Morpheus Photo Morpher - Frequently Asked Questions
Features and Options
Placing Orders, Trial and Activating
1. What is Morpheus Photo Morpher?
Morpheus Photo Morpher is an award-winning graphics program that lets you create animations of photos or movies morphing from one to another. Morpheus Photo Morpher lets you create morphs in Flash SWF, Animated GIF, AVI, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, and other popular formats. It is easy, fast, and fun to use for both beginning and advanced users. There is a beginner mode and tutorial to help you get started quickly. Sample morphs come included as well, which can be used as another way to quickly learn the program.
2. How do I get started using Morpheus Photo Morpher?
You can view the tutorial first (recommended) or just start using the program and play around with the sample morphs. Morpheus Photo Morpher has a very intuitive interface which is fairly easy to learn. Make sure you leave the beginner mode menus option on while learning how to use Morpheus Photo Morpher.
For more detailed information on the program's features, please see the help files. If you have trouble using the program after reviewing the tutorial and the help files, feel free to visit our support forums and we'll do our best to help you understand the program better.
3. What are beginner mode menus?
By default, Morpheus Photo Morpher will use beginner mode menus, which will hide all but the bare essential menu choices needed to create a simple morph. For most users, we suggest starting out by leaving the program in beginner mode and moving up to normal mode once you are comfortable with the program. For power-users and/or image professionals, you might want to use normal mode right away.
You can easily use the normal mode menus by unchecking the beginner mode menus checkbox from the layout wizard which appears when you first start Morpheus Photo Morpher. You can also set this option in the program's preferences window, available under the Edit menu. Normal mode will show all available menu options needed in order to use more of the program's features and to create more complex morphs.
4. Why are some of my dots the same color?
In the normal mode of Morpheus Photo Morpher, you can change the color, style, and size of the dots under by selecting Customize Dot's Default from the Morph menu.
There are a number of different schemes to choose from, which provide a variety of colors, let you pick a solid color for all of the dots, or even inverse the picture underneath the dots. The color, style, and size of the dots are up to you, but they will be easier to see if you pick a color scheme where the dots have more contrast to the pictures you are working with.
In beginner mode, you are fixed with the default color scheme, which cycles 8 basic colors across the dots. Note that the 9th dot you add will therefore be the same color as the 1st, the 10th the same as the 2nd, and so on. To tell the dots apart and to correctly locate their partner dot, simply move your mouse over one to highlight it. Its partner dot will then glow as well.
5. What is the best way to view my morph when I am finished?
When you have finished creating your morph you can view it for yourself right inside the program in the preview window. Simply press the play button to watch your animation.
In order to use your morph in other programs, put it on a website, or email it to a friend, you must first render it to a file. Rendering your morph creates a standard file type which can be displayed in other programs, but it cannot be edited in Morpheus Photo Morpher in the future. Select the Render Timeline option from the File menu and you will be able to render your morph to a variety of movie formats such as AVI, Flash SWF, or Animated GIF, or a series of still images.
There is also an easy to use wizard which can assist you in emailing your morph to a friend. Select "Email your morph to a friend" from the Share menu and you will be guided through a few quick steps.
6. What formats can I render my morphs in? Which is the best?
Movie Files: These formats save the entire morph as a single animated file.
Picture Sequences: These formats save each frame of the morph as an individual file.
Which file type is the best depends on what you want to do with your morph. If you are unsure, you can try each of the formats and see how they work with the other programs you might want to use your morphs with. While Morpheus Photo Morpher can create any of these standard file types, not all third party applications will be able to display files in every one of the available formats.
7. What do I do with my completed morphs?
Use your morphs to grab people's attention or to have a good time - create web graphics and enhance your web site, email morphs to friends and family to make them laugh, create a unique online greeting, post your morphs on the Internet, add more life to your presentations, or use your morphs in countless other great ways!
If your morph is unique and exciting, and you want to share it with other Morpheus Photo Morpher users, you might consider submitting it to us for display.
8. How can I email my morph to a friend?
You can email your animations using the built-in email feature by selecting "Email your morph to a friend" from the Share menu in the program. The Send Morph Wizard will appear, allowing you to fill in your From address and any number of To addresses of your friends. Once both boxes are filled in with valid email addresses, you can press the Next button to proceed to the next page where you will select the type of file to send in the email. After you select the file type and press Next, your animation will be rendered in order to prepare it for emailing. On the last page of the wizard, simply press the Send button and your email will start sending. Please be patient as it sends as large animations may take longer to send.
