Final Project for Paper Arts and Solar Solutions // Ewa Oberska

My final project was an interactive solar powered book of essential knowledge for children. That was actually the best and shortest version of the name of the book that I managed to come up with.

The first stage of creating the book was making numerous sketches and plans of it in my sketchbook. I planned all the materials, scripts, made a schedule and planned out the layout of each page. I usually just improvise and work on my projects until they accidentally start looking good however, I did not want to risk this time because of the very limited amount of time and quite an ambitious idea, I believe.

I started the production process with making Adobe Illustrator designs for laser cutter. It actually gave me some grasp of Illustrator as I had never properly used it before. I cut out all the movable and interactive components of my book from wood however, I cut out only their contours so that there would be plenty of space to fill out using paper-cut elements.

There is one example of my paper cutting below. At first, it might look a bit as if it had been painted, but all the small components were painfully paper cut.Except the solar panels, I made them using little broken pieces of solar cells that I had left from making my own solar panel for this project.


In the book all of the pages were covered with paper cut pieces. Also, some wood compartments were “camouflaged” and entirely covered in paper. Like below. In this case the paper covers all the circuits that are on top of the wooden “page”.


The circuits were quite a difficult task and took me countless hours to finally make them all work. The problem was that I did not want to have a book with a thousand wires sticking out of it. I decided to use conductive tape which turned out to be quite difficult to work with in case of bigger projects like this. However, I did eventually make it all work.



Overall, I believe I learnt quite a lot while doing this project. It was so much more time-absorbing than I ever expected, but I was quite happy with it.

“(Final Project) Pop-Up Book: A Journey in Shanghai” by Zhuoling Shi (Susan)

Final effect:


This is a pop-up book that I made to represent the city of Shanghai. When you open it up, all the buildings pop up. When you press the button, the lights go up. When you open up the black flip, you can see a bunch of flowers and a thank you message. When you spin the handle, my name will appear.

It cost me 2 weeks to make the project from prototyping to finishing the whole project. When I was working on this project, I have encountered so many problems.

I spent a whole week on making the oriental pearl tower. At first, I got a template of a pop-up sphere online. 3D Snow Ball Template

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I was pretty satisfied with the shape, but I then found that because of its radial shape, I could not make it to support another same one above it.

Then I wanted to make a hollow sphere with interlocked pieces. Therefore I used 123D Make to generate a template.

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However, after it is cut out by a laser cutter, I found it totally impossible to lock the pieces together.

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IMG_2024  IMG_2026

So I checked the instruction in 123D make and it did not make any sense.

I tried to fix it on myself through Adobe Illustrator and made a file like this.

屏幕快照 2016-05-17 上午1.46.27

But it turns out that due to the thickness of the paper, the shape is impossible to be formed in this way. If the size of the rings were larger, they will be assembled more easily.

Finally, I gave up the idea of making a hollow sphere and designed a solid interlocked sphere.

屏幕快照 2016-05-17 上午1.53.45

But the offset was set too large and the paper could not be tightly locked together, so I had to change the numbers and make another one.

I made 2 identical spheres with flat-formed LEDs sticked to it and made the circuit with conductive tape. The ends of the tape went through the paper and goes to the back of the base. To pull up the spheres, I used threads.


The oriental towers was not standing exactly on the fold, I made some “box supports” that can stand as boxes when the book is opened into 90 degree. But I fully opened the book, in this way, I created 2 more folds off from the central fold.


I did not discard the first kind of sphere, I made 2 smaller ones and created Shanghai Exhibition Center. I added a pop-up cylinder around each sphere.


I designed all the buildings with Adobe Illustrator and sticked flat LEDs and conductive tape inside them. I also made the circuits into patterns so that they can be projected when the LEDs are lit up.

When making the Illustrator design file, I created dash lines to make it easier to fold the card. However, when the dashed lines are made in Illustrator, the laser cutter would not cut anything out. Marcela helped me edited the file in rhino and got it to work.


When making the Jinmao Tower, the thing that I worried about most was the stair-shape of the top of the building. I combined rectangles and isosceles trapezoids, put them in sequence and fold them with mountain fold by valley fold by mountain fold… It can be folded but cannot be pulled up when the book is opened. So I added a stick that can pull back the top when the book is folded and push up the top when the book is opened.

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These 2 buildings were standing in the same way as the previous 2.


When making the Shanghai Tower, I found it impossible to form that twisted shape. So I sticked 2 pieces with 2 different angles to make it look like twisted.


