Mazaika.com - Frequently Asked Questions

What's the difference between Mazaika and Photo Jumble?

Mazaika is an ideal program for making regular photo mosaics with equal sized rectangular tiles. It is very fast and efficient and has all the necessary controls for creating, editing and saving mosaics.

Photo Jumble is for irregular mosaics or photo collages with unequal sized, rotated overlapped unordered and even non rectangular or semi-transparent tiles. It have more complex user interface.

We have a Mazaika Imaging Suite product that includes both Mazaika and Photo Jumble softwares for producing any mosaic or collage that you may ever imagine. Also Mazaika Imaging Suite includes a very handy program Click 2 Crop that is ideal for preparing tile images.

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What's the difference between the Mazaika Trial and Mazaika Full version?

The main differences between full and trial versions are:
Trial version - draws mosaics from tiny thumbs stored in library.
Full version - uses these thumbs for preview only. Full version uses your original tile images to draw mosaic, it scales and resizes them to needed output tile size.

Trial version can not save mosaic image larger than 3000 pixels on the longest side.
Full version have no limitation for output mosaic size.

With a Full Registered version you'll be able to save very large mosaics as lossless image files. These images can then be printed at high resolution on large format media.

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What's the difference between the Photo Jumble Trial and Photo Jumble Full version?

There is only one difference between Photo Jumble Trial and Photo Jumble Full:
The Trial version adds a visible captions Photo Jumble Trial to saved images. All other features and functions are identical.

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What are the system requirements?

For Microsoft Windows® programs:

Our programs for Windows are native Microsoft Windows® applications. You may run them on Microsoft Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/Vista.

No other specific requirements. If you're running Microsoft Windows, you'll be able to run our programs.

Or, technically speaking: Minimum system requirements: P133, 32 RAM, 10 Mb on HDD (not taking into account a disk space needed for pictures and picture libraries).

 

For Mac OS X® programs:

Our programs for Mac OS X are native Mac OS X® applications. You may run them on Mac OS X v 10.4.

No other specific requirements. If you're running Mac OS X v. 10.4 or later (10.5, 10.6), you'll be able to run our programs.

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How can I test your software?

Our programs are Try before buy applications. Please download free trial versions from our site, install them and run!

To get first ideas how our software works please see their context-sensitive help. Please activate the help system by simply pressing F1 key while your software is running.

Usually, good places to start learning about software are the Getting Started and Step-by-step help topics that can be found within the context-sensitive help system. Just press F1 key!

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How can I buy your software?

Please simply go to our Online Order Page http://www.mazaika.com/register.html and follow the Buy Now links.

We accept all major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB and Diners Club, as well as UK debit cards Solo and Switch/Maestro), PayPal, checks, cash and wire transfer.

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I want your program right now! How long does it take to buy and ship?

It takes only few minutes if you purchase with credit card or PayPal. As soon as your card is processed you'll get all the needed info about the full version.

If you want to pay by check or wire transfer it may take a longer time.

A general rule: you will get the full version within a few minutes after your payment was processed.

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I'd like to produce poster size image mosaics and make nice posters that I can sell. I might even want to try some giant sizes, maybe 10x20 feet. Any issues?

Both Mazaika and Photo Jumble have been successfully used for photo mosaic creation all around the world. you may see some examples at Mazaika User Gallery.

Our programs have been used to produce a wide range of mosaic projects. From leaflets and magazine covers like Inflight Review Magazine Cover to gigantic mosaic walls like the Seoul City Hall Fence.

Our software has been used for making printed art works and advertisements as well as for making internet-only based web projects.

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Is there a Mazaika User's Manual Available?

Mazaika has a context-sensitive help system. When you install and run the program please press the F1 key to activate help system.

Please see the Getting started section for a start.

You may see the same help files online on our site:
http://www.mazaika.com/mazhelp/index.html

Online Getting started topics are here:
Getting Started: Sample workflow
Step-by-step: Create new library
Step-by-step: Create mosaic
Step-by-step: Save mosaic

You may see few short video lessons at our Help and Tutorials Page.

Also we generally like to recommend an additional resource devoted to Photo Mosaic Art. Our good friend Gilberto Viciedo makes this nice English and Español web site to share his tips and tricks that may help you to make better Photo Mosaics with Mazaika.

