Microsoft Research AutoCollage 2008

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Did you heard about interested project developed by Microsoft Research? One of its applications is called AutoCollage 2008 and it is intended to photographers. With Microsoft Research AutoCollage 2008 you are able to create a nice collage from your photos.

Microsoft AutoCollage 2008 could be downloaded as a 7 MB big installer. The installation process is very easy, just confirm the license agreement and continue with the Next button. After the installation is finished, run the AutoCollage 2008 using its desktop icon.

How to create collage from your photos?

Microsoft Research AutoCollage 2008 features minimum controls and options. So you shouldn't have any problems with understand how to work with this application. As soon as you run the AutoCollage you will see the standard Picture folder with your photos in it. If the AutoCollage find any small pictures, it will tell you that these will be ignored.

There is an Image Browser panel on the right side. Use it to navigate to Pictures' subfolder or click the button to navigate to other folders in your computer.

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Set up the photos count which you have in your collage. There is no option how to select particularly photos from your collection so I strongly recommend to copy them to a new folder before.

Preparing the collage

Click the Options button. Select the collage Size. The sizes are in inches so the software is prepared for the US/UK users at first I think. Click the Advanced and show up a few settings for the image ranking and their overlap.

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Microsoft AutoCollage 2008 is able to recognize the faces. Go to the Options and click the Input tab. Activate the Display detected faces option. If you would like to select faces manually, activate the next option. Face detection system is very important. It is necessary to prevent the collage from displaying something like a half of someone's face.

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Check the next image for how the automatic face detection works:

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Creating the collage

So your photos are selected and the collage options was set up. You can start to create the collage now. Click the Create button and see the animation with a carousel effect. AutoCollage will select a few images from your folder and after a few seconds you will see the final collage.

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If you don't like the collage, feel free to change the photos' count on it and then click the Create button once again.

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Collage is done. What next?

The final collage could be exported as a JPEG file. Click the Save button and select the folder where you would like to save it to. The collage could be placed as a desktop wallpaper if you like. The AutoCollage 2008 has a feature to send the collage via e-mail - you need to have any e-mail client in your computer because the collage will be send using it as an attachment of an e-mail message.

It is not for free

Many of Microsoft Research software is available for free. However this not applies for AutoCollage 2008. If you like its collages, then you should pay £19.90 or $19.95 for the the full version of this software. The trial version has a watermark in the collage and will work for 30 days after the installation.