Religious Orders

Hacking Disney

Posted: Thursday April 23 2009 @ 6:35am

Religious Order: Photos

Well, okay, this isn't really a hack. But it is a method for grabbing low-to-medium resolution photos from Disney's rip-off PhotoPass service.

Basically, what you do is go to their site, display each photo, and take a screen-capture of it.

But wait, you say, those images are tiny, a mere 400 x 286 pixels! And it's true, they are. So, here's what you do:

  1. View the image on the PhotoPass site.

  2. Click on Edit Photo.

  3. Zoom in all the way.

  4. Preview the image.

  5. Screen-cap the preview. (It really helps if you have a screen-cap utility that let's you grab just a portion of the screen.)

  6. Close the Preview window.

  7. Use the arrows to move the zoomed in box around and repeat the preview/screen-cap/close routine until you've grabbed every area of the image. It should take 9 caps in total.

Okay, you have the image as 9 close-up images. Now you just put them all together. But, keep in mind that the resulting pieces do not match pixel by pixel where they overlap. (I don't know why. Ask Disney. They just don't.) Here's my method.

  1. Fire up a decent photo editor. I use Pixelmator.

  2. Create a blank canvas about 1600 x 1144. (Or 1144 x 1600, if it's a portrait shot.)

  3. Drag each of the pieces in and drop it in the approximate location in the full image. Each should end up in its own layer.

  4. Using the center piece as a guide, select each layer and move that piece into position. If you bring the layer to the front and set the blending mode to Difference, you can then jiggle the layer around until the overlap is as black as it gets. Then set blending back to Normal.

  5. Repeat for each piece's layer.

  6. Flatten the layers.

  7. Crop.

And that's it. The end result is a photo at 1142 x 761 pixels. Yeah, that's not great at all. But it sure beats 400 x 286. (And it beats paying Disney fifteen bucks for a high-res copy of a poorly-taken photo.)

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