The Romans had amazing floors, didn’t they? I am, of course, talking about their mosaics – amazing arrays of tiny tiles, which, when looked at from a standing height, formed stunning images and designs. The principle of many tiles making an image is the same principle which digital images use today, with the difference being that the tiles are replaced by pixels. Considering this similarity, it is hardly any wonder there are so many digital mosaic apps available, usually allowing you to create a mosaic from images in your library. Waffle, by Square Candy, is a minimalist example of this, but is it the equivalent of those exquisite Roman tiles, or does it produce something closer to concrete slabs?
Waffle isn’t really about bells and whistles – this really is a pared-down app. You choose the picture to be recreated in mosaic form, and select the images to be used as the “tiles.” You then have two options as to what kind of “tiles” to use. The asymmetric option asks you to choose a minimum and maximum tile size, and then Waffle will use larger tiles on areas of a similar colour, and smaller tiles where detail is needed. I found that this worked okay when your mosaic base image was quite large, but if you use a smallish image (under 1000×1000 pixels, for example), the results from this option start to become unusable. Admittedly, when the asymmetric option works well, it looks funky, but it’s a hit-and-miss affair. The other option available, symmetric, simply allows you to select an exact tile size, and, in general, it works far better, even if it lacks the quirkiness of the asymmetric look.
Next is the process of matching your tile images to areas of your mosaic picture. This can be done by colour, lightness or a combination (which generally works best). Finally, you adjust how much colour correction you’d like Waffle to apply to the images used as tiles. I found strong colour correction was often needed, although again, more on smaller pictures.
Well, what can I say? Waffle is relatively uninspiring, but doesn’t really do anything wrong. If you like the mosaic look, I don’t think Waffle will provide you with anything to complain about, even for $9.99/£6.49.
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