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    • What I did was mosaic a photo I took until it was made of a limited number of big pixels in a limited number of grays. Lets say 5 grays. Then I mad a limited number (also lets say 5) patterns and tiled them to fill a layer. One layer represented nearly black. The other represented ever brighter grays until the fifth layer represented nearly white. I made up the patterns from imagination and tried to get them to represent the various gray levels. I tested them by repeat tiling them and blurring the repeat and measuring the resulting gray. Finally I did a trick in which each layer of repeating tiles was masked by pulling a mask off the corresponding gray of the mosaic. As a finishing touch I reintroduced the original color from the original image by using the color blend mode on the color above the tiles, or the luminosity blend mode on the tiles on top of the color. You can see the layer mask trick in action in this video, only I do it to limited random colors, rather than limited increasing grays. But it will explain a lot, I think:

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