Hi, I am having trouble with attaining consistency in my mosaics using the paint synthesizer classic in SA5.

I have made a setting which I am quite happy with, where the size of images being used in the mosaic are similar sizes. And when the source image has a white background, then that area is left alone with no images applied.

However when I use the same setting with a source image that has a black background, then much larger images are used in the mosaic, only in the black areas.

Which parameter would enable me to ensure that the images in the black area are no bigger than the others?

Which Parameter enables me to ensure all images in the mosaic are the same size?

Which parameter would enable be to ignore the black background in the same way as with the white background, so no images are applied there?

I will attach my preset.

Anyone who can offer any assistance, that would be very much appreciated, as im just taking stabs in the dark adjusting  various parameters to no end right now.

Thank you.

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I tried loading your preset into one of my personal paint preset folders and it did not show up.  Also, unzipped it is 104.2 MB, which is huge for a paint preset, most paint presets are 20 - 30 kb.  

yeah, i noticed the crazy size when i went to upload it, which shrunk massively when i zipped it ... I get the feeling that the preset has included the images in the brush image folder somehow, or their information in the preset?

Also the canvas size is very large (7200 x 7200) which may play a part in the size of the file


My apologise ... i see what i have done ... i have uploaded the session file and not the preset ... (scientists 2 2) which I willl upload here

There are 2 main approaches to generating mosaics.  Straight paint nib tiling, and path start regioninzation.

All of the regionization algorithms are adaptive. So the behavior you are seeing where you get a larger region in an area of the image that is visually similar is to be expected for those regionization algorithms.

Here's a tip that discusses some of the path start regioninzation options.

If you click the mosaics selector at the top of this page, you will get a filtered set of articles on photo mosaic effects you can check out.

If your preset is skipping white, then you probably have a Path Start control panel (paint synthesizer) setting that is restricting path start locations to avoid white ones.  Some of the factory presets use this a lot since the dancing girl movie we provide with the program has a white background.

Presets do not contain any images in them (other than the preset preview).

Presets would not change size based on your canvas size.

Yes, session files do store the canvas layers in them.

The Lum Range controls in the Path Start control panel are probably what is affecting the dropout in white and lack of it in black. So you could just flip it if you want to drop out in black instead.

Here's what i'm talking about.

Flip it so Lum Min is a very low number above 0, and Lum Max is 255.  That should prevent path start points from painting in black areas of the source image.

As to the overall block size. You can adjust that by using the H Tile and V Tile settings.

So you have it setup with both of them at 2. Making them larger will reduce the size of the max block that could be output if there was no variation in that part of the source image.

Thank you kindly for the responses.
The articles you linked are great, thanks.
With regards to the Lum Range setting, i had already determined some of this to achieve the outcome of having no images on the white sections.
However, flipping  the min / max didn't help. And adjusting the min / max levels, only achieves having no images in some areas, which are left white, as opposed to black.

After experimenting further, it seems that my issue is that the size of the images used in the mosaic follow the range set (h2 v2) except where there is a large space with a single colour that is not white ... so it does it on black, all colours, and lightly on shades of slightly off white, where the large areas are filled with large images, where as the detailed parts of the image are consistent with the size set in the path start section.

Im not sure if that makes sense, or even if what i want it achievable (which is simply having no images used in the mosaic larger than a certain size). It may be a setting elsewhere which is allowing for this modulation in image size, but I have literally tweaked every dial to no avail now

If you erase the canvas to black before running action, then the non painted area of the canvas would be black instead of white (the default erase color).

The HV Split Regionize generators all sub-divide the canvas by what you have setup in H Tile and V Tile. So 2 for both means the largest tile would be 50% of the H an V dimensions of the canvas. Using 4 for both would mean the largest tile would be 25% of the H and V dimensions.

Using Max Stroke set to -1 for this particular path start generator is maybe not the best setting.

Normally Max Stroke is the # of paint strokes. For some of these regionization path start generators it switches to be a threshold setting. 50 is a good setting to start with to see what it's doing.  And then modify between say 10 to 200 to get a feel for what it's doing.

I know that can be confusing (parameter meaning one thing and then another for special generators).  We leave it that way for now for backwards compatibility, but will probably make it easier to understand in the future (breaking backwards compatibility).

If you want to attach a small source image that is representative of what you are using, i'm happy to point out some options for you using it here.

Switching to single nib tiling is one thing. Then you can explicitly set the max size of the nib.

You then tile it using that.  Then reduce the brush size by 50% and repeat.  Either using something like the Texture Range inhibitor in Path Start to drop out the smaller tiling in flat areas. Or you can manually paint in the smaller division tiles if you want more control.

In V5 you can't use the selection buffer to mask or inhibit tiles painting (because the selection buffer is set to each region as the paint synth processes them (again historical baggage).  In V5.5 you can turn that off, and then you could use the selection buffer to inhibit path starts. So then you could have a lot of control over what draws where.

Another thing i use a lot is the Use N% Indexes control, which is in V5.5, but might be missing in your V5 build.  That parameter lets you drop out region indexes from drawing. Normally they index top to bottom. But if you sort by size, then you can drop out the largest (or smallest) tiles.

The other thing i noticed about your attached preset is that the Frame Modulation in Brush Source is set to Cycle Forward.  And then you are using brush loa colorization. You could switch to RGB mapping for Frame Mo, or change the colorization algorithm in Brush Load control panel, to change which images are dropped down in locations in the canvas, and what the coloring is.

There are tips in the Synthetik blog i pointed you out that discuss the different frame modulation and colorization options.


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