The Visual Computer

, Volume 31, Issue 6–8, pp 925–935 | Cite as

Generating animated paper pop-ups from the motion of articulated characters

  • Conrado RuizJr.
  • Sang N. Le
  • Kok-Lim Low
Original Article


Pop-up books are fascinating books comprised of paper pieces that pop out when opened to form interesting three-dimensional structures. But more than just reproducing 3D shapes, pop-up artists also use the movement of the paper pieces during the opening process to convey motion and produce some form of animation. Similarly, previous automated methods have focused on reproducing the 3D shape of an input mesh. In our work, we focus in recreating motion. We study the movement of the paper pieces of the different mechanisms used in pop-up structures to automatically design animated pop-ups. Our input is an animation file, containing a 3D character with an armature and motion. We map each of the linkage chains to a specific pop-up mechanism based on the type of motion it can produce. We then obtain the initial values of the parameters of the mechanisms, such as lengths and orientations of the patches, based on our formulations and parameter estimation. Subsequently, we utilize simulated annealing to search for a plausible layout from a valid configuration space. Finally, we produce a printable design layout of the animated pop-up.


Paper pop-up Automated design Modelling Physical fabrication Animation 



This work was supported by the Singapore MOE Academic Research Fund (Project No. T1-251RES1104). The 3D Models are from Blender Swap Girl model modified from L. Kaplinski, tree model by E. James, and monkey by J. Newnham.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ComputingNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.De La Salle UniversityManilaPhilippines
  3. 3.Digipen Institute of Technology SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

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