Photovisi is a new and free photo collage service. All you need to do is choose a template, upload your photos and download the end result.
My first thought was that I would usually just do this sort of thing myself, in whatever software was available. In fact, last Christmas I did make a large photo collage for my Dad; I made it in Pages using the page layout feature and it was very easy. However, this service would be very useful for people not as eager to do the layout themselves, who don’t have suitable software already installed, or who are after more complicated layouts. Some of the plainer templates (without borders or background) may not save you much time over creating a collage manually, but some of the other templates that do have borders/frames and shadows would save a lot of fiddling time.
It took a little time to load the interface after I clicked “start collage” and I was a bit confused: the top of the page had a “Do you like Photovisi? Subscribe to our newsletter!” subscribe box, then an advert, then nothing… not even a loading symbol. I thought for a moment they were going to make me give my email address without even having tried the service yet. I thought, how would I know if I like Photovisi yet?! Then the interface loaded and I was relieved! Room for improvement in loading the application.
Uploading photos was very quick and simple, you just click the big “add photos” button and your usual finder window comes up to select the files.
The photos were automatically laid out in the template that I had chosen and they were easy to arrange across the canvas. The interface was quite intuitive: to move an image you click and drag, to bring an image to the front you just need to click on it, to change the crop of an image you click on it and press the big “crop” button.
I couldn’t see if it was possible to change the placement of images into small or large frames. I’m sure in my test there were pictures I’d rather have large than my big face!
Saving your collage
When you’re ready (or at any time because it opens a new tab/window) you can press save to download your collage at 1024x768px, and you can also order it as a magnet, postcard, poster, mug or mousepad from Zazzle.
It’s a shame you can’t download a larger image than 1024x768px (if you wanted to use it as a desktop image or print it large), especially considering fewer and fewer monitors are that resolution. It’d be good if you knew the available download sizes before you start using the program; it would be a shame to spend a lot of time arranging your photos to find that it’s far too small for your purposes.
Overall I thought Photovisi is an easy-to-use and well executed service. There’s room for improvement and new ideas, but it’s a great start.
I don’t know of an easier service to quickly arrange photos with frames and shadows. Do you?