Sketching and Brainstorming
I started with a general idea of the book and was thinking about the logic flow of the stories before knowing the exact content of the story. I decided how the audience are going to experience the stories first.
Prototyping and Testing
Then I tried to fit the general way of experiencing the story onto physical objects and tried to figure out how to make that kind of experience possible.
This is my first prototype and I was trying to fit all the key points in my first sketch onto each part of this piece of paper, and tried to see in what order these parts can be opened by the audience.
After having a sense of the opening manner of the book, I started to match each part with the storylines and roughly built 4 lines in total.
I put this idea into practice and built my 3rd prototype which is a small thumbnail book that contains all elements in the second prototype. Here is a demo showing how this book can be opened.
Before building the “prototype” prototype, I made a moodboard to guide my design of the whole book. The moodboard was divided into 4 sections, each represented one branch of the storylines.
Then I started to flesh out the story of the book. At first I just jot down ideas that I wanted to show in my book and started to connect those dots. I wrote 2 sets of stories, one was based on “real” human beings and the other was a fantastic fairytale. I finally decided to use the human story.
Then I started to study about the accurate measurements of each page and digitized the layout of that book. This step is also a preparation for future laser cutting.
Then I put more content into the digital layout and printed it out in order to make a base of the fourth prototype.
I invited people from different cultural backgrounds to test this prototype out and I kept refining the prototype according to their feedbacks. I also took note while observing them in order to add new features into future prototypes.
Here is a demo of the fourth prototype.
After being quite sure about the prototype, I started building “dummies” with card paper in separated spreads. I decided which mechanism to be included in which spread of the book first and them made “dummies” of each spread in order to test the mechanisms out. Here are a couple of examples for the “dummies” I made.
Some of the simple movable parts are shown in the videos below.
My next step would be designing the character and preparing other visual assets. Then I will be adding visual assets to the mechanisms and trace out the mechanisms that fit the visual assets for laser cutting. Then I should print and cut those parts out and assemble the pop-up book. More testing would be essential before the project being considered to be complete.