When some videos created with PhotoSpeak popped up in our iPad Creative Art and Design group on Flickr they seriously freaked us out! You really have to check out that first link to see what we mean. But we were also fascinated by these videos and we had to find out more about Photo Speak.
What we discovered was a ton of fun and a great way to entertain ourselves and the kids in the dark winter hours. It also provides portrait artists with another creative outlet, if for nothing other than a bit of silly fun.
What PhotoSpeak does
As you can see from the video above, this app takes a still image portrait and renders it as a 3D animation. Using some amazing technology called Motion Portrait, the app attempts to identify the eyes and mouth as reference and animation points.
It doesn't always manage it though and we had to try a few different images to get it to work. You can scale and shrink the image to help the detection engine and we found that, depending on the image, zooming in our out gave us a better result.
Once PhotoSpeak has located the eyes and mouth it will use the internal mic to pick up your voice and animate the image as it repeats what you have said, it literally makes your Photo Speak in near realtime in response to the audio it hears, amazing stuff! There isn't curently the option of importing audio already on your iPad, though, like songs or audio in your iTunes library.
The app can also record audio from the built-in mic or other audio input so that you can export that audio and animation as a movie. The processed movie can be saved to your Photo Library, shared to Facebook, YouTube (although we had trouble getting this to work) or via email.
It is a bit annoying that the app only works in Portrait mode, which means videos with big black borders on the side, but we understand that the primary use of the app is with 'portraits' so it sort of makes sense.
Even with the fairly gimmicky feel of the app, in the hands of more creative minds than ours some amazing and frankly, creepy, pieces of animated art can be produced with PhotoSpeak.
(We would love to show you some of these movies here but unfortunately, Flickr video embeds still do not work on iOS. If you haven't already followed the link in the first paragraph, check out these examples in our Flickr group from some of the most creative iPad owners out there. Thanks again to everyone who has contributed to the Flickr group.)
If you would like to try this out for yourself PhotoSpeak is on sale until the end of January for just $0.99 (59p), after which it returns to its $2.99 price.
If you do create something on your iPad with Photo Speak feel free to add it to the iPad Creative group, new members are always welcome.
As for our effort, it is very poor we realise, but our excuse is it was done very quickly over a lunchtime, enjoy all 6 seconds of it below: