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Microsoft Research AutoCollage 2008


September 6th 2008

About AutoCollage
Download and Installation
Using AutoCollage
Pricing and Support


It can often take hours to create the perfect collage using tools in programs like Adobe Photoshop -- and even those may not work all the time. And when you want a quick collage, and don't really have the time to create it -- then you'll really want to look at this new tool called AutoCollage 2008.


About AutoCollage

AutoCollage 2008 is from Microsoft Research, a part of Microsoft that has six worldwide labs. These labs conduct both basic and applied research in computer science and software engineering.

AutoCollage 2008 evolved from their research -- you can learn more about the product and download a free 30 day trial version of AutoCollage 2008 here...

AutoCollage 2008 is a standalone application which allows users to compile a set of photographs into one seamless collage. The output can be printed, used in e-postcards, web pages or desktop backgrounds, or e-mailed to family and friends.


Download and Installation

Download the installer, run the setup routine and follow the instructions. You'll end up with a Microsoft Research AutoCollage 2008 program group in your Windows Start menu (see Figure 1 below).

Microsoft Research AutoCollage 2008 Start menu Group
Figure 1: Microsoft Research AutoCollage 2008 Start menu Group


Using AutoCollage

Follow these steps to create your own collage using AutoCollage 2008:

  1. Go to your Windows Start menu and choose All Programs | Microsoft Research AutoCollage 2008 | Microsoft Research AutoCollage 2008 (see Figure 1 above).

  2. This opens AutoCollage 2008 interface, as shown in Figure 2.

    AutoCollage 2008 interface
    Figure 2: AutoCollage 2008 interface

  3. Select the button on the right side of the Image Browser title bar (highlighted in red in Figure 2).

  4. This opens a browser window, from where you can choose any folder which has pictures.

    Note: The selected picture folder should have at least 7 images -- and these should be moderately high-res images.

  5. The pictures within the folder will appear inside the AutoCollage interface, as shown in Figure 3. That looks really cool!

    Figure 3: Added pictures

  6. On the right side of the interface, choose Options -- this opens the Options dialog box as shown in Figure 4.

    Figure 4: Options

  7. Here you can change several settings such as input options, face detection, etc. The Output tab provides options where you can choose your collage size from a set of standard output sizes. Once you are done with tweaking, choose the Create button as shown in Figure 5.

    Figure 5:

  8. This starts the process of creating the collage, as shown in Figure 6. While the collage is being created, AutoCollage 2008 does a cool revolution animation with all your selected pictures -- almost like the planets revolving around an imaginary sun!

    Creating collage
    Figure 6: Creating the collage

  9. Figure 7 shows the collage created by selected pictures.

    Figure 7: Output

  10. Click the Save button to save the collage. To e-mail your collage, click the E-Mail button. You can even set the collage as desktop background, click on the Desktop button to do so.

Note: Even the 30 day trial version will imprint a watermark on exported images.


Pricing and Support

AutoCollage 2008 costs $19.95 for US customers, and European users need to pay an equivalent of $35. No options to purchase are available yet for users in other geographies yet.

Support is through an online forum and a FAQ.



AutoCollage 2008 is a niche product that does a great job of creating quick and impressive collages.


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