The Active Network
ActiveWin: Reviews Active Network | New Reviews | Old Reviews | Interviews |Mailing List | Forums



Product: Collage Factory
Company: LumaPix
Estimated Street Price: $29 (free to try)
Review By: Lauren Sweeney


Do you have endless files of photos and are getting sick of emailing them one by one to your friends and family?  Or maybe even if they are in an album did you ever wish you could collage some of your favorites together and use them to tell a story?  Well, LumaPix makes this possible with Collage Factory, an innovative new program that makes it easy for anyone to organize their favorite pictures.  Anyone with a digital camera or scanner can create collages of their favorite pictures using this easy program without expensive professional graphics software. Collage Factory includes but is not limited to the following features:

  • Crop, resize, snap source images (without affecting the original files)
  • Export at any resolution - email to poster prints
  • Email and print collages directly
  • Continuous version upgrades
  • Toolbar inset on photo image
  • Photo Cataloging
  • Quick Start tutorial

Installation and Setup

At present, LumaPix is offering a trial download of Collage Factory on their site,  Installation is a breeze and took less than five minutes.  The setup file is just under 3 MB and takes up just about the same amount of space on your hard drive.  No restart was necessary after installation was complete.  Collage Factory works on Windows 98, 2000, Me and XP.


Collage Factory’s interface is intuitive and easy to use. The program includes standard menu options. Under the file menu, you have the choice of render collage to file and e-mail collage. Under the view menu, you can customize the toolbars, set zoom levels, center canvas, reset image, etc.  In the help menu, LumaPix has included links to updates, user forums, support, tutorial and more. In the tools menu, there are extensive links to frame, image, canvas and dropper tools.   


I found Collage Factory very easy to use after only a few moments.  I mixed clipart with photos on a collage and found the program very amusing.  The crop, resize, merge, rotate, pan, split, pickup and zoom tools are inset within the image which makes it very simple to apply these features to your project.  However, when you are first using the program it is hard to remember where each specific tool is located on the image and it can become a little confusing.

Exporting is quick and easy and “idiot proof”, because when you render your collage to a new file you are able to type in what resolution you want and you are able to choose between JPEG, PNG, TIF, BMP, and GIF.  You can save it in many different formats and resolutions and export it in different sizes to different people.  So no more will you be sending an enormous image because it took too much time to change your format and resolution!  And if you want to get back at someone who bogs your email with huge photos you can always send them a few collages!

Another handy feature of this product is the photo catalogue.  This allows you to store numerous digital photos within the selection manager of the program.  This way when it comes time to make your collage you do not have to search through your image files, the program does it for you.

However, the best convenience of the program and perhaps the most “idiot-proof” feature is direct emailing.  With this feature you can directly email your collage without the hassle of attaching the file and having to worry about the format and resolution once again.

Making a Collage

The best way to begin your collage is to utilize the Quick Start feature which shows you what each tool does and lets you make a college out of the text blocks.  After you feel you have mastered the tools you can create a new project.  You can select to make your collage using a number of templates or you can create a free form collage.  If you think you might want to make something that looks very uniform, then a template would suit you best.  However, if you are interested in making something a little more artistic, the free form collage option is worth your while.  After opening your new project, simply click on the browse button on the top right of the screen and open a picture.  Once it is open it will appear on the side panel on the left.  Next you can place it on your canvas in the center and use the inset tools within that image to create your ideal collage.


Final Comments

How It Grades
Ease Of Use: 88%
Interface: 90%
Manual: 93%
Cost: 88%
Features: 92%
Overall: 90.2%

Innovative and ideal for beginners, LumaPix Collage Factory is a clever program.  If you have a lot of pictures lying around and you would like to do something interesting with them but do not have a lot of time, Collage Factory is the ideal program for you.  Although a little confusing at first (when trying to remember where the tools are located within the image), the program is overall very user-friendly and a lot of fun to use and is a recommended buy for home/personal users who do not want to buy expensive professional graphics packages.

Specs & Package
Overall Score 90.2%
Version Reviewed 1.0
Release Date Out Now
In The Box? Download / Manual Online
The Good Points Simple
Great for Home Users
The Bad Points  Embedded Commands Confusing at First
Reviewers PC Setup AMD Athlon XP 2100
Asus A7V333 Motherboard
512MB DDR PC2100
Leadtek NvidiaGeForce 4 Ti 4600
Creative Labs Audigy Sound Card (OEM)
100 GB Western Digital Hard Drive 7200 RPM, 8mb Cache
Samsung 16x DVD-ROM
Mirai CD-RW (40x12x48x)
Creative Inspire 5.1 5300 Speakers
PC Required Internet access
A working email account
Pentium II, 350MHz or faster
800x600 desktop display resolution
A two-button mouse (three buttons preferred)
3 MB free disk space


  *   *