Creating Collages for Your Blog Posts - Picasa Tool

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So by now you know the news that Picnik is closing shop coming up in April. For the most part, this does not bother me! Picasa (free photo organizing/editing tool by Google, download link) is picking up the slack (especially in its v3.9 release and hopefully even more so in the upcoming v4.0).

Samples of Picnik Collage Options

However, there was one feature of Picnik that I have yet to meet a match in ease of use. That feature is the collage tool. You could pick a collage box pattern, drop your photos in. Slide them as needed to get the crop just right. And 1-2-3 you were done with a cool looking collage!

Until this feature pops up again in either Google+ or Picasa (or the up and coming Picnik competitor iPiccy.com) - I'm off on another brainstorming session to figure out "the next best thing." So here's what I have come up with.

Picasa does collages. However, they just are not "presets" like Picnik. So here I have charted some different collage patterns that can be a useful reference. For the individual component photos, I am mixing some common crop sizes like square (1:1, aspect 1.0), standard digital photo (4:3, aspect 1.333), 4x6 (aspect 1.5), and HD/Widescreen aspect (16:9, aspect 1.777). By composing with these different shapes, you can create several different interesting patterns. Aspect ratio is simply the mathematics of the ratio of the sides, therefore a square is 1 (equal sides) and the larger the aspect ratio, the WIDER the shape is in relation to its height. Crops that travel in either direction away from the standard 4:3 such as to square or to a wide 16:9 format creates some eye appealing interest! Don't be afraid of the crop tool!

So a quick checklist to create Picasa grid collages is as follows:

  1. look above and pick the pattern you want to use, count how many photos you need to select (2, 3, 4, or 6)
  2. Since we are cropping the photos, we'll want to make a copy so we don't alter the originals - use the export command for the selected photos - use the original resolution setting and put a copy in a temporary folder (exports folder)
  3. now switch to the exports folder for the cropping to begin - crop in the right counts of each shape type according to the collage pattern above that you chose
  4. once the crops are done, select all the photos and use the collage tool button
  5. now we are on the canvas, pick a canvas size in landscape mode and pick a background color of black (or any color of your choosing)
  6. Move the photos around into their approximate positions
  7. size the photos so they are big, but you have enough room on the canvas to fit the entire assembly - coordinate matching side sizes to get alignments
  8. now move them around into their final positions - now mind the gap! - make sure there is a small but noticeable and EVEN gap between all photos
  9. Click the create collage button when completed
  10. Use the crop tool on the overall collage (manual shape mode) to cut off the excess canvas
  11. Use the export tool to create a "blog sized" graphic - 684 pixel max width if sending the image to an ActiveRain post
  12. upload the photo from the "exports" subfolder into your blog post

You can see a sample collage that I created using this technique below:


Further, now let me SHOW you how to do all this since it is probably easier for you to understand once you see it. Here's my tutorial video.

 

If you want to learn more about how to make your blog posts OUTSTANDING by using graphics, be sure and check out my online course "Graphics for Bloggers 101". It is 4.5 hours of pre-recorded instruction that you can watch at your own pace! There is just a few more days left at the introductory discounted rate!

Thanks for coming to the classroom today, I hope you learned something new! :)

 

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  is a Technology Manager residing in NYC who specializes in applied technologies in the fields of Architecture and Real Estate. Craig focuses on finding the best uses of tech as can be used to help a business be more successful. He is keen on always seeing the perspective and viewpoint of his audience and he tailors his teaching to be easily understood. Visit my "Recent Posts" page to see a listing of all that is new in case you missed anything!

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Re-Bloggged 5 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Gloria Matthews 02/12/2012 11:29 AM
  2. Pacita Dimacali 02/15/2012 02:43 AM
  3. Charles Stallions 02/17/2012 08:37 PM
  4. Joni Staples 03/02/2012 08:49 PM
  5. Cheryl Ritchie 03/03/2012 02:54 AM
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Topic:
Real Estate Technology & Tools
Groups:
Active Rain Newbies
BananaTude
Tech Corner
Technology
VBloggers
Tags:
collages
picasa

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Show All Comments
Rainer
120,215
Lisa Hicks
Kennebec County Real Estate Agent, Central Maine R
The Maine Real Estate Network

Thank you, thank you!  Once again you provide AWESOME info!

February 17, 2012 11:54 AM
Ambassador
271,431
Craig Daniels
Technology Instructor/Project Consultant
Tech Training for You!

Caprice - so glad you have subscribed - thanks so much enjoy the video! :)

Lisa - you are very welcome, glad to see you again :)

February 18, 2012 07:53 AM
Rainmaker
685,757
Cindy Edwards
CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee - 423-677-6677
RE/MAX Checkmate

I swear,

I just get comfortable with one app and it changes.  lol, thats okay, I'm enjoying my lessons.

February 18, 2012 12:07 PM
Rainmaker
747,510
Carol Zingone
Global Realtor Based in Jax Beach, FL
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty

Craig - very cool! Thanks so much for all the info!

February 19, 2012 06:45 AM
Rainmaker
563,424
Chris Smith
South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta
Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage

Craig, I have stuck my head in the sand regarding Picnick closing... Thanks for sharing Picassa with me, perhaps I have to investigate it further.

