Photomorph 2 is a more advanced morphing program reviewed see figure 2. To say that this is just a morphing package does this software an injustice. It has advance pre-production and post-production features make this software suitable for professional broadcast quality video.
In addition to doing standard morphing as described for Photomorph Lite, it has the added abilities to morph two .AVI movie files, filters for special effects, masking, blue screen, chroma key and luminance key. Don't know what these features are, that's ok, we shall review them right now. However, a complete discussion of each feature is beyond the restraints of this article. We shall touch upon the highlights of the features, just realize there is more that may be accomplished then what is covered here.
Morphing Movie Files
The morphing package reviewed so far, only morph still pictures. Photomorph 2 however can load two .AVI movie files and create a morph transition. This allows a moving morph to take place. What immediately comes to mind to illustrate this point is the movie Terminator 2. The liquid metal robot morphed from person to another while in motion.
Frame and Text Overlay
The text overlay feature allows you to title video clips (.AVI files) and picture files. The feature uses TrueType and PostScript fonts. Photomorph 2 also has a framing feature that allows the user to place a frame around a picture file.
Filters are unique features. They provide interesting special effects. The swirl filter for example takes a standard picture and creates an animation in which the picture swirls as if it were a liquid and someone stirred it with a spoon. I've seen this effected used on broadcast TV numerous times.
Photomorph 2 is package with the following video distortion filters: Lens, Pinch, Ripple, Rotate, Rotate Center, Rotate and Shear, Shear, Spherize, Comp. Width, Comp. Height, Swirl, Tear, Tumble, Twirl, Wave, Zigzag, Zoom In, and Zoom Out. These particular features are accessed through the Distortion Editor.
Blue Screen, Chroma Key and Luminance Key
Blue screen, chroma key and luminance key allow the user to make selected parts of an image transparent. The transparent portions allow a secondary screen or background to show through. Blue screen allows the user to key a range of blue colors to become transparent. Chroma key allows the user to select any color to become transparent. Luminance key allows the user to select a range of luminance or brightness to become transparent.
Blue Screen has been used successful for many years in Hollywood. Here actors are placed in front of a blue background. The scene is played. In post production the blue screen is made transparent and a suitable background is used instead. This is the technique used many times to place actors flying space fighters in outer space. Photomorph 2 is able to blue screen one .AVI clip onto another .AVI clip.
Chroma key is consider more powerful than the blue screen technique because it allows the user to key on any color. Figure 3 is a chroma key example. In this picture we chroma keyed on the womans skin. This allowed the second photograph of the beach scene to show through on this color.
Special Effects with Photomorph 2
The special effects one may accomplish using PhotoMorph can not be properly illustrated in a magazine because the resulting files are movies. The transitions and video distortions possible elevate this program beyond the narrow definition morphing. This is a high end program that may be used to create professional effects suitable for broadcast television.
Each of the packages reviewed is capable of warping images. Warping as its name implies distorts the image. The amount of distortion is in proportion to where the secondary morphing points are place. Typically just the first picture file work area contains a picture. The points are placed on the first picture. The second picture file work area does not contain a picture file.
Each package review occupies its own niche in PC software.
People working in a Windows 3.1 (or higher) environment and just want a basic morphing package Morphology 101 is an excellent buy. The software operates smoothly and has the added ability of adding .AVI clips together to create longer morphing sequences. The online manual plus the clip art makes this a best buy.
Photomorph 2 as described goes past standard morphing packages. This software has the ability to morph digital movies. The blue screen, chroma keying, luminance, video distortions and transitions elevate this package to users who want to create professional quality morphs and special effects.
VideoCraft 3.0 is a Windows 95 (32bit) version of Photomorph 2. It contains all the features of Morphology 101 and Photomorph 2.