How to Create A LEGO Mosaic Portrait from a Photo with Tips, Suggestions & Time-lapse Tutorial


G’day Everyone, Matt Elder of Mattelder.com
here and today we are going to cover off how to create a LEGO mosaic similar to this one.
This is going to be the first video of a 2 or 3 part series. In this video we’ll give
an overview of the whole process and in later videos we’ll go into a lot more in depth
on certain aspects. We’ll start of first by talking about mosaic
maker websites and downloads, to create a mosaic from a photo.
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To find a list of links to mosaic makers you can go to my website mattelder.com and then
you can scroll down to the November 2019 archive. Give that a click and then if you go down
to the one on the 14th of November, Lego mosaic image makers. There is the one which I’ve done
and then below here is the list of different mosaic makers out there and as i find other
ones which work, I add them into the list. So you can always come back here and check
it. The one which i used to create this image
was the pictobrick.de So if you click on that, pictobrick here. The Einstein one.
There is a download which you can download to your operating system which I quite like
so once you’ve downloaded then, you’ve got it forever. Whereas some of the other ones,
they’re hosted online, so if they ever go down then you won’t have access to them again.
And in the tutorial there, it just runs you through a few different options on how to
use it in the mosaic maker. Once I’d uploaded my picture, adjust to the
size selected the colors, I was then able to output these documents. Which tell you
a whole bunch of information. So this is the actual image to work off in your image and
then if you go under bill of material, it will then tell me here all the different colors
I selected, 1 by 1 tiles. And it’ll tell me all the different colors
and how many I need of each then under building instruction. It will tell you row by row,
column by column, what each piece should be so you can only use the row by row and column
or you can just go back to the image that was created.
From this, we then ordered the pieces required from the secondary marketplace bricklink.com
, and this is what came back. Okay I can go to a package it’s got most of
the bits which we need. You open it it’s quite heavy for what is 2 kilograms. no the pieces
so I’m looking at about almost 9,000. Lime, white, Light Bluish Grey, Dark Tan, Dark Green, Medium Dark Flesh Reddish Brown, Dark Bluish Grey, Tan, Black. Normal base plates you get the Lego ones these are
32 by 32 studs which is about 25 by 25 centimeters or once that 10 inches by 10 inches usually
get these. But what we want for this one is one a red color and they generally only
come in the greens, blues,or large, the grays which near which
reason for that is if you have any little gaps and things showing through, you’ll see
the greens or the blues or whatever it is. From art, whenever you do things underneath
you generally, for flesh and stuff like that, always start with something room which is
like a red. Because if you use a blue or a green, if that shows through or if somebody’s
got a slight blue or a green tint to them, they look and feel sick.
So I couldn’t get them in the Lego ones. I managed to get one of these ones here which
will give a try. So a fun Haven one could be interesting. The other thing at universities
and petrol normal Lego one’s actually gonna be the thickness to them Lego ones
What’s that?! Maybe one or two mills. These, a little more like three or four yeah. You
can nice and the difference is on the back. This is just a standard tool one wears this
it’s got some regular legged fits stick pieces into it. Knowing of these you can’t build
it up and put anything underneath it. So if we just take the normal base, put a
couple of these two by ones by fives on each corner and they can all go into the under
side and that’s pretty rigid. You can start stacking them. Usually I stay away from anything which is
non LEGO as found the quality or the clutch power which is how they stick, be quite poor
so things come off. These ones, just want to try see what they like want to do the demo
test on them. They seem to stick pretty well actually.
So I’ll see how they go. I’m going do two of these at once. Actually I’m do it there’s
a 64 by 64, so two there – they’re probably going off camera. You know you got a square and
then for the second one another for these. And now onto the timelapse. We’d actually
taken that final image from the mosaic maker, and printed quarters of the image on standard
A4, 8×11 ish inch paper. Thus each red base plate was a quarter and just made doing the
mosaic easier and more manageable. Every couple of rows that we go along, we’ll mark off
on the printer out. Just makes it easier to keep track of where you are up to.
The thing with LEGO is that not all pieces are available in all colours. Thus some of
the programs that generate the mosaics aren’t smart enough to work out if that colour is
available in that brick, or tile or plate or whatever it is you are using.
Other times it might be available in that colour, but really expensive. Where as if
you just moved to another similar colour, it is more readily available and far cheaper
/ cost effective. So it might be suggested to use a Maersk Blue, where as a Medium Azure
would be around an 1/8th the price. Check out our other video where we’ve developed
LEGO brick and tile colour wheels / guides. These go into this is a lot more detail and
really handy for anyone doing My Own Creations, or MOCs.
We’ve used flat 1×1 tiles but you could have just as easily used 1×1 plates, 1×1 bricks
or whatever sizes will fit the colour lengths. Around this video we’ll also provide an
affiliate link to those Fun Haven base plates as they seemed really reasonable. Having the
ability to stick bricks on the back makes it easier to join them together with other
plates and mount them. We’ve also discovered that 64×64 studs is
just slightly larger than 50cm x 50cm, which seems to be the last standard frame and memory
box sizes. So once you go beyond a standard 48×48 stud base plate, mounting and framing
become more challenging considerations. For the actual portrait, for best results
you want something that has good contrast. Basically this means a photo taken in daylight
where there is some shadow on the face. Using a flash will be the worse kind of photo as
it flattens the face. Once you’ve taken a photo, which you’ve
probably done on a phone, most have got away to increase the contrast or play with a few
filters to make the photo better. It is definitely worth doing this as you will be spending some
time on the mosaic part. Thus you want the best possible photo you can get.
Try to make the head as big as possible in the mosaic. This just gives the best chance
for the eye, nose and mouth shapes to be distinguishable, and characteristic.
Even at the large size of 64 x 64 studs that we’ve gone for here, it still isn’t a
lot of detail you are playing around with (even though it is still 4096 1×1 tiles).
We did spend a bit of time up front selecting the best image, and tweaking the brightness
and contrast. If we couldn’t get something that would work, we’d try with another photo.
For this one, by the time you select a photo, make adjustments, source pieces and sit down
and apply 4096 1×1 tiles, you don’t have much change out of 15 to 20 hours. I might
be bias but think the result came out pretty well. The bulk of it is grey tones, with pops
of colour just to break up the monochrome look and give a little bit of bounce to the
image. The approach to applying tiles would vary
but generally start with a row and column and work out hole length. It just became easier
to judge tiles relative to one another and prevented too many mistakes. Then might try
to block out large patterns of single colours. Which then became easier to place other colours.
As going along, found you could use the edge of a brick separator, or the edge of a plate
to align the square tiles. When they don’t sit in straight lines, a slight zig-zag pattern
can develop, which might drive anyone with OCD crazy.
This was one of a pair of mosaics we did at the same time, so in the end, dealing with
over 8000 1×1 tiles. They were done as gifts and well received. They can be impressionistic
like in that when you stand from a far, they appear as a photo. When you get up close however,
they dissolve into the square geometric pattern. And here is how the 4 quarters come together. And here is how they come apart. If you’d like to get your own custom portrait
or pet mosaic, for yourself or as a gift, drop me a line at [email protected] If you
have any questions or comments, let me know in the comments and may try to answer in subsequent
follow up part videos. If you enjoyed this video, smash that like button or be awesome
and subscribe. Here are some other videos you might like.
Until next time when we talk about all things LEGO.

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