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I'm sure you're aware that digital images are comprised of pixels and that in most cases those pixels are square. But imagine if you could zoom those pixels, make those pixels bigger, without actually making the image bigger. That's exactly what we can accomplish with the mosaic filter in Photoshop. Let's take a look at how it operates. I'll start off by creating a copy of my background image layer. So I'll just drag the thumbnail for that layer down to the Create A New Layer button at the bottom of the Layers panel. And then from the Filter menu I'll choose Pixelate, followed by Mosaic.
That will bring up the Mosaic dialog. And you can already see very clearly the effect of this filter. We've created a mosaic of colors that were taken from the image. But the result is rather abstract, especially with these relatively large pixels that we've created. They're referred to as cells here. And we can adjust the cell size. So if I reduce the cell size, you'll see that I have what appears to be a little bit more detailed image. The pixels are now very large. These individual tiles are quite large relative to the overall image, or at least relative to the size of the original pixels.
But we still have some sense of the image. If I make that value even smaller, then I have an image that just looks like it was too low of a resolution. In most cases, you probably wouldn't want to use this type of an effect. Unless, of course, you were trying to create an image that had more of an image-like quality to it. But generally speaking, I'll use a relatively large setting for cell size. In essence, what I'm doing is just using the colors and the general form of the image in order to create an interesting mosaic. So, in most cases, I'm not really trying to produce an effect where the image clearly looks like a photograph in any respect.
It just looks like a bunch of colored blocks. But hopefully, depending on that original image, those colored blocks will create an interesting pattern. I'll go ahead and click OK to apply that effect. Another option that we have available, of course, among other things, is to reduce the opacity. So if I want to allow the original underlying image to show through, in other words the background layer, I can reduce the opacity for my background copy layer. So I'll click on the opacity control at the top right of the Layers panel and reduce that opacity, so that I can allow the image to show through.
The lower the opacity, the more of the original image will be revealed. And the higher the opacity, the less of that image. So we get the sort of ghosted effect. So something like that, I think, might be sort of interesting as a graphical representation of this photo. But despite the simplicity of this filter, there are, of course, a variety of different ways you could put it to use. With large blocks versus small blocks, with variable opacity, and of course all sorts of other effects that you could apply in addition.
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