A Look at Pharce – Make photos talk on your iPhone

pharce1Like iJiggles and Wobble, Pharce is the latest iPhone app that allows you to have fun with your photos. While you won’t see breasts or any body member for that matter bouncing up and down (hmm…bouncy bouncy…),  Pharce is a pretty cool app that allows you to make talking videos of any picture in your photo library. By utilizing the built in drawing tool, you are able to carve out a virtual mouth and chin area for your photos and record some crazy dialog via the built-in microphone (works with 2nd gen iPod as well). When all is said and done, your picture comes to life and lip-syncs to the recording. Very cool. Let’s have a look at some of its features.

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Yours truly getting the lip treatment

Upon loading Pharce, users are given 3 main options, “New”, “Play” and “Edit”. Choosing new will allow you to select a photo from your camera roll. On the screen where you see a large pencil, move it to the corner of the mouth and tap the “Start Drawing” button. Now, drag the pencil and trace the bottom of the upper lip. The trace should be a single line (not a loop), which will end up being the top half of the movable jaw. If you want a bit more realism to the mouth movements (the default chin drops way too low), it is a good idea to trace a second line from one corner of the chin to the next. You can always redo these two steps until you’re happy with the results (there is a test mouth button so you can see the mouth in action) .

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Dang, is that Johnny Depp but with better hair?

Once you’re done with the mouth, its time to do your voice over. Simply hit the record button and speak into the mic.  You will see your virtual mouth move along with your voice. One neat thing is that the louder you speak, the bigger the mouth opens up, which adds a bit more realism to the whole video. Pharce even lets you add effects to your photo. You can place glasses, eyes, hats and even different sound effects (how did you know that there are pooting sounds?). While these effects are a nice addition, there aren’t all that many in this current release.

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Another nice feature of Pharce is that it allows you to send your masterpiece to anyone via email. The uploaded pharces will be converted to mp4 video and can be viewed with quicktime. My sample 21 sec voice clip came out to be roughly 550k in file size  in my inbox. You can even upload your video directly to your youtube account, which makes it easy to share your favorite pharces with everyone.

Pharce is definitely an entertaining app that users can have lots of fun with. Being able to turn any picture into a talking video that mimics your voice recording is really cool.  Just don’t expect ultra realistic mouth movements because they can look a bit robotic. I also found that inadvertent breathing into the mic will also trigger the mouth to move when recording. If this happens, your mouth will be out of sync with the audio.

If you’re into having some fun with your photos and like the idea of watching them come to life (not to mention being able to easily share them with friends and family), Pharce may just be the app for you. For a $1.99, it won’t break the bank and hours of entertainment can be had.

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