Day 14: How small can you work?

Make something microscopic. How small can you work?

I designed a very basic papercraft character a few months ago. My design focus was on simple cuts and folds, so it should scale relatively well. I wonder how small I can make it?

Behold, the incredible shrinking papercraft bearded man!:

animationObviously I completely lack any magical paper-shrinking powers and had to make a bunch of models in order to create the crude animated .gif above:

DSCF9603Each model is 50% the size of the next largest model. The smallest one probably doesn’t really count as a model though (since it’s barely holding together, and is rather grossly disfigured.)

Here are some process shots (including the original print-out with all the different sizes):

Day 11: Work on the other hand

Work on the other hand. Pick a medium you’re comfortable with, then work with your non-dominant hand.

Just a quick one today, since it’s a Friday. I didn’t fancy handling scissors or a razor with my left hand, so manual paper cutting was out.

In then end, I decided that using Paper (by FiftyThree) for iPad was close enough to paper crafting, because… well, it has “paper” in the title… and I could sketch with my left hand while watching the news and flicking through channels with my right.

Anyhow, I ended up finger-drawing this old guy getting interviewed about guns (or something like that):

2013-01-11 21.18.46

Day 10: Water

User only water as your medium/inspiration today.

I started thinking that I would make a paper cup (to hold water) and then a Neptune paper toy (God of the seas), but I ended up just wanting to make something cute.

Working in a similar vein to the nectarine pattern from yesterday, I created a basic octopus pattern in Inkscape:


I wasn’t entirely sure if the lengths/widths, but it all seems to have worked out:


And here are a few more shots – enjoy!:

Day 9: Make something with your breakfast

Make something with your breakfast before you eat it.

By the time I read today’s inspiration, I had already eaten breakfast (a couple of pieces of toast and a nectarine).

Rather than miss a day, I figured that it was time to bend the rules again. I initially thought that I would recreate my entire breakfast in papercraft, but then decided to just focus on one element of it: a nectarine.

I’ve previously use multiple scans to produce papercraft versions of real objects, but I’ve noted that cutting an object before scanning it might yield better results. Bearing that in mind, I peeled a nectarine so that the surface would lay flat on the scanner:


I then scanned it (covering sections with white paper to improve the colour reproduction – hopefully) and cut it out with some improvised tabs:



Then it was a matter of using double-sided adhesive tape (an a handy applicator) to roll up the side and hold it in a 3D shape:


Finally, it was ready to join the fruit basket. 🙂

DSCF9549Here are all the process shots:

I did eat the nectarine at the end. The real one, not the papercraft version.


Day 8: Transform an old book

Transform an old book into something new by cutting, folding, gluing and  so on.

We don’t really have any old books that we could transform, so I used a WASO booklet that Amelia grabbed from the coffee table and proceeded to bend, nibble, and gnaw.

The inside cover features a wide shot of the orchestra standing to attendance, and I wanted to try making some of the figures actually stand out from the page.

So I cut:


And folded:

DSCF9535I like how it kind of… flattens out the perspective effect – making it look like there are giants  amongst normal-sized people. It reminds me of The Lord of the Rings films.

I haven’t really mentioned it much before, but I’m keen to make papercraft-based games and this exercise has shown me that I could probably use very simple cuts and folds to create layered environments suitable for simple scenes. Good stuff.

Day 7: Make a stencil and use it in your work

We recently acquired a new coffee machine, and I was inspired to make a stencil that would turn an ordinary cappuccino into a cute cappuccino.

I started by sketching a simple chibi face using a brush-tip marker:

Scan 16

I scanned this into my computer, did a quick vector trace, and sent it to the cutter:


Then it was a matter of (with Heidi’s help) frothing some milk and sprinkling chocolate powder through the stencil. Voila!

DSCF9530 DSCF9531 DSCF9532

Unfortunately, I’m not a big coffee drinker and Heidi always has a morning latte. So I’m not sure how much use this stencil is going to get beyond today.

Day 6: The first fruit or vegetable you spot

Look in the kitchen and work with the first fruit or vegetable you spot.

Just a quick one today, since it’s getting late and I’m back to work tomorrow.

I opened the refridgerator and saw a carrot, so I made a papercraft version of it. This particular papercraft didn’t work out so well  (I cut the shapes by eye and fudged some extra cuts when they didn’t line up). The most notable problem is probably the poor colour matching between the original (vibrant) carrot and the scanned-then-printed version.

DSCF9525 DSCF9526 I may look into better calibrating the printer/scanner. Although I wonder if it’s more an issue with the process of scanning with the lid open. Maybe I could use something like a piece of plain white paper draped over the carrot while scanning, or just calibrate the colours by eye when editing the graphics. Hmmmm… next time!

Speaking of next time, I had the idea that this may have been easier if I cut the carrot up prior to scanning. In that way, I would have all the required faces scanned more or less front-on and ready for reconstruction. I gave this a quick burl, but don’t have time to make a papercraft out of it. (Also, one of the pieces rolled over!) Anyhow, here is the scan:

Scan 12

I reckon that approach will work quite well actually. Next time!

(In other news, I just realised that my papercraft could look a little lewd. Oh well.)

Day 5: Take a five-minute walk

Take a five-minute walk, then make something using whatever materials are available where you’ve ended up. Leave it there for someone else to discover…

I bought a Silhouette Portrait electronic cutting tool a number of weeks ago and have been looking forward to using it for something other than test cuts. So I decided to bend the rules for this challenge by printing and cutting some things to take with me.

We live in the suburbs and there are a number of nearby parks, so I pondered what would suit those environments and be a pleasure to discover. Miyamoto’s Pikmin immediately sprung to mind, and I found some nice promotional images suitable for paper cut-outs.


Heidi and I took the cut-outs down to a nearby park just before dusk so that we would have good lighting for photos. She arranged them into a small scene and I took a few snaps. I think that it all turned out rather well. I wonder if they will be discovered.


Here are some process shots, from the cutting software to the arrangement on site: