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The operation of the program is divided into six easy-to-follow steps. First, you select a picture that you want to change. Due to the nature of the program it only really works on facial portraits, preferably close-cropped ones in which the subject is looking straight at the camera. It also helps if your subject doesn’t have a strong facial expression. In this section there is a red-eye removal tool which works reasonably well, but to be honest it’s no better than the system now built into many digital cameras. There are also both automatic and manual colour balance corrections at this stage.
You can select the face area of the image manually, or have the program attempt to do it automatically. It does this by looking for the familiar pattern of features that make up a human face, and it works about as well and as reliably as the face detection systems found in many recent digital cameras, in other words don’t bother trying if your subject is wearing sunglasses, or is turned at and angle to the camera, or has part of their face covered.
The program attempts to detect the edges of the face area, and places twelve anchor points on the image, which can be manually moved into position to mark the edges of the eyes, eyebrows and mouth. These are the points that will be moved to create the expression morphs.
The next step is “Skin enhancement”, which is unfortunately the weakest part of the program. It consists only of a crude MSPaint-like colour brush and a blur tool, and has a very limited range of skin tones. Anyone with darker skin than a lightly tanned European will be very disappointed. I tried it with a portrait of a black model, and it made her skin look a very unflattering shade of dark orange. There is a section labelled “Filter skin”, but this is also fairly unsophisticated. It has options to smooth away wrinkles and other blemishes using a masked blurring technique, as well as contrast reduction to get rid of any shiny patches. Again the presets for the skin tone adjustment are limited to Caucasian skin colours only, which seems like a bit of an oversight to say the least. There is no clone brush to remove skin blemishes or wrinkles, and the option to re-colour eyes is very crude, simply superimposing a coloured circle over the pupil, which most of the time will also overlap the upper eyelid, with no way to edit it.
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