Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Lego Portraits

Below are two lego mosaic portraits I created of my boys.
These are made entirely from legos (even the picture hanger). 
Total legos on each mosaic is 1,988!



Lego mosaic portraits aren't as challenging as they look!  Don't be intimidated.  The hardest part, I have discovered is getting all of the legos and at a reasonable cost.  With these mosaics taking close to 2,000 legos, it can get a little pricey.

These were created on the Lego X-Large Gray Baseplate which measures 15" x 15" and is 48x48 lego studs wide.  I used 1x1 plates in white, black and 3 different shades of gray.

To prepare a "pattern" for your mosaic, use Photoshop (of find someone who can!) and do the following:
  1. Choose your image and crop to a square.  It is best to crop as much out of the background as possible.
  2. Resize the image to 440 x 440 pixels. 
  3. Apply the Mosaic filter (Filter > Pixelate > Mosaic). Choose a cell size of 10. 
  4. Play with brightness and contrast to highlight the important stuff. The higher the contrast, the more bright and dark you will have which sets off the image nicely. 
  5. Change the photo to index color and select a custom palette.  Choose just the colors of legos you'll use.  In this case, I selected black, white and three shades of gray.  Easy way to do this is to select Web colors only and then click black, white, light, medium and dark grays. 
  6. Finally, set the grid to every 10 pixels and subdivisions 1 (in Guides, Grids & Slices) and then turn on the grid (View > Show > Grid).  Wah-lah!  You have a pattern! 
Here are the two photos I used and their conversions to patterns:








Now, figure out how many of each color legos you will need.  Estimate or count them out. The lego studs can be ordered directly from lego through their "pick a brick" option or be adventurous and find them through e-bay, lego stores, etc.  Be forewarned that at around 9 cents a lego through the Lego Store, this project can run around $200! Get an X-Large Gray Baseplate (15"x15") - cost around $15 - and get to work. Start on your pattern, leaving room for the frame (2-studs on each side).

{The frame consists of all black: (44) 2x4 45° slope bricks, (2) 2x3 45° slope bricks, (6) 2x2 double concave 45° bricks, (1) modified 3x2 plate with hole (for the hanger - yes even the hanger is a lego!), and (2) 2x2 plates.  OR some of these are hard to find, so you can use the same 1x1 plates as your image or do the frame however you would like!}












    3 comments:

    1. Thank you for your details! I'm going to try this. I wonder if I can go to my local lego store and they have buckets you can fill with whatever pieces you want for $15. I wonder if they will have the small sizes though. Thanks a ton!

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. I keep an eye out at our local Lego store, but never have much luck. Usually the smaller sizes are the "dots" in random colors. Good luck!

        Delete
    2. Jane I'm having trouble with this part: Change the photo to index color and select a custom palette. Choose just the colors of legos you'll use. In this case, I selected black, white and three shades of gray. Easy way to do this is to select Web colors only and then click black, white, light, medium and dark grays.

      How do you select just 4 colors? It shows a bunch of different shades of gray and I try to select just 4 colors but don't know how to save just those ones to be used. It seems like its using all shades of grey. I'll do some research online but if you know easily how to do it and it isn't too much of a bother I'd love to hear from you. Thanks a ton! Jenniferjbarnes at gmail.com

      ReplyDelete