App of the week
We had seen mention of this app on the Internet and figured it sounded like fun. Besides, we were able to try the free version first to see if it kept our interest, so what did we have to lose? We downloaded the app and then went searching for our first victim in the office. Once we had corralled someone and taken their photograph, we pressed the “zombify” button and within a few minutes they had been transformed into a pretty scary monster. We were able to jump between two different zombie looks and if we touched the screen, the beastie would make as though it was snapping at our finger and drawing blood. Complete with the horrible noises of the undead, we were pretty delighted with these early results. After choosing a couple of other members of staff and enjoying similar visuals, it was obvious that we had to continue to the full version at $0.99 which promised a lot more options in the way of looks and accessories.
How it works
Once you download the app you can either choose to zombify a photo you already have on your device, or you can take one afresh. You’ll want it to be a pretty close head-shot to get the full effect, so if you go to the camera, make sure you zoom in on your subject before you take the snap. Once the picture is in there, the app will start working its magic and within about a minute a zombie will suddenly appear on your device, snarling and looking pretty disgruntled. The free version only offers the two different looks as mentioned earlier, but the purchased one has lots of variety from scars to white eyes, green skin and awful teeth. If you touch the screen of your device near the top of the zombie’s head and move your finger vertically, the monster will move like it’s trying to get to your finger. Awesome! Once you’ve decided on your favourite make-up, you can start adding accessories. The most bizarre one is the first, which surrounds your zombie’s head with a large Jack O’Lantern. The biggest concern would be what outfit to choose to compliment that kind of headgear. After all, a zombie has to look its best at all times!
The next is a mask that looks like it belongs in Phantom of the Opera, followed by a floppy hat, pink devil’s horns and finally a mummy bandage. As you try out each look, the zombie reacts and shimmies violently from time to time, like it does whenever you change its appearance. Spooky stuff.
When we played
The first person we zeroed in on at the office, the placid and warm-hearted Eugene Bonthuys, was completely game for the transformation. He sat dutifully in his chair as we moved in like the FBI in interrogation mode to make sure we properly captured his handsome countenance. A quick snap and it was over. Once we had him in our database, we went to the ZombieBooth app and got busy turning him into the undead. The end result was quite disturbing. It was extremely realistic and reminded us of that morning in the office when the coffee machine broke down. Zombie Eugene seemed jolly upset, and it was unnerving how he kept snapping at our fingers when we touched the screen. Our favourite look was him in the floppy hat. He looked like a dangerous gardener.
Once we had turned Eugene, it was time to show our creation off to others in the office. It wasn’t long before they all wanted to see how they looked after this app had gone to town on their previously unblemished skin. Jeff was pretty effective as he didn’t have much hair to begin with; neither did Michael, who even admitted himself that the difference between his before and after photographs was negligible. We were happy to agree.
After many laughs and taunts in the workplace, we went home and realised it was high time we turned the camera on ourselves. As our hair already looked like a large, ill-combed wig, we figured it lent itself to this process and so we let it be. We then got our sister to take the picture of us, who instantly remarked that it wasn’t a “very flattering shot.” Hardly important under these circumstances.
We pressed the “zombify” button and awaited our zombie debut. It did not disappoint. We realised that one good thing about this app is that we would never ever complain again about our looks. Turns out that we could look much worse if we tried (or died).
This is a lot of fun in the short term. The effects are pretty dramatic and impressive, especially when you can move the head with your finger. The zombie blinks, shakes and looks like a live thing…although it’s not supposed to be alive, so that’s an interesting conundrum. This is one of these apps that you’ll find fascinating in the beginning, then you’ll forget you have it until you’re at a party or a bar. All of a sudden you’ll show a friend your zombie gallery and hey-ho everyone will want their picture taken so they can see their creepy doppelgängers. Popularity on a night out = well worth the $0.99 you’ll pay for this.
ZombieBooth: 3D Zombifier
Cost: $0.99 (for the full version)
Seller: MotionPortrait, Inc.
Devices: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android
Rating: T for Teen