Character Beauty Shots

I rendered some beauty shots of my main origami characters and origami cube characters from 3D Studio Max:


Exhibition Show

The exhibition was a great success and really fun! The show was held on the 14th June in the London Street Gallery in Derry/Londonderry. It will also be running from Monday 17th to Thursday 20th with free admission. (10am to 4pm) Come check it out!

Here’s a link to the London Street Gallery:

Here are some of the pictures I took of the exhibition:


Some close-ups of my origami pop-up book:


I covered a whole sofa with my stuff whilst getting my exhibition ready:

Doctor Panda First Aid Video

Have a look at my Doctor Panda First Aid instruction video for children to learn how to treat a cut with 3 simple steps:

Meeting my Supervisor

I was talking to my supervisor about my project and I got some great help and ideas! It has helped give myself a clear indication of what to do and how to carry it out.


What I need to do is first work out the scenarios for the 4 sections, so far I have 3 done but I still need to figure out the animation for each of them. Getting this done allows me to start the storyboarding for the scenes. I will concentrate on finalising one scene to ensure I get one section done with the AR working, then if I have time I will work on another scene and so on.

Storyboard & Retention Span of Children

Next is to storyboard the scene. I plan on having a 10 second animation of little cube characters interacting with the background and an accident happens. I want the animation to remain short due to children’s attention span at the age of 4-5. I have been trying to find out retention guidelines for children but nothing comes up for animation, word and sentence limits, only word limits for books.

What I have found out though is the attention span average between the ages of 4-5 is between 5-10 minutes depending on how interesting and fun the activity is. I plan on having the total length of the animations about 1 minute or even less, while a little activity is played afterward to help remind the children what was taught. My supervisor will be helping me gather information on guidelines of retention limits for children from his connections which will be extremely useful.

Attention Span

Animation & Instruction Video

At the end of the scene the child presses the screen and it directs to a YouTube video stream I will make in 3D Studio Max. The video I will make will be an instructional video to show the child what to do in the situation such as the accident played out.

The main character for the scene will narrate what to do and as they mention a step, an icon pops up on the bottom of the screen which represents the step in the process. After completing the first aid treatment, all the icons appear at the bottom. I plan on having the icons as the marker for each of the scenarios. They could also be printed on cards for the children to take home and scan and use again with their parents.

What I want to achieve is repetition of the steps to teach the children the steps. This method works well with kids to help retain the information.

Think: Green Cross Code

The Green Cross Code itself is a short step-by-step procedure designed to enable pedestrians to cross streets safely. This was highly targeted to children and it was memorable with the singing and animation. While the Code has undergone several changes over the years, the basic tenets (“Stop, Look, Listen, Think” or “Stop Look Listen Live”.) have remained more or less the same.

Stop Look Listen Live

Do you remember the cute little hedgehog in the road safety campaign for children? It certainly was memorable for children, check it out if you haven’t seen it:

Illustrations & Pop-Up

I need to work out the style of the background  for my project and the pop-up piece’s so I need to test this out and finalize the style. I’m still considering vector style similar to the Powerpuff Girls background art and possibly isometric, but I need to not overcomplicate things and give myself too much work that I can’t complete in time.

Powerpuff Girls Background Art

The pop-ups will take some time to work out and plan as I have experienced before during semester one. I need to do sketches, a quick prototype and print the real thing off with the graphics designed and ready to be folded together.

Augmented Reality

The less polygons I have in one scene the more animation Junaio can cope with smoothly. As I have modelled my characters at a minimal of 300 and below polygons, I will have no limitation on length of animation. Though I will keep the animation to 10 seconds. I did a sting for one of my university projects which was 10 seconds long so I have an understanding of timely etc. I will upload it soon as reference.

I will be doing a sound tutorial next week with my supervisor on Junaio. The sound required will be noises from the little cube characters in the scene playing out the accident.

Instruction Video

The instruction video is not constrained to the limits of Juanio which is brilliant! I will be able to put in effects, lighting conditions, more detailed textures and the lip sync will work much better.

My Final Idea

Before you open the pop-up book there will be a marker on the front that you can scan and the 4 main characters appear introducing themselves. (Possibly folding up into the characters from a piece of paper if I have time?). Then you open up the circular pop-up and hold the device over one of the markers in one of the scenarios and an AR animation will appear. This will play out an accident with cube characters acting out the scene. After the animation, which will be about 10 seconds long, the child presses the screen (or an icon?) to stream a Youtube video I will make in 3D Studio Max. The main character for the scenario will tell the children watching, the easy to follow steps that they can carry out in this situation. Each time a step is revealed, an icon representing the step pops up on the bottom of the screen. Eventually after all the steps are covered, all the icons appear and the animation ends. This can be replayed over and over again.

