Create and Print a Photo Mosaic with Pixable

Taking pictures of every moment in life is the norm these days, now that we have cameras in our phones, laptops and other mobile devices—not to mention ever smaller dedicated point and shoot cameras. You share all those photos on Facebook, Picasa, Flickr and similar sites, but what about doing something more creative with them?

With Pixable, you can use photos uploaded to sites like Flickr, Facebook or stored locally on your computer to create photo books, calendars and mosaics. Once you’ve created your photo masterpiece, you can even order high quality prints. Let’s take a quick look at the creative mosaic feature.

Overview

Pixable is a service and web app that makes it possible to do more with your photos by creating photo books, calendars and mosaics. Once created and customized, you can share online or order high quality prints.

Pixable Home

Pixable Home

I’ll take a quick look at creating a large mosaic from my personal collection of photos stored in Picasa. You can access photos stored on your local system or via Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, Photobucket or SmugMug.

Creating a Mosaic

Creating a Mosaic

Sign In

Pixable doesn’t require registration but does require that you sign in via Facebook. That means if you don’t have a Facebook account, you’ll have to sign up for one—which I’m not particularly fond of.

Facebook Sign In

Facebook Sign In

Once you’re signed in, just click the big orange “Start your Mosaic now!” button.

Step 1: Select Your Main Photo

In step one, you’ll select the main image the mosaic will be made into. I’ve signed into my Picasa account and chosen a photo from a trip to the Hoover Dam with my girlfriend.

Main Photo Selectio

Main Photo Selectio

Once you’ve selected a photo you’re happy with, you’ll need to checkmark the box next to the statement right above the Continue button; which says that you certify you have the right to use and print the photos you’ll be using and that they do not violate their Terms of Use.

Upon clicking the Continue button, you’ll get a small popup asking you to name your mosaic.

Mosaic Name Popup

Mosaic Name Popup

Before moving on to step two, you’ll crop your photo to fit the desired mosaic size and ratio. I’ve selected a 17×11″ size mosaic print size.

Crop and Size

Crop and Size

Step 2: Add Tile Photos

Once your main photo has been uploaded and processed, you’ll move on to step two. In this step, you’ll add the small tile images that will make up the main image creating the mosaic. You’ll need to add a minimum of 100 images, with a maximum of 250 images.

Add Tile Images

Add Tile Images

Unfortunately the app didn’t remember my previous preference of using Picasa and requires me to sign in again. After signing back into my Picasa account, I added 250 photos from several of my photo albums. I’m not sure if more photos will give a better resulting mosaic, but I would assume so.

Adding Picasa Images

Adding Picasa Images

Once you click Continue, the app will upload your images and prepare your mosaic. I am very impressed with the speed this completed at. Most of my photos are 12+ megapixels and the app retrieved 250 from Picasa very quickly.

Uploading and Processing

Uploading and Processing

Once the app is done uploading and processing your mosaic, it will ask for special permissions with your Facebook account to modify photos. I chose not to allow this.

Facebook Special Permissions

Facebook Special Permissions

Step 3: Preview and Order

Now that your mosaic has been created, you can preview, order, download and share it.

Order, Share and Download Mosiac

Order, Share and Download Mosaic

The downloadable version (at least mine) is 3400×2200 pixels, so it won’t quite be print worthy at a large size but is definitely large enough to be used as a desktop background or sharing online. If you decide to order a printed version, it will be printed at 300dpi; so it should be much higher resolution for better print quality.

As you can see, the mosaic turned out quite nicely, but the results will vary depending on the selection of photos the app is given with varying colors and contrasts.

Share Yours!

I’ve linked the above image to my mosaic at Pixable if you’d like to take a closer look. If you create a mosaic, feel free to share yours with a comment below. Thanks!


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  • http://pixablemosaics jholyn

    weeehhh

  • http://www.cartridgeshop.co.uk Kathy Blackmore

    Thanks for the article. Pixable looks like a great tool which can work with our photos. It can even create wonderful photo books and calendars. I enjoyed reading about the program. The steps listed to work with Pixable are easy to follow. I cannot wait to print out the photos using inkjet cartridges. I bet they will look good.

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