I had a large battery box to power the LEDs, I put it at the back and I had to stick some foam to the bottom to make sure the identical thickness. I sticked black paper stripes to hide the foam.


For the switch of the circuit, I once wanted to use nocturnal circuit to light up the LEDs when it is dark. But the transistor of the circuit could only control a circuit with 1.5 voltage, and it could not work with my circuit that needs a much higher voltage. Then I wanted to make a slider as if the city lights up with a persons control of time span, but the conductive tape could not touch each other tightly and therefore would not be conductive even if you slide the witch to where it should be able to close the circuit. I really had no other ways and I just made a paper “button”.

I got the mechanism of the iris online and made this to hide may signature and add more interaction.


Projection Mapping _by Ruixuan Pu (Sunny)

During Friday’s recitation, we learned projection mapping. The software that we used is Madmapper. It is well designed and friendly to beginners. It took us just a short period of time to figure out how to do projection.

In animation’s class, Our group projected two videos, one onto Stephanie’s white dress, and another into a bowl:

While in Paper Arts class, our group projected several images and a video onto plates and paper:

The effects are really good! It is definitely a great tool to try in the future works!

【Final Project】Stained Souls

I don’t have a video of me performing it yet. I will do that in next week because I have returned all the equipment…

QQ截图20160515232635I really spent so much time on this final project because I’m really devoted to it and want to get it done with a good look.

The basic idea is to recreate the opening cinematic of Dark Souls 1. Because the lines in the CG have a feeling of a legend story so I went for the stained glass looking visual effect.

【pop-up book part】


After having the basic idea of what kind of book pages I want, I calculated the drew the outlines in Illustrator and printed them on 300g cardstock.


The parts to pop up as well.


IMG_8002 Constructing the book pages. This is actually not the one that I used in the final version because I copied other’s illustrations and I felt really bad for that. So I went back and redid the thing that I copied and draw the one of my own. So…No Copying in my final project!


Small hint: If anyone is looking for scrap paper to make prototypes for their paper art projects, just go around the building and collect the out of date posters. Plenty of them are there and if you are not taking them, they are going to the trashcan anyway.


【Animation Part】

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I started the animation with drawing them on the sketch book. After decided the outlines, I took a picture of it and just redraw everything again in illustrator. Since it’s only the outline, it’s pretty fast for me to do it.


I colored everything in Photoshop and added the dirty glass texture to it.


Animated in After Effects with puppet pin tool. The practical effect is done by cc particle word, doesn’t really need Trapcode for this degree of effect. However, if you want to cooperate nice particle effect into your work, it’s really important to get a nice computer…Setting the autosave into once in 5min is also a good idea

IMG_7999otherwise, it’s going to be like this


In the final presentation, I just projected on single video file without using Madmapper. I got the shape of the components in Madmapper with simple color blocks. I screenshotted them out and created the mask layer in After Effect.

【ALERT】However, I just discovered this problem. If you are trying to use the same technique here (draw out the projecting area in mad mapper, use it as the stencil, and project it by playing the *VIDEO FILE*), the area WILL NOT MATCH. It’s a problem if there’s music going on since mad mapper is not able to handle sound if I didn’t remember it wrong? The area matches perfectly if you are still projecting final product through mad mapper. Yet if you want to project the video file for a wider applicable presentation. Do the stencil/ mask shape in after effect. Try to full screen the viewing port and drag out the shape there.


By using this Luma Matte mask, I can do something very similar to the clipping mask layer in Photoshop. So the thing I did is actually animate the scene in whatever size I want, clip it to the shape I want, and then adjust the size of the animation composition.

*the mask layer where the shape is one has to be right above the composition that contains the animation. Meanwhile, it should be a solid color layer of the color white*

Creative PaperFolding _by Ruixuan Pu (Sunny)

For this assignment, I created a tiny umbrella with beautiful Japanese-style patterns. I am a super beginner in paper folding, so currently it is very difficult for me to think about a totally new way to fold. The folding strategy is inspired by a module called Origami Spring into Action on Youtube: I took part of that module and modify it, and then built it into an umbrella.

Fold the paper along the track, to make it like this. In the video I will show how to fold.

Fold the paper along the traces, to make it become the shape. In the video, I will show how to fold.


Take a piece of paper. Fold it and make it have these traces. Be as accurate as you can.










After all the traces were folded and twisted, the shape of umbrella gradually appears...

