Ever wish you could turn your local congressperson into the rodent of your choice? Give it a whirl with HSC Software's Digital MORPH. In fact, you might just want to try turning your spouse into a squash or your landlord into an attractive ceiling fixture while you're at it. . . .
Morphing, based on the Greek word morphe, meaning "shape," is a type of technology that stretches and distorts one image to another. Digital MORPH is a special-effects program that produces shape-shifting effects such as those seen in the movie "Terminator 2" (where the antagonist shape-shifts into different objects) and Michael Jackson's "Black or White" video in which faces morph from one race to another.
The program was originally created in a higher-end version to help plastic and oral surgeons and orthodontists determine the after-surgery appearances of their patients. Today, it is available from HSC Software, a developer of graphic imaging, special effects, and multimedia software, for those with Microsoft Windows-capable computers and a desire for some creative fun.
Digital MORPH works its magic upon scanned images —images that have been digitally recorded by a scanner (a device that reads images using light beams much like a photocopier). To morph an image, the user need only select source and destination images (a starting and a finishing image), select field lines (these determine where on the image changes will take place), and select the number of frames in which the change will take place. The program takes care of the rest.
"It's a lot of fun playing with images on a computer," says HSC CEO John Wilczak. "Imagine morphing your boss into a gorilla...."