Photo mosaics: Tips and Tricks for Photographers (English)
(http://sites.google.com/site/gilbertoviciedo/)

Fotomosaicos: consejos y trucos para fotógrafos (Español)
(http://sites.google.com/site/mosaicofoto/)

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How do I open a MZP file?

MZP is a Mazaika Project file. It can be opened with Mazaika only. It is kind of mosaic "blueprint". It contains information about tiles and corresponding image files.

When a project is rendered, you need to save the mosaic in an image file format. While saving, Mazaika creates a new image file and draws mosaic tile images according to the MZP blueprint.

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How can I print my Mazaika project?

It is not possible to print the "project file" itself, you need to save your mosaic in an image file format first and print saved image.

In other words, after the project is rendered you need to press the Save mosaic image speed button (or select Save mosaic from the File menu), enter the needed resolution and size of mosaic in the Output setup screen and save your mosaic.

After the mosaic is saved please open the newly created file in any image viewer or editor of your choice and print it from there.

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I am trying to create an interactive pan and zoom mosaic. Can you point me to some instructions for that?

Mazaika has a special "zoomable image" export option. It generates a set of files and folders that can be used locally or can be uploaded to your web site. Please see this page for more details.

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What is the maximum sampling in Mazaika's full version?

Sampling in the full version is not limited but it has not been tested for values more than 20 or 30.

If we are talking about "artistic mosaic" creation our tests show that the optimal sampling value for average size library (1 000 - 10 000 images) is 6 (the same as in trial version and default value in Full version). If you have a much bigger library, e.g. 100 000 or more images you may increase it to 10 or 15.

If we are talking not about "artistic mosaics" but about some special technical or scientific application, please let us know more details, we will be glad to help!

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What is the best sampling size? Does the rule "The bigger the better" apply here?

Bigger sampling rates may not guarantee you a better looking photo mosaic. (sometimes it may even give you worse looking mosaic).

Our experience with Mazaika shows that optimal values for sampling are between 4 and 10.

Sampling value corresponds with the number of images in the library.

The more images you intend to include in the library the higher the sampling size you may use.

For an average size library (1 000 - 10 000 images) 6 is the best sampling value. If you have a much bigger library, e.g. 100 000 or more images it makes sense to increase sampling to 10 or 15.

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If I purchase the non-trial edition, can I control the DPI?

Yes! You may control DPI. It is in the top-right corner of the Output Mosaic Setup screen. That is the dialogue window that you see before saving mosaic as an image file.

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I need resolution to be approximately 2400 dpi or greater. Is that possible?

hmmmm... Yes it is possible. You may set any DPI value. Both Mazaika and Photo Jumble are able to save very large files. They were tested to save tiff files up to 10 Gb.

But, please be sure that you really need so much resolution:

Usually the DPI used for professional offset printing is about 300.

Just a simple example:

As you probably know, a 2 Megapixel shot is enough to be printed as a quite good 10 cm x 15 cm card (4"x7"). To print a small 1x1 inch photo at 2400 dpi you need a photo size as big as 2400 x 2400, it's about 5.7 megapixel. Doesn't it seem "strange" to use an almost 6 Megapixel image (2400x2400) to print a square inch!?

Please be aware that high DPI values in ink jet printer specifications are not the same as DPI of the photo that you must to print. There is a big difference between a "Pixel" (smallest element of the digital photo) and an "Ink Dot" printed by the ink jet printer. Usually you need much more than one "Ink Dot" to print a single "Pixel".

In an RGB palette photo, one single pixel is an abstract digital "point" of RGB palette color. The RGB palette contains about 16.7 millions colors.

In ink jet printout a single "Dot" is just a spot of real, physical color ink on real white paper. There are 4 color inks (CMYK: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, blacK) or sometimes 6 color inks (CMYK + light Magenta and light Cyan) in the ink cartridge, i.e. ink palette contains 4 or 6 colors.

An ink jet printer must imitate 16.7 millions of digital RGB colors with only 4 ink colors. For example to print a pink pixel it needs to combine a few tiny spots of magenta and yellow inks with the white color of the paper between ink spots. The more DPI an ink jet printer has, generally the more accurate colors it can print. Modern 4800 DPI ink jet printers use a matrix of 16 x 16 ink dots (256 dots) to print one photo pixel, good enough to print color photos saved with 300 DPI (or PPI Pixel Per Inch) resolution.

