Morphing Objects in Photoshop 5
by Richard Lynch

Morphing is creating a hybrid image from two original source images. The final image is a cross or compromise between the two originals in shape and structure. For example, when morphing a cat with a tiger, the end result will not look quite like either, but will mix the traits of both.

Though there are software packages that will create morphs, it is possible to use the power of Photoshop to create more unique and controlled morphs. Every situation where you will be creating a morph or hybrid of two images is different, however, the goal of this exercise is to show how to use a procedure in developing morphed images. In creating any morph, there are innumerable variables. The example shows a variety of the types of problems you may encounter, but is not exhaustive of the variables.

As the viewer may not have the benefit of the original images, the effect of the morph depends on it depicting both objects with relative clarity. For this example, a light meter (fig1) and a computer mouse (fig2) were chosen for their relative similarity, and to create a type of metaphor for 'computer photography'. Completing the alteration will require morphing, detailing and compositing of images. The goal of the exercise is to create an intermediate stage between These images were scanned from objects at 100% of their original size.


Figure 1                                    Figure 2

Keeping basic elements of the mouse, such as the general shape and button, will make that suggestion apparent. The light meterŐs face and dial are the prominent features, and these will help anchor its identity. Of course, some trade-offs will have to occur as the distortion of the objects progresses, but keeping the major elements intact can help define the objects. The rest of the image, including background and other elements, should help clarify the final intent of the morph.

The Basic Steps:

1. Select two images to morph.

2. Isolate the image elements.

3. Create a new document.

4. Place the image elements in the new document.

5. Make a visual comparison between elements using opacity

6. Make rough general adjustments.

7. Fine-tune the fit of image elements.

8. Fix, replace or add image detail.

9. Add light and shadow effects.

10. Flatten the image.

11. Save.

Part 1 Part 2