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User Story:

I wish to help a teacher friend, who is co-ordinating children formations in the playground for a sports function at a free small-town school. Such as, forming the letter, K, forming a Hat etc, by positioning children in lines and vertices. After the children have made a formation, they would disperse or re-arrange to make another formation.

Requirements:

I need a software that gives the step-by-step, gradual or quick, transition from one picture to another picture, by serially numbering the positions of the students, as 1,2,3 and showing how the numbers/positions should change, in what order, to form the new image. I would prefer something small, open-source, portable, and for Windows, but that is not a strict criterion as much as the functional requirement itself. If the software does the job, we could put together the hardware/system requirements.

Side question : I do not know what are some google keywords or search phrases to find such software. I tried, position changing, image transition etc but the results are too broad to be useful. Let me know if I am missing that one great keyword that show such software.

Edit: From an SO chat hint 'Morphing', I ended up reading on Beier–Neely morphing algorithm, Blender, Simple Deform Bend Modifier etc, but they don't seem to give out the numbering positions etc. Another school does use such a tool, but couldn't contact.

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    What you are looking like sounds like "drill design" software for drum corps or marching bands. The leaders in this field appear to be PyWare, Envision, and Field Artist. None of these are open source, small or portable, and thus do not meet your requirements, but they may be place to start searching. – Paul Nijjar Dec 31 '15 at 23:03
  • @Paul Nijjar : Great suggestions. Could you please post that as an answer so I could mark it ? – Whirl Mind Jan 1 '16 at 8:08
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    I was really only addressing the side question. I have not used any of the software I listed; I wrote what I found based on a web search. I am happy if you investigate the alternatives and post your recommended answer. – Paul Nijjar Jan 2 '16 at 3:11
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By request, here is my comment as an answer: you might look at "drill design" software for drum/bugle corps. This software is not cheap, open source, small or portable, but (apparently) allows you to design marching drills. The three market leaders appear to be:

I do not know enough about any of these packages to tell you which are better or worse, but they might serve as a starting point for your research.

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If you are willing to live with an online solution, there is a website called Micro Marching League which appears to be gratis for basic use. (There are paid add-ons which do not sound as if they apply to your situation.) The demonstration videos show many configuration changes.

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