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Wednesday, November 21, 2012


The word morph can be considered separately as verb and noun. But regardless of what they each means, they are all closely related to transformation.

Morph, as a verb, is to transform a computerized image smoothly into another by animation techniques. Obviously, this meaning is developed after the invention of animation technology. Its progressive tense morphing is also used to refer to transformation of computerized image. But it can be used just to refer to transformation or change of things in general-one thing morphs into another.

Morph, as a noun, can mean the action, process, or technique of changing one image into another by digital manipulation. It can also mean the image itself. The word also plays a very important part in biology. It can be defined as a variant form of an animal or plant produced by genetic differences. If animals or plants of the same species are subjected to different environments (sunshine, temperature, humidity, altitude etc) over a certain length of time, they will exhibit change in color, proportion between body parts and size of body parts. This phenomenon generated the subject Morphology, the study of transformation of form. But morphology today does not only focus on nature but all kinds of form changes in the world including form changes in artificial objects. The conceptual aspect of transformation is included as well. Ideological morphology which studies transformation of ideology is an example of it

There are two important characters in a morph. First, it is very important that the transformation is smooth and imperceptible. In computer animation, to complete a morph an image undergoes several stages where it is changed portion by portion to ensure the overall smoothness.  In biology, a morph occurs on a molecular level. It may take years to complete the whole process. Second, it is also crucial that the final product of the morph can be recognized as a derivative of the original one. That is-they still possess some common features. A square turning into a rectangle is considered a morph. Their sides have difference proportions but the shape and relative position of the four sides still remain the same. A square turned into a chicken is not a morph because there are no ordinary processes available to realize that transformation. This kind of transformation is illustrated in the novel Metamorphosis by Kafka in which the protagonist turned into a vermin over night.


1.     "morph, n.5". OED Online. September 2012. Oxford University Press. http://oed.com/view/Entry/246239?rskey=uuN88r&result=5&isAdvanced=false (accessed November 21, 2012).

2.     "morph, v.". OED Online. September 2012. Oxford University Press. http://oed.com/view/Entry/246240?rskey=uuN88r&result=6 (accessed November 21, 2012).

3.     "morph, n.4". OED Online. September 2012. Oxford University Press. http://oed.com/view/Entry/122332?rskey=uuN88r&result=4&isAdvanced=false (accessed November 21, 2012).

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