This is a fun one. I’ll start with how it came about – I had seen a post about Pixelating photos on Apartment Therapy – the example was a massive portrait of Abraham Lincoln and was done by gridding off a canvas and mixing paint to match the limited grayscale colour palette and painting the squares to match. OK so that got me thinking that I could do that with scrapbooking paper rather than paint. So I got my DDs not-very-good school photo (which we ordered as a digital print – and I won’t rant about THAT, but only say what looks acceptable in a very tiny proof is often shockingly bad in a larger, high resolution size!) and ran the PIXELATE filter (standard in Photoshop 7 – find it at Filter>Pixelate>Mosaic then use the slider to set the size) and was delighted with the outcome…until I realized that in order to have the end result recognizable the pixels across would have to be something like 85. Even at an inch square (which is the smallest size *I* would be interested in working with) that would mean a MASSIVE piece or art. Scaling down the number of pixels produced an amorphous blob that even her loving father would be hard pressed to recognize as his beloved child.
I looked at the first comment and found a link to the questionably named The Rastorbator. Brilliant fun. There are many many options to choose from (overall size, number of pages in the completed piece, size of dots, border or not, grayscale only) and you can upload an image of up to 1 mb then set it working. It will create your rasterized image and send you a PDF of the individual pages. There are instructions for printing the set of sheets – mine was 5 x 5 for a total of 25 sheets if printed US letter (A4 users beware – don’t print as it comes. Read and follow the directions) but I wanted to see if I could do things a different way.
I opened each page of the PDF and saved it instead as a best quality .jpg (I do this using Preview>Save As on the Mac but I assume PC users will know some way to do this as well) then opened each .jpg in Photoshop (I assume PS gurus will know how to automate this process so they can resize all the pages – I did it manually by scaling it in Image>Image Size>Pixel Dimensions which I made 50% (note the DPI is 150.) I had some old Epson ColorLife paper (Super A3 size – loved the paper but they don’t make it anymore) so I create a new file that was 13 x 19 inches, 150 dpi and then dragged in each of the smaller .jpgs in to create a single image. Lining up the dots perfectly was a bit of a challenge (possibly knowing more about the whole “snap to grid” thing might have helped) but in the end I was pretty happy with the final result. The image RIGHT is the .jpg and really is not a true depiction of the final product.
It’s free to do and the image you upload is deleted after 3 hours (so make sure you save the rasterized one that gets downloaded to your desktop) and takes only a few minutes so have a play with all the options to find the one you like best. I have too say the really, really big ones, made of many, many sheets of paper, with a border around them, look really cool. I could see doing a massive wall sized one as a real focal point, but I already have a few ideas for how I might use these sorts of images in my scrapbooking.