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Old Feb 11, 2004, 7:31 AM   #1
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Default how do you make a Collage (spelling?) of several immages?

Hi,
I'm using MS Picture It! Photo Premium 9, and Canon Zoom Brouser EX. Can anyone tell me how I can take several immages, resize them, and form them into a collage, that can be saved as a single *.jpg file to be posted on a talk board or sent via email?
Thanks, JDBraddy
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Old Feb 11, 2004, 10:10 PM   #2
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If you can get your hands on Adobe Photoshop it would be good.

That's the only program i use anyway, and it is good enough - especially for sending through e-mails in your case.

Just open up all your images, open a new document and just play the drag and drop game =)

g'luck
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Old Feb 12, 2004, 6:20 AM   #3
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Photoshop is expensive, and unless JDBraddy is ready to tackle a monster program with a huge learning curve, all that's really necessary is an editing program capable of handling layers. Photoshop Elements can certainly serve admirably in this area and in plenty of others also. I imagine there are more programs that can do layers, but I'm just not familiar with them.
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Old Feb 12, 2004, 7:05 AM   #4
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As Barbra said: think layers. It can be done without using layers, but it is *MUCH* harder since without layers each "piece" will be frozen in place as soon as the next one is added. Easier and better if you can adjust the placement (and color/contrast/brightness/...) of each "piece" on its own and at any time.
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Old Feb 12, 2004, 8:31 AM   #5
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A helpful word here. I did some of this last Xmas. It's far more interesting to show an A4 collage after adding some fancy backgrounds and borders. My first attempt was done in Corel Photo Paint. But here's the hole to keep out of:

If you drag and drop the original images at camera resolution in some packages, even re-sized, they can appear re-scaled on your desktop, but come in at enormous file size, gobbling up your pc memory as you add more and slow......i...ng down any edit moves.

I started by saying my output print resolution will be 300 dpi, estimated the on-paper image size in inches, and worked out roughly what my re-sampled image size, height and width should be in pixels and imported copies of the resampled images to those figures. When you've finished adding all your pics, the file size for your printed collage (e.g A4), should be no larger than one image printed the same size at 300 dpi. You should do any editing or clean up on the pics first, then do the downsample last.

I've not tried Photoshop for this yet so I can't say whether it will do a resize and re-sample at the same time - but be careful of the trap as it can crash your pc 'out of memory' and cause freezes dead easy. Regards - VOX
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Old Feb 12, 2004, 10:08 AM   #6
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I worked on a 120Mb file adding multiple layers and functions in Photoshop. I ran it out of RAM fairly quickly but it wrote to the scratch disk as it was designed to do Ė like watching grass grow but it doesnít freeze the computer. Any program that freezes your computer with out of memory messages when you run it out of RAM needs to be updated or discarded. I agree with VOXís recommendation to decide on a resolution and resize down to just larger than you think you want in the collage, but there is no reason to tolerate a program that freezes your computer regardless of file size.

I presume you have the transform tools in Elements and other capable programs like PSP and PhotoImpact. Using the transform tools in Photoshop, collages are a snap. Drag the image into the collage and select free transform. A box appears around the image with handles. You can resize it any way you want so it fits in. If you want to change it after you add some more stuff you can just select the layer again. Other transform tools let you rotate and even change the perspective of each individual picture. You can select irregular parts of a picture before you drag it into the collage and have any level of feathering or transparency you want. You can make a professional looking collage in no time with Photoshop and I presume Elements.

I had an old version of PictureIt that came with my film scanner. It was basically a program for children and people who wanted nothing to do with an image editing program. Maybe theyíve improved it but it wasnít very useful in older versions.
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Old Feb 12, 2004, 4:36 PM   #7
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'.............but there is no reason to tolerate a program that freezes your computer regardless of file size...........

Your PC may freeze because you've hit an area of RAM at the high end which is faulty and you don't use it that often. Because your HD is caching, your PC has used up most of its resources and servicing interrupts gets more flaky. There are some issues for the OS, depending on which version and what you've got set in the disc/memory management options. If you've got a number of background tasks running without realising it - the CPU load just mounts up.

So, you import all your files, hard disc caching away like grass growing, then hit an edit function - I'd be surprised if the editor offered the chance of a clean exit BEFORE it tried to manipulate all that photo data in memory and cached on HD. So you can either wait a very long time, or Ctrl/Alt/Delete - and that can be quite unpredictable.

Try Collage on say a P90, without downsample before import, and you're most likely to crash and burn trying to escape from a seemingly frozen editing package! VOX
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Old Feb 12, 2004, 6:32 PM   #8
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Resources arenít the same thing as RAM. RAM use, CPU load nor HD cache should have nothing to do with ďout of memoryĒ messages. A P90 doesnít use resources any more than a P4. A single program should never hog any appreciable amount of resources and one should keep track of them closely enough that they never get near a level that a single program could cause problems. If you keep your resources up in the 70% range then any single program that drags your resources down to a level that causes problems needs to be replaced or updated.

You have to get down into the 10% range before resources become an actual problem, but anything below 60% is an indication that you have too much stuff running in the background and your computer is probably not running as well as it should. If a program is causing lockups due to resources and the program isnít particularly misbehaved then the msconfig startup needs cleaning out. http://www.pacs-portal.co.uk/startup_content.php

With Win98 and SE I used a program called TclockEX that would display a 2 digit readout of my resources to the left of the clock. I knew which programs took what resources and what programs didnít return the resources when exited. It is normal for some programs to keep a couple of percent after shutdown but more than that is unacceptable. I replaced a couple of programs because they were resource hogs. The only partial hog I tolerated was Zone Alarm because I was too cheap to buy one and I assumed that others might take the same 10% or so. But it was time for action no matter what was running if they ever got below 60%.

The bar running across the top of TclockEX that shows CPU activity alerted me to several problems as well. Unfortunately that bar doesnít work in XP. Resources arenít a problem in XP, but that can be a trap if you donít keep the services and msconfig startup cleaned out anyway.

I actually did the initial work on that 120Mb file for the museum display on a P3 600Mhz with 512Mb of RAM. I ran it out of RAM quickly and everything was done s l o w l y in the scratch disk, but the computer ran fine. My computer never froze with memory messages in Win98/SE over 4 years and I am an avid multitasker. I did get illegal action messages and rare BSODs, but then I knew it was time to Ghost in a clean system. I got memory freezes in Win95 but I didnít really know what I was doing back then and Win95 didnít manage memory very well.
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Old Feb 13, 2004, 9:17 AM   #9
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I've used Picture It '99 to make collages. If your version is similar to this older version, go to Projects => Collages. Altho recently I've used Photoshop, Picture It is simpler to use and does have a few things than PS. Good luck...Harvey 8)
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Old Feb 13, 2004, 4:37 PM   #10
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slipe, I've got Tclock, but when I had probs working out why my AVI movie replays were freezing, I used 'CPU LOAD' and discovered many MJPEG decoders (MediaPlayer was worst) were just to heavy for my pc. The CPU load hit the roof at the point of freeze. I tried the Morgan MJPEG decoder and could replay freezless with 75% peak CPU load. Here's a download link for CPU load:

http://ftp.simtel.net/pub/simtelnet/...l/cpuld200.zip
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