You can also render the timeline to a file of any type, and remember the location where you created the file. Attach that file to an email in your regular email program just like you would any other file you wanted to send. It is recommended that you render a file type which will be small in size so the emails can be sent quickly, such as JPEG or an AVI compressed with an MPEG-4 codec such as DivX or XviD.
9. I have another question not asked here. How can I contact Morpheus Software?
Please run through the tutorial, read through the help files, and play around with the variety of sample morphs that come included with Morpheus Photo Morpher. After trying those options, if you are still unable to resolve your issue, please visit our support forums and we will do our best to assist you in making your experience with Morpheus Photo Morpher a great one.
Be sure to let us know how we can further improve Morpheus Photo Morpher for you also - Thank You!
10. How do I turn one person into another?
Creating an animation of one person transitioning into another is called a morph, and morphing is exactly what Morpheus Photo Morpher is designed to do. Please see the tutorial for step-by-step directions on creating a morph.
11. How do I distort a picture of somebody?
Creating an animation which distorts a picture of a person is called a warp, but this is not the focus of Morpheus Photo Morpher. In order to create warps, you would need the functionality of Morpheus Photo Warper or Morpheus Photo Animation Suite.
12. How do I put somebody's head on somebody else's body?
Creating a picture which uses features from two different pictures mixed together is called a photo mix, but this is not the focus of Morpheus Photo Morpher. In order to create photo mixes, you would need the functionality of Morpheus Photo Mixer or Morpheus Photo Animation Suite.
13. Can I morph more than two pictures?
Yes, you can easily morph more than two pictures. The layout wizard which appears when you start Morpheus Photo Morpher can guide you through loading as many pictures as you want and have them morph from one to another in the order you choose.
To later add additional pictures to an existing morph, simply select "Add morph" in the Timeline window, and an extra morph will be added. Doubleclick on the morph buttons in the Timeline window to open any two picture windows side by side. You can then easily use the "Load Picture" button to load a new picture or change the existing picture for any picture window.
14. Why do my pictures look squished in the Preview window?
Morpheus Photo Morpher automatically sizes your timeline based on the sizes of the pictures you load. It is not a problem to load pictures with different dimensions, but if you load two pictures with different aspect ratios, or manually set a different size for your timeline, then some pictures may look squished in the Preview window. Morpheus Photo Morpher will stretch all pictures to fill the timeline size and since it does not cut off any of the edges of the pictures, some may appear squished vertically or horizontally in order to fit.
It is recommended to use pictures of similar aspect ratios by cropping them to the portions you want. You can use the Picture Layout option to change how the picture appears in the morph area. This will allow you to adjust the aspect ratio and stretching of the pictures as well as effectively crop parts of the pictures to be unused.
15. What are the best size pictures to use?
It is recommended to use pictures of the largest dimensions you can, since you can easily zoom in and out to place dots at precise locations better when there are more details with which to zoom. Keep in mind the aspect ratio of your pictures though. If, for example, one picture is 1000x1000 pixels, but another is 1000x800 pixels, then the second picture may look stretched in order to match the aspect ratio used by the entire timeline. Larger picture dimensions also allow for more clarity when parts of your morph are stretched larger.
16. Can I add dots to just one picture individually?
Every dot you add to one picture will automatically get a corresponding partner dot on the opposite picture. Dots only come in pairs, because the purpose of a dot is to match up key features in each picture to tell Morpheus Photo Morpher how the starting picture will morph into the ending picture.
17. I closed the picture windows. How do I get them back?
In the Timeline window, simply doubleclick on any of the picture thumbnail buttons to open that picture window so that you can adjust the dots on it. The morph buttons just above the picture buttons will open both pictures for that morph side by side when doubleclicked.
If you do not see the Timeline window, it may be hidden. Select Timeline from the View menu to toggle showing and hiding the Timeline window.
18. What is the difference between a morph, a warp, and a photo mix?
A morph is an animation of one person transitioning into another. A warp is an animation where one picture is stretched or distorted. A photo mix is a still picture which is created using parts taken from two other pictures.
Morpheus Photo Morpher is used to create morphs. In order to create warps, you would need the functionality of Morpheus Photo Warper or Morpheus Photo Animation Suite. In order to create photo mixes, you would need the functionality of Morpheus Photo Mixer or Morpheus Photo Animation Suite.
