how about a font based on your actual handwriting

for $10, YourFonts.com will convert your handwriting into a working font. you download their free template, print it out, fill it out in your handwriting, scan it and send it back, then they rasterize / vectorize it. from the looks of the template, it would work better with printing than cursive writing.

this looked pretty cool to do for your own handwriting, but after i thought about it for a minute, i had a more interesting idea: doing your childrens' handwriting, while it's still cute kids' scrawl. if you can get them to follow the template. do it again in a few years (provided they're still in business...), and you could get a snapshot of how their handwriting evolves over time.

this got me thinking about typing something with those fonts in a graphic editing app, and running the pictures through morphing software. if i was going to do that right this minute, i'd use FotoMorph's freeware app. might be interesting...

at the risk of running off in a completely different direction, that reminds me of this time-lapse age progression clip i recently made with FotoMorph. it's my nephew Ethan, and i made it from two remarkably similar pictures i snapped almost exactly 5 years apart. i'm looking forward to getting a shot of him like this every year or so now, and seeing how dramatic the morph gets.

i've played with FotoMorph on some other things, including morphing face shots together.  in some ways i find it more interesting to see the rendered image Y that's halfway down the road from X and Z than it is to see the morph in motion.  i've also tried using screen captures cropped from video, separated by maybe a second, to attempt rendering super-slow-motion video.  (if the two frames aren't too terribly different, compositionally, it works pretty well, but it's when the frames differ a little more substantially that something like that would be most useful.)  theoretically it should be possible to morph between two not-too-distant frames and insert "corrected" frames into a video where the originals are flawed or damaged.  unfortunately, i've yet to see any audio morphing software.  in any case, the FotoMorph software is entirely intuitive to use, allows for saving in multiple formats and resolutions, including MP4 and FLV, and can handle reasonably large images with an insane number of control points without crashing.  the video output begins to show some degradation with a combination of high frame rates, long morph times and large images (say, upwards of 1600 x 1200), but it's plenty powerful enough for just about anything a casual user would throw at it.  and it works in both Windows 7 and Vista.

this post didn't start out to be a freeware review, but that's how we roll sometimes.

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