How To Create A Photo Mosaic Collage with GIMP

How To Create A Photo Mosaic Collage with GIMP 1024 602 Nick Saporito

In today’s tutorial I’ll be demonstrating how you can use GIMP to create a mosaic photo collage where a bunch of individual photos are used to represent a larger photo. In order to follow along with this tutorial you will need a third-party extension for GIMP called G’MIC, which can be downloaded and installed here.

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The following is just a brief overview of the steps taken to accomplish this effect. For complete step-by-step instructions with voice narration, please watch the video tutorial at the top of the page.

Create A Photo Mosaic with GIMP

The first thing we have to do is round up some photos to use in our collage. For the sake of this tutorial, I just went to Pixabay and downloaded a bunch of random stock photos.

Photos to be used in the collage

Download and save at least 50 photos to a dedicated folder somewhere on your hard drive.

Now we’re going to create a new document in GIMP and open all 50 photos as individual layers by going to File > Open As Layers… and selecting all of the photos in your folder. It’ll take some time, so give it a minute to process. Once it’s completed, you’ll have all 50 photos on your document, each with their own dedicated layer.

Open as layers in GIMP

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Now what we’ll do is open the G’MIC plugin by going to Filters > G’MIC and look for the Montage feature under the Arrays and Tiles section.

We’ll leave all of the default settings as they are, then simply click OK to run the montage function. Your 50 photos will be arranged into a collage and opened in a new document, all flattened onto a single layer.

Photo collage

Although it’s a start, this is still not enough photos, so we’re going to duplicate this layer 9 times (so we have 10 in total) and run the Montage function again.

Photo montage multiplied

Now we must open our subject photograph — the photo we’d like the above collage to represent. For the sake of this tutorial, I’ll be using another stock photo from Pixabay.

Subject photograph

Simply copy the collage and paste it over your subject as a new layer. Once you’ve done that you can bring down the saturation of the subject photo a bit so that the colors of the collage take precedence, then use the Shadows-Highlights feature to adjust your photo as needed. Again, please refer to the video tutorial at the top of the page for more in-depth instruction.

Finished photo mosaic

And with that we are finished! We have successfully created a photo mosaic where a bunch of individual photos are used to make a larger photo.

Get Started with GIMP!

Want to learn more about how GIMP works? Check out The GIMP Series – a comprehensive collection of over 60 videos where I go over all of the major tools, features and function in GIMP and explain what they do, how they work, and why they’re useful.

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Nick Saporito

Nick Saporito is a Philadelphia-based graphic designer who specializes in branding-specific design. A full portfolio and information regarding services offered can be found at LogosByNick.com.

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