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.
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.
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
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.