Mosaic dimension is how many tiles there are horizontally and vertically.
Higher the dimension, easier it is to see the picture.
A common mistake is setting it too high just because it looks better.
But when it's not printed large enough, the small pictures are too small to see.
In this guide, we will go over how the mosaic dimension, the print size, and the small picture size are related, and how to go about setting a proper mosaic dimension for your print size, in order to make sure that your small pictures are at least 0.5 x 0.5 inches, so that you can actually see the small pictures when it's printed.
First things first. Before you can set the proper mosaic dimension, you need to figure out how large you want to print it. Too many people ask us if their mosaic if their mosaic looks good or not, but when we ask them how large then plan to print it, they say they haven't decided. And that makes it difficult to tell if the mosaic is good or not, because a mosaic that is good for a small print size won't be good for a large print size and vice a versa. A good size for personal mosaics that are going to hang at home are 24" x 24", 30" x 20", and 36" x 24". Some people want to go smaller, like 8.5" x 11", and it's certainly possible to make it work, but it won't be as good.
A good size for businesses varies a lot depending on the space and intended purpose, but in general, bigger it is, and the more photos it uses, the more attention it gets, and the higher the wow factor. Sizes can go as high as 105" x 70" for a single piece Premium Arylic. And you can go as large as you want with multiple pieces of Premium Metal tiled together.
Let's suppose you want to print it 24 x 24 inches. You might be wondering how many photos can I use? Well, that depends on your mosaic dimension. For 24 x 24 inch print size, you might set the mosaic dimension to 24 x 24, 36 x 36, or 48 x 48 tiles.
Now, let's see how mosaic dimension affects the small picture size.
So given a fixed print size of 24" x 24", higher mosaic dimension will let you use more photos, but it will make each small picture smaller. And a lower mosaic dimension will let you use fewer photos, but each small picture will be larger.
Now, let's suppose you have 100 photos. Should you set the mosaic dimension to 48 x 48 since that makes it easier to see the big picture? Or should you set it to 24 x 24 so that small pictures are nice and big? If you've read the Small Pictures Guide, you'll know that the small pictures are the real stars of a mosaic. So while it is ultimately a matter of personal preference, our recommendation would be to set the mosaic dimension as low as possible, since there are other ways, like using colorization, to make the big picture more clear without increasing the mosaic dimension.
So, what if you have 2,000 photos? If you set the mosaic dimension to 24 x 24, then only 576 out of 2,000 photos will be used, but these will be the best color matched 576 photos out of the 2,000. If you set it to 36 x 36, it will use 1,296 out of the 2,000. If you set it to 48 x 48, then will use all 2,000 photos since 48 x 48 dimension has 2,304 tiles. So if you have many photos, and you want to use them all, then this is a very good reason to set the mosaic dimension high even if the small pictures get smaller. Every photo tells a story and jogs up memory, and it adds meaning to your mosaic, and makes it more fun to keep looking at the mosaic. So being able to fit in all of them by making the small pictures smaller is a good tradeoff as long as the small pictures don't end up too small to see.
What if you have 10,000 photos and you want to use them all? In this case, you need to print larger. So if you were to print 50" x 50", and set the mosaic dimension to 100 x 100, then you can use all 10,000 photos, and each small picture will be 0.5 x 0.5 inches.
When you have fewer photos than there are number of tiles to put them, Mosaically will automatically duplicate the best color matched photos as necessary to fill up all the tiles. But if you want to create a mosaic where every single photo is unique, and you don't have any more photos to add, then you can lower the mosaic dimension so that there are fewer tiles.
For example, if you have 400 photos, set the mosaic dimension to 20 x 20, which has 400 tiles.
If you still have questions about mosaic dimension, or if you'd like us to take a look at your mosaic, we're here to assist you, so just ask us by clicking Chat Now at the bottom right corner of our site, and we'll take a look.