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Author Topic: Shape Collage - Free Automatic Photo Collage Maker  (Read 11923 times)
veenix
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« on: March 04, 2009, 03:02:56 PM »

Hi,

I'd like to announce a (donationware) program I wrote called Shape Collage that automatically creates photo collages in different shapes, like a heart, cat, or in the shape of a word, very quickly and easily.  I have attached two example collages to this post.  One is 200 photos of my cat in the shape of a heart, and the other is Cody created with 161 images that I grabbed from the Donation Coder website (Shape Collage can grab photos directly from websites).  I made each of those in less than a minute.

This is the project website (includes a lot of examples, screenshots, link to the download, etc.):
http://www.vincentcheung.ca/shapecollage/



I like to make collages to summarize albums of photos that I have so I can post it on my blog, use as my desktop wallpaper, use for scrap booking projects, etc.  I was never satisfied with the collages created using Picasa and other programs because the photos are just randomly placed in the collage, the photos do not optimally cover the area of the collage, and many of the photos are covered up by other photos.  I used to use Photoshop to manually create the collages, but this would take forever.  So, I created a program that automatically creates photo collages and attempts to optimally place the photos in the collage using a machine learning algorithm that I developed.  I then realized that my program was not restricted to merely creating rectangular collages like every other collage making software or website, and so, Shape Collage was born.

I enjoy developing and using Shape Collage and I want others to be able to easily create their own collages.  You can save the collages in JPEG, PNG, or even Photoshop PSD format so that you can edit the collage yourself afterwards.  It's fast and free with no viruses, ads, etc. and available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

I hope you like it!


Vincent

« Last Edit: March 04, 2009, 03:29:27 PM by veenix » Logged
mouser
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« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2009, 03:16:42 PM »

It looks terrific!

Can you re-attach your images but use smaller versions (dont use anything bigger than 1200x1024 or so as it causes trouble) -- i had to replace it temporarily.
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veenix
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« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2009, 03:31:28 PM »

I've reattached the images in lower resolution.  Shape Collage is capable of creating very high resolution images suitable for being printed out in large poster format.
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Antonimo
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« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2009, 03:00:54 AM »

Very, very nice!  Thmbsup
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ewemoa
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« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2009, 07:29:09 PM »

Nice!

I have successfully made some collages -- though in one case I got an exception while saving (didn't manage to reproduce this though -- and sorry, no stack trace, intend to try to hang onto the next one if it happens again).

I also saved as PSD w/ the hopes of changing the positions of some of the photo images manually, but I didn't succeed in opening the file using the GIMP.  My limited understanding of PSD support in the GIMP is that the GIMP can manage to cope with some PSD files but not all.  Is it practical to output either a format which the GIMP could handle (in which editing is practical) or change the characteristics of the PSD within Shape Collage in a way that would make it editable via the GIMP?

Thanks for your consideration -- and Shape Collage  Thmbsup
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veenix
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« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2009, 07:38:03 PM »

I am able to open the PSD files generated from Shape Collage in GIMP.  I believe that GIMP and Photoshop have a file size limit (2GB if I recall correctly) and there is also a limit on the resolution (something like 20,000 pixels in either of the dimensions).  Both programs will fail to open PSD files that exceed these limits.  If you send me your PSD file, I can take a look, but it should be in a format that GIMP can open.
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einstein999999
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« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2009, 07:42:48 PM »

Looks neat, I'm definitely trying it out!  cheesy
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OldElmerFudd
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« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2009, 01:30:40 AM »

Shape Collage got mentioned in the ACF newsgroup a couple of days ago. I downloaded but hadn't gotten around to installing until now. What a lot of fun! Made three simple collages  in less than five minutes and saved one of them as a PSD. (79 images) Opened up easily in Photoshop. Haven't had time to muck around with it too much tonight, but I can tell it's gonna cost me some screen-sucking time tomorrow. Nice job!
 Thmbsup  Grin
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kyrathaba
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« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2009, 07:55:50 AM »

Wow, I'm impressed.  That is very creative!
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ewemoa
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« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2009, 04:55:06 PM »

Thanks for the response -- and sorry it has taken me a bit to respond.

I believe that GIMP and Photoshop have a file size limit (2GB if I recall correctly) and there is also a limit on the resolution (something like 20,000 pixels in either of the dimensions).  Both programs will fail to open PSD files that exceed these limits.

Thanks for this information -- I don't get the sense I'm running up against these limits in my case.

Quote
If you send me your PSD file, I can take a look, but it should be in a format that GIMP can open.

Thanks for the offer.  I've been working on trying to create a collage for which I experience the problem that I don't mind sending smiley  What I have learned in further experimentation is that I can create single image collages that fails to load in the GIMP and I have successfully created some that do load ok.  When I experience the problem, what I see the GIMP saying (I've tried w/ version 2.6.1, 2.6.3, and 2.6.5) is something like:

Quote
Error loading PSD file: Unsupported compression mode <some number>

where <some number> seems to differ depending on input images.

Ah, and now the processing resources at my disposal appear to have finished their work -- attached, please find an archive with a jpeg source image and a ShapeCollage-generated PSD file for which I experience the difficulty.

* culprits.zip (2597.57 KB - downloaded 308 times.)
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veenix
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« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2009, 01:59:29 AM »

Hmm... I also got the same error message in GIMP, but the file opened up fine in Photoshop.  The same compression mode is used for all PSD files, so I'm not sure why some of the PSD files will give an error and others won't.  I'll look into this further.
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ewemoa
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« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2009, 04:56:16 AM »

I wish you luck with your investigation!

FWIW, I don't know if it will be of any help but I've seen different numbers appear in the error dialog from the GIMP depending on the collage I make.
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veenix
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« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2009, 11:20:35 AM »

I've figured out the problem with PSD files on GIMP and the fix will appear in the next version of Shape Collage.  The code for opening PSD files was completely rewritten in version 2.5 of GIMP, and when I originally developed the PSD code for Shape Collage, I was testing it on version 2.4.  The new code is picker and I had to adjust some of the padding bits to get it to work.

So, until I release the next version, you will have to use Photoshop or GIMP version 2.4.7 or earlier if you want to open the collages in PSD format.

Thanks for helping me with this bug!
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ewemoa
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« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2009, 04:02:56 PM »

Congratulations for figuring out the issue -- and thanks for your efforts of investigation smiley

I am looking forward to the next version of Shape Collage -- hope work on that goes well!

Thanks again for Shape Collage  Thmbsup
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OldElmerFudd
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« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2009, 01:57:54 PM »

Just letting you know I've had a lot of fun with Shape. I can save to .psd as well as .jpg without problems, and open either with Photoshop. Got to watch the # of images in a folder, though. I got a little crazy and tried a folder with 2000+ files! Took quite a while.  Thmbsup
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snapshooter87
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« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2009, 04:47:51 PM »

Wish I could be among those above who are enjoying this program. I've tried about 5 times to install it and although it goes through all of the normal routines, when the installation is finished and I've left the Run Program checked , there is a fraction of a second Logo appearing and then a loud thump and nothing.
Both the Download file and the Shotcut icon are present on my desktop but NO JOY  with the manual activation either. Same flash Logo and Sound.

I've tried it without Comodo running as well.  System is cleam (Windows XP Pro, 2 Gigs ram, 130 Gigs free space,. Everything appears normal but won't open. ANY IDEAS
Thanks.   snapshooter87.
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PhilB66
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« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2009, 06:09:48 PM »

@snapshooter87

Do you have java installed?
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snapshooter87
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« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2009, 04:49:17 PM »

PhilB66

Sorry for the long delay. Yes, I do have the latest JRE  installed..
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PhilB66
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« Reply #18 on: April 03, 2009, 08:24:36 PM »

Have you read the FAQ?

Quote
I am running Windows and when I try to run the program, the splash screen shows up, there's a Windows sound, and then it disappears and nothing happens

Verify that Java is installed correctly by going to the Java website.

If Java is installed correctly and Shape Collage still doesn't run, try downloading the Java version of Shape Collage and running it by double clicking the ShapeCollage-2.1.jar file.

The last option is to manually run the program by going to the command line and typing "java -Xmx1024m -jar ShapeCollage-2.1.jar". You may need to add Java to your path.
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