Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Barack Obama Mosaics

Name of Models: Barack Obama Mosaics
Created by various (see below)
Found at: and
Shepherd Fairey's iconic imagery depicting America's new President-Elect has been rendered in LEGO® form a surprising amount of times. It's kind of hard to pick one to feature - although it's even harder to try to find a good minifig-scale version of him (the LEGO company infamously took way too long to start making minifigs with non-yellow skin colors).

Since all manner of these seem to be turning up on eBay, I think it's time to talk about how "real" mosaics ought to be done. For one thing, the dithering used by most software-based approaches to mosaic planning doesn't usually look that good, and it should be avoided any time that the correct color is available from LEGO. Note how the mosaic shown above uses all 6 common colors (red, yellow, blue, white, black, and green) for the medium-blue section, instead of solid medium blue. The next thing many people try is just adding another color to the software's palette, such as this other mosaic, which makes use of medium-blue but still has some dithering.

Surprisingly, even with a primitive web-based program (LUGNET Mosaic Maker), you can still come up with some amazing designs that are as good as the ones on eBay. Using plates stacked up instead of spreading bricks (or plates, or tiles) on a baseplate allows for higher photo resolution, such as this design I just made virtually. If you do stick with a studs-out mosaic making on a baseplate (and that large 96-stud, 30-inch size), you can still get some great effects without resorting to dithering:

Of course, you'll probably need to spend a good amount of change we can build with...

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