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This is similar to several other questions that suggest imagemagick's montage ands other tools. But none of them say how to handle my situation, nor how to guarantee file ordering. Example questions:

In my case, it's not a random mosaic, it's about 3500 (70 wide x 50 high) of 256x256 pixel microphotographs taken by a scanning system, which combine to form one large photo about 20k pixels each side. The tiles' filenames look like "blahblah_XXX_YYY.jpg" where XXX,YYY are 000,001,002,... co-ordinates from the top-left. Ideally I'll accept lossiness and convert to greyscale PNG for the resulting image. Ive got 70 of these to do.

Obviously keeping the files in order is important, so just providing a directory is a concern (how will it be told the order, based on filenames?). But equally, I can't just list them on a single command line as args because it's too long.

My OS is FreeBSD so I have a wide range of sw.

Apart from building up intermediate size images, what tool can I use to automate this job? Can montage cope?

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