When stitching together an image for eBay hosting, the goal is to create a photo that is generally square and completely filled with image. That gives you the best coverage in the searches and at the top of the listing. Watch the dimensions under the cells and aim for matching numbers, like 360x360. That is the onscreen size you will see on the workspace. The composite that you ultimately make will be based on the size you choose from the dropdown list next to the MAKE button.
If your stitched photo is not intended for eBay hosting, then, of course, any shape will do.
For most merged images, two photos would do the trick. For really skinny items, three can be stacked or layered, but don't overcrowd the images or they may become confusingly muddled. After clicking a grid option, the cells can be readjusted to provide a less uniform shape if your images require it. For a full array of images, use the grid buttons to set four, six, or nine cells.
The AutoFill button conveniently creates a layout for you, once your images are uploaded and the thumbnails appear on the screen. AutoFill will try to determine the best layout for the number and shape of images you provide. If your photos are uniform and you don't plan to crop, this is probably the quickest and simplest method.
Thumbnail ordering can be swapped by dragging one on top of another if they were not uploaded in the order you would like the AutoFill to use. Empty thumbnail holders will be ignored.
After the AutoFill arrangement is created, you can still zoom to crop and resize the rows and columns to tighten up your composite. For more customized arrangements, you may want to start with a different layout from the toolbox and manually drag the photos into the cells.
The mixed array options can be expanded by pulling out the right and bottom green flags. Thus, the original option that showcases one larger photo with two smaller images can be expanded, as shown in the two examples below. The numbers show values that will maintain close to standard photo aspect ratios.Landscape 270 135 135 180 180 180 Portrait 180 180 180 270 135 135
The following examples show a few ways to mix horizontal and vertical images in one array with a resulting grid that is still fairly close to square.180 180 180 135 240 135 180 180 180 240 135 135 135 240 135 180 180 180 240 135 135 180 180 180
HINT: If you resize your cells, the quickest way to refit a photo is to drag it into the cell again from the thumbnail bar. Use the +/- buttons to fine-tune the fit.
Rotate: After uploading, thumbnails will appear. If they need to be rotated, drop one at a time on the rotation block next to the thumbnails. The rotated image will reappear in the thumbnail.
Layout Grid: Choose a grid arrangement to set up the workspace cells or panels where you will drop your images. Even after selecting a grid, you can still manually open or close rows or columns for a different arrangement. If a grid is too large or small for your workspace, click one of the small sizing blocks near the top of the grid layout to use a different scale on the next grid selection.
Arrange Photos: Drag a thumbnail to any panel. Change the image in a panel by dragging a different thumbnail image into it. The same thumbnail can be used in more than one panel. In fact, a single uploaded image can be used in a number of cells, each zoomed to show a different detail.
Resize Panels (crop photos): Colored flags or pullers surround the rows and columms so that you can adjust the width and height of the each row and column group. Use the pullers to crop a better shape for your photo.
Zoom (crop) Photos: The plus-button on each panel will allow you to zoom in and thus crop out more background. The plus and minus buttons are unbalanced, zooming in a tad less than zooming out. This allows you to wiggle in to tiny size adjustments using several iterations of in/out.
Position Photo: And image can be dragged around within a cell so that you can shove it closer to the left edge or can center on a point of interest.
Close empty rows: Close unused rows and columns using the pullers, as leaving them open will detrimentally affect the size of your composite. Or you can populate the outer cells and close the center cell down to a narrow white seam that separates your outer photos.
Reset Photo: Did you drag an image out of sight? Don't like the +/- scale that you've set? Drag a new thumbnail back to the panel and the photo will be reset within the panel to its initial size and position.
Clear cells: You can clear your workspace cells and start over by selecting a new grid. Then drag your thumbnails back into the grid. Or if you just want to empty one cell and use it as a spacer, drag the cell's photo out of sight.
New Uploads: You can upload a new thumbnail if you don't like one of your uploads or if you want to swap out a single photo or two in your grid. The tiny thumbnails showing your uploads are in the same order as the upload slots, so to change out thumbnail #2, upload a new photo in slot #2. The new thumbnail can then be dragged to whatever panel you want. This will allow you to create different combinations without having to upload a whole new set each time.
