There was a time when computer generated photo mosaics were such a novelty that they elicited magazine covers and widespread media attention. Photo mosaics uses software algorithms and photography to recreate a reference image from thousands of smaller individual photos. There was nothing new about creating mosaics from photos, however, by the 1990′s they could be generated dynamically by software, instead of being done by hand. What was once the realm of high-end digital imagery can now be done by MosaicFacebook HD for $4.99.
MosaicFacebook HD leverages the collections of Facebook and Flickr users to create the intricate mosiac effect. MosaicFacebook HD took somewhere between eight and ten minutes (left to make a sandwich) to process the two thousand plus photos in my Flickr account. I’m not sure what it was doing, but it did not download those images to my iPhone, if I had to guess, it was processing each photo’s color values to know when each one could be used in the future.
To begin creating mosaics, select a source image from your photo album and the app will begin to generate the final image in about 80 seconds on an iPad – depending on the complexity of the photo. Once done, you can save your new masterpiece to the gallery by pressing the Save button. After waiting for my image to process, the app crashed before I could save it to the gallery. It also crashed repeatedly when trying to upload to Flickr, I had none of these problem with the iPhone version of the MosaicFacebook.
Saved images appear in the app’s gallery and each one is framed border which gives it a museum exhibit feel. Clicking on each thumbnail will load a higher quality picture but unfortunately, you cannot browse between images and you will need to go back to the main gallery to the entire collection. Selected gallery images can be sent to Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, or saved locally to the Photos’ app. I chose to upload a few samples to Flickr and I was surprised at the quality of the 716×965 photos, the mosaic effect looks much better on a monitor or TV screen than it does on an iPad.
In the end, MosaicFacebook HD is a single purpose photo app that will appeal to those who would like to generate somewhat quick mosaic images at an affordable price. The app does lacks any sort of user settings in regards to creating different filters or even the ability to change the image sizes to reduce the processing time. MosaicFacebook HD does create stunning mosaics because it can access the enormous photo collections of online users, but between the lack of any options, long processing times and iPad crashes - it’s novelty will wear off quickly.
You can find MosaicFacebook in the App Store now, priced at $4.99.