JavaLand 2015 result: JavaFX 3d mosaic for

March 31, 2015 by Michael

JavaLand 2015 resulted in a sweet little toy project for me (See my little reviews of the conference itself here: 24.3, 25.3 and 26.3, JavaLand 2015 was one of the best conferences i attend. Lots of fun, lots of good talking, i really enjoyed it).
Wolf Nkole Helzle had this My-Matrix project going on there and i thought, well, this year i’m doing Daily Fratze for ten years and i alone will have 3650 pictures of myself uploaded to the internet by August and in sum there are over 50.000 images right now, that should be a pretty good idea, creating an interactive mosaic as well (Adastra has already created a beautiful mosaic on her 8th anniverary).

As i don’t want to share the images anywhere else but only in my own daily picture project i had the opportunity to learn some more stuff which you can find here.

The basic idea for this mosaic generator is: Create an accurate color matching algorithm as readible as possible. Lukas Eder had this nice article on dzone why It’s Okay to Stick With SQL and i wanted to see how far can i get with SQL for my goal.

This project includes:

  • Flyway for creating and migrating databases (i didn’t want to run sql-scripts myself)
  • Flyway and jOOQ maven integration for effortless generating dao code at compile time
  • jOOQ in common for all database access
  • An CIE94 color distance algorithm
  • JavaFX 3d for creating a spherical image wall. Kudos and thanks to José Pereda for inviting me and giving me a real great introduction not only to his cool JavaFX presentation tool (which gives live coding a whole new dimension), but also to JavaFX 3D. Next time i try to be not that shy, but was too impressed by this massive Java knowledge all around me.

Also personal thanks to mentioned Lukas Eder, maybe you didn’t notice but you encouraged me a lot in what I am doing at the moment.

You’ll finde the complete source code for this project at github:

dfx-mosaic @ github.

So, how far did i come? Far! First have a look at the JavaFX application, selecting the tiles and rendering them on an image wall and me exploring the scene:

Mosaic generation is done in two steps: Create a database of images including their average color (Average color defined by the arithmetical average of all rgb values in an image). You gotta love Java 8s stream for how simple such things have become:

And then (for example):

Those list of images records: Just put them in a SQL database. I choose H2 for simplicity and i’ve gotta say, Flyway and jOOQ are really a dream time. I used this tutorial and had my Records and DAOs in no time.

I like jOOQs batch api, way easier then to this by hand:


Writing the CIE94 color distance was the hard part, making it usable inside an H2 database is really easy:

create.execute("create alias if not exists f_CIE94_color_distance deterministic for \"de.dailyfratze.mosaic.images.CIE94ColorDistance.compute\"");

I’d prefer having this done also in migration, but the referenced method must be defined at runtime, so no chance here.

The basic idea for my mosaic algorithm is selecting the source image with the least color distance which has not been used in box of 10 by 10 tiles. I could have come up with a more performant algorithm but that would have been as easy as just iterating the tiles of the target image and just selecting it (the variable tiles contains all selected tiles so far):

SQL checked by the compiler, correct in statement, calling stored procedures. All there, readable and really easy to use.

The JavaFX 3d application is nearly identical to the VideoWall on Stack Overflow but serves me well for further experiments.

I plan to arrange the images by year on the z-axis (done, see below), create some dialogs for choosing creating and choosing libraries, settings for tile size and such. If i should have to much time on my hand, i’d love to see touch support, a Raspberry Pie and a touch screen for doing some kind of installment on my 10th anniversary of daily self portraits.

I’ve also included a little terminal application which just writes mosaics to file, the result looking like so:


Compare to the original (taken at Mavericks beach on my trip to JavaOne 2014):


And a screenshot from the JavaFX app with the images spread by year on the z-axis:


No comments yet

Post a Comment

Your email is never published. We need your name and email address only for verifying a legitimate comment. For more information, a copy of your saved data or a request to delete any data under this address, please send a short notice to from the address you used to comment on this entry.
By entering and submitting a comment, wether with or without name or email address, you'll agree that all data you have entered including your IP address will be checked and stored for a limited time by Automattic Inc., 60 29th Street #343, San Francisco, CA 94110-4929, USA. only for the purpose of avoiding spam. You can deny further storage of your data by sending an email to, with subject “Deletion of Data stored by Akismet”.
Required fields are marked *