Photo Editing & Graphic Design forum


Facial warping software

by hunterhound / September 24, 2013 3:38 AM PDT

New to this forum, thought what better place to ask a question about editing a photo than on a photo forum. Here is the project I am working on and hopefully someone will have a suggestion as to the best method to get my results.

I want to take a plain, front facing photo of a person. Depending upon what facial shape this person has, (there are many, such as round, oval, square, oblong, diamond, etc) I would like to have control points such as jaw line, cheek to cheek, forehead, hairline to chin, and then be able to stretch/shrink/warp in these dimensions to make this person now have a different facial shape. By this I mean take someone with a round facial shape and then make the photo appear as if they have a square or oblong face shape. I don't want to introduce tons of artifact and warping to the point that the photo looks more like a gimmick or gag photo and not like a real person. It needs to look as if this person really exists. If I do this with pictures of people that you are not familiar with and show you one of the facial warps to another shape, you should not be able to tell, reasonably, that this is not a real person. I would like to do this with about four or five different people, converting them to four or five of the different face types.

I am doing this a project with my kids to determine if a particular facial shape lends itself to being a more honest face, prettier face, dependable, etc. Basically a first impression look at someone and then decide if they look more trustworthy as a square face or more pretty with an oval face. I have tried quite a few different software packages and none gives the amount of control I need to completely change all of the dimensions. One issue as example is a oval face. An oval face needs to be 1.5 times as long from hairline to chin as it is wide. If I have someone with a round face or square face, I have not been able to find a program that will allow me this much freedom.

I have tried several Ipad apps, but they seem more like fun apps for the kids and really make the photos look like silly putty, no real structure to the warping. I have tried Portrait Professional, it is has given me my best attempts, but I can only create maybe one or two different facial shapes from any one picture, once again not a big enough range of control. I do like the way it allows me to draw in the face contour, nose, etc and then use those points of control to warp. I just dont have enough freedom to make a variety of faces. I have tried morphing software like Winmorph and Fantamorph but they didn't really seem to allow me to work with just one picture and warp it in different dimensions. The best result I have had comes from using FaceGen 3d modeller. I was able to have the largest range of change on a picture but it has serious drawbacks. As cool as it is to convert a picture to a 3d rotating person, it strips it of the picture properties such as skin tone, hair etc and leaves you with a bald 3d cartoon like creation. It looks really good but I really need it to look like a person in a picture.

Forgive me for being new and posting such a long question! Any help, suggestions or advice appreciated.


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All Answers

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Such studies have been done for decades.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 24, 2013 3:43 AM PDT

I'm going to guess that Photoshop, the cost, and the time you would invest is too high for your project. But the study on such has been done many times and those that repeat it, repeat the results.

If this is a class assignment, ask the teacher for ideas on the tools.

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Science Project
by hunterhound / September 24, 2013 3:57 AM PDT

I thought Photoshop may have had the flexibility I needed but you are correct, way too expensive for a science project and I would not use the software otherwise. I am aware others have done this research before, but as a science project, one actually has to do the work themselves and not just report on what others results were. We don't need perfection, but we do need to create four or five face types from one person and have them look like they are not fun pics done with the ipad morph camera. I may be able to get enough by using a few different apps but felt like there had to be something out there that could do it all. The free stuff out there is amazing but just doesn't have the flexibility I need.

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A science project would never dismiss prior research.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 24, 2013 3:59 AM PDT
In reply to: Science Project

Wouldn't that be bad science?

Let's get down to it. I get the feeling you want EASY software that does "THIS" and it must be free or cheap.

What that means is you'll have to work much harder as you use the usual paint programs.

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Not very helpful
by hunterhound / September 24, 2013 4:16 AM PDT


You really come of like a jerk here. I just wanted some advice on some software, stated the exact reasons I needed it. Never did I say free, but I did say a project with the kids so that probably implies I don't want to spend $200 on software I won't use again. I am in the medical field, I deal with science everyday. Over 99% of all children's science projects have already been done before. They still have to perform the process and go through the motions. They are 5th graders, they are not searching for the next cure to diabetes or a new car that gets 90 miles to the gallon. Really, I just wanted some advice from a place where I thought people would actually have more knowledge than myself and you want to rip me for being cheap, when in fact the message never said such. Perhaps this forum is not what I thought it would be??

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It's much higher cost than this.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 24, 2013 4:28 AM PDT
In reply to: Not very helpful

Custom software is very expensive to produce and once in a while you find folk upset at the costs. And here I'm discussing with you the realities of software as well as where a science project where we repeat a prior work.

I can only apologize and hope you find what you want somewhere.

I think you can get this done with more time with the usual paint programs.

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If you drop out the color skin requirement.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 24, 2013 4:46 AM PDT
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by hunterhound / September 24, 2013 5:03 AM PDT

I have looked at some of the software that converts pictures to sketch like images. I guess if I could find one that looked more like a true sketch rather than pieces put together that may work. It wouldn't need to be off the charts fantastic quality, the stuff I get on my phone or camera software looks pretty good when it converts a picture to a sketch. I just haven't found any that allows me to manipulate the converted image yet.

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And now for the big guns.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 24, 2013 6:24 AM PDT
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