The follow-up activity to recap the lesson will hopefully be in the form of cards each with an icon of the steps and the child can try put them in the correct order.

300 Polygon Characters

I was able to adjust my characters to the 300 polygon limit and here are the results!

Total Polygons: 1,098 Total: 262 Polygons Total: 290 Polygons Total: 220 Polygons 

Total: 334 Polygons

The Fireman Chick above had 334 polygons because I didn’t want to made the badge plain and with no thickness, but I decided that I wanted to keep all my models within the 300 polygon limit. This meant I could add more to the scene for their scenarios. So I decided to delete some of the polygons from the badge and target weld some polygons on the back of the fireman hat where you wouldn’t see to finally reach 300 polygons in total for the whole model.

Total: 300 Polygons

Characters Underconstruction

I got feedback from my supervisor today and it helped me a lot with solving problems and the best way forward for my project. We discussed my origami 3D models and the fact that the polygon count was quite high. My supervisor recommended using around 300 polygons per main character to allow the extra cube characters to be in the scene along with them to act out the scenario. So I had to go back to my 3D models again and get the polygon count down.


I started on my Fireman Chicky and it is going well. I was told to use smoothing groups instead of mesh smooth but I can use the high polygon count models as my beauty shots and for packaging etc. The smoothing groups allows the model to round off sharp edges without adding too many extra polygons.

Smoothing GroupsOn the image above the model to the left is the original 2,000 polygon model of the Fireman Chick. The middle model is with meshsmooth turned off. The right model has smoothing groups turned on and the total amount of polygons used was 334 including the fireman hat with smoothing groups instead of meshsmooth.

Adjustment Model

Fireman Chick FrontFireman Chick LeftFireman Chick TopFireman Chick PerspectiveI quite like the effect the final model gives, the papery angular edges similar to my origami characters I folded. The advantage of this model is the fact that the polygon count is low enough to include the extra cube characters at the same time and work smoothly on Junaio.

I was able to take out the extra polygons I added onto the flaps as they weren’t necessary anymore. Originally I added the polygons to ensure meshsmooth, when applied, would a preferred shape and structure to the flaps. But as I do not require meshsmooth anymore, I could take these extra polygons away and reduce the polygon count.

The fireman hat also looks like the origami hat I made for my character. I took off the meshsmooth and added smoothing groups instead.

My 3D Characters

When I first modelled my puffy bunny character it was influenced by the origami bunny I made so I modelled the front triangular parts:

But when I modelled the rest of the characters after the origami models I made, they didn’t have the front triangular parts which made the characters not seem to have a consistent style as you can see below:

Bunny With Front Flaps Only

I took out the front parts from the bunny and it worked out much better:

Flaps in the same place

Another thing I noticed was how the flaps on the side were too thin and they were not shaping right. You can see below that they look like thin planes attached to a cube. I also modelled flaps on the bottom but I realised it meant that I was going over the 2,000 polygons count limit for Junaio AR use so I took them out. They also weren’t necessary either as you won’t see the bottom of the 4 main characters.

Flaps in the same place

All the characters had flaps on their side but when I made all the characters using origami techniques, only two of the characters had flaps on their side. To make the bunny and the panda the flaps remained on their side, whilst the cat and the chick had their flaps on the top to keep their ears/fluff in place.

The bunny modelling adjustment meant I also had to remake the origami bunny so that the front parts do not appear, I will upload the images of my origami characters soon. But for now below you can see how it will turn out, the ears now start in the middle forming a central point rather than being spread apart.

Bunny With no Front Flaps

I had to thicken the flaps and add more polygons around the flaps to add more shape and structure.


When I model my characters I model half the model as it is usually symmetrical. The chick was a bit difficult as the fluff was placed in the middle of the model. I modelled half the model with the fluff attached and then added a symmetry modifier and deleted the extra fluff which copied along with the other half of the model.

When I modelled the nurse cap I used a chamfer box, deleted half of it and half again to leave me with a quarter of the chamfer box. I started extruding from here and then added symmetry modifier twice to make the whole model appear. I placed ‘edit poly’ on top of the stack and altered the front and back of the nurse cap to make it look similar to the origami model. The origami fireman hat I made does nt have the badge on it but I managed to make the hat with one square piece of paper. I will either have the badge printed on the piece of paper before it is folded or try to figure out an origami badge to place on the hat.

Graphics on the Origami Paper

I think it would be a good idea to take note of the faces and ear positions etc of the origami models and unfold them and see where the positions are on the unfolded model. This means I can place graphics there such as eyes, mouth, the panda’s head mirror, the fireman badge so that when children make them the graphics are already there. I could also leave plain paper for them and they can draw their own faces if they wish to.

