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Photomosaic Birds Of Paradise Project - Updated 8/24
8/23/2011

Firemane
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So, in the infinite wisdom of MTGFanatic, I accidentally clicked the "delete" button, and Poof! went my thread. Sorry to all the people that had commented on the old one emoticon

*Updated 8/24/2011*

This thread will be updated as the project advances. Watch for frequent updates!

I have finally started on the project I said I would complete over the course of the summer: create a photomosaic (a compilation of images that create a larger image) of the original Birds of Paradise artwork using, you guessed it, Magic cards. To get to the scale I wanted, I decided to make a 50 by 50 card birds. This means 2500 cards, or approximately 5 boxes worth of cards, will be cut up during the process. When completed, the bird will be approximately 4'x6'. Since this will be a pretty costly procedure (even assuming every card is $.10, that's $250 worth of cards), I'm planning the bird out prior to creating it. This thread is here to track the progress I make in this undertaking, and afterwords will be a nice way to reflect on what I did right, and what I did wrong.

August 24th, 2011

First off, I want to apologize again. I tried editing this thread earlier while partially distracted, and clicked "delete" instead. Oh well, everything is back to normal, apart from the missing posts.

I applied the finish today, meaning that the mosaic is now 100% complete! Let's just hope that it travels as well as I want it to...

August 21st, 2011 - Construction Complete

IT'S DONE. Well, not entirely done (I still have to apply the finish), but that's a walk in the park compared to everything else that's been done.

Here's the bird, with my alpha Birds of Paradise alongside it:

No Image Description


And here's me with the bird:

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YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!

August 20th, 2011

Construction has slowed over the past couple days as I gave both myself and my hands a rest. I have 6 panels remaining, but found a method that seems to speed things up a lot, and hope to get through all 6 tomorrow while still being able to do SOMETHING else. From here on out the panels are all water, so I'm going to hold off on putting up an image until it's complete.

Here's the progress I've made since Wednesday:

No Image Description


August 18th, 2011

Over half way there! Yay! My plans for tomorrow ended up falling through, so I decided to give myself a bit of a break and only do four panels instead of five today. I'll probably do three or four tomorrow as well, which will put me in a good position for completing the bird on Saturday. I'm quite excited to actually be ahead of schedule on something.

Here's what I got finished today. I think it looks pretty good:

No Image Description


August 17th, 2011

WOW. I was able to hammer out 6 panels today, though that really was all my day ended up being. I found a few more of the "missing" cards, and now I believe I'm only a couple away from having the full 2500 accounted for. Tomorrow I'm going to make at least 5 more panels, hopefully 6. I've also decided that I'm not going to show the complete project from now on, but only the parts I completed that day. I got the 2 completed rows together for a picture, but it meant moving around chairs and ended up being a whole lot of hassle. When it's double that size, I don't want to think what I'll have to do. when I'm finished I'll get a good picture of it, but until then, the pictures will be slightly less exciting.

Here's what it looks like, as of today:

No Image Description


August 16th, 2011

I want to begin by saying WOW. It's already been a month since I started this project. At the start of the summer, I thought of this as something that would take a couple of months to complete, and the amount of work I've put in should have been spread out over that amount of time. The bird is finally being built now and, after a day of construction, it's looking pretty good.

No Image Description


Construction began not with a bang, but with a wisp-er.

The 10x10 "panels" that I'm making are taking about 2 hours apiece, since it generally takes a bit of time to find all of the cards. I made life easy for myself by taking over a table to lay out JUST the sky/water cards:

No Image Description


I've decided to scrap the schedule I laid out on here earlier with a different one. It takes into account the fact that I'm going to be busy, and this is what it's going to look like:

Today: 4 panels
Tuesday: 5 panels
Wednesday: 5 panels
Thursday: 1 panel (various things will let me only get one done during the evening)
Friday: 3 panels (woo! FNM!)
Saturday: 5 panels
Sunday: 2 panels (after lunch/EDH with friends)
Monday/during the week: add sealant/finish

This plan will hopefully pan out. I've still got a day or two for error, but I leave a week from Thursday, so I'm still pretty nervous.

