Pretty as these are we want to create an image of the baby that shows pictures of its ancestors. Click Clear All to empty the list.

[8] Click on Add Picture and navigate to the Old Photos folder you copied to your C: drive. All the image files are listed - they must be in JPG or BMP format - and you can select which ones you want by clicking the boxes next to their names. For this project use the Load All Files button to include every image in the folder.

[9] The new list contains all our pictures, including the baby. As we don't want this to appear in a cell we can click on target.jpg in the list and the use the Delete button to remove it. Once a list has been assembled it's handy to give it a name so it can be recalled in the future with Load Image List. Use the Save button to store your list.

[10] The number and size of cells that look correct in a picture depends on the dimensions of the final image. We've assumed it's being printed on A4 paper, but you should experiment to suit your needs. Most of the pictures we've supplied are taller than they are wide, so in the Mosaic Size tab we've left the cell width at 40 pixels and increased the height to 50.

[11] This tab also tells you the aspect ratio (height to width) of the original and final images. By increasing the height of the cells the finished picture will be 125/100, compared to 96/100 for the main image - resulting in a tall, thin baby. To compensate for this we increased the horizontal cell count to 52 to retain the original aspect ratio.

[12] On the Special Effect tab you can set how your final picture will appear. Select the Best Render option for highest quality and one of the Stitch styles to determine how the mosaic tiles are arranged. If you want a border between the cells set the width and colour under Advanced Cell Effect. The default Standard Setup options give good results and can be left unchanged.

[13] Unless all your images have the same aspect ratio, and you've set the cell size to match, the program will compress the pictures to fit. In the enlarged section of a mosaic shown above you'll see this can result in short, fat ancestors - not very flattering. To avoid the problem always tick the Crop Images To Cell Size option on the Special Effect tab.

[14] On the Final Output tab you'll see a summary of your settings and the button you must press to start rendering your picture. Before going any further it's worth saving your work by clicking Save Project on the Project menu and giving the file a name in your selected folder. Finally, click the button to watch your picture being created.

[15] At first the Image Lib Progress slider moves across the screen as the pictures are accessed, followed by the Mosaic Progress indicator. As the cells start to appear on your screen the Overview window opens to show how much of the picture has been completed. Rendering a large image can take many minutes, especially on slower computers.

When the rendering finishes, maximise the Overview window to have a closer look at your finished image. It should look like the picture above. Return the window to its original size and click Save Picture on the toolbar. When saving the picture you have a choice of BMP format (large file, higher quality) or JPG (small file, lower quality).

[17] Easy Mosaicdoesn't have any tools to edit the final picture and for those we must turn to an imaging program, such as Photoshop Elements or Paint Shop Pro. On Elements' Enhance menu you'll find plenty of tools to change brightness and contrast; strengthen or fade the colour with the Saturation tool; or even change the overall colour using the Hue control.

18] If you're printing the picture on an inkjet printer always use good quality photo paper to get a clear, sharp image. Even then the colours don't always match the original, which is where Elements can help. Colour Variations on the Adjust Colour menu enables you to tweak the picture and change the overall balance to ensure your printed output matches the original.

[19] With a young family member you may want to use a modern, colour picture as the basis and add images of ancestors as the cells. Whether the main picture is colour or monochrome the program always works better if it's bold and uncluttered. The portrait above fitted the bill and didn't need any colour adjustment before we started.

[20] With a colour picture each cell is tinted with the shade of the image beneath it and the Colour Enhance slider on the Special Effect tab controls the amount of tinting. With the slider set to 20% the colours were muted, which made this picture look dull. After a few trials we found a setting of 50% kept enough colour in the picture without overpowering the cell images.

[21] The final image looked good when we printed it eight-inches square, with enough detail in the cells to identify the people. The dark bar going through the boy's head is unfortunate, and emphasises the need to find an uncluttered picture for your main image. The settings we've suggested work with our pictures and achieved what we wanted, but only use them as a guide.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment