Thu

11

Aug

2011

Satoshi Kamiya's Divine Dragon (aka Bahamut)

15 Tries!
The Divine Dragon Designed by Satoshi Kamiya

I have finally harpooned my personal white whale: The Divine Dragon (Bahamut) by Satoshi Kamiya. This model has eluded me for months now and is largely responsible for the gap in updates earlier this summer. After fifteen seperate tries at the Divine Dragon, eight and a half hours of folding, and two hours of shaping, I am happy to say I am satisfied with the result.


When I first looked over the folding sequence in The Works of Satoshi Kamiya, it said that the Bahamut was 275 steps, which--at that time--was far and away the most complicated model I would ever attempt. But it looked so interesting! Four toes on each foot, five fingers on each hand, three claws on the wings, a segmented tail, pectoral muscles, eyes, ears, mouth, and five horns all achieved in one uncut square of paper. I had to atleast try it, right? And try I did. Fifteen times, in fact. This was due, in part, to the general numbering systems' gross understimate in steps. See, it says 275, but what it fails to declare is that at least fifty of those steps had to be repeated two, sometimes three, times or more. So, in all it take about 400 individual steps to complete the Divine Dragon.

 

Completing the Bahamut was a grueling decathalon unto itself. So many of the steps required inctricate, and often challenging folds.  It was a serious test of my skill and patience. I am glad it is over. I would warn anyone attempting this model to do some light calisthenics and deep stretching to prepare.

 

I folded this model from one uncut square of black/black double tissue. The square was approximately 54cm X 54cm. This model also marks another major change in my origami: I have finally aquired Methyl Cellulose! I used the Methyl Cellulose for the shaping and I am really liking the results. It has a much more natural appearance and leaves no visible traces after it dries. Here is a really good (and cheap!) product that contains Methyl Cellulose.

 

More pics of my model can be found here.

199 Comments

Wed

03

Aug

2011

Back Log Files: Chris Palmer's Flower Tower

This was achieved by the decreeping method!
Flower Tower designed by Chris Palmer

I actually have a few origami projects I have finished a while ago. I am going to be writing posts for all of these, some of which have already made special guest appearances in the photo gallery.

 

Today's feature is Chris Palmer's Flower Tower. This model is interesting, because it is less a specific model and more of a method to achieve any one of many possible variants. There are several prominent variants that are revealed by a quick google search. Actually, I managed to independantly discover some variations in my own experiments some years ago...but they were not so pretty.  After seeing Between The Folds, a PBS documentary on origami, which featured Chris Palmer and his enchanting tower, I decided to investigate a particular vairant. This variant utilizes the 'de-creeping' method.  De-creeping consists of repeated un-sinks to release extra paper trapped inside the layers of the tower.

 

It is a small source of embarressment for that it took me the better part of a year and a half to finally understand the construction of the model pictured above. But, I must say, I am genuinely happy with the results.

 

For this project I used Kraft paper often used by many on the Origami