At the end of the day, this is what I have completed:

No Image Description


The obvious thing wrong with this picture are the few missing cards on it. After counting up all of the cards for the mosaic, I ended up with a total of 2469, which is 31 cards shy of what I needed to make the mosaic. I still haven't discovered what ALL of the missing cards are, but I've determined it was a mix of both me not getting every card used written down and the package I ordered being incomplete (which I expected considering its magnitude). The cards I needed are now rushing to me, but until then there will be a few bare spots on the image.

Keep checking back on this thread; I'll try and give a picture update of the progress each day up to completion!

August 14th, 2011

I received the cards from you today, moc. Thanks again for all that you sent! I didn't end up using everything that you sent me, but I used most of it emoticon

After two days of continuous cutting, everything has been chopped up. I have to give a big Thank You to my father, who helped cut cards with me for much of today. Because of this, I'm about a day or so ahead of schedule. A slight problem is that newer cards are significantly wider than older cards, and are also slightly shorter. I'm going to end up trimming all of my newer cards down tomorrow so that the cards are uniform.

Here's what everything cut up looks like:

No Image Description


Currently, what I'm optimally looking at is:
Sunday: trim new cards, separate into various parts of bird to prepare building
Monday-Friday: Create 5 10x10 areas each day, resulting in a completed mosaic by the end of the week. With FNM and a couple end-of-summer gatherings, this probably won't happen.
Saturday-Sunday: Hopefully finish the remains of the mosaic.
Monday: Put on a gloss to cover the mosaic.

August 12th, 2011 - PHASE TWO BEGINNING
I just received a package from MTGFanatic with a TON of cards in it. I've already started cutting them up, and am finding that I can pace myself at about 50 cards in an online episode of any 30-minute program (so about 2.5 cards/minute). I also bought the first few pieces of posterboard that I will be using to be the backing for the mosaic. It's not the best, but it looks like it'll be the best thing I can use that's durable and transportable. Using cards that I had cut out, I re-measured the dimensions of the mosaic, and it looks like it's going to be about 8' x 6'. I'm going to be using 25 pieces of posterboard, each holding a 10x10 grid of cards, for the final layout.

No Image Description


Currently, I've gotten about 800 cards cut out. My goal by the end of the evening is to get another 600+ done.

No Image Description



August 7th, 2011 - PHASE ONE COMPLETE
After spending practically my entire day with one goal in mind, I am finally done with Phase One (the planning). I'm planning on now searching quickly through my own cards, and then, using those cards, the ones sent to me, and the ones I'll have to buy, Phase Two (implementation) will begin. I'm still not exactly sure how I'm backing this, though I believe it's going to be with a large number of heavy-duty paper sheets and (hopefully) lamination on the front.

Here's the final bird with a side-by-side comparison of the original:

No Image Description


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And here are two more pages of cards that were used:

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And here is the COMPLETE list of cards used:

Spoiler (Click to View)


August 6th, 2011 (2)
Here's a second quick update to show the new cards that have been added.

Spoiler (Click to View)


August 6th, 2011
LOTS of good, productive time was spent, and a lot of missing pieces were filled in during these past couple days. I'm looking to have a complete list ready by the end of the weekend. White has certainly been my friend when it comes to the mosaic, lending me many cards that are hitting the 25-per limit.

No Image Description


It's really getting close, and I'm pretty excited! After I finish, I plan on making a pretty huge order from Fanatic, and using those cards, plus cards I have at home and ones you've sent me, work on the real thing will begin shortly thereafter.

On a completely unrelated note, I talked to a guy today who says he's willing to trade 2 Beta birds!!!!!

August 4th, 2011
Today was highly productive. I easily went through 1000 cards, and found a LOT of good ones (though they were mainly space-fillers, rather than specific parts). Not a whole lot else to say, except that I think that, considering where I am, I think I'm going to look at more red cards instead of running through all of white. I also just tried using spoilers, but they make everything repeatedly tab inwards, which looks pretty terrible.

