Hummingbird  (1967)

Hummingbird (1967)


First digital morphing


Silent, black and white film



1) A ten-minute computer animated film by Charles Csuri and James Shaffer. Was awarded a prize at the 4th annual International Experimental Film Competition in Brussels, Belgium and in the collection of The Museum of Modern Art, New York City. The subject was a line drawing of a hummingbird for which a sequence of movements appropriate to the bird were programmed. Over 30,000 images comprising some 25 motion sequences were generated by the computer.

2) To facilitate control over the motion of some sequences, the programs were written to read all the controlling parameters from cards, one card for each frame. Curve fit or other date generating programs were used to punch the parameter decks. Each line of the bird was distributed at random. The computer drew the chaotic version first, and in progressive stages brought the bird back together.

3) Digital morphing - computer technique involved distorting one image at the same time that it faded into another through marking corresponding points and vectors on the "before" and "after" images used in the morph. For example, one would morph one face into another by marking key points on the first face, such as the contour of the nose or location of an eye, and mark where these same points existed on the second face. The computer would then distort the first face to have the shape of the second face at the same time that it faded the two faces. To compute the transformation of image coordinates required for the distortion, the algorithm of Beier and Neely can be used.

4) First primitive photorealistic morphing was in  NYIT demo 2 (1980).