One way of having fun with your digital photo collection is to make photo collages. If one picture is worth a thousand words, it doesn’t need a math genius to figure out how expressive a photo collage can be. Without spending any money on commercial software, you can use Google Picasa for some limited collage functionalities. Now you can make some very nice photo collages online for free and easily, with just a few mouse clicks, thanks to the service provided by Photovisi.
At photovisi.com you first select one of the many (currently they have 18 of them) collage templates, add your photos, then customize it by dragging photos around. After the collage is finished, it’s available for download or print on merchandise such as fridge magnets, postcard, posters, mouse pad, and mugs.
Step 1. Pick a template
There are 18 templates to choose from now. With various arrangement styles, borders, color options, and backgrounds. Each template allows different number of images. There is no way of customizing the templates: you cannot change aspect ratio or size of the templates.
Step 2. Edit
Editing is very easy. You start by adding photos from your computer. The uploading and editing interface is based on Adobe Flash so it should work in all major browsers. You can move the photo around, rotate, arrange their stacking order, crop, and delete. However I was not able to resize the photos. The crop is also using the same aspect ratio as the original photo. These limitations should really be eliminated for better user controls of the final outcome.
The following is the collage I created. In this particular template I have the option of using a solid background color or a background image. I used a photo as background and it came out quite nice.
Step 3. Save
Once you are done with the editing, you click the Save button on the left. It should launch the download page in a new browser window. The download link is at the top left corner of the page. It appears though the file is limited to a certain dimension. In my case, it is 1024×768. It is a little disappointing considering that 1024×768 is the bare minimal size for today’s computer monitors. It won’t fit properly on the popular wide screen 16:9 monitors either.
On the same page, you will also find the Photovisi online store where you can order your new art work on magnet, postcard, poster, mug, and mousepad. The store lets you preview how your mug looks like with your art. There are half a dozen or so different mugs to choose from.
The following is my creation.
Overall I like the site. It is fun to play with the collages and the flash-based application is quite responsive. It does take a little long to save the final result. There are definitely some improvements they can make. For example, template customization, more individual photo editing capability, the ability to add texts, etc. Currently there is no need to sign-up for an account to use the service. This is good for occasional use. However I would like the possibility of saving the collage projects online so you can modify them later. With the current site, once you close the browser, all your photos and creation will disappear. You have to start from scratch again.
Keywords: Photo Collages, Photovisi