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    So I’ve always been interested in the idea of making mosaics of my photos from my other photos. Since I’m skipping this week’s contest (Els, I came really close to doing the marbled egg thing), I decided to play with the idea using contest images.

    By “mosaic”, I’m talking about the process of replacing each pixel in an image with a thumbnail-sized version of another image whose average color is close to that of the original pixel.

    The problem with this is that the image sizes grow out of hand really quickly. For example, if you use the thumbnail size from Bibliostats (max of 240×240), then an average Fark-sized photo of 640×480 would grow to be 640*240 x 480*240 or 153,600 x 115,200 pixels (about 17 gigapixels).

    So, compromises must be made. I started by gathering all of the thumbnails for a particular contest from Bibliostats and then cropping a square from the center (you need square, or at least constant-sized, “pixels”). I then sized that down to a 64×64 square and calculated the average color it contained.

    Next, I selected the thumbnail I wanted to make a mosaic of and for each pixel in the target image, I replaced it with the closest match to its color in the resized thumbs. This results in a max image size of 240*64 x 240*64 or 15,360 x 15,360 pixels (about 235 megapixels).

    The number of entries in a contest determines the number (and range) of colors in the palette, so contests with more entries generate mosaics with less pixelation. I tried a couple of them and I think they turned out pretty cool. Here’s a page showing a mosaic of one of Queen Mab’s entries from this week. There were only 43 entries at the time I generated this, so that’s the number of possible colors.

    Here’s a page showing a mosaic of Ranger Joe’s winner from the SOOC contest. That contest had 182 entries so there’s less pixelation.

    Anyway, I was thinking about maybe creating a mosaic of the winner of each contest using the entries from that contest (similar to the two sample pages). I don’t know if there’s any interest in that at all. The images are quite large (from 35-50 MB) so I don’t want to do it if it’s just a “oh, that’s cool – next!” kinda thing. If I do, I’ll likely put it on a hidden page that’s only linked to from these forums to minimize traffic.


    I like mosaics; I’ve done them myself (I once put together images of 4 m*ms in all possible color combos and used that–worked pretty well!), but I can’t see it as something I’d want to see every week. Cool shots, though.


    Kinda with Rav on this, cool but not sure of the value to effort ratio.


    Yeah, I agree with you both. They’re kinda cool to look at but I don’t think they have weekly appeal. The fun is in zooming in to see how many “pixels” you recognize and I don’t think anyone’s gonna bother downloading a 30-50MB image just for that.

    If I stumble across a fairly easy way to do some kind of a deep zoom thing on the web, I might put up a couple every once in a while. BTW, the effort isn’t in the generation – I wrote an automated tool for it. I’ve just gotta point it at which thumbs to use for the pixel sources and which thumb to generate a mosaic for. So, I’ll leave everyone with one final for now. Here’s a colorful one from orionid from the Glass 2 theme that uses thumbnails from all contests since #200 (about 24,000 thumbnails).


    I think for contests with a lot of participation it would be more interesting than those with low participation.

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