Please refer to your printer manual or ask people in your print bureau for a suitable image resolution, usually it is good enough to use something between 200 - 300 DPI. The most common used printing resolution is 300 DPI.

Resolutions more than 300 DPI make sense only in very specific applications like printing slides, films or if you intend to look at your printout with a magnifier glass or microscope.

On the other hand, if you are absolutely sure that you really need to save a mosaic at 2400 DPI you may do it. But please be aware that not every image editor can handle pictures larger than 32 000 x 32 000 pixels.

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I am getting an error when I click on the render mosaic button. Is there a reason?

This may happen when you do not have enough library tiles to complete a mosaic.

For successful rendering of a mosaic with default settings (Distance = 6 Repetition = Auto) you need at least 144 tiles in the library.

A default setting for Distance of 6 means that every 6th tile can be the same image and the 5 tiles between them will be different.

Because cells are filled with images in random order and to be sure that the program has a tile to choose for a cell in the middle of the mosaic you need enough tiles to fill an un-repeated 6x6 area at top left of the current cell, as well as un-repeated 6x6 areas at top right, bottom-right and bottom-left. In sum - it will give you 144 different tiles that you need.

The default setting for Repeat is Auto (or zero). This means that the program may use every tile as many times as it likes. Please note that if you set repeat to 1, every given tile will be used only once!

In other words: if you wish to make a mosaic with 50 x 50 tiles with Repetition = 1 you must to include 50 x 50 = 2500 different tiles into your library.

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When I want to save a jpg file, at 250-300 DPI, of 56x40 inches, I receive an error message. What I can do?

Please don't save very big files in jpg format. Our programs can not save jpg files bigger than 5 000 (sometimes 3 000) pixels on a longest side. The exact values depends from your system specifications and good rule of thumb will be simply to save high quality mosaics into a lossless file format like .tif.

Please save your large works as .tif, .bmp or .psb format with the Write direct to disk option checked.

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After a few days of playing with Mazaika, the software out of suddenly won't start. How should I troubleshoot it?

If a correctly installed Mazaika that was already working on your system suddenly won't start, it is probably because, while starting, the program tries to open your last used library or project and they were damaged or are invalid.

To reset Mazaika settings - please start the program with the Shift key pressed. Press the Shift key and double click on program .exe file or program's shortcut on desktop. This will give Mazaika a fresh and clean start.

On the other hand, how long did you wait for the program to start? Please keep in mind that when you open, (manually or automatically on startup) a very large library or a project with 100 000 or more tiles, it is normal for the program to "hang" for a minute or so.

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Can I run Mazaika from the command line?

Yes. It is possible. Please contact us for details and description of the command line interface.

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Do you have an Apple/Mac version?

Yes, we have Mazaika for Mac, Click 2 Crop for Mac and TexToPix for Mac. These are a native Apple/Mac applications designed and optimized to run on Mac OS X 10.4 and later, including 10.7 Lion.

Other programs are Microsoft Windows® applications. They work with any Windows OS (98/Me/2000/Xp/Vista) We have no native Mac OS® versions.

Our software for Microsoft Windows can successfully run on Apple Mac with Microsoft Windows installed on Boot Camp partition or running on virtual systems like VMWare Fusion, Parallels, Virtual PC or Virtual Box.

It was successfully tested with Microsoft Windows 2000/XP/Vista running on Mac OS X 10.4 / 10.5.

Also you may run our software on an Intel based Mac with Wine Crossover.

In any case, if you intend to use our software on a Mac, please try to run the trial version before purchase. If you're able to run trial version, you'll be able to run the full version too.

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Your software doesn't appear to have a feature that we want. Perhaps it is on here already but we just haven't figured out how to access it?

Please contact us at boris_a_g@hotmail.com. We are always glad to help!

If the feature that you looking for is already implemented we will give you a detailed walk through for using it.

If this feature is not there yet we will try to add it. Frequently, feature requests give us great ideas for how to improve our products. Please give us a detailed description of your problem and we will find a suitable solution for you.

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