What is a Morph?

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Image morphing is a useful visualization technique. It is often used for educational or entertaining purposes. Image morphing techniques have been widely used in creating special effects for television commercials, music videos such as Michael Jackson's Black or White, and movies such as Willow and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Image morphing is an image processing technique used to compute a transformation, that is, a metamorphosis, from one image to another. The process is called "morph" for short. The idea is to create a sequence of intermediate images, which when put together with the original images, represents the transition from one image to the other.

In a morphing sequence between two faces, the middle image often looks strikingly life-like, as a real person, but clearly it is neither the person in the first or in the second image. See below. The image in the middle is half influenced by the left and half influenced by the right image.

Real Person 1  Morphing Image  Real Person 2

The morphed pictures in sequence can be shown as a dynamic process like a movie. The result can be very interesting. Please see the example below.

Face Morph

Morphing between two images achieves the best results if the images are roughly of the same shape and colors, e.g. morphing from a tree to a cat may not result in such a good transition as when morphing from one face to another. In this case the middle image might look strange since it got no equivalence in the real world. (Although, sometimes, this is just what we are looking for.)

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