How Those Weird Animorph Book Covers Were Made

How Those Weird Animorph Book Covers Were Made
To sign up for our daily newsletter covering the latest news, features and reviews, head HERE. For a running feed of all our stories, follow us on Twitter HERE. Or you can bookmark the Kotaku Australia homepage to visit whenever you need a news fix.

Does anyone else remember those book fairs that would stop at your school? I remember being so excited to buy books, even though I probably only read like half of the books I bought. The Animorph books always caught my eye, mainly because of those weird and unique covers.

The popular YouTube channel LGR made a great video showing how these covers were made. The process was both more simple and more complicated than I expected.

The covers were created by artist David B. Mattingly using a $1,392 computer program called Elastic Reality. This software allowed users to stretch, modify and transform photos and video. In the 1990s and early 2000s the software was widely used in Hollywood for creating different visual effects in TV shows and movies.

Mattingly would use the software to help him figure out what the faces in the transformation would look like, but then he would often paint them himself using the program’s creation as a guide.

According to the artist, while Elastic Reality was a powerful tool, it wasn’t always good enough to use directly on the cover. But it did help him save time and better figure out how to make a kid look like they were transforming into a rhino.

The whole video is a really interesting look at a piece of important 90s era entertainment software and a nice nostalgic dip into the history of Animorphs.


  • Oh wow, I wasn’t in to the books but I know em and our old Apple Macs in highschool had a programme we would use to do the same thing.
    The 90’s what a time!

    • I followed the books for ages. But they stopped stocking them in my area and I kind of drifted off near the end. I did read the finale somewhere but it was just disappointing.

      • Yeah, the ending was rather annoying, setting up a potential second story arc she had no intention of doing anything with. That aside, the rest of it seemed well suited to the group.

    • Used to love those books as a kid. But due to my poor time management I couldn’t fit them in with school work, etc.

      But I’m sure I read at least around 20 of them.

      I later learned though that K. A. Applegate only wrote around five or ten of the books. The rest were ghost written for her.

      It certainly explains why there seemed to be variations in the writing style over time.

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!