Morphing is a form of animation where two different images are blended to create a third. Starting with a photograph of a young girl and one of an elderly woman the morphed image shows someone with the characteristics of both. When done as a series of steps, an animation shows the young girl growing old, or vice versa. To make morphing realistic, certain areas of the image, or features such as the eyes, must be overlapped on the first and last images and locked in place. This way, other parts of the image seem to transform around these fixed features. To do this, you load the image you want to morph from, and the picture you want to morph to. Think of them as the first and last frames in a movie. To control the morph, you place pairs of dots or lines to link spots on your two pictures. These points will be moved together as the image is morphed. It's as if the images are printed on rubber sheets and stapled together at certain points so when the sheets are stretched or deformed, these points continue to overlap. For example, when morphing one portrait into another, you would be sure to link the nose, mouth, and eyes on the two pictures.
When you generate the morph, the software creates all of the in-between images as it combines the images. You can usually specify how many frames are produced in the process. More frames creates a smoother transition, but increases the file size and takes longer to create and play back. When finished, you can save the morph in a variety of formats including AVI, Animated GIF, or Flash.
Morphing can create great results when you give it good images to work from but it can't create miracles. When selecting photos to morph, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Backgrounds. Choose photos where the main subject has a simple black or white background. There is no point in having the computer spend time trying to combine two highly detailed backgrounds. If necessary, you can remove or simplify the background in a photo-editing program.
- Composition. Select subjects of similar size, facing in the same direction,
and having similar lighting.
- Simplicity. Select subjects with just a few features that you want to link.
Here Easy Morph from Blackbelt Systems changes a girl into a lizard or vice versa.
. Face Morpher
. Morph Man 2000
. Gryphon Morph
. Morphology 101
. Photomorph 2
. Fun Morph
. Magic Morph
. Morph Studio