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App Review: MomentCam

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During a recent trip to Disneyland, I noticed a long line building up at a caricature kiosk. Have you ever wanted to see yourself as a caricature drawing but didn’t want to dish out the dough it takes to get a good one? After scouring the app store I stumbled upon one that can give you a personalized caricature image (and even a moving caricature graphic) and its completely (unlike any Disney product, ever) free!

MomentCam, (the name needs a little work) offers its users a tailored caricature portrayal in both still and moving forms and can be saved right to your phone, tablet or even uploaded onto many social media platforms (including an “Other” option which allows those underground apps to take part in the fun). Choose from a range of face, hair, expressions and accessories along with an array of style amendments (black & white, ink, vintage, etc.) in addition to the traditional sketched cartoon you!

MomentCam_20141106102458Emoticon "moving" image

The app offers its users three categories to select from on its main page: Comics, Emoticons and your MomentCam Portfolio.

Screenshot_2014-11-06-10-40-14MomentCam main page

To start, users chose either the Comics (still images) or Emoticons (moving images) selection. You're then able to take a picture of yourself or find a pre-made caricature and then insert your face afterwards. I discovered that finding an image that you are keen of prior to taking your snapshot is more effective than trying to find an image based on your facial expression.

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Comics section. Choose your still theme here.

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Emoticons section. Choose your moving theme here.

After developing a healthy collection of caricatures, you can view both your Comic and Emoticon selves in your Portfolio:

Screenshot_2014-11-06-13-04-06Your portfolio consists of images saved from both categories

Given the enormity of the caricatures in the Comics category, navigating your way to a desired image is difficult. Once you do find one however, you can unquestionably have some fun with this app. You first choose a theme, such as a broad one like Love, Professions or Sports. Or you could go the niche route and search for a sub-theme within gallaries like “Snow Goddess” or “Tang Dynasty”. We couldn’t make this up. After 5 full minutes of scrolling I literally couldn’t reach the end. Good news for some users who appreciate caricatures that revolve around “Autumn Leaves” or something called "Manga" (who the hell knows?). All these categories do is make the app more sluggish.

Once you finally settle on an image, creativity ensues. Dictate your facial structure, hair type on both face and head, and any type of accessory like hats or glasses.

Screenshot_2014-11-18-10-09-58"Face Edit" screen in Comics

Screenshot_2014-11-18-10-15-23Editing screen in Emoticon section

MomentCam_20141106_103621Pumpin' iron!

Conversely, the good thing about the apps size is that no matter how odd the caricature you wish to insert yourself, rest assured that there is an image for it. One aggravation of mine: If you're bald, the app turns you into alien-head man.

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To ensure a great fit, the app lets you customize the angle that your face is portrayed with a simple graphic:

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The Emoticons category is a little different from the Comics section, but in a good way. The size is much more manageable and the categories are what most people would actually look for. Instead of thousands of themes, there are about 400. Good ones, too. Instead of hundreds of caricatures for “I Love Lucy”, we find approximately 40-50 listed under Angry or Happy for those wanting to find quick, standard moving images. For those wanting to get extreme with their caricature graphics, however, there are still categories of varying depth to light up your brain waves.

Speaking of waves, I thought I might see how this caricature of me riding one would look printed on wood!

MomentCam_20141106_100319Shreddin' the gnar, brah!

 After saving the image to my iPhone, then uploading it to Prints on Wood, it turned out not too bad!   I'm not sure if it could pass for a Christmas present to my Mom, but is definitely worthy of a nice "for no reason at all" gift she always cherishes.

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All in all, MomentCam is an app meant for those wanting the most assorted and unusual image-rendering app out there. While satisfyingly diverse, it approaches the boundary of becoming too diverse because, other than the app freezing a few times during testing (restarting the process sucks!) it can become dizzying. Caricatures are meant to be simple and funny and I’d rather them just stay that way.  With all that in mind I give this app a rating of 3.

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For more information on MomentCam please visit: http://www.momentcamofficial.com/