Tech & Work

Popims Animator: The Right Tool for the Job?

SmartMorph, a freeware morphing program by Meesoft, has been wildly upgraded and had even garnered a shiny new name. Kirk Starr takes a hard look at this piece of freeware and compares it to the version from which it supposedly evolved.

The Job

Let's say you have this great idea for a video you're making: morph pictures of a loved one to show them, say, growing older. If your budget is non-existent, you can find several free programs out there to help you accomplish your goals.

The Tool

One of the newer additions out there is Popims Animator which, among other claims to fame, happens to be the next generation of SmartMorph. But is it really better than the program it "evolved" from? As a professional graphic designer and illustrator, I was drawn to find out.

The strengths of Popims Animator include:

  • It's FREE!
  • Install is quick and only 9MB
  • Uses SmartMorph's morphing engine
  • Offers over a dozen different .avi codecs
  • Does more than morphing

And here are its weaknesses:

  • Forces use of Internet Explorer
  • Defaults to a screen with no toolbar
  • Companion pane dominates screen unless minimized
  • Automatic alignment tool is far more trouble than it's worth
  • Undo is perpetually grayed-out
  • Extensive list of bugs
  • Features from SmartMorph either removed or buried

Popims Animator

The Right Tool for the Job?

I began by testing the original SmartMorph, then stepped up to Popims Animator, but in the end I concluded that move was actually a step down. Popims Animator doesn't morph images as well as other freeware morphing programs available, including the very software that it incorporated. It is not the Right Tool for the Job.

Read my comprehensive screenshot review of Popims Animator.

8 comments
john.m.davis
john.m.davis

My thanks to the original author for the brief review. It was helpful. The discussion afterward descended rapidly into pettiness and ignorance, which was a bit of a buzz-kill.

jackie40d
jackie40d

Some one has got to be kidding me right ? Any program which depends on IE will never make it on this computer . . But thats ok there are the die hard WindBlows people whom think its great . . You can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink . .

Zwart-Wit
Zwart-Wit

Is it really so hard to accept that most of the people are using IE? So in your opinion software developers should make software capable of running multi platform, causing them a lot more testing, changing etc, ic more money. Besides, if a programm crashes on a, as you call, a Winblows system, the reason will be obvious, if it blows on a Linux system, people will need an Linux Guru to find out the reason and an Linux expert to solve it. Nice to see that people would take any reason to start bashing. Never heard about a Winblows user about the fact that certain opensource software won't run on such a system.

kirkstarr
kirkstarr

Yup. When I realized there was no way to really use the software without IE, I knew things weren't going to get any better. Started off on the wrong foot and just got worse. Steer clear of this one.

seanferd
seanferd

It could run on Windows without needing IE? Develop apps for the OS and not the browser?

brian.ross
brian.ross

"Is it really so hard to accept that most of the people are using IE?" Of course it shouldn't but is it hard for people to accept that many people don't and have no desire to when there are superior browsers around? "So in your opinion software developers should make software capable of running multi platform, causing them a lot more testing, changing etc, ic more money." I fail to see how allowing the use of an alternative browser would make it more expensive for the developers. Afterall, both are _supposed_ to interpret the various markup languages the same way (pity IE usually doesn't BTW). "Besides, if a programm crashes on a, as you call, a Winblows system, the reason will be obvious, if it blows on a Linux system, people will need an Linux Guru to find out the reason and an Linux expert to solve it." I'm sorry, "the reason will be obvious"? It maybe to you, as a professional but I make my living helping people who apparently can't find the obvious faults with their Windoze systems. I also find your comment about needing a Linux "Guru" somewhat amusing. It seems to me that you believe that the Micro$oft domination of the marketplace means that even a user who is familar with Linux is something super-special. If you are using Linux, I'd expect you to have sufficient of an understanding of your computer's OS, as I would with Windoze users, to be able to fix most common problems yourself. Yes, I know its both a vain hope and contradicts what I said about how I make my living. However there is nothing mysterious about Linux. Indeed, after 20+ years in IT, I've come to the conclusion that it doesn't matter what the OS is, its the users that are the greatest cause for concern. "Nice to see that people would take any reason to start bashing." Oh, sorry, I was under the impression that was what you were doing. "Never heard about a Winblows user about the fact that certain opensource software won't run on such a system." Perhaps if the creators of Windoze actually adhered to opensource standards, then it might be possible to ensure that opensource software worked...

edsparrow
edsparrow

What freeware morphing programs would you recommend please?

seanferd
seanferd

Is HSC Digital Morph still around? AbroSoft FantaMorph, it lets you make movies or screensavers out of your morphs. Get the older SmartMorph version. I can make no particular recommendation. Searh the 'net, maybe start with c|net.

Editor's Picks