Difficulties: If your image cells are set too large, you may have difficulty dragging a photo from the thumbnail row down to the lower cells, which may be out of sight. Depending on your browser, you may be able to use the mouse-wheel or the down-arrow on the keyboard to scroll down the page while dragging a thumbnail. Another option is to use full-screen view on your browser (F11). You can undo full-screen with F11 again or with the "Restore" button at the top right of your browser.
A simpler method would be to set your cells smaller rather than larger when reshaping the cells. The tool will apply ratios to your uploaded photos, so it really won't matter much what scale you use on the grid, as the resulting photos depend on the size you set in the drop list on the MAKE button.
Windows Safari: When the browser is zoomed in/out, the images may not drag where you want them within the cells. Set the zoom to "actual size" to resolve the issue.
A multi-line watermark option can be selected at the bottom of the toolbox. You can change the text, the size, and the intensity of the semitransparent mark using the watermark tools below the grid. The watermark will scale with the new composite image when it is made.
The watermark can be manually dragged around on the grid or can be positioned using the clickable preset dots in the toolbox. When using the presets, the watermark position will automatically adapt to any changes you make in the grid shape. The draggable positioning option will not adapt and must be manually repositioned if cells are moved. If the watermark is manually dragged out of sight, use one of the presets to bring it back, and then reselect the draggable option to drag it to the desired location.
The watermark feature can also be used to caption your composite by setting the intensity to its highest value. Consider leaving a narrow row of cells empty for captioning, and place the caption in that strip.
Difficulties: If your browser fonts or screen fonts are set to a different scale (large fonts or accessibility), there may be a mismatch between the watermark size on the grid and on the new composite that is created.
Can't access, manipulate, or edit the image under the watermark? Toggle the watermark off, make adjustments to the image, and then turn the watermark on again.
The "Make" button will tell the server to create your composite image and display the results in the bottom window. There are several size options from which to choose and that size will determine the dimension of the longest side. Most people will create a composite that is square or wider than tall. If using third-party image hosting like Photobucket, the best image sizes for auctions are 400, 500, or 640.
If the intent is to upload to eBay hosting, you may want to save as supersize, upload, or maximum size, where the longest dimensions are 800, 1000, and 1600 pixels, respectively. Those give eBay plenty of material to work with when they shrink your image. If your photo is not that large, the program currently enlarges the image to fit the size you select. Enlarged images usually don't look that great, so if your photos are small to start with, you may want to stick to the same general size you started with when you are ready to make your composite.
After creating a composite that you like, click "Save this one" button to download to your computer. Photos evaporate off the server within a few hours, so save the images that you want to keep by downloading them back onto your computer or transloading them to your image host.
The two most common upload error messages will be file size and file type.
» Not a supported image type.
The stitcher currently supports only JPG and GIF images. To change an image to a different file type, the photo must be run through an image processor. Simply changing the file suffix won't work. So if the file suffix does not match the actual image type, and it arrives at the server, the server will reject it as the wrong image type.
Solution: Use an image editor, or MS Paint, or IrfanView to open and resave the photo as a different file type.
» Specified maximum file size exceeded.
Terms used here:
The server will accept photos that are up to 1MB in file size. Usually, an image that comes straight off a camera that is set to a resolution of 1MP or 2MP will have a file size that is less than about 650KB. That size is based on the camera using jpeg compression of around 96% quality. We recommend using a camera setting of no more the 2MP because anything higher will slow transfers, waste memory, and will not improve image quality on the web. The higher camera settings are suitable for creating large paper prints.
If the photo is subsequently modified in an image editor, the editor will decompress the file in order to display the image for editing. Therefore, after editing, the user should recompress the file to squeeze it back down to a smaller size again. Image editors often have the compression or jpeg quality setting on the "Save As" screen. Choose a high quality (low compression), but do NOT use 100% or "no compression" as that will result in a significantly oversized file. For comparison, MS Paint automatically applies compression equivalent to about 75% jpeg quality. eBay compresses to 80% jpeg quality. This tool compresses to 90% quality.
Solution: Lower your camera to 1MP or 2MP. This will provide excellent results for eBay photos. If you must edit your photo prior to uploading, be sure to apply either compression ("low" or 10%) or jpeg quality ("fine" or 90%) to the file when saving.