Building Morphing Effects Using Morph Contexts

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Clicking on one of the Morph Context action steps will load the canvas with it’s reference image, and load the bezier path frame with it’s stored bezier paths. So I clicked on the first keyframe to load the woman’s face. Since the bezier path frame was empty when we generated the Morph Context, the bezier path frame will be empty when we click on the keyframe.

Since we’re in Bezier Draw operation mode we can now draw in the bezier paths we want to use as our feature anchors. I drew a bezier path around the left eye, right eye, mouth, and face (2nd image above). I made the canvas partially transparent in the 3rd gallery image above just so you could get a better idea about where I positioned my 4 hand drawn bezier paths.

I now needed to record the bezier path anchor points in my first Morph Context keyframe. To do this I option clicked the red keyframe at frame time 1.

Now I was ready to record my second set of bezier path anchors for my second keyframe. There are several different ways I could approach this. I could click the second keyframe to load in the second reference image and then draw 4 new bezier paths. if you do this you need to make sure you draw them in the same feature order (since the bezier paths in adjacent keyframes will interpolate based on their index position in the recorded bezier path frame stored in the keyframes). You don’t want an eye path interpolating to a mouth position in a different keyframe (unless you are trying to do some crazy effect rather than a standard feature morph).

I tried a slightly different approach. I first switched to Bezier Edit operation mode as shown below.


I then selected all of the bezier paths in the bezier path frame associated with my first morph image. I then used the Edit : Copy menu command to copy them to the clipboard. I then clicked on the second Morph Context keyframe at frame time 2 (that contains the cat image reference). The cat image appeared in the canvas. I then used the Edit : Paste menu command to past my original bezier paths I drew to anchor the woman’s face into the bezier path frame (2nd gallery image above). Note that the old bezier paths don’t match the facial features of my second morph image (the cat image). So I need to edit them to do that.

I could select individual curves, then drag them around, and then move the control paints to reshape the bezier path. However, I used a cool feature that lets you select an individual path and then redraw it as a fast alternative way to edit an individual path. I first selected an individual path (the left eye as shown in the 3rd gallery image above). I then held down the e key, and then drew a red path where I wanted the selected path to be positioned and reshaped (4th gallery image above). When I lift the pen (or release the mouse button after drawing the edited new path), the old selected path is deleted and substituted for my newly drawn path (5th gallery image above).

I did this for all of the individual paths to generate the new set of bezier feature anchor paths (6th gallery image above). At this point I option clicked the second Morph Context red keyframe at frame time 2 to record my edited bezier paths into that keyframe.

At this point I have 2 morph keyframe that contain references to 2 different images, and also appropriate bezier paths to anchor the eyes, mouth, and face of the 2 reference images. I now need to expand the timeline so that the individual keyframes are spaced apart with blank empty keyframes between them that will interpolate as a morph between the 2 reference images. The morph is based on the movement of the individual bezier anchor paths over time.

To time expand the PASeq timeline, I ran the Action : PASeq Timeline : Time Compress/Expand menu dialog command. I entered 20 into the dialog for the adjustment ratio. This then time expands the 2 keyframes that used to be adjacent to each other so that they are now 20 frames apart.

The complete 20 frame morph animation can be seen here.

For more information on PASeq Contexts check out this tip.

For more information on Creating a Morph Animation check out this tip. This tip shows off a slightly different approach to generating the same effect we did in this post by manually adding individual keyframes one at a time to the Morph Context action step.


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