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Does anyone know of a software tool that will let me input the size of a wall (in this case, about 160 inches), and then visually arrange different shapes on it, to represent a photo layout?

I have a long chunk of wall in my apartment, and I want to put a bunch of pictures up with a specific arrangement and layout. I'd like to have the photos arranged in advance, and am looking for an application that will let me do this on my computer, first.

It doesn't have to be automatic, or even show the photos as anything besides rectangles. Some level of scale accuracy is my "killer feature" on this one.

As a last resort, I can accomplish this in Visio in a very awkward fashion. However, I'm hoping there's a tool out there that can do this.

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interesting question! –  quack quixote Oct 4 '09 at 6:11
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4 Answers

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Not as automatic as you would like, but you can accomplish this in SketchUp. Just draw a wall, create you photo shapes and set their textures to be the photos you want.

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that might work for the OP.. is there any way to automate creating the photo shapes/placements? –  quack quixote Oct 4 '09 at 15:37
Not sure. You basically need to draw a wall and a rectangle and then set the texture to the photo you want. It has imperial or metric units for dimensions so scale is not a problem. –  miloshadzic Oct 5 '09 at 6:20
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You might want to take a look at this Perl program for creating large random arrangements of photographs. Even though it doesn't directly answer your question, you might get some useful ideas.

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Specifically, I was looking for a symmettrical arrangement with asymmentrical arrangements on either side. I was trying to figure out the best way to line everything up so that it fit the wall, but also didn't result in my floor-to-ceiling lamp being in the middle of one of my big 16x24 photos.

So, I started with Sketchup, and then realized my folly. I found the center of the wall, and started laying out the photos directly onto the wall, expanding out from the center. This allowed me to see when I was getting close to the lamp, and not have to worry about trying to come in from the edge and meet in the center. It was a big "Duh!" moment!

Thanks for the tips, though. I'll definitely use some of this stuff for other projects.

IVR Avenger

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You can use imagemagick to create a montage of photos. This example has each photo randomly rotated (and they're thumbnails) using a polaroid transform, but you can control this process as much or as little as you want & make them any size you want. When resizing, it's easy to maintain the original aspect ratio, while ensuring each photo is the same height or width.

montage -size 400x400 null: ../img_photos/[a-m]*_orig.* null: \
        -auto-orient  -thumbnail 200x200 \
        -bordercolor Lavender -background black +polaroid -resize 30% \
        -gravity center -background none -extent 80x80 \
        -background SkyBlue -geometry -10+2  -tile x1  polaroid_overlap.jpg

auto oriented photo montage

Maybe more automated than you like!

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