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The clever part of the program is the face morphing section. The facial key points that were detected or manually selected earlier are used to alter or create facial expressions, by morphing areas of the face. There are about 90 muscles in the human face, at least 30 of which are used to create our facial expressions, so naturally just moving 12 points around doesn’t produce particularly realistic results. There is a library of pre-set expressions, divided into “Attractive” and “Fun”, although to be honest some of the supposedly attractive ones were pretty hilarious, especially the “Sexy” ones. There is an option to view these presets as preview thumbnails of your original image, but on a 17-in monitor I found them too small to be useful. Trying the option to print out a preview comparison sheet caused the program to crash.
There is also the option to manually move facial features around to create your own expressions, and to be fair it does present a large list of adjustable parameters, allowing you to fine-tune the facial expressions of your portrait subjects. The trouble is it will only really work if your subject has a very neutral expression to start with, and anything other than the most subtle changes end up looking like caricatures. Our visual cortex is very good at face recognition, and anything that strays too far from the normal range of facial proportions quickly looks bizarre and unnatural.
The final section of the program allows you to print or export your edited image, and is totally straightforward as you might expect. As far as it goes, FaceFilter Studio 2.0 is a lot of fun, and does offer some basic and very easy-to-use editing for portrait photos. The effects can look a bit crude and are awful if overdone, but applied with restraint it is possible to get some decent results out of it with the right type of picture.
Reallusion FaceFilter Studio 2.0 is a lot of fun and very easy to use, although it is very limited. If you want a serious image editing program, you can get the superb Ulead PhotoImpact 12 for about the same price, or Corel Paint Shop Pro 11 for not much more, but if you just want a quick way to tweak your portrait snaps, then this is just the ticket.
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