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[Review] CollageIt

{rw_text}Software reviewed in this article:

CollageIt [1]

Version reviewed:

v1.2.2

Software description as per the developer:

CollageIt is an easy-to-use and automatic collage maker, which makes photo collage automatically. There are only three steps to make your stunning collage: add photo, set parameters and generate collage preview, save collage as image format, such as BMP, JPEG, PNG, TGA, GIF etc.

Download size:

4.88 MB

Supported OS:

Windows 2000 and higher, Mac OS X 10.5 and later

Price:

$19.90 (USD)

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{rw_score}
{for=”Ease of Use” value=”10″}Really couldn’t be easier to use.
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{for=”Performance” value=”8″}For the features that it does have, it performs well. In fact it performs really well. However, CollageIt is a bit on the simplistic side, lacking features such as building collages based on templates, adding text to collages, and an easy way to use a custom image for collage background.
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{for=”Usefulness” value=”7″}I can see a good number of people finding this program useful, although I am sure many will be turned off by its simplistic nature while many will appreciate it.
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{for=”Price” value=”7″}$19.90 is a fair price, but if I were in the market for a collage maker I would want the developer to add more features before I shell out a Jackson for CollageIt.
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{for=”Final Score” value=”8″}
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{rw_verdict}[tupr]
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CollageIt is a collage maker that allows users to “random” collages. By “random” I mean collages that have the images randomly arranged on them; CollageIt does not allow users to create “picture” collages, collages that are created based on a template of a picture, or a letter, or a word, etc.

This is what CollageIt’s main program window looks like:

[2]

Using CollageIt is very easy:

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By default the collage is set to be 2480×3508 – the resolution that would fit on A4 sized paper. However you can easily change this by either selecting a different Predefined selection or entering your own values. You measure the values either by millimeters, inches, or pixels.

[4]

The collage background can either be color filed (two color gradient top to bottom, two color gradient left to right, or one solid color), or can be an image. The catch, however, is that you can’t use your own custom image – you must use the images that come preloaded into CollageIt:

[5]

What I just said actually is not totally true. You can use your own custom image for the collage background; but it isn’t officially supported by CollageIt. Instead of using a button that allows you to load in a custom image, you need to place your custom image in C:\Program Files\CollageIt\background\tile. Once you place your image there, reload CollageIt and the image should appear in the list.

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The following is an example of a collage I created with CollageIt:

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As you can see, output image quality is very good.

In regards to performance, CollageIt flies. I kid you not. I loaded 580 images into CollageIt and created a collage. Not once did it hiccup or slow down; the longest time period I had to wait was a few seconds when the image were being loaded in. After that, each step along the way was done within one to two seconds; the collage layout was generated extremely quickly, the preview was clear, and saving the collage was done with ease. I honestly couldn’t believe how well CollageIt handled such a large amount of images. So, I decided to step up the game and import 1,449 images. Once again CollageIt went about doing its job without breaking a sweat: Everything was fast and seamless. It is like CollageIt was laughing at me saying, “Come on Ashraf is that the best you got.” With all the collage makers that I have reviewed in the past, never have I used one that handles a large amount of images so well.

CollageIt is fairly efficient in terms of computer resource usage, too. When I say “efficient” I don’t mean it uses 5-10 MB of RAM and 0-5% CPU; rather by “efficient” I mean comparatively speaking to other collage markers. Idle, at startup, CollageIt uses about 16-17 MB of RAM with little to no CPU. With a few images loaded in, RAM usage jumps up to about 26-27 MB, and it used around 50% CPU while loading the images in. With 580 images loaded in RAM usage jumps to 70-80 MB. What is weird is that with 1,449 images RAM usage was still 70-80 MB. During conversion RAM usage jumps to around 130 MB – but drops to around 95 MB after conversion has finished – and around 50% CPU.

For the features that it does have, CollageIt is a terrific performer. The only problem is CollageIt lacks a few features I feel it should have:

This review was conducted on a laptop running Windows 7 Professional 32-bit. The specs of the laptop are as follows: 3GB of RAM, a Radeon HD 2600 512MB graphics card, and an Intel T8300 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor.

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CollageIt

CollageIt itself actually is an unlimited use program; it is just that the free version has a watermark on it.

Shape Collage [9]

Make picture collages in less than a minute with just a few mouse clicks

NOTE: Free version has a watermark on it.

-Developer

Foto-Mosaik-Edda [10]

With Foto-Mosaik-Edda you can create mosaic-pictures, which are composed of many small pictures (tiles), from your own photos.

The single pictures will be analysed and copied into one or more databases. You can use your holiday photos, pictures of the last family celebration or even take over whole picture-CDs into the database.

A simple to use wizard will guide you through the program and will turn the creation of your own photo-mosaic into a piece of cake. Amaze others with this extraordinary effect.

Just try it!

-Developer

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{rw_verdict2}Even though CollageIt is missing some features that I wish it had, I find CollageIt to be an excellent collage maker; it will only get better once the developer does add in said features. CollageIt gets two thumbs up and a highly favorable recommendation.
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