After all the traces were folded and twisted, the shape of umbrella gradually appears…

Press them closer! More like an umbrella! And then you cut the upper layer and the bottom layer, to make their size smaller...

Press them closer! More like an umbrella! And then you cut the upper layer and the bottom layer, to make their size smaller…












We get a beautiful umbrella!

We get a beautiful paper umbrella!

Final project of Animation and Paper Arts: 《Mr.Box & Mr.Snow》_by Ruixuan Pu (Sunny)

At the time I am writing this documentation, I still cannot believe that this is the end of our final. 20 days were way too short, for us who didn’t realise our amount of work would be so huge. But looking back to the last 3 weeks, I am so proud to say, Anny and I finished an incredible job under great pressure. We are very pleased with our outcome. The paper assets work out very well in the stop-motion animation, and the animation itself is aesthetically enjoyable — except for some storytelling problem. And I felt happy to work with Anny. She is such a nice and responsible teammate. Without her, our animation wouldn’t be what it looks like now.

We began with creating the story and drawing the storyboards. (We introduced the story in the last blog post.) Due to some time issues, I didn’t finish all the storyboards. So the storyboards we had before shooting only covered 3/4 of our plot. We designed the last 1/4 when we were about to film them. Below are pictures of parts of our storyboards.









Beautiful paper for making assets






The next step was to buy materials and make assets for animation. I went to paper market on Fuzhou Road, and bought a lot of paper. They worth¥120 in total. _(:3 _l L)_  I also bought some artificial snow powder on Taobao for making our snowman and snowy scene. The powders expanded and gradually became snow-like after we added water to them, which was really magical.


A huge roll of paper!!!


Look at how magical they are! We got snow in summer.











We spent 3 days in making assets. Since this part is also counted to my final project of Paper Arts class, we want our work to not only serve the animation, but also become beautiful enough as an independent artwork. We tried to combine the techniques that we learned in class as many as possible. We folded the bed, the lamp and the chair, cut the book shelf and made it pop-up. We designed the pattern of trees in Illustrator and lacer cut them out. We even sewed the paper to make curtains. The process was really hard and time-consuming.

I modified the template that we found online in Illustrator, and cut it out and folded into our little boxman.

I modified the template that we found online in Illustrator, and cut it out and folded into our little boxman.

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The trees’ template in Illustrator.








Laser cut the patterns out.

Laser cut the patterns out.

Interlock the pieces together. Then we have a beautiful pop-up tree!

Interlock the pieces together. Then we have a beautiful pop-up tree!









Sew our curtain

Sew our curtain…


Two pieces of curtains that are movable. 🙂

Splicing the little boxman's room together. We made three walls and one floor. Two walls are detachable, in order to make our shooting easier.

Splicing the little boxman’s room together. We made three walls and one floor. Two walls are detachable, in order to make our shooting easier.



















After all assets getting prepared, we began filming. We used Dragonframe to shoot the stop-motion animations. Some other effects were drawn by ourselves in Photoshop and edited in After Effects. We also projected a scene onto the wall of the boxman’s room, and use camera to record the projection.

We did run into a lot of issues during the filming:

  1. The batteries went dead quickly, which often interrupted our filming and wasted much of our time. _(:3 _l L)_….
  2. We spent a lot of time figuring out how to make the snowman. See picture below. _(:3 _l L)_…. (But the moment we figured it out was incredibly magical and exciting!)
  3. The shooting conditions didn’t allow us to make the scene as the same as what we drew in the storyboards. The angles and the light conditions were limted. So that we had to redesign these scenes right before we filmed them. What’s more, some effects that we originally expected to achieve by filming, actually couldn’t be filmed — such as the scene of the leave falling down, and the snowing scene, etc— due to our poor shooting conditions and techniques. Then, we had to decide what were the substitutes._(:3 _l L)_….
  4.  The paper is too light and delicate to keep stable. We had to be super super super careful and then we could move some tiny parts without bumping other parts. _(:3 _l L)_….

Magic clay + White glue + Artificial Snow Powder = A snow ball

Magic clay + White glue + Artificial Snow Powder = A snow ball

All ready! Start filming!

All ready! Start filming!

"Seven Dwarfs"?

“Six Dwarfs”?

Projection mapping: "The seasons flash".

Projection mapping: “The shadow of trees shows seasons’ flash”.

















Overall, the filming took 3 days and consumed our strength very much. We checked our footage frame by frame. For many scenes, we did it for several times until we were both pleased with the final version. It needs our great patience and concentration. But we learned a lot about the cinemaphotography and lighting, and practiced our skills in the process, which is the best treasure to us.