19. How can I use my rendered animated GIF files in PowerPoint?
You can insert your animated GIF files into PowerPoint by selecting Insert / Picture / From File from the menu in PowerPoint, just like you would place any other picture file in your slideshow. Currently, no version of PowerPoint properly plays all animated GIFs like your web browser does. This is not a defect of Morpheus Photo Morpher or the animated GIFs it creates, but simply that PowerPoint does not properly obey the looping information stored in any GIF file. What's worse is that PowerPoint from each version of Microsoft Office behaves differently:
If you would like your animated GIF files to play once and stop at the end, the safest way seems to be to set them to be played twice in Morpheus Photo Morpher and make sure that you view the slideshow in PowerPoint using Office XP or higher. However, it is possible that the next version of Office, after Office 2003, will start playing these files correctly, and the same slideshow would thus repeat the animation twice in the future.
Another thing you may want to do in PowerPoint is have your animation showing the first picture, and have a click begin the animation. This can most easily be accomplished by creating two similar slides, where the first slide actually uses a still picture, and the next slide has the animated GIF in the same location. If all other text in the two slides is the same, the click between the two slides will give the appearance of starting the animation.
20. What is a codec and which one should I use?
A codec is a "Compressor / Decompressor" and it is what is used to compress AVI files in order to make them smaller. Nearly all AVI files are compressed with some codec, but they do not always use the same codec. In order to play back an AVI, you must have the codec installed which was used to compress it, or you will be unable to decompress it for viewing.
Morpheus Photo Morpher allows you to compress AVI files with any codec installed on your system, as well as set the various configuration parameters these codecs use. Some codecs are much better than others and the better ones can not only result in higher quality videos, but smaller files as well. The latest generation of MPEG-4 codecs such as DivX and XviD are recommended because they have one of the best combinations of small file size and high quality video. You can use any codec you like, but keep in mind that anybody who needs to view the AVI you create would need to have that same codec installed, and not many high quality codecs come pre-installed with Windows.
21. How can I make my animation wait at the beginning or the ending longer?
Each morph in your timeline can be set to hold for any duration for the starting and ending pictures. Simply select Morph Options from the Morph menu and enter any number of seconds in either "Time to hold for at start" or "Time to hold for at end". You can also set your animation to stay on the last picture forever by setting the "Loop morph" setting in the Timeline Options to "Stop after the first time."
22. How can I make my animation play only once instead of repeating forever?
In the Timeline Options window, you can set the "Loop morph" to "Stop after the first time" instead of the default of "Loop forever." This will work for Flash SWF as well as animated GIF files. If you render your morph to an AVI file, this option has no effect because the AVI file format does not have any way to specify the number of times the file should loop. It is up to the program you are viewing the AVI in, such as Windows Media Player, to loop the movie or not.
In newer versions of Windows Media Player such as 9 or 10, you can simply select Repeat from the Play menu to toggle on and off looping the movie file or playing it only once. In Windows Media Player 6.4 there are playback options under View / Options where you can adjust the number of times a movie file should loop.
23. Why does my AVI file go back to the starting picture after the animation plays?
An AVI file has no way to specify what should happen when the movie is finished inside the file itself, so it is up to the program you are viewing the AVI with whether or not it should rewind the movie when it is finished playing. In new versions of Windows Media Player such as 9 or 10, there is no way to change the default behavior. If the Repeat option is off, Windows Media Player will play the movie through once, then automatically rewind it back to the first frame and stop. In Windows Media Player 6.4, you can adjust the rewind option by selecting Options from the View menu and checking the "Rewind when done playing" option.
24. How can I keep transparency in my rendered files?
Morpheus Photo Morpher by default only renders 24bit truecolor images for each frame, but if you check the "Morph the alpha channel" option in the Timeline Options window, then a 32bit image with alpha channel will be rendered for each frame. If you wish to keep the entire alpha channel information in tact, you should set the "Transparent threshold" to 0.
The best format for keeping the entire alpha channel in is to render to Flash SWF, which can be set in a web page and blend properly using the alpha channel. For animated GIF files, it is recommended to set "Transparent threshold" to 128 so that any pixel which is less than 50% transparent will become the single transparent color index in the GIF file. If rendering to a series of still images, PNG is the best format for keeping the alpha channel in tact, and with the proper web page, it can be shown in all major web browsers and blended properly with the background.
Uncompressed AVI files will store the alpha channel information in the file, and some codecs for compressed AVIs may as well, but most AVI viewers will not use this information. If you are using a movie editing program and importing the AVIs for further processing, the alpha channel information may be useful depending on which movie editing program you are using.
25. What happened to the dot delay option?
Morpheus v1.85 featured a dot delay option which controlled the time a dot would start and stop moving and fading, where the dot would stand still entirely faded towards one picture before and after the set times. In Morpheus Photo Morpher v3.00, this is replaced by a much more powerful combination of key frames and fade graphs. Dot delay saved in layout files from Morpheus v1.85 will be imported and converted to the new features automatically.
