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Shape Collage


February 17th 2009
February 25th 2009

About Shape Collage
Download and Installation
Working with Shape Collage
Pricing and Support


If you love to create collages of all sorts from your pictures, then you know that positioning and moving individual pictures for a collage can be a time consuming process that requires many hours of experimentation. Naturally, all those extra hours mean that there is a limit to your creativity since you would not want to start all over again with a collage product. Shape Collage, our review product frees you from these time concerns and lets you focus entirely on your creativity. Well, that's not entirely true since it also bundles oodles of creativity. Even better, the program is freeware and can create layered Photoshop files for your collage! When I saw this for the first time, it did look too good to sound true.


About Shape Collage

Shape Collage is from Vincent Cheung, a Computer Engineering PhD student at the University of Toronto. His other initiatives are FaceDown, a product that lets you quickly download Facebook pictures and JavaScript Encryption and Decryption, an online form based script. You can learn more about these products and download the free copy of Shape Collage from Vincent Cheung's site...

Shape Collage is a free automatic photo collage maker that allows you to create collages in different shapes. Shape Collage creates collages using an intelligent machine learning
algorithm that automatically places the photos in the collage so that they form the desired shape, be it a rectangle, heart, circle, snowman, text, or logo. Created collages can be saved as JPEGs, PNGs and Adobe Photoshop PSD files. The PSD files are entirely layered, and can be edited afterwards using Photoshop's native tools. Shape Collage is available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. For this review, I worked with the Windows version.

My contact for this review was Vincent Cheung, thank you Vincent.


Download and Installation

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

Shape Collage Start menu Group
Figure 1: Shape Collage Start menu Group


Working with Shape Collage

Here are the few quick steps to get started with create Shape Collage:

  1. Go to your Windows Start menu, and choose All Programs | Shape Collage | Shape Collage (see Figure 1 above).

  2. This opens the Shape Collage interface, as shown in Figure 2.

    Shape Collage Interface
    Figure 2: Shape Collage Interface

    The interface is explained below:

    1. Photos -- You can drag and drop the pictures here or click the plus (+) button which opens Add Pictures dialog box. You can now navigate to the folder were the pictures are saved on your hard disk. If you want to remove one picture, select that picture and click the minus (-) button, or click the Clear List button to remove all the pictures.

    2. Status -- This pane shows a preview of the collage. Once the pictures are added, click the Preview button to see a preview of the collage. Click Create, which opens Save Collage As dialog box - here you can provide a name to collage file, choose the file type from JPEG, PNG and PSD and navigate to the folder were you want the collage to be saved.

      The Watch layout animation option enables/disable the layout animation.

    3. Parameters -- This pane has three tabs which are explained below:

      1. Shape and Size: Here you can choose the shape from rectangle, heart, circle, text shape, and your own shape. Under size you can format the collage size, photo size, set number of photos you want to add in the collage, and their photo spacing.

      2. Appearance: Here you can choose background attributes from background color, transparent background, and picture background. You can also choose the color of a photo border and set its size (thickness) too.

      3. Advanced: Within this tab, you can set the boundaries of the shape to be jagged (natural), and set all the pictures to be the same size.

  3. Add pictures and choose a shape. Then click Preview to see how it looks. Click Create to save your file -- Figure 3 shows a picture collage created within a heart shape.

    Heart shape picture collage
    Figure 3: Heart shape picture collage

Here are some sample collages created in Shape Collage.


Pricing and Support

Shape Collage is a freeware.

Support option includes e-mail support and an online FAQ.



Shape Collage is among the most awesome products I have worked with -- it is a one trick pony, and it performs flawlessly.


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