Duncan Birmingham
A Guide to Pop-Up

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The following videos by Duncan Birmingham offer a complete introduction to the essentials of pop-up creation. They are a perfect companion to the book “Pop-Up Design and Paper Mechanics” by Duncan Birmingham


Tutorial 1 - Introduction - Materials and Basic Theory

This series of tutorials explains an easy way to make pop-ups without the need for templates or complicated measuring. As well as materials and basic theory, this first video explains the eight pop-up shapes that form the foundations of almost all pop-up designs.

Tutorial 2 - V-folds Part 1 Right Angle V-fold & Acute Angle V-fold

This tutorial explains the Right Angle V-fold and the Acute Angle V-fold. It demonstrates an easy way to make them without the need for measuring, and it explains how to adjust them to make the shape you want for your designs.

Tutorial 3 - V-folds Part 2 Pointed V-fold & Obtuse-Angle V-fold

This tutorial explains the Pointed V-fold and the Obtuse-angle V-Fold. It demonstrates an easy way to make them without the need for measuring. It also shows how to start building your designs by adding extra cuts and creases to simple pop-up shapes.

Tutorial 4 - V-folds Part 3 Asymmetric V-fold

This tutorial explains Asymmetric V-folds. These are useful for enhancing a design as they can make the pop-up lift away from the centre of the base. An easy way to make them Is demonstrated without the need for measuring.

Tutorial 5 - Parallel-folds Part 1 Parallelogram

This tutorial explains how to use Parallelograms in pop-up designs. It shows an easy way to make them without the need for measuring, and demonstrates how they can be added to V-folds or used to raise a simple moving arm.

Tutorial 6 - Parallel-folds Part 2 Symmetric & Asymmetric

This tutorial explains an easy way to make the range of pop-up shapes that are based on Parallel-folds. Although simple in themselves they are an important feature of pop-up design as they often form the foundation of highly complex mechanisms.

Tutorial 7 - Adding Extra Creases to Basic Pop-Up Shapes

This tutorial explains an easy way to add extra gullies and flaps to basic pop-up shapes. These can then be used to extend and elaborate your pop-up designs.

Tutorial 8 - Adding Small 3D Pieces onto Pop-Up Shapes

This tutorial explains easy ways to add small 3D pieces to simple pop-up mechanisms in order to extend and develop designs. These extra pieces can be quite large and an obvious part of a pop-up sculpture, or they may be much smaller and work 3D pieces as a “muscle” to raise larger pop-up planes.

Tutorial 9 - Raising Pop-Ups Off-Centre. The Strap

Most pop-ups are built across the spine fold, the central crease that runs down the middle of a card or book. The Strap is a mechanism that generates two gullies that lie flat on the page but away from the central crease. This makes it possible to build pop-ups that stand in the middle of a page. This tutorial explains an easy way to make the Strap mechanism.

Tutorial 10 - Pop-Up Spirals

Spirals are a fun and simple form of pop-up. They are not a rigid shape, and are not used to raise other structures, but an excellent and very easy way of adding some chaotic excitement to a pop-up design.

Tutorial 11 - Slots

Slots are an important element of Pop-up construction. They are used when pop-up planes are interlocked, or when one piece of card projects through another. They are also used to make wing-tab joints which can be used in place of glued tabs.

The next set of videos by Duncan Birmingham explore the more advanced concepts of professional pop-up design. They are intended to follow on from videos 1 to 11 above.

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