To define a time period where dots don't move, you simply need to add one key frame to the timeline. Then copy and paste the dot locations from the picture window to the key frame window, so each dot is in the same location. The fade graphs can then adjust the dots on each key frame to fade between the pictures with any given amount, not just 0% or 100%.
26. Is Morpheus Photo Morpher compatible with Windows 7 or Windows Vista?
Yes, Morpheus Photo Morpher runs just fine under either Windows 7 or Windows Vista.
27. What do I get when I order Morpheus Photo Morpher?
When you order Morpheus Photo Morpher on our website, you will receive an email which is sent instantly and automatically. This email contains important information about your order such as a link to download the software and your activation code which is required to unlock the program. If you order the CD backup option during the checkout process, you will receive the software burned onto a single CD in a plastic sleeve. CDs are typically sent the next business day and may take 7-10 days to arrive. Note that you will not receive a boxed software product, all box graphics on our website are for illustrative purposes only.
28. I just placed an order and have not received a receipt email. Where is it?
Order receipt emails are sent automatically the instant you complete your order online. If you have not received it after ten minutes or so, please check your bulk or junk folders as some email providers and email software can be overzealous with their filtering. You can have a duplicate order email sent to the original email address you used when purchasing by using our locate order tool. If you do not receive any of our emails, it is possible that you or your ISP are simply blocking them.
If you use a type of spam filter which requires the sender to verify emails by clicking on a click, please note that since order receipt emails are sent automatically by a computer, there is nobody there to fulfill these requests. You will need to manually add morpheussoftware.net to your list of allowed email senders and request a new email using the locate order tool.
29. I purchased Morpheus Photo Morpher in the past, how can I get it back now?
If you purchased a program from us on our website, you can use the locate order tool to retrieve a duplicate copy of your original order receipt email. Unfortunately, if you purchased from a reseller, even online, we may not have your records in our database, and you would need to contact that reseller directly. Please note that past versions of Morpheus Photo Morpher may not always be available for download in the future and newer versions will not always accept past activation codes for a free upgrade. It is your responsibility to save a copy of the appropriate download or obtain a CD of the original installer.
30. How can I get an educational or quantity discount when ordering?
Volume and educational discounts are applied automatically when you enter a large quantity on the order system. Simply add the item to your cart, then on the next page adjust the quantity and press Update Total. Discounts will be applied automatically. For even larger orders, you may direct your inquiry to our sales department.
31. How can I get assistance placing a purchase order for Morpheus Photo Morpher?
Purchase orders can be placed on our order system by selecting the Purchase Order option on the product list page. Simply fill out the order form and you will receive an invoice by email with directions on where to mail your payment. Once the payment is received, an order receipt email will be sent containing the details of your completed order. For special information such as our tax ID, you may contact our sales department with your request.
32. It asks me to purchase but I already have. What do I do now?
The download for Morpheus Photo Morpher is the same installer regardless of if you are using the free trial or have recently purchased. If you do not enter your activation code, the program will continue to function as a trial. Select Activate Morpheus from the Help menu and enter the activation code you received in your order receipt email. You will need to be online in order to activate, but Morpheus Photo Morpher will not otherwise need Internet access again.
33. I purchased an upgrade but it still looks like the old one. Where is my new download?
The download and installer for Morpheus Photo Morpher is the same, regardless of the edition you purchase, such as Standard or Professional. If you simply downloaded the same installer and reinstalled the program, it will not prompt you for a new activation code because it was already activated as your old edition. Check Help/About Morpheus to see the current program name, version, and edition information. If you have a new activation code, all you need to do is enter it at Help/Activate Morpheus and the additional features will be unlocked.
34. When I try to activate it says I need to be online, but I am. What do I do?
This is typically caused by firewall, proxy, antivirus, or system security software which blocks Internet access on a program-by-program basis. Even if your web browser is able to visit our website, your computer may still be blocking Morpheus Photo Morpher from reaching the very same site. Some of these firewall programs which block access may continue to do so even when they look like they are no longer running, so you may have to specifically allow Morpheus Photo Morpher from inside of the firewall program in order to activate. Morpheus Photo Morpher will need to make a single normal web request on port 80 in order to complete the activation.
35. The trial let me use a certain feature which is no longer available. Why?
The trial version of Morpheus Photo Morpher lets you try all of the features found in the Standard, Professional, and Industrial editions of the program. Toolbar buttons and menu items from higher editions may remain after you enter your activation code but they will not be accessible unless you were to upgrade. You can hide all of these features which are not available by selecting Preferences from the Edit menu and checking the "Hide upgradable menu options" box.
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