App

This face animator puts a remarkable amount of visual power in your hands

Price: Free
Version: 1.0.25
Size: 165.4 MB
Platform: iPhone
Developer: Avatarify

Avatarify

When my parents told me I could be whoever I wanted to be when I grew up, this wasn’t quite how I pictured it.

But the new app Avatarify is not only an awkward one to pronounce, it does in fact let you be whoever you want to be, whether that’s a singer, actor, or even one of your friends.

Avatarify’s GIF library spotlights how it can animate famous faces

It works by taking a still photo of a person and cleverly animating it to match a chosen video clip of a different person. You can snap a selfie and make yourself sing a famous song via Avatarify’s vast GIF archive, or record a video of yourself and choose a friend or celeb’s image to digitally replicate your moves. You can literally animate any face you want and the video processing is – at times – scarily impressive.

This wonderful screenshot comes from selecting that seminal ‘WASSSSUUUUPPP’ scene from Scary Movie. Stunning.

The app’s been all over the place recently, which isn’t surprising considering the amount “deep fakes” are in the news these day. Deep fakes are essentially realistic but totally fake videos of famous people acting out and saying whatever the creator desires, created using AI neural network smarts. The whole concept is in muddy waters morally, increasingly used to create fake interviews with politicians or even to transpose celebs into raunchy videos they didn’t actually make.

Avatarify, on the other hand, errs on the lighter side of what can be quite a dark technology and it really is a lot of fun. Its use case here is much more innocent and amusing: essentially, it’s here to make your dad look like he’s singing the latest Cardi B hit or to make a digital Brad Pitt wish your friend happy birthday.

Beyond that, the app does have its limitations, which is probably a good thing. The resulting animations contort the face in remarkable and amusing ways, but the quality is far from realistic and it’s very clearly the product of a fun little app. But then maybe we’re spoiled by the quality of CGI these days – just imagine thinking this could be done on a phone 10 years ago? It’s still mighty impressive tech.

Why not give your pet an entirely unsettling human personality?

In terms of processing, it can take a minute or so to create a short clip – newer iPhones will smash through it quicker – but a high definition result takes a bit longer – but the app gives you the choice each time, which is a nice touch. And if you’re concerned about privacy, the app assures us that any images used processing aren’t stored anywhere.

Take some classic famous folk and make them sing a classic, like hmm… yes, Bohemian Rhapsody will do the job

The app also limits how much you can use it before going premium, which can cost $2.49 a week or $34.99 a year. We can’t say we were super inspired to go big on this app – especially as you can crank out quite a few videos before hitting the limit. Whether or not you pay up, it’ll cause plenty of amusement among friends, especially because you can use photos of said friends to make them perform whatever you want.

As far as gimmicks go, it’s a pretty impressive one and you’ll struggle not to get some enjoyment out of it.

Avatarify – animate any face with AI
Impressive dumb fun
For
  • Genuinely impressive tech
  • Loads of GIFs for inspiration
  • Will definitely make you laugh
Against
  • Not especially realistic
  • Quite a shallow experience
  • Expensive Premium sub
4.0Overall Score