How can I create a mosaic with my own tessellating tile shape?

The effect I want to achieve is the same as the one created by ‘create object mosaic’ command in Illustrator – but using my tile shape instead of a square or rectangle.

I have created the effect I want for a small number of tiles, but the mosaic is likely to contain over 10,000 tiles – so the method I have used is not practical. So, I would like to try and create an action to do so.

My current method:

  • Create my own tessellating tile.
  • Repeat it many times to create a pattern.
  • Overlay this on top of a photograph.
  • ‘Create object mosaic’ from photograph.
  • Overlay my tessellating grid on top so that it lines up.
  • Using eyedropper tool, drop colour from each tile in the ‘create object mosaic’ grid onto the corresponding tile in front on the tessellated grid.


  • Creating an action that will run across each tile individually.
  • Dropping the colour from a specific tile in the grid below onto the tessellated tile directly above it.


  • I have exported to Photoshop on different layers and can select an individual tile using colour range. Changing the colour and repeating the process for all of the tiles remains the problem.

Other possibilities:

  • Use effects / blur / average in Photoshop. The problem here is that this cannot be used for multiple selections. My knowledge of Photoshop is much more limited than Illustrator so there maybe a simple solution here…

I have attached an image showing the process and what I can achieve manually.

Any thoughts or ideas would be much appreciated! 🙂

manual example


It isn’t clear whether you are done actually designing the single tile. If not, there are a number of tessellation apps out there that can help.

Once the tile is complete, this is clearly a place for scripting Photoshop or Illustrator. Each comes with an Integrated Development Environment called ExtendedScript Toolkit, and can be programmed in a flavor of JavaScript, the language that is used to drive most web pages. There are a number of tutorials out there (including this one for Photoshop). The process is pretty interactive, so once you plow through one to see what it’s about you should be able to tweak and tune until you get what you need.

Source : Link , Question Author : chris , Answer Author : Daniel Griscom

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