I found this image long time ago, even if I search with the google images search I could not find the creator to ask him/her how this was created.

I do not think it was created manually. It looks like some sort of processing was done via software.

Jimi Hendrix

If you know of any software or some way to create the similar vector image from a raster image within Adobe Illustrator, please advise.

Maybe it is possible to achieve a similar result by using some image processing programming libraries, I have no idea.

Thank you

This must be the source image:

original image

  • There is a designer called Tsevis he does this kind of mosaics. I think he did it on Synthetic Studio Artist 3.5. I Mar 30, 2019 at 6:13

3 Answers 3


It looks like a photo mosaic made up of patterned tiles instead of other photos. I remember this being a really popular thing to do a few years ago. A quick search came up with this link for you:


It has a bunch of software links to do this sort of thing.

I seem to remember seeing a tutorial on pstuts or some other tutorial site. I'll see if I can track it down.

  • I suppose you are right. Looking again, the patterned tiles look like they were taken from some CAD software... I think they were called "hatch" patterns in AutoCAD.
    – cenk
    Jun 11, 2014 at 0:36
  • I think most of them are standard patterns from illustrators built in patterns. Jun 11, 2014 at 3:07
  • Note that the tiles are not all the same size. The original processing ran a QuadTree algorithm to increase the resolution in tiles with lots of detail, and ran the mosaicing with smaller tiles there.
    – Adi Shavit
    Jun 17, 2014 at 13:02
  • Since they are tiles, they MIGHT all be the same size, just laid out in quads. One might use some sort of ascii art program with tile-able glyphs...
    – horatio
    Jun 17, 2014 at 14:34
  • Hi Goofy, could you please explain a bit more what we'll find behind the link you provide and why it answers the question? That way, your answer is still of value in case the link breaks at a later time. Link rot is the main reason we really dislike link-only answers here. Thanks for your effort and keep contributing! May 14, 2015 at 15:11

This can be done, semi manually, with reasonable effort. In illustrator do this:

  1. Take the image you want to make mosaic of and run Object → Object Mosaic...
    • (optional) reduce the color depth in Photoshop before this step
    • (optional) reduce pixel size in Photoshop before this step
    • (optional) make a gradient strip on the image for easy value order selection
  2. Find a suitable swatch with patterns
  3. Ungroup object (and delete image from behind)
  4. Start selecting colors with the magic wand tool (adjust tolerance to suitable values) and assign a appropriate swatch. (this takes a minute or two. It is pretty fast if you took the time to make the strip and have the swatches in weight order)


Image 1: A quick test of concept. Ideally i would have needed a bit more swatches good enough for a second try at 4 minutes per job. Image courtesy to John McClumpha. Selection strip above, delete after use.

For multiple different levels do this for 3 different grid sizes and delete some grids to reveal the one underneath. Its relatively easy to automate this, but not a big deal to do by yourself.


The Scriptographer community has created some options to create a similar result. Scriptographer support ends at CS5, so none of the new fancy stuff allowed.

Take a look in the raster scripts area and test out a few to see what you can get.


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