February 19, 2012 08:24 AM
Rainer
45,004
Jairo Arreola
VA Home Loan Specialist - SF Bay Area - South Bay - San Jose
Aladdin Realty

Wow. This is a very great tool! Thanks for sharing!

February 24, 2012 05:15 PM
Ambassador
1,243,034
Norma Toering
Palos Verdes Homes in Los Angeles Area
Charlemagne International Properties

I agree with Jane, I'm always bookmarking your posts.  Thanks.

March 02, 2012 08:53 PM
Ambassador
1,092,446
Michelle Carr-Crowe Just Call 408-252-8900 Luxury Homes in Top Silicon Valley Schools-San Jose, Cupertino, Saratoga & Palo Alto
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years
Just Call 408-252-8900 Lynbrook Homes Cupertino KW

Thanks for the useful info and tools to improve our graphics.

March 02, 2012 09:16 PM
Rainmaker
1,153,440
Cheryl Ritchie
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566
RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com

Wow, you hit a nerve with almost 100 comments! Collages are my biggest THUD factor when the plug gets pulled on Picnik. Reblogged!

March 03, 2012 02:59 AM
Rainmaker
1,346,151
Andrew Mooers
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker
MOOERS REALTY

I love graphic design, advertising layout. Presentation is everything and it amplifies what ever the subject matter is using lots of media streams to create a quality on line real estate buyer experience. 

March 03, 2012 04:09 AM
Rainer
234,262
Doug Bullwinkel
NMLS #281609
Vitek Mortgage Group

Somehow I missed this post until I saw that Joni reblogged it.  I haven't done a collage before but your post has inspired me to do great things with this.  Thanks for the great information on this topic.

March 03, 2012 04:47 AM
Rainmaker
513,505
Pat & Wayne Harriman
Broker/Owners, Wallingford CT Real Estate
Harriman Real Estate, LLC (203) 672-4499

Craig, can you do a customized collage with Picasa? In other words, can I do a collage that fits Facebook's 851 x 315 size for cover photos, and use 15-20 images?

Also, there's another Picnik replacement coming soon, ostensibly put together by ex-Picnikers, called PicMonkey. It's not out yet but you can sign up to be notified when it's live here:

PicMonkey

March 04, 2012 05:02 PM
Ambassador
271,431
Craig Daniels
Technology Instructor/Project Consultant
Tech Training for You!

thanks everybody in the last batch of comments - AR email notifications not working for a while and I lost track of you coming to visit! I appreciate your comments! :) (now that I have finally seen them)

Harrimans - you can do a collage in picasa as you say - you should try the "mosaic" or "grid" collage modes instead of the picture pile - you can pick as many photos as you want (but best in multiples of how many rows and columns you want to make an even number) - set your aspect ratio to "custom" and enter the 815 x 315 target size - voila! - nice idea :)

and thanks for sharing the picmonkey headsup - we'll see!

March 04, 2012 07:24 PM
Rainer
57,445
Wayne Jackson
North Idaho Realtor, Serving Coeur dnullAlene and Hayden Lake
Lakeshore Realty 208-714-4109

Craig, Thanks for the great tutorial, this is very useful information. It would be great to have one on how to make some still shots into a video with narration and an arrow we could move around on the pics while describing different features.

March 11, 2012 09:31 PM
Ambassador
271,431
Craig Daniels
Technology Instructor/Project Consultant
Tech Training for You!

Wayne - glad you liked! I see about the ideas you mentioned if I can include somehow in my upcoming video course (currently on the boards!) thx

March 12, 2012 10:31 AM
Rainmaker
1,322,592
Charles Stallions
800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services

Hi Craig we are trying these out and found yours and another to be so helpful thanks for the post

April 06, 2012 04:54 PM
Rainmaker
125,433
Matt Robinson
Pensacola Real Estate (850) 292-4000
ERA Emerald Coast Realty

I seem to "favorite" your blog posts more than anyone else.  Another very helpful post for us techno-phobes.  Thanks!

October 23, 2012 11:40 AM
Rainmaker
304,599
Inna Ivchenko
Los Angeles / Valley Homes
Mannis Real Estate Group

I'm looking for a collage creator if you use a lot of pictures( 50+), I can not find anything good for my mac. There are some good apps for Ipad and Iphone, but I can not find something easy to use that I can create collage instantly for the event blog. Any advice?

October 29, 2013 01:43 AM
Rainmaker
304,599
Inna Ivchenko
Los Angeles / Valley Homes
Mannis Real Estate Group

I just made a collage using an updated Picasa.

Love it! They did improve it and it is very easy to use.

Thanks for this information~ still  timeless!

October 29, 2013 02:07 AM
Rainer
86,456
Lisa Aguilera
Aguilera Real Estate Team at Keller Williams Tracy
The Aguilera Real Estate Team - Homes in Tracy and Mountain House, Central Valley California

Thanks for the great info Craig. Another great free collage tool to download is Photoscape. You can add text with it too. Just make sure you save your images at a high enough DPI.

http://www.photoscape.org/ps/main/index.php

October 30, 2013 11:05 AM
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Craig Daniels

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