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THE LAST WIZARD

A young orphaned boy on a quest to find his father discovers he has a power within him. 

The Last Wizard is a stop motion film developed as part of my Honours year research project. Over a year, I wrote, designed and produced the project, researching techniques in character design, and fabricating puppets for stop motion animation.

The Film

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CRAFT & PROCESS

CONCEPT MAQUETTES

These concept maquettes were produced for The Last Wizard during the character design process as a way of visualizing certain key details. They started as small head sculpts and then placed on a wireframe armature upon which the rest of the body was sculpted.

In the case of the Wizard, the concept maquette was a useful tool in helping understand the silhouette and the physiognomy of the character from which more development sketches could be made, ultimately leading to the final designs as seen on the puppets.

Costume details and textures featured on the maquettes were useful in determining what fabrics and other materials would be needed when making the final puppets.

PUPPET COSTUMES

The costumes were an important part of the look of the puppets, especially in conveying who the characters were and what history they might've had. I specifically looked for fabrics which had a texture that gave the costume a sense of proportion to the scale of the puppets. Cheesecloth and cottons with a smaller weave made the fabric more flexible and convincing as a fabric woven at the scale of the puppet.

SET DESIGN

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The set took inspiration from 11th century cottages in Europe and stylised with German Expressionist angles and hard edges. 

Several sketches were made to visualise the set before any construction began. Initially I had planned to make an entire exterior set, but the time constraints and the practicality of needing to film for Stop Motion made me scale things back and think about designing a set that indicated a larger world beyond the frame without needing to show it. 

The interior was fabricated with balsa wood and foam board painted to look like various types of wood and carpentry adorned with styling of the appropriate time period.