The fireman hat was modelled similarly to the nurse cap and I added a plane and shaped it into the fireman badge which is usually on the front of the hats

All the characters have meshsmooth applied to them.

The bunny had 1,962 polygons in total

The Cat had 1,960 polygons including her nurse cap

The panda had 1,772 polygons

The chick had 2,000 polygons including the fireman hat and the badge

Here is how my little cube characters turned out:

A Problem

I realised my characters have to have a mouth so they can speak and have a lip sync so I need to figure out how it will look. I also have to work around the 2k polygon limit, especially in the case of the chick having 2,000 polygons already!

Nurse Kitty’s Origami Nurse Cap

Modelling the Nurse Cap

At first I modelled the nurse hat similarly to a typical nurse cap shape at the same time I started modelling my characters, so I wasn’t thinking about how I would fold the hat using origami techniques.

Here is my first nurse hat attempt:

I made the nurse cap round and cute with the intention of making it simple like the character style. Then I decided to remodel the cap similarly to how the nurse caps looked and choose between the two caps to be used as the prop.

Here is my second nurse hat attempt:

I asked my supervisor which one he liked best and he liked the first one better whilst I liked a bit of both of the models. I liked the front shape of cap 2 and the pudginess of cap 2. However, as mentioned before my supervisor suggested that the characters could be made using origami techniques so children and visitors at the end of year show could make the characters for themselves.

Origami Hats

I started looking into origami hats and at first they weren’t what I was looking for. They were too pointy and basically not the shape I was looking for.

Then I came across the ‘crown origami hat’ and with just a little adjustment it would be perfect.

Crown Origami Hat

Crown Origami Hat

To make my nurse cap I will fold in three of the flaps and slightly fold the tip of the last flap to make it more rounder. I will upload my origami nurse cap soon.

My 3D Model

Here is how the remodelling turned out:

Progress on Modelling Origami Characters

I started modelling the other 3 characters (kitty/chick/panda) and I tried keeping it closely to how I drew them and imagined them:


Puffy Cat attempt

For the cat I was having trouble with modelling it and making it look like how I drew it. Should it have the front flaps? Where should I place the cat ears? I decided to take away the front flaps as it wasn’t working with the ears. The ears were created by extruding faces and scaling them to narrow them. I was much happier with the outcome.


Next I modelled the nurse hat and made it puffy and round to suit the style and keep it consistent. I modelled the panda and chick characters and you can see the progress so far below:

Screenshot When I showed my supervisor he liked the little cube characters and asked if they can actually be folded just like the puffy bunny. I realised they don’t and I would be great if viewers could fold the character I designed. I loved how the characters were turning out in 3D Studio Max so I decided to try make the same ears for the cat/panda/chick with adjustments to how the origami bunny was folded. Tomorrow I’ll upload photos of the little origami characters. So far I managed to fold the cat and panda!

3D Studio Max Origami Puffy Bunny

I attempted modelling my origami puffy bunny in 3D Studio Max and I found it quite tricky and challenging. At first I decided to model the bunny accurately with the folds that you see when it is made:

Puffy Bunny 6

I made this quite complicated for myself and I was getting confused on modelling all the folds as I wanted to model the bunny the way it looks.

This is how it was beginning to turn out:

Left model: I modelled the bunny ear separately and then added a box but my supervisor recommended modelling the whole bunny as one object.

Right model: I started to extrude from the bottom of the bunny ear to make the cube shape and also the triangle folds you see on the origami bunny. But this wasn’t working out either, I was overcomplicating things. My supervisor told me to keep the model simple as the origami bunny is simple, whilst making it the ‘perfect’ version.

My next attempt was to make the bunny from a chamfer box and extrude the ears and triangle flaps, here is how it is turning out:

Chamfer Box

Chamfer Box

Half Modelling

Half Modelling

Polgon Modelling

Polgon Modelling

Mesh Smooth

Mesh Smooth

I used the chamfer box as it automatically added rounded edges to the cube. I turned the object into an editable poly and deleted half the object to begin modelling one half and then when I’m finished I add symmetry to save time modelling and the bunny is symmetrical. Next I extruded the faces to make the ear and moved the vertices to shape the curved ears. The triangle flaps were also extruded the scaled on the x-axis to narrow the end. This turned out much better and looked more like the origami bunny.

The model used 508 polygons and 1,708 polygons with MeshSmooth turned on which is perfect as it remains in the 2,000 polygon limit for Juanio. The prop used will take up the rest of the polygons left over (example: nurse kitty has a nurse hat which takes 198 polygons with MeshSmooth).

The next step was creating the other 3 characters I designed.

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