Friday, November 18, 2016

Pop-up cards of the world's greatest architecture

I've had an email from Robert Sabuda in my inbox for over a week pointing to a new project seeking support on Indigogo here.

Sabuda collaborated with Chuck Fisher to create a means for producing pop-up cards of important buildings. Any building. You name it. You actually name it. You provide photos of the building and as much information as possible and they use their program and their laser cutters and their printers to to fashion a card for it. Even your own house, if you like. They look like this:

Now, anything this marvelous doesn't come cheap. Friends keep pushing me to sell mine. It's a thing, I think, probably not uniquely American, but certainly nearly universally American. Come along with any neat-o idea and your friends will urge you to try marketing it. It's in our genes.

"Why not?" They ask.

"Because I would charge $150.00 for this card that I'm giving you. That's why. And who's going to pay $150.00 for a silly pop-up card. Nobody. That's who."

"Oh. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha"

But theirs are not nearly that costly.

They offer several packages. Let's do some cost analysis.

* 6 cards for $75.00  ($12.50 each.) Not bad, actually. That much for a card. They're big cards.

* 2 cards for $25.00, Monticello and Highclere Castle. ($12.50 each, again.)

* 3 cards of your choice $35.00 ($11.66 ea.)

* 8 card for $115.00 ($14.35 ea. ) What?  Oh, one is a special edition. And you get your name on something. And a signed thank you pop-up.

And so on through various iterations of number of cards, type of binding, glory of having your name somewhere.

So that's the cost of them.

With that photograph, I sense how this is done. I'll show you. But first, look at their video. It's a very well done video. These guys are pros at pitching their product. I must say I'm impressed. I cannot display the video, apparently it's available only at Indigogo.

Come on, watch it. It's fun.

Because I want you to notice how the buildings are set on the diagonal at 45˚ smack on the centeral fold. And it needn't come to a point. One side or the other can be missing at the point, so long as there is a glue line, a hinge, at the opposite angle. So that the central fold and the two hinges form the shape of an arrow either pointing away from you or at you, that is, either forward or backward. Those are the only two variations possible with this grid approach.

I used it myself before for the shape of a chessboard, the pieces are characters from Tim Burton's interpretation of Alice in Wonderland. Here is the page for it. It turns out one of the more popular cards. The person who has the card doesn't know that, but you do.

When you watch the architecture video you'll see that all of the buildings are this same approach. The buildings are all cut out from a grid. That's how the 3-D computing can comport with pop-ups. They all use the same template. The Alice in Wonderland photo shows how only two sides have hinges at the bottom attached to the the card. Everything else is free while interlocked with itself. I can even take out the character pieces and place them elsewhere on the grid. You can play chess with the characters, and the card will still fold flatly. 

I think we all got our idea of this from the inserts that go into cases of wine. Pull one out sometime and play with it. It's an incredible invention created from necessity. A packager thought of this. The slats are not even glued. They have slots. The slots match up. Half the slots are inverted so the slots slip into each other. That is, a slotted slate slips into the slot of a corresponding slat. And incredibly the whole grid arrangement fold flatly. And that forces you to imagine that configuration of slotted slats inside a pop-up card instead of inside a case for wine. And that's what these guys are doing.

I'll show you. 

The case of wine is 4 X 3, and that's fine for things like buildings. You can extend beyond your hinged sides all you like, and you can cut away portions, and you can do things within the grid too, like make little roofs, if you want. 

Now, imagine the sides of a castle drawn on the outside of this box, with the top and edges trimmed to form crenelated parapets. And inside the grid cut and draw whatever is needed to produce a castle from this case of wine with its inserts.  

I wanted to show you this for a whole week. This gif is made just for you. 

Oh! Here is Chuck Fisher on YouTube. We see what the man looks like, and his other books. Hey! I have that Genesis book. I didn't know he's the guy who wrote it. You know what? I had two copies of that book so I gave one away to a religious woman and she told me later that she treasures it. I said it has too many words to suit me. She thinks it's beautiful and splendid and amazing. She likes her copy better than I like mine. She appreciates all the wordy-word words inside it more than I do. Actually, I have a couple of his books.

26 used from $1.98. What?  The Genesis book has 5 stars rating. People love that thing. 

Amazon is not helpful searching his name. Apparently Chuck Fisher does not have an Amazon author's page. I don't understand that. YouTube has more information than Amazon. 

So anyway, this how you do architecture in pop-ups. By taking the clue from cases of wine. 

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