A customer of mine turned me onto a new application recently… Microsoft Autocollage 2008! She was using the trial version and wanted to know if it was safe to use, or if it might have spyware or a virus embedded within it. I was shocked that this was a Microsoft product I had never heard of before, but it has apparently been out for years. They’re still selling it, so it hasn’t been abandoned, though it’s still titled “Autocollage 2008”, which most likely means it hasn’t changed in 4 years.
After looking at it a bit and playing with the demo for several days, I decided it was cheap enough for the value it provided, so I went ahead an bought the full version. It’s very simple to use, and can create excellent results! You simply feed it a folder full of your photos, and it analyzes them, detects faces in them (and I think objects as well) and then lays them out and blends them together as a collage. YOU can decide how many photos you want it to use in the collage, and you can also specify “priorities” on the photos you’d most like to include, and it will use those rules when building the collage. This posting includes a really nice one that I made with it. The next thing I want to try, is to use turn a collage into an awesome mosaic using AndreaMosaic!