What would a magic wand commercial look like in a sci-fi world ?
It’s the year 2261 in a world where magic was never forbidden or forgotten. Mystique, a brand of sorcerer gear introduces their new magic wand.
It started from a public challenge on a french Discord server called Houdinimatic whose theme was magic wand. I had this idea of designing a futuristic magic wand and showing the construction process of every pieces coming together like the sequence of the assembling of Iron Man’s suit, with the aestetics of films like Tron Legacy, iRobot or the Westworld series.
I quickly thought of some kind of magic crystal or liquid that would act as a fuel for the wand and turn on like a device.
The handle and the middle section where the crystal is quickly satisfied me but a struggled quite a bit on the design of the tip. I tried having it different shapes, twisted, changing the material but nothing worked.
I wanted something simple, elegant, slender so I tried a retractable and thin stick and that was it. It fitted the theme of the self-assembling sequence and was the shape I needed to make the design coherent.
As in a lot of projects, 90% of the final product was done pretty fast, from the wand design to the disassembling of every portion of the wand, finding the camera angles and setting everything up to get a final result. Unfortunately I started this challenge too late so I had to send it without any fx.
Finding the right speed for the projectile was something I didn’t expect would be that important. I started with what would be considered a really slow pace compared to the final speed because I wanted to have a really cool looking projectile lighting the scene up with some particles dancing behind it. Having it travel at a speed you could see was a mistake, it made it not feel like a projectile, it had to travel way faster to actually feel it was projected and powerful.
The rest of the time I spent on this project was to design the spell and its different FXs, fine-tune my render’s process, lighting, and of course post-production.
I’m happy that I made it with Houdini, I proved myself that I could do something else than FX with it. It’s a sometimes hard but rewarding software.
The music also plays a huge part, I started with a song from the OST of Tron Legacy at it sticked for a really long time because it was exactly what I had in mind so finding a substitute took a lot of efforts.
I also wanted to go the extra mile and have a nice sound design so I spent a lot of time searching for different sounds and trying things out, getting lost on internet imagining what could my scene sound like, I think in the end it adds an immense amount of « realism », it feels grounded and add a lot of energy especially to the magic spell which feels super flat without the sound.
Hey if you made it this far thanks for reading and caring about my work. I’m looking for a job opportunity so maybe share this if you feel like it or know anyone who could be interested.