Surf’s Up Dudette

SurferMy first ever attempt at creating a stop motion video, Surf’s Up Dudette was a success.  Inspired by the 7/28/13 DS106 tdc567 daily create to “Make a stop motion movie that brings something to life in a unique way.” I sat at the kitchen table this morning over breakfast playing with little objects I had around the house, gathering ideas and seeing what would be involved in making one of these things.  In the end I decided to bring to life the little surfer “dudette” (feminine form of “dude”) that usually sits on my mantle above the fire place.

DJ & his new pool

DJ & his new Hippo Sprinkler Pool

The blue background is the bottom of my grandson DJ’s new Hippo Splash Pool draped over a piano stool. (Here’s a GIF I made of him recently.)

To add some interest I then put a tennis ball under the pool at the front to look maybe like a wave.  Then added a shell, a piece of coral, and a colored sand art bottle.  This was actually my second attempt at taking the photos. I didn’t realize how many I would need to get something that was of a reasonable length to watch.  In my first set she only surfed by once and it lasted maybe 5 seconds with the extremely short frame length required in the final video.  I found this very similar to creating a GIF.  As a matter-of-fact, I tested it out with my iPhone gifRus app before moving onto loading everything into Adobe Premiere Elements 11.

With the second round of photos I had her surf through the scene then back again.  That way I could easily repeat the sequence in my video editor and it would look more natural.  She then surfed by three times to give me about a 30 sec clip. I like the illusion of slight movement of the “ocean” because of changes in light in the room and my accidentally moving the plastic pool.

Scene set up to take photos

Scene set up to take photos

There are a few shots though that are blurry and I can see that I moved the camera a bit as well.  Next time I will use a real tripod and my regular camera instead of a cardboard box with clothes pin clips to hold my iPhone.  To add the title and credit sequences I added a longer empty frame at either end to aid in the transitions.  You can’t do a 1 second fade with a 0.7 second image frame!

The addition of ocean sounds and background music really added a lot to the story to make the whole thing much more entertaining for the viewer. I found my music with a Creative Commons – attribution license at

Music: “Broken Pipe Basement Surf” by Phil Reavis

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