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§ 27.18.5 - Warp Morphing - In Motion

To perform a motion warp morph, Morph requires that you...

  1. Completely specify the single stream of images which are to be contained in that warp morph...
  2. Set up the points for two (or more) key frames, and optionally...
  3. Specify the transparency, and velocity controls. Morph will then able to generate a full-motion morph for you in an automated fashion.

When you begin, there are two options;

  1. Load a project file (Load Project under the File menu), created from a previous session with the motion morph operations, or...
  2. Select the Motion Morph option in the Generate pull down menu to start a new project.

If this is a new project, specify the number of frames in the project (Sequence Controls dialog); then choose the Start Frames using the menu option provided for that purpose (Generate Menu). Next, select the Distortion Morph option from the Settings menu. This tells the program that you will be creating a Warp Motion Morph.

Now, you'll be setting up the images and the Objects for the start frames. You can begin by specifying frame one of the sequence as the current frame. This is done by selecting the Sequence Controls option in the Generate menu, and then changing the current frame value to 1. This will cause Morph to load the first frame in the Start Frames list.

Now, specify the desired Objects and the start and end image (they should be the same picture). You will want to outline the features that you want to warp or twist. This is done for a number of frames in the sequence so that the software knows where the points should be interpolated to. After you have specified the first frame's points, save the point set by selection the Save Object option in the Objects menu. You will be asked to specify a specific directory path and name for the object file. After this is done, enter the Sequence Controls dialog, and select the last frame in the sequence as the current frame. For example, if you specified 30 frames as the start image, then the final frame value would be 30. Morph will now automatically update the start and end image view to reflect the change in frame number. Using the existing Objects, manipulate the points and lines to the new feature positions.


Once you have the Objects set up for the first frame pair, do not add new Objects in later frame pairs if you're going to be using Morph's interfame tweening. Doing so will cause problems when the software attempts to interpolate the Objects to their new positions.

If you have varied numbers of Objects in different frame pairs, then you must also have individual Object sets for every frame pair. Otherwise, the results will be undefined.

After you have adjusted and warped the Objects to your liking, save the Objects using the method above under an easily remembered filename. This process can now be carried out for any or all of the intermediate frames (remember more point sets equates to more control). You must have at least the first and last frame point set saved before you can generate the morph.

Now that you have the Object sets for the frames, you need to tell Morph how to use the Objects. This is done by selecting the Generate menu's Specify Motion Point Files option. This will present you with a dialog that is similar to the start image dialog. The only difference is that you will be specifying Object files instead of images, and you have the option to tween or skip a frame.

On the right hand side of the dialog you will see a text line that reads: At 1 have 0 need 30. This status line tells you the current position of the frame value, how frames you have specified, and how many frames need to be specified. In the example above the highlight bar is at the frame one position, no Object files have been specified, and there are a total of 30 frames to specify. You should also notice that there are buttons to specify a new entry, remove an entry, skip a frame value or tween a frame value.

In this case, you would notice that there only a total of four Object files, and all other frames are a tween or skip frame. If a frame contains an Object file, then that frame will use the specified points. If a frame contains a tween listing, then the software will tween the last set of Objects to a new position based on the next set of Objects and how many frames are between them. For example, in the bounce project the first frame is specified by an Object file, and then frame 2, 3, and 4 are tweened to frame five which uses a different Object file.

This sequence of instructions tells Morph to use the first set of Objects for frame one, and then interpolate for frames 2,3, and 4 from the original position in frame on to the new Objects position in frame 5. In this manner you can get a wide range of motion with a few sets of Objects.

A Skip frame tells the software to use the last set of Objects regardless of their status. This means that a Skip frame will use the last frames Object information regardless if it is an Object file or a tween frame. This can be used to create a slight pause in animation, or at the end of an animation to add an extra frame that uses the previous points (like the bounce project example). After you have completed this task, select OK, and save the project from the File menu.

§ - How motion morphs work:

Motion morphs are controlled by a special project file. This file contains the names of all the images that are involved in the morph; as well as the names of any sets of points or lines that are defined (by you) for any of the frames.

The minimum information in one of these files would be the names of all the frames, and the point file names for the starting and ending frames. Using this information, Morph can determine the likely positions for all frames for which you did not specify the control points in an exact manner. Note that the guesses which Morph makes for this are based upon the assumption that the motion is linear — that is, the Objects are moving in straight lines between the two nearest specified frames. You always need to determine if this is so; after a few tries, you should be able to tell quite easily if it is, or not.

One thing to be aware of is you need to be careful about changing any point file that is involved in a motion morph outside of the motion control panel; that can get things quite out of sync, and cause you problems later. This includes adding new Objects to a single Object set. If you are going to add a new control Object, it will have to be added to every point set that is specified.

§ - Motion Controls - Details

In order to work with a motion morph, you must switch on the Motion Morph option in the Generate menu. Until you do, the program will treat the morph like any other warp or transition morph.

Once that's turned on, the first thing to do is to tell Morph how many frames you are going to be working with by entering a value in the "frames" text entry field in the Sequence Controls dialog.

Then, select the set of "motion start" frames, and the set of "motion end" frames. This is done by using the Motion Start and Motion End Frames options in the Generate menu. Now, you'll need to begin working with the start of frame. So, open the Sequence Controls, and set the current frame value to 1. This will automatically set you to frame 1 and load the starting images.

Exit the sequence controls panel, and set up the control information (points and lines) just as you would for a non-moving warp morph. Then, when the first frame has been prepared, save the point set with a distinct name that describes the project and the frame number.

Now, enter the sequence controls dialog, and set the current frame value to the last frame in the sequence. This will automatically set you to the last frame in your sequence, and it will leave up the points for frame 1. Using the existing points, manipulate their position to the new locations and save the point set as described above.

You will now need to enter the Specify Motion Object Files option in the Generate menu. This dialog allows you to specify how each frame of the Motion Morph will receive its point information. In this case you would specify the first frame's object file in position one, a tween frame for all other frames, and the end frame object file for the last frame in the motion morph. After you have completed this, you can select the Sequence Generate option from the Generate menu. This is what you have to do for the most basic type of motion morph. All the intermediate frames will have sets of Objects that are created from the two sets you have currently defined. The process of creating the intermediate Objects is called tweening.

If the motion morph is not controlled accurately enough, then you'll want to go into a frame near the middle of your series and specifically place the points for that frame as well. Morph can now tween the frames from the start to the middle and then the middle to the end, which will be considerably more accurate.

Continue this process until the resulting morph is controlled well enough to suit you. You can have motion morphs with anything from just the start and end frames defined, to every frame defined — it's up to you.

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