Bringing dead to life

I know the title sounds scary but basically what I am doing is bringing my still images to life. It does come out a bit creepy at time I must admit. I am back to making more props.

What I enjoy the best about props making is trouble shooting. Making your own things you will face issues like what materials are the best to use and many more technical issues but the key is to try until you come up with a solution. Also is seeing your creation coming to life and being able to do with it what you want, obviously the only limitation is lack of experience but that can be gained with time.

Here is a swing I have made using wooden sticks, strings, old chain and modelling clay to keep it stable.

swing frame

Swing on its own may seem pretty straight forward. Now the trickiest part is to place a doll on it and make sure that it won’t fall off once I swing it.

doll swing eyes

Well it seems quite comfortable now but in order for it to stay on the swing I had to use the strings to attach the doll to the swing and strings for me to pull in order to make the swing move.


I have previously created a collage with photographs from cemetery and distorted sound waves of a laughing child.

This gave me an idea to bring the sky to life as well. So overall I will have three layers: doll-moving image, cemetery-still image, sky-gif(moving image). I was going to stick with still image for a background but decided to add more motion.

When I was doing my first animation I have learnt that its best to use moving image in the background but here I wanted to test something different out having only some of the background animated. I have used Photoshop to create a GIF, simply paint brush and a rectangle.

Here is all of it put together. I still need to figure out how to place eyes and mouth while the doll is moving. That might be something a bit more advanced though. I have also added an audio from the Tower Hamlets Cemetery.

There is a lot of details that need to be taken care of and things look simpler than they really are. I had to also cover up the modelling clay bit on the swing using clone stamp tool and masking. I believe there might be other more effective and easier ways to do things but that is a matter of practice.

doll on the swing frame
Still from the video

Here is another test where I have added a mouth for a doll. This is actually my mouth pretending to laugh. I have added kids laughter and edited it to make it sound spooky.

frame from laughing kid.jpg
This still has an old background.

Here is the video itself

Using digital programmes is time consuming especially if you are an amateur. It’s so easy to mess things up and get lost in all of the files but believe me the outcome is always well worth it.

I know I have taken on a lot and have very little time left but I had a need to challenge myself and try something that is not straight forward but most importantly something that I enjoy making. The sequence is only 1 minute long but from experience I know that is very short.



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