Giant puppet design: part 1.

The past few months I have primarily been designing and prototyping the leg movements for a herd of lifesize puppet elephants, contributing to the exciting Circus 250 project Tin House have been tasked to create for Norwich City Council. This has been a satisfying challenge, studying anatomy, taking initial sketches on paper and animations of walk cycles through to constructing 1:6 scale maquettes and models of joint mechanisms and controls.

Various stages of puppet leg design

This progressed to prototyping functional full scale legs and joints in more economical materials, allowing me a better understanding of how to run cable mechanisms through the structures to hopefully create a more fluid movement as these huge legs are manipulated.

Shapes for leg joints dry after being cleaned and treated.

I then reproduced the designs in wood and metal as final proof of concept before converting the joint schematics into a CAD cut sheet so as to accurately reproduce all the 128 different parts needed to create 16 huge legs!

Post published retrospectively




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