Creating LEGO Mosaics - All Of The Little Pieces
Mosaic creations are a bit of a holy grail in the world of Lego creators. A very time-consuming process that's full of trial and error as well as trying to work within a very limited range of colours.
The struggles of a mosaic creator
Back in the day if you were savvy enough you could create pixel art in something like Microsoft Paint to create a rough guide. Another way involved tweaking in Photoshop to limit an image's colours to match the range of LEGO. However, the next step always involved manually creating a list to order then finding the parts, something that takes a long time, even in the age of online ordering. Programs and websites have existed for a surprisingly long time that help generate mosaics. LEGO once featured a brick-o-lizer feature online back in 2000 which was paired with a kit you could buy in the shops.
Many online applications exist around the place as well but are often not very user friendly or are limited in their options most acting as a bit of an image filter for an effect. Other options are services like Photobrick, which allow you to upload an image and they provide you with the finished product with some assembly required.
However, this doesn't allow much control over the end result with a bit left up to chance. A more DIY option is to use Bricker in Blender, but this requires a fair bit of technical knowledge to get decent results, however it can be sent back into Studio to get a listing of the pieces needed.
Bricklink's mosaic maker for Studio
All this has just changed with the recent release of Bricklink's mosaic maker for Studio. This isn't Bricklink's first foray into mosaics. A few years ago they had an online creator that was able to link into Bricklink's stores. But the downside was that it was unable to calculate by cost, having pieces get generated with tons of very expensive bricks.
This new version is a one-stop-shop for creating mosaics and is surprisingly fully featured. At a glance, you load up an image, crop it if needed, then tweak the image's colour ranges to get a decent array of shades in your final image and then some tweaks to adjust for pricing.