My significant other, who aside from working for a major art museum is an authority on good taste (or at least things that taste good, which is far more important to me), let me know this video even wins cred among art historians:
You’ll recall that way back in 1991, we were all pretty blown away by morphing. Now, in 2007, we’re not really wowed by anything. Not even 3D. It’s used to beautiful effect here, though, which teaches us several things: one, you can see more easily how the radical modernist 20th Century painters were still rooted in classical ideas of female beauty, two, girls are awfully pretty, and three, morphing has reached the masses, and not just weird videos where Michael Jackson wigs out and starts smashing things.
I think when the novelty wears off an effect is when things start to get interesting — when we start to, you know, actually start to look at stuff.
As I expected, Wikipedia even has a history of digital morphing. To me, the canonical first appearance credit has to go to the movie Willow, at least as a first major cinematic application of the technique as we now know it. Two decades later, you can do it in After Effects. And with things like optical flow analysis popping up in places like Final Cut Studio, I expect some of these techniques will filter into less literal applications, used to transform visuals in subtler or more unpredictable ways.
Morphing memories you want to share? Own a car that Michael Jackson smashed? Let us know.