Fun ways to transform your face online

If you're looking to find unique ways to share your photo with friends and family online, look no further than our roundup. We list the right tools to make it happen.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
5 min read

If you have a picture of yourself, why not put it to good use? With the help of some online resources, you can do all kinds of neat things to it. You can even put it on greeting cards, avatars for your Twitter profile, and more.

If you're planning to put your picture to use, do it with these sites.

Say cheese

BeFunky BeFunky is a neat way to create pictures that you typically don't find on the Web.

When you first make your way to the free site, you'll be able to choose the kind of effect it will apply to your picture. I was really impressed by the number of options it offered. Everything from stenciling to creating an Andy Warhol-like picture was included in the options.

BeFunky gives you the option to upload a picture from your computer or take a snapshot from your Webcam. When you're satisfied with the design, you can add artwork behind your image, include some text, and more. My picture took just a few seconds to create. And thanks to some nice share options, syndicating it to sites like Facebook and MySpace was quick and easy. Not bad for a free service.

BeFunky lets you do interesting things to pictures. Screenshot by Caroline McCarthy/CNET

FACEinHOLE If you're the kind of person who goes to an area fair and sticks your head in a picture hole, you'll love FACEinHOLE.

To use FACEinHOLE, you'll need to register for the site. From there, you can pick a "scenario" that ranges from Halloween costumes to movies and television. You can also create your own scenario to put your portrait into.

In essence, FACEinHOLE shows you a picture and lets you modify it to get it to fit perfectly in the face hole. I tried it out on several images. For the most part, the uploading process was quick and easy. But as I started editing the image, I found it difficult to accurately place my face in the hole. It took away from the service. That said, I did like that FACEinHOLE allows you to share your image across the Web. You can even put it on a shirt. It'll run you $19.99 to do that.

FACEinHOLE makes it difficult to place your photo in the right spot. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

JibJab JibJab is one of the most prominent services in this space. And with so many features, it's also one of the best products you'll use.

After you create an account on JibJab, you have the option of putting your face into the several videos and e-cards you can send to friends through the site. A paid account costing $9.99 per year allows you to track video views, schedule an e-mail to be sent at a later time, and more, but I think a free account is sufficient for most users.

Finding free clips to personalize is difficult on JibJab. For the most part, you'll be forced to pay the company's fee just to create a video. But once you do find a free option, you'll find that the picture-uploading process takes just seconds. From there, you'll be presented with several customization features that make it easy to fit your head into the video. After you're done, you can preview the video and send it to recipients. I was really impressed by how well JibJab kept my face in the picture. Check it out.

JibJab lets you easily adjust your head. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

MagMyPic MagMyPic is so simple that it's a must-see for anyone who wants to create something unique.

MagMyPic is a simple site: upload a picture, pick a magazine cover to put the picture in, and you're all set. You can also edit your picture to make it fit properly in the frame. MagMyPic features five pages worth of magazine covers on everything from marriage to sports.

When I uploaded a picture of my puppy to the service, I was surprised by just how quickly I was able to get the desired magazine cover ready. I uploaded the image in seconds, moved it where I wanted it to be, and picked a cover. That's it. From there, I was given the option of saving it to my desktop, sharing it on Twitter or Facebook, and embedding it into a blog. I really liked MagMyPic. Even better, it's free.

That's my dog on the cover of a magazine. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Simpsonize Me Simpsonize Me is a site that any "Simpsons" fan should check out. It takes your portrait and turns into a Simpsons-like character.

Simpsonize Me, which is a free service that's operated by Burger King, takes no time to get your portrait ready to be Simpsonized. In my experience, my photo was ready to go within about 40 seconds. From there, you need to choose your gender, age, dress style, facial hair, and hair style. The tool then pumps out a depiction of your picture based on the information you provided.

I was a little disappointed with my Simpsons' portrait. I'm not convinced that it accurately reflected the picture I uploaded. That said, the post-upload options it featured did help me customize the portrait a bit. Still, it would have been nice if it were a bit more accurate. I should also note that the site is buggy. It took me three tries just to get it to work.

Simpsonize Me
Simpsonize Me turns you into a Simpsons character. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

TalkingPhoto PQDVD's TalkingPhoto is a unique service that's designed to get a chuckle out of someone.

After you upload a photo to TalkingPhoto, you need to arrange the six points on the right spot to ensure the service works as planned. Once complete, you can set the animation in motion. You'll see your portrait with a voice that says over a dozen different things, depending on the script you pick. You can choose between holiday songs, a Mother's Day greeting, and more. Once you're happy with your animation, it's "published." You can then send it to the desired recipients for free.

TalkingPhoto is an interesting service. Getting a photo ready for the animation takes just a few seconds, but once it runs, it tends to be a little off unless you have an image that directly faces the camera. The points also need to be correct. If not, it won't work so well. In my case, my image was just a little too far off for it to work perfectly. It wasn't a major issue, but it did detract somewhat from the service.

After you upload a photo to TalkingPhoto, you need to arrange the six points on the right spot to ensure the service works as planned. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

My top 3

1. JibJab: It's one of the oldest services in this roundup, but it's also the best service in this roundup. Check it out.

2. MagMyPic: MagMyPic is such a unique service, it deserves a top spot.

3. BeFunky: With so many neat ways to transform a picture, BeFunky is worth trying out.