Here's the bird:

[http://i845.photobucket.com/albums/ab14/Firemane42/BirdsMosaicBeingMade-8.png]

And here's another page of cards:

No Image Description


August 3rd, 2011
CRAPCRAPCRAPCRAPCRAP. These past few days I've been seeing friends that I haven't seen over the last month and really not having a lot of free time on the computer. That, plus the fact that I'm feeling a tad burned out right now (hopefully that'll be over by tomorrow), means that not a lot of progress has been made. I still want to get an order out by this weekend, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to. I'll likely just end up having a partial order :/

Regardless, here's what the bird looks like right now:

No Image Description


It really seems like it's coming along, I hope that all goes well over the next couple days!

July 31st,2011
Done with green, and practically the entire island! I've been traveling, packing, unpacking, etc. the last few days, so not a lot of progress was made during that time. Still, good progress was made!

Here's what it looks like:

No Image Description


And a fourth page of cards:

No Image Description



For anyone interested, here's the full list of cards needed:

Spoiler (Click to View)



July 29th, 2011
Halfway through green! Green has been really nice and simple compared to red. I'm still on the lookout for a lot of wing cards, and I'm probably going to have to dive into white and black to help finish them up. Fortunately, there aren't large parts of the card that are really white (and the part that is close is nearing completion), so black and white should be pretty fast. The ocean is shaping up nicely with new additions from blue, but the sky needs more work. I might actually complete the island by the time I'm done with green, which would be a wonderful accomplishment. After that I plan on going through black, then through more expensive red cards, and then white. I have a list of possible cards that's about 50 cards long, and I can go through that to fill in areas with less-than-optimal cards if time requires it. My figuring is that I'm going to need 2 weeks to create this, and I leave for college on the 26th of August, so I need to have all my cards at home in Minnesota by the 12th. Since I imagine I'll want to give a week for the cards (though I'll be express/priority shipping them), I'll need to finish this up in the next week or so. Eek!

Here's where the bird stands now:

No Image Description


July 27th, 2011
I just finished with reds, or at least the inexpensive red cards. I'm likely going to have to have to go back through the slightly more expensive red cards now. There're still a lot of gaps in the bird itself, and the smaller bird has barely been touched. Any suggestions on specific cards for spots would be great. As always, thanks for the support!

Here's what the mosaic looks like as of now:

No Image Description


And here's the third page's worth of cards used:

No Image Description


Green is next. Hopefully, green will be a nice change of pace from the agony of looking through red.

July 24th, 2011
I'm currently just about halfway through all of red right now, without much success. The details on the bird are, unsurprisingly, pretty much impossible to find matches of from regular cards. I'm trying to avoid using basic lands (since that seems kinda boring), but I might dip into them. Here's the bird, as it stands:

No Image Description


I also have filled up the second page's worth of cards that I'm using. Here's the page:

No Image Description


As you can see, though progress was fairly minimal, a LOT of red cards have been used. Sadly, whenever I find a red card, it only has about one spot that it can actually fit in.

Current areas of concern:
Wing Tips
Tail
The Small Bird

These are all going to require some cards that I haven't been seeing yet. hopefully I'll find good cards for them in the rest of red!

As always, thanks for the support, and if anyone has any suggestions for a specific part of the bird, don't hesitate to speak up. Even if it's not the cheapest card, if it fits a rough spot very well, I'll use it.

July 21st, 2011
I've finally gotten through blue! There are still a lot of holes to be filled, and I'm going to either start duplicating some of the images I did find a bit more, or possibly go back through blue again. I'm excited to start trying to figure out how to make the Bird itself fill out with red, and that's going to be the next color I'm going to go through. The card count is getting pretty high, which is making me pretty happy. I'd say that I'm at about 25% of the cards decided, with another 5% that might be getting modified. It also looks like I'm going to be chopping up a Counterbalance now... Image time!

No Image Description


Special Thanks are going out to InfinityConcept, who's already sent out some cards for the project! Thanks again, man!

July 19th, 2011
A pretty big problem just presented itself to me. In the past, I had been getting my card images off of magiccards.info, but just now noticed that the cards from that site are scanned not to the actual tones that the original had. This means that my choice of cards might not be great. I'm going to look over what I've done and hope I don't need to fix much.