Finally, we came to the editing part. Editing was done in Premiere. We combined stop-motion animation with After Effects animation and projection mapping, and added title cards and sound effects to the whole piece. The process was not difficult but time-consuming. And according to the audience’s response, our storytelling is not so clear. Some of them are confused about the plot. So I think we do have to improve the current version in the future.

Here is the link to our animation:

Thanks for watching!




【Interactive Paper Craft】Lisa

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In this little project, I worked with Kevin. He’s in charge of making the circuit board that’s hidden behind the screen while I made the computer itself. All positive feet of the LEDs goes on one side of the cardboard and the negative feet are on the other. So that we can create a parallel circuit. In the beginning, we fixed them with conductive tape. However, this left us a huge problem with open circuit. The LEDs were not working at all. So we just decided to solder them on the tape. We left the battry with some problem of open circuit but this gave us a nice look of the screen glitching. Also, the light that these LEDs give out is too focused and we failed to give the screen an even lighting.

The switch we used here is a self locking switch. It can hold the push and will release it only it’s getting pushed again. It can either used as an on and off switch or a slelecting button.

Paper Arts Final: Interactive Paper Lamp

For my paper arts final I decided to make an interactive paper lamp. The main idea was that I would cause movement on my lamp with the use of a distance sensor.

I wanted to make two layers for my lamp; the inner layer was going to be a laser cut pattern of snowflakes while the outer layer would be plain with a laser cut ballerina and snowflake designs glued onto it. For the project, I was using black and white papers; the black paper had a thickness similar to card stock while the white paper was a little thinner. I chose two different thicknesses on purpose because I wanted to use the white paper for my outer layer and the black paper for the inner layer. Since the white paper was thinner, once the lamp light would be turned on the black laser cut design on the inside would be clearly visible from the outside.

In order to create the laser cut files for my lamp, I used Adobe illustrator. Before this project, I had never used illustrator and therefore had much difficulty in creating my files. Eventually however, after getting help from Marcela, I was able to design my files and laser cut them. My two files turned out great!

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After laser cutting, I moved on to the coding portion of my project. This was fairly simple and I didn’t have much difficulty with it as I just needed to control the movement of two servos and the turning on of an LED light bulb using an ultrasonic distance sensor attached to an Arduino. However, I had the most difficulty in combining all the electronic parts of the project with the paper parts. Since paper, as a material, is very delicate, it is very hard to attach heavy materials to it without tearing it. I realized this when I tried to attach two servos, a distance sensor, an Arduino, a relay switch, and a light bulb along with all of the wires, to a single paper lamp! I was very worried that I would tear my lamp; however, eventually I was able to combine all of the parts together using hot glue and tape. I used a circular piece of cardboard for my base and attached everything to it as shown below:

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I then placed the inner snowflake layer around the circuit. Afterwards, I placed the outer ballerina layer around everything and cut out holes in it to attach the servos from within. I then attached the servos with masking tape and glued one of the ballerina’s arm and leg onto the servos. I also made two holes for the distance sensor and attached it at the top of the lamp. Finally, I glued the ballerina’s body on top of the arm and leg and also glued the leftover designs from my laser cutting to the outer layer. After attaching everything, I just needed to connect the Arduino to my laptop and upload the code for the lamp to work.

File_001 (1)

Here’s a video of the working lamp:

Here’s the coding for it:

#include “Ultrasonic.h”
Ultrasonic ultrasonic(7);
#include <Servo.h>

// create servo objects to control the servos
Servo myservo1;

Servo myservo2;
int pos1 = 45; // variable to store the servo position
int pos2 = 0; // variable to store the servo position

int in1 = 13;
void setup()
//connect servos on pins 9 and 10
pinMode(in1, OUTPUT);
digitalWrite(in1, HIGH);

void loop()
long RangeInCentimeters;
RangeInCentimeters = ultrasonic.MeasureInCentimeters();
Serial.println(RangeInCentimeters, DEC);
if (RangeInCentimeters < 50) {
pos1 = 0;
pos2 = 45;

digitalWrite(in1, HIGH);

if (RangeInCentimeters >= 200) {

pos1 = 45;
pos2 = 0;

digitalWrite(in1, LOW);

Paper Automata

So I have made this little neon cat passtime (which does not really work due to improper choice of material).
(I’ll come back with more detailed description about the process of making it!)