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  • In this short video, we're going to show you how we constructed and animated a pop-up book to explain Earth's tectonic plates.

  • The supercontinent Pangaea broke apart 200,000,000 years ago, but the pieces haven't stopped shifting.

  • Although with animation we can show this movement easily with drawings,

  • we thought it'd be more interesting to depict gigantic sliding slabs of rock using a tangible object that also moves and shifts, and the pop-up book idea was born.

  • To make your own pop-up book, you'll need some basic paper tools,

  • such as scissors, an X-Acto knife, glue, double-sided Scotch tape, a ruler, a bone folder or other creasing tool, and, of course, some paper.

  • For this lesson, we first determined the visual style by making illustrations and deciding on the overall design, colors, shapes and elements we wanted on each page, or spread.

  • You can have more detailed illustrations, but we wanted to illustrate this lesson simply by playing with shapes and colors.

  • When you visualize your pop-up and choose a visual style, you will want to make a bunch of good old pencil sketches on paper and plan each movement for each spread.

  • Plan as much as you can:

  • all the basic shapes and how they connect and how you want them to move, which parts you want to pop-up first.

  • Challenge yourself, and explore multiple possibilities of how your main element on the spread can pop up.

  • For the next step, make a mock-up spread and see if your masterful paper engineering ideas translate from a sketch to the actual prototype.

  • Instead of using fancy paper, start with the cheap stuff and allow yourself to make mistakes and adjustments.

  • This prototype lets you see how your preliminary sketches will come to life.

  • You will want to first draw all individual parts on a single sheet, including all your main pieces, all the supporting pieces and the folds.

  • You may be surprised that there are only two types of folds that can make your elements pop up the way you want: a step fold and a V-fold.

  • Here, you can see how we used a step fold to make each layer of the Earth step out.

  • Then, cut all your individual elements and assemble using glue or double-sided Scotch tape.

  • Through trial and error, make sure that all the elements, shapes, and placements are moving the way you imagined, and that they fold properly when closed and opened.

  • Once your prototype is tested and complete, you can proceed to making the final product in color.

  • Draw or paint on your main pop-up elements as you see fit.

  • For this lesson, we decided to just play with simple shapes in different colors to create the world of shifting continents we imagined.

  • When we were planning each spread, we knew we wanted some elements to move independently of the typical pop-up book using slight manipulations and animations.

  • We had to plan well, but also use a few tricks.

  • As always, when you're making stop-motion, you may have to be creative and use all sorts of unusual tools and props to achieve the effect that you want.

  • In this shot, the birds had to fly across and off the edge of the book, so we used Fun-Tak to move the clouds across the page.

  • Once they left the page, they had to be trimmed to get the illusion they flew off.

  • When the pages of the book close at the end, we had to flip each page, supporting it in each position long enough to be photographed as an individual frame.

  • We used binder clips, wedges, Fun-Tak, and almost every handy little thing you can think of.

  • Once all the individual frames were photographed, we put them all together and composited to make our pop-up book look like it's moving on its own.

  • So now, think of a special occasion where you can surprise someone with your own unique pop-up card, or an entire story that you want to tell,

  • and start plotting the ins and outs of your pop-up book.

In this short video, we're going to show you how we constructed and animated a pop-up book to explain Earth's tectonic plates.

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B1 US TED-Ed pop fold spread paper page

【TED-Ed】Making a TED-Ed Lesson: Bringing a pop-up book to life

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    Ann posted on 2021/06/15
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