<firstimage=”//cdn.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/fotomorphthumb.jpg”>A few decades ago the closest thing to Photoshop was a cardboard cutout with no face that you could stand behind. Today, the power of even the most mundane computer makes it possible to make wild alterations to photos in the blink of an eye. While professionals use modern photo editing software to create amazing photos, amateur users can use it for comedic effect.
One great program for altering photos is Fotomorph. This simple program makes it possible to alter images and created animated GIFs within seconds. Want to prove to your friends that you really do look like George Clooney? Fotomorph can help.
Morphing Photos The Easy Way
The most hilarious feature of Fotomorph is the good old morphing feature. Given the name of the program, this isn’t surprising. Fotomorph uses a very simple four-step process for the conversion of photos. I’m going to guide you through this process using a picture of myself and a picture of Captain Kirk in some distress.
The first step is to create the new project. Click on the Projects tab in the upper left hand of the program and then click New Project from the option menu on the left side. This creates a new, completely blank slate.
Now click on the Images tab. This is where you’ll insert the beginning and end images that you’ll be using in the morph. For best results you should use two photos that are about the same size and show the subjects from similar angles. If you need to resize images substantially I suggest using an image editing program like GIMP. You do some minor image editing at this point using the Deform, Tune and Effects options in Fotomorph.
Next up is the Control tab. This is the most important part! Fotomorph creates a map of the faces you’re morphing using a series of dots that you place on the faces. Each dot appears on both images. You goal is to make sure that the dots correspond to similar parts of the face on each image. The more dots you use, the smoother the morph will be, but don’t worry about going crazy and using hundreds of dots. Twenty dots should be enough to map most faces.
This is also the step that will allow you to adjust the animation settings. By default the sliders in the lower left will set the duration at 2 seconds and all other settings at zero. This isn’t really enough to appreciate a morph. I suggest setting the duration among 5 seconds and giving the morph an end delay as well.
When you’re finished, head to the final tab – animation. There isn’t much to do here. You can set the animation to loop or not loop using a checkbox in the upper left hand corner of the program. You can also add a frame, text or a background.
The most important function here, however, is the Export Animation button. This will allow you to save your morph to a variety of formats including animated GIF, AVI movie and Flash Movie. I saved my animation as AVI and uploaded it to YouTube.
So, morphing is fun, but rather silly. What else can you do with Fotomorph? There are three other types of projects available – Warp, Pan and Transition. Let’s cover them briefly.
Warp Projects give you the ability to alter an image and then save your alteration as part of an animation. The example given by Fotomorph is a photo of the Mona Lisa. Using a Warp Project it is possible to make it appear as if the famous painting is winking. This is simple enough, but can be just as much fun as morphing photos.
The other two projects, Pan and Transition, are perhaps a bit more serious. Pan Projects make it possible to create an animation that zooms in or out on a subject for dramatic effect. This project might be interesting to throw in to a slideshow. Transition Projects let you create a dramatic transition between two photos. Its like morphing, but for serious projects.
All the projects in Fotomorph use the same four-step sequence and are easy to complete. The export options remain the same no matter the project you complete.
Do you think photo editing is just serious business? Nonsense! Fotomorph isn’t going to impress digital photographers, but it can be used to make amusing animations to share among family and friends. Just be careful about showing this to your parents – unless you don’t mind your inbox filling up with image morphs based on your baby pictures.