July 18th, 2011
Well, after working on this a lot more, I can say one thing: Blue cards are rarely blue. By this I mean primarily a shade of solid blue. There are a lot of faded blues, dark blues, blue with a darker/lighter border, but almost no BLUE images. I've kept deviating towards darker blues towards the lower half of the ocean, but I feel that these are a bit too dark. I've found a few nice cards to start making some of the borders for the island and bird, but my priority right now is mainly to figure out the background still. I'm about halfway through all the inexpensive blue cards ever made, and I hope to finish them soon so I can start finding the more interesting parts of this puzzle.

Here's what the bird looks like now, with the cards I've added over the past couple of days:

No Image Description


I would also like to thank the support that you guys have given me more the project so far. I'm really excited to start getting to the interesting parts of the image; right now I've just been filling in sky and water. As was requested, I have the first "page" of cards being used in the project:

No Image Description


July 16th, 2011
To begin with, I searched around online until I found a good Birds of Paradise image. With it, I made a grid that fits it fairly well (I'm doing this with Paint, so a lot of the preliminary work is going to be pretty rough). This gave me a base image that looks like:

No Image Description



After getting this image, I began to look through every blue card (since the image is primarily blue) that costs a quarter or less. Jace might work well in some spot, but that really doesn't matter if I'm paying a lot of money to get that shade of blue just right.

For each card that I think might have a place, I copy the card, extract the picture from it, and then resize it (I resize to 5% of the original length and width"). I then put it into slots in the grid that I think it might fit into. If it works, I keep it, if not, I get rid of it.

At the end of the day, this is what I've started gotten to:

No Image Description


I'm likely changing some of the cards being used in the ocean color, especially the darker ones. It's surprisingly hard to find a card that's got a strong, simple blue color to it.

A good start to the project, but certainly not a very big one. Starting this is what really needed to happen, though.
MTG Lvl 2 Judge and one of your MTGFanatic Moderators! I'm always looking for Birds of Paradise, post on my Profile if you'll trade any!

I play primarily EDH/Commander. My current decks:


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8/23/2011

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OH MY GOD!!! holy crap sir.. that looks AMAZING!!!! ~dies~ good Job! I would high five you if I could lol



oh my jesus... that's so awesome lol

8/23/2011

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make me one....but with FoW! Please?
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8/24/2011

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WOW...im beside mysself...you just cloned me.

8/24/2011

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This is so freaking pretty. This is just straight up wonderful. congrats on all the hard work.
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8/24/2011

Firemane
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Thanks for all the support guys!
MTG Lvl 2 Judge and one of your MTGFanatic Moderators! I'm always looking for Birds of Paradise, post on my Profile if you'll trade any!

I play primarily EDH/Commander. My current decks:


And from CW:
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8/24/2011

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A very ambitious project, but one that I think will pay off huge. Nice work, and the work you've done seems immaculate. Awesome!
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8/24/2011

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I thought that I responded to this already; But here it is now I guess.

WOW

Very well done and congratualations. I think you deserve a new avatar now, if you get my meaning. And I am thankfull that I was able to help you in some small way to achieve your goal.

Cheers
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8/24/2011

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You did, but the thread was accidentally deleted. Thanks again emoticon
MTG Lvl 2 Judge and one of your MTGFanatic Moderators! I'm always looking for Birds of Paradise, post on my Profile if you'll trade any!

I play primarily EDH/Commander. My current decks:


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8/25/2011

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just curious how many man hours you estimate you put into the project?

BTW: It looks superb, a regular rembrant
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10/31/2011

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I probably spent about 150-200 hours on this, when considering the hunting for cards as well as the creation of it.
MTG Lvl 2 Judge and one of your MTGFanatic Moderators! I'm always looking for Birds of Paradise, post on my Profile if you'll trade any!

I play primarily EDH/Commander. My current decks:


And from CW:
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10/31/2011

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That seriously belongs in a pop culture museum. Just sayin'.
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11/2/2011

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Haha, thanks XD For now, though, my room's wall will have to do emoticon
MTG Lvl 2 Judge and one of your MTGFanatic Moderators! I'm always looking for Birds of Paradise, post on my Profile if you'll trade any!

I play primarily EDH/Commander. My current decks:


And from CW:
Spoiler (Click to View)