Tutorial: mosaic “a pallini” type 70 with Gimp

Published by TheJoe on

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes


This article was published more than a year ago, there may have been developments.
Please take this into account.

In today's tutorial we will see how to turn a colored photo in a pixel-art original, useful for creating large prints especially when the quality of the initial image will not let.

We begin with an image of your choice. For this tutorial I suggest colored images particularly because many of the details will be lost in the final result.

The bird is the world
The result

To better highlight the subject I preferred exclude a portion of the edges. Once you have imported the photos in Gimp the first thing to do is duplicate the layer. Once we apply the duplicate “Sfocatura pixel” at the highest level (“Background – copy“). To do this we navigate the menus “Filters” – “Blur” – “Pixelate” and confirm the automatic values ​​as follows.

The image is cut into squares the size of 10 x 10 (pixel), each square contains obviously 100px. Of all the colors contained in each of the 100 An average is taken pixels, and assigned a single color. The result is an image decomposed as the one that follows.

Now that we know the color changes every 10 pixels in both width and height we just have to create us a custom pattern. Let us for a moment suspended in the picture we are working on and let's focus for a moment on the creation of pattern. To create the pattern we create a new image, size 10 x 10 px.

Zoom into the new image to a sufficiently high level to be able to work, create a new transparent layer and delete the levelBackground“. Ora with “Elliptical Marquee tool draw a selection by the coordinate “0,0” along the diagonal to end up in “10,10“.

Fill the selection with black and save it in format “.pat“. In the dialog box that asked for a description for the new pattern choose a name (choice) in the future that will make us the pattern. I, a prey to the wildest imagination, I called “Black Circle“.

Look here:  Tutorial: create a mural with Gimp

At this point we must make sure that Gimp notices to have a pattern in more (in addition to those of system). For each operating system, the path of the pattern changes, but you can set the preferences of the program. “Edit” – “Preferences“. The following screenshots are taken from an old version of Linux and Windows XP.

In the menu “Folders” (as in figure) you can know what are the default folders Gimp, or set of new to be used as the case.

Once you have entered our pattern between the patterns of system, between the user pattern or after creating a custom directory for patterns, check that the pattern is actually read by Gimp. Let's go to the tab of the pattern and click “Reload” the bottom tab.

In fact, here is our pattern appear in the second column of the third row. Now we can return to the main image. We should still be the point of having the level “Background” unchanged, and the level “Background – copy” with “Sfocatura pixel“.

Create a new layer and we fill it with white and add a layer mask without changing the preferences set.

Now select the tool “Color fill”  , and select your preferences “Fill with Pattern” – “Black Circle“.

The tutorial ends here, but as usual you can do “more”.


I keep this blog as a hobby by 2009. I am passionate about graphic, technology, software Open Source. Among my articles will be easy to find music, and some personal thoughts, but I prefer the direct line of the blog mainly to technology. For more information contact me.

1 Comment

DaAsFlickered · 13 December 2011 at 11:06 AM

bell’ effect and nice tutorial joe.. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.