Updated Jun 22, 2012 at 02:15PM EDT by Brad.

Added Feb 03, 2012 at 06:09PM EST by gi97ol.

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Morphing is a photo-editing technique that transforms one image into another through a seamless transition. This visual effect is typically produced with image morphing software.


One of the earliest known morphing effects was used in the 1985 music video for the song “Cry” (shown below, left) by the English rock duo Godley & Creme. The video used an analogue cross-fade technique to produce the effect since morphing computer software was not yet available. The first film to use digital morphing was the 1988 fantasy Willow. In 1991, the sci-fi blockbuster film Terminator 2: Judgement Day used morphing for the shapeshifting villain character of T-1000, and the music video for Michael Jackson’s single “Black or White” included a sequence of people morphing into one another at the end of the song (shown below, right):

Morphing computer software programs like FotoMorph[3], FantaMorph[2], and Gryphon Software Morph[4] became available in the early 1990s.


The domain for the website Morph Thing[1], which allows users to make custom morphed images, was registered on March 17th, 2007. On October 24th, 2008, Funny or Die published a video titled “Morphing McCain: Two of a Kind” with photos of then United States Republican presidential candidates John McCain and Sarah Palin morphing into former President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

On September 7th, 2011, Justin Ribeiro of Stickman Ventures[10] unveiled a WebGL demo for Ginger[11], an interactive facial rig that uses morphing technology to change facial expressions in real time. On June 9th, 2012, a Morph Thing compilation thread appeared on 4chan’s /b/[12] (random) board.

Morphing animated GIFs are occasionally featured on animated image blog Senor GIF[7] under the “mindwarp” tag. Morphing videos can be found on YouTube[6] and on Vimeo under the tag “morphing.”[5] The Facebook[9] interest page for “Morphing” has received 415 likes as of February 6th, 2012.

Micaël Reynaud

French GIF artist Micaël Reynaud[16] often uses morphing techniques in his animations. On September 28th, 2011, the art blog Visual News[14] published an article about morphing animated GIFs that are produced by Reynaud and linked to his Google Plus portfolio[15] showcasing some of his work, including Amalgation.

Notable Examples

Note: Click through for the animated version.

Notable Videos

Search Interest

Search query volume for “morphing” has been in steady decline since 2006.

External References

[1]Morph Thing – What Will My Baby Look Like?

[2]Fanta Morph – Abrosoft FantaMorph

[3]Foto Morph –

[4]Wikipedia – Grphon Software Morph

[5]Vimeo – tag – morphing

[6]YouTube – morphing

[7]Senor GIFmindwarp

[8]Tumblr – #morphing

[9]Facebook – Morphing

[10]StickManVentures – Simple facial rigging utilizing morph targets powered by three.js

[11]StickmanVentures – WebGL Ginger#

[12]4chanarchive (NSFW) – Face Morphing

[13]Funny or Die – Morphing McCain – Two of a Kind

[14]Visual News – Full of Life Animated Morphing GIFs

[15]Google+ – Micaël Reynaud

[16]Dunun – dunun

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