Create A Mosaic Photo Collage With GIMP

Create A Mosaic Photo Collage With GIMP
Today's tutorial will take you through the process of creating a mosaic photo collage step-by-step using GIMP, the free picture editing software. We will use guides Image> Guide> New Guides (by percent) to help us positioning images precisely, Rectangle select (Tools>Selection Tools>Rectangle Select), File>Export command to create pattern and Bucket Fill (Tools>Paint Tools>Bucket Fill) to fill the layer with the mosaic pattern. Let's get started!

Video tutorial: Create A Mosaic Photo Collage With GIMP.

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1. Prepare Images For Creating Mosaic Pattern.
Please prepare or download images to be used for mosaic photo collage pattern, at least 20 different images. For this GIMP tutorial, I'll use images that I downloaded from Pixabay.

2. Create a New Image.
Choose File>New to open the Create a new image dialog. Here you can set the Width and Height of the new image. Enter a value for the initial width with 1500 px and height with 1500 px, then click OK.
Picture: Create a new image.

3. Create Guides.
To create a mosaic, we need to place a lot of small images in our new image precisely. GIMP gives us Guides, a flexible type of positioning aid. Guides are horizontal or vertical lines we can temporarily display on an image while we are working on it.

  • Create 9 horizontal guides. Use Image> Guide> New Guides (by percent) command. In the dialog box, select Horizontal direction, enter 10 Position and click OK. Repeat this step for position 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 and 90.
  • And now create 9 vertical guides. Use Image> Guide> New Guides (by percent) command. In the dialog box, select Vertical direction, enter 10 Position and click OK. Repeat this step for position 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 and 90.

If you don't see the guidelines, use View> Show Guides.

Snapping is a useful feature in GIMP that allows us to align images with guides. Choose View>Snap to Guides to enable snapping that will help you to align any images you want.
Picture: Create horizontal guides.

Picture: Create vertical guides.

4. Insert Image.
Use File> Open As Layers command in the top menu to open the image you'd like to insert. Click on the image, then click OK. You can now edit the image as follows:

  • Use Tools>Transform Tools>Scale command to resize the image. Click anywhere inside the image. In the Scale dialog box, click the chain to keep the image does not distort. Set the new values for the image's width and height. Press Scale button when you are done.
  • Use Tools>Transform Tools>Move command to move the image. Click and hold anywhere inside the image and drag.
Picture: Use the Move Tool and Scale Tool.

Picture: Position the image.

Use Tools>Selection Tools>Rectangle Select command. To create a selection, drag your mouse over part of the image, go to Edit> Copy command, go to Edit>Paste command and then use Layer>To New Layer. Now you can delete the original image's layer.
Picture: Rectangle Select Tool.

Picture: Create a selection, drag your mouse over part of the image. You can delete the original photo layer.

5. Insert All Images.
Repeat step 4 to open and manipulate each picture you'd like to insert. The result will be as shown below:
Picture: The document now filled with the mosaic pattern.

6. Define Mosaic Pattern.
Use File>Save to save your mosaic pattern, name it, and then click the Save button. Next, use File> Export to export it into a pattern. On the drop-down menu select GIMP Pattern (.pat). Fill in the Name field Mosaics 10 x 10. Click the Export button. Now you can save and close your document Pattern.xcf.
Picture: Export into a Pattern.

Then go to Edit> Preferences and click Folders> Patterns. You can see in there, the folder location for the pattern. Then copy the file mosaic pattern.pat export results earlier to that folder. Close GIMP, then reopen GIMP. This way, GIMP can read the pattern file we created earlier.
Picture: Copy the pattern file to the folder.

7. Open Your Main Image.
Use File> Open to open your main image (the big picture), then create a new layer by clicking the Create a new layer at the bottom of the panel or use Layer>New Layer. We recommend that you use a large resolution photo to get the best result.

Use Tools>Paint Tools>Bucket Fill (Shift B). Then, in the toolbox select the mosaic pattern we created earlier and select the radio button 'Fill whole selection'.
Picture: Bucket Fill Tool Icon.

Picture: Paint Bucket Tool Properties.

Picture: Open the main image and then create a new layer.

8. Fill Layer With Mosaic Pattern.
Click your mouse on the document to fill the document with the mosaic pattern.
Picture: Click on the document to Fill Layer with a mosaic pattern.

9. Desaturate Layer, change the Blend Mode and Opacity.
Use Colors> Desaturate to desaturate layer. Change its mode to Overlay and set the opacity if needed.
Picture: Desaturate, Set mode to overlay and adjust its opacity.

10. Save your document.
Use File>Save command in the top menu and name your document. Click OK when you are done.

Here is the result:
GIMP Mosaic Photo Collage
Picture: Mosaic Photo Collage tutorial using GIMP.

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See also other GIMP Collage tutorials:
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