How to create mosiacs from digital photographs (preferably with GIMP)?

I’ve a friend whose birthday is coming up, and he really likes gummi bears, so instead of just throwing him a $2 bag I thought I’d arrange them in a nice mosiac.

However, not having the artistic sense to do great works like the Jelly Belly portraits, I’ll have to somehow come up with a “template” using a specified color palette (the gummi bear colors) and a standard shape (e.g., the gummi-bear rectangle). Is there such a program or GIMP/Photoshop filter(s) that can achieve this? It seems that such a program would have a -lot- of use in various crafts (sequins, beads, etc…) so it’s got to be out there somewhere.

I’ve answered half my question. Looks like I can use Filter -> Blur -> Pixelize to produce the rectangular effect…

So all I need to do is have the other half answered–how do I adapt the colors to my specified color palette?

My gimp-fu is feeble, but try Image: Mode: Indexed… (Alt+I). Click “Generate Optimal Palette” and restrict it to, like 4 or 6 or whatever. Then maybe you can choose the best gummi match to each color.

Or you could try creating a custom palette of gummi colors Dialogs: Palette… (Ctrl+P) and try “Use Custom Palette” for Mode:Indexed… instead.

Good luck!