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Help with a real-life photo mosaic


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  • Help with a real-life photo mosaic

    Hey Guys,

    I am trying to create a mosaic of a photo with seeds and nuts (not in photoshop). The plan is to project a simplified projection of the photo onto the floor and number every color.
    I realise this does not sound very clear so I added an example (more details are required than there are in the example)

    when I transform the photo into a similar picture, I can sort the nuts and seeds by color and number to make the whole project managable. If anyone else has a better method for this let me know please.


    ps: The photo will be a portrait in brownish colors

  • #2
    Re: Help with a real-life photo mosaic

    It's not entirely clear to me what you are trying to do. Are you trying to turn the Photo into a line drawing (and then add numbers to the different areas) – like your example?

    If so the best result would come from manually constructing the lines (e.g. with the pen tool). Illustrator will be a better choice for software if you are familiar with it.

    If you want to quickly achieve something like this using filters, try:
    1. A little bit of Median (or blurring filter).
    2. Filter > Artisitc > Cutout... (Posterize might work)
    3. Stylize > Find Edges
    4. Desaturate and pull in black point.
    (someone might have better suggestions)

    You could also try Live Trace in Illustrator. That might be better.
    1. Live Trace (tweak options)
    2. Expand
    3. Set to white fill, black stroke

    Result will depend heavily on the picture used. In my example it won't really be that good for painting by numbers...
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Chain; 01-19-2012, 07:59 AM.


    • #3
      Re: Help with a real-life photo mosaic

      I'm sorry if the line drawing gave the wrong idea. Its a drawing that comes with numbered bottles of paint. The idea is that you fill in the numbered area's with paint from a bottle with the matching number. its called painting by numbers here in holland

      What i want to achieve is not a line drawing but a way to reduce my photo to less colors (25-50 colors) and number each color area in the photo. This way I can search a seed, nut or fruit that matches each color. I can then project this image onto a surface and start "coloring" sort of like the painting by numbers.

      (I hope this is clear enough, english is my second language)


      • #4
        Re: Help with a real-life photo mosaic

        In PS try FILTER - TEXTURE - STAINED GLASS and adjust the cell count to the detail required then use colour picker to get the colour mix numbers.


        • #5
          Re: Help with a real-life photo mosaic

          You could also try what I suggested, but just do steps 1/2, and increase the amount of colours/levels.

          Numbers you will have to add manually though, so with this large amount of colours that will be huge job. Perhaps you could project one colour at a time; then you won't need to number them?
          (Also, if you use the Illustrator method, you can output the colours to easy-to-manage swatches).


          • #6
            Re: Help with a real-life photo mosaic

            Hi Rnld

            Chain and Repairman both have good ideas. If you are just projecting an image for a project, here is another approach including how to insert numbers in (or any identifier that you want).

            I started with my Avatar colored to be brown/sepia for the experiment:

            Then you use your favorite tool to turn it into a cartoon (see Chain's and Repairman's ideas). I used the FilterForge plugin and made it so there were no dark lines between images:

            Next for each unique color, I created a white Layer set to Multiply, used the magic wand tool to individually select one individual color and created a Layer Mask. Document the color values (e.g. RGB for each new Layer) Use the Refine Mask tool if smoothing of the Layer Mask is needed and then use Layer Styles to Stroke the image with 1px black. This creates a color in its own Layer. Doing this for all 5 unique colors does this:

            I made each Color Outline Layer its own group and under each individual color selection I place a layer and did a texture fill (could also just paint in a custom brush that looks like a number) with a texture with the number 1 for an example. 1s now fill the area associated with that color selection. The image below shows the paint by number for the one of the colors. Repeat for the other colors:

            Now I used an awful example for the experiment yet this should give you one idea of how to approach the problem. Hope this helps.


            • #7
              Re: Help with a real-life photo mosaic

              Used Darknock's Canny preset for the outline.


              Attached Files


              • #8
                Re: Help with a real-life photo mosaic

                Sorry; couldn't help myself. Won't show a preview, but click for this doll as template for nuts (not the template as I showed previously; used a complete different template to be more DAP friendly).



                • #9
                  Re: Help with a real-life photo mosaic

                  Thank you all, I am going to try some of the options above. will keep you posted