VincentCheung.ca Blog

Archive for February, 2009

Shape Collage 2.1

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Shape Collage 2.1 has been released!

There’s a couple new features in this release, some performance tweaks, and some bug fixes. One really cool new feature is the ability to add photos from the web to use in collages! Just select “Add photos from web” in the File menu or by right-clicking the photo box and then enter a webpage that has pictures and Shape Collage will automatically download the pictures from that page for the collage! It works for any webpage that has pictures in it, like Flickr, Picasa Web Albums, Google Image Search, YouTube, CNN, Time.com, The Huffington Post, stuffonmycat.com, or xkcd. This works surprisingly well and fast (thanks to some tricks that I used).

Note that it will only grab the photos on the page that you give it. In fact, it will try to grab every image on the webpage that you give it, so you will usually have to remove some of the irrelevant ones. Shape Collage will not crawl websites looking for photos. This feature also doesn’t work for sites that require you to login, so you are out of luck if you want to use this with Facebook. Maybe try this instead for Facebook.

As before, Shape Collage automatically creates beautiful looking photo collages in any shape you want with just a few mouse clicks in under a minute and is free for personal use!

These are the big highlights in this release:

  • Use photos from the web
    • Just enter the link to a webpage with photos to use them in a collage
  • More customization
    • Adjust the photo rotations by setting the range of allowable rotations
    • Adjust the direction of the drop shadows and optionally, remove the shadow
  • Faster
    • More multithreading for increased speed
    • More responsive when adding a large number of photos to the photo box
  • Better stability
    • Error checking for images that cannot be read properly
    • Miscellaneous bug fixes

Shape Collage 2.1 Release Notes
Feb. 27, 2009

New Features

  • Add photos from the web
  • Added options to adjust the amount of rotation of the photos
  • Added options to adjust the drop shadows of the photos
  • The program settings are automatically saved between sessions

Enhancements

  • Multithreading of the initialization procedure for increased speed
  • Adding photos for the collage is more responsive, especially when adding a large number of photos
  • Added support for transparency for loading masks from a file
  • Increased efficiency for collages with multiple copies of the same photo
  • The help menu now redirects to the help page on the website
  • Added menu item to show examples of collages

Bugs

  • Added error handling for image read errors during the collage creation
  • Fixed bug when the photo size was set to “Auto” and the “Make all photos the same size” option was unchecked
  • Fixed bug when the text or custom shape mask was blank
  • Added error handling for attempts to save the collage to a location without write access
  • Added the ability to create the necessary directories for the collage save file

Shape Collage Around the World

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

Shape Collage has been written about in at least 22 languages! Here’s a small sampling of sites from around the world talking about Shape Collage. I arbitrarily chose sites that either had nice collages or gave me a lot of traffic and they are ordered under each language approximately as to when the page appeared, with the oldest first.

English

Spanish

Portuguese

Italian

Chinese

Japanese

Korean

French

German

Russian

Polish

Romanian

Hungarian

Turkish

Dutch

Finnish

Malay

Serbian

Swedish

Arabic

Icelandic

Latvian