Getting started with STOIK MorphMan 2000
Learn how to create easy morphing between pairs of faces.
STOIK MorphMan 2000 is the most powerful tool for morphing between pairs of pictures. It creates a sequence of intermediate frames that seamlessly transform one image to another and generates output in a form of movie or image file sequence. Still the software cannot morph between your two pictures on its own. First you should set matching zones on both pictures using points, lines, or polygons, as well as define some other parameters.
In order to start working with STOIK MorphMan 2000 you first need two files, i.e. the source and the target. They can be photographic pictures or other images in one of the following formats: tiff, bmp, tga, pcd, jpeg, avi, mpeg. Prior to morphing between them you have to perform some minor editing. Pictures should be very similar in proportions, the best idea is to have the two files equally sized, with similar composition of objects in them. The other conditions to be harmonized are color balance, brightness/contrast, etc. These prerequisites having been fulfilled guarantee the ease and smoothness of transition between the images.
Open MorphMan 2000
First open the Source file – this is the initial image which is the first frame of morphing sequence: File - source - image.
Then open the Target file – this is the last frame of the morphing sequence: File - Target - Image.
You can zoom into the images to get a larger view: use View - Zoom, magnifying glass button. or '+' and '-' keys on numeric keypad.
Now we have to place markers on the Source image. The more precisely you put them, the better and smoother the morphing will be performed. Activate the Source image (just click it with your mouse) and select Markers - Add - Point.
We place markers along the most prominent facial features:
- Eyes (inner and outer corners, the pupil center, the centers of upper and lower eyelids);
- Nose (the nose tip, the outline, and the nose bridge);
- Lips (the corners, each lip center, the middle of the lower lip lower edge, and the two points on the upper lid upper edge);
- Nasolabial wrinkles;
- Ears (the lobes, the upper edges, the center);
- Chin (outline);
- Face oval;
- Hair edge.
Note: When marking such objects as face oval, chin outline, etc. it much more convenient to use lines as markers: Markers - add - line.
So we have marked the key zones on the Source image. Now we will set the matching zones on the Target image.
The Target should have all the similar points and curves, which were marked on the Source, e.g. the nose tip of the Source picture should correspond to the nose tip of the Target image.
Let us click on the Target and select Markers - Vertex. Now please select the appropriate marker and drag it to the corresponding point on the other image. This has to be performed with all the markers.
If you have to drag a curve, please use the Markers - Shape option. Then select the appropriate line and drag it to the other image corresponding area. In order to match the zones in the best way you are welcome to drag any points within the curves using Markers - Vertex.
Output and save options.
Now let us select Edit - Output options and enter the desired amount of frames (the example is 10), as well as frame width and height (please don’t forget to check “save proportions”), and the transition model (the example is “fast gravity”).
If we create an AVI movie, then we need to set the frames per second rate in the “save options” menu: the more we set here, the larger the resulting file is, but the smoother transition we get.
Transparency and distortion.
To understand how the Transparency and Distortion commands work, imagine that in morphing algorithm each subsequent frame is obtained with two operations - distortion of source and target as defined by positions of markers and Distortion curve, and mixing source and target colors in proportion as defined by Transparency curve.
In the Edit - Transparency menu we can set the desired Source file transparency, and in the Edit - Distortion menu we set the desired distortion rate.
Now you can save your project with one of the options: Save as image sequence, as an animated GIF, or an AVI movie.
The menu you will use for this is File - create - movie/sequence/animated GIF.
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