photoshop creative

How to create a mosaic effect with Automate, part 1

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by Mark White
October 28, 2013

Use an assortment of Photoshop’s automated tools to easily produce an interlocking photo mosaic

Download all the files you need for this tutorial

Mosaic effect in Photoshop


Locate the files for this project and copy them to your hard drive. Then double-click on the HexMosaic.atn file to install it. Verify this in Photoshop by opening the Actions panel (Window>Actions) and looking for the HexMosaic Action set.


Open the HexBlurTemplate.psd. This file already has rows of hexagon shapes lined up for you. Drag and drop a photo in as the background layer. We’ve provided the Windmill.jpg photo we used, but you may choose to use one of your own. Just make sure the photo layer is at the bottom of the stack.


Make a copy of the photo layer and call it BlurLayer. Open the HexMosaic Action set and run the HexBlur Action. This Action will create two rows of hexagon tiles and move the hexagon shapes over for the round. Keep running the Action until the photo is filled with hexagonal tiles.


Delete all the hexagon shapes and go to File>Save As to save this project file for later use. Be careful to save it as a new name so you don’t save over the template. After saving, you can close this file for now.


Go to File>Scripts>Image Processor. In section 1, use the Select Folder button to point to your bank of photos. In section 2, select a folder to deposit all the images post-processing. In Section 3, check the Save as TIFF box. In section 4 check the Run Action box and select the HexMosaic set and the HexFrame Action. Then click Run and watch the magic!


This next step takes place in Bridge, Photoshop’s companion application. Navigate to the folder where the Image Processor deposited all the new “hexified” images.


Press Cmd/Ctrl+A to select all the files, then open the Output Panel and set the output to pdf. In the Layout area, set the columns and rows to 20 and all the spacing fields set to 0. In the Document area set the quality to 300ppi, width to 1500 pixels and height to 880 pixels. Press Save to generate the pdf.


Open the pdf in Photoshop and you will be prompted with an Import pdf dialogue box. Specify the width to 1500 pixels and the height to 880 pixels and press OK.

Continue to part 2 of this tutorial…