Connect the Chips
February 16, 2010 6:15 PM   Subscribe

Is there some sort of online program that makes pictures into dots? Like Lite brite pictures?

My boss wants me to make a picture for a presentation. A specific one. He wants me to make an obama out of a limited number of colored (Black red and yellow) connect four chips in an oversized connect four game. And do it a photoshop picture. Only I have no idea how to do it.

Is there some way to turn a picture into a bunch of dots or chips? Is there something online like a rasterizer? Is this a simple filter to download?

I appreciate any advice you have. Because I have no idea how to do this
posted by rileyray3000 to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Did you try rasterbator? That works in-browser. I also did a port to OSX that I've got sitting around on my hard drive that I never got around to releasing. I'd be happy to send it along if you like.
posted by majick at 6:21 PM on February 16, 2010

In photoshop you take the picture you want and go Filter>Pixelate>Mosaic
posted by sanka at 6:25 PM on February 16, 2010


I just did and then reduced to five colours the Obama logo like thus:
  1. Open Inkscape. The document will probably not be the size you want, don't worry about it for now.
  2. Drag your image into Inkscape.
  3. Use the circle tool on the left to make a circle which is the right size (proportional to your image). If you need 12 chips across, your circle should be 1/12th the width of your image. Hold down CTRL when you're adding the circle to get a perfect circle instead of an oval.
  4. Go back to the select tool (normal cursor arrow icon) and drag your circle to the top left of your image.
  5. Click on the Fill/Stroke in the very bottom left corner. Near the top of the dialog, click on the black question mark icon (the mouseover says unset). Select the stroke tab in the same dialog and do the same (unset).
  6. Edit > Clone > Create tiled clones...
  7. Go to the Trace tab (last one) and enable Trace the drawing, then in section 3 unselect Presence and select Color.
  8. Underneath that, where it says "Rows, columns", adjust the numbers to how many rows and columns of chips you need.
  9. Click create. It may take a few seconds if you selected a large number (50x50 has a noticeable pause).
If you don't like the result, click Remove, unselect "Use saved size and position", and adjust your circle/repeat.

To save: ALT-click to select-below, select your original circle and move it out of the way, select the underlying image and move it out of the way, then select your "chip" circles, File > Export Bitmap, make sure your filename ends with .png (for quality, of course).

For the colour reduction, I used GIMP (Photoshop to you) and just changed the colour mode to indexed, and used a custom palette (I arbitrarily grabbed the colours I wanted with the colour picker).

If I were doing this for real I would probably do a lot of hand tweaking after that.
posted by anaelith at 5:57 AM on February 17, 2010

Like this?

Made a big connect four board by duplicating and selectively erasing, erased the chips so I ended up with a connect four board with transparent holes, placed an obama pic behind it and then hand bombed the colours.
posted by davey_darling at 7:34 AM on February 17, 2010

« Older gossip at work   |   I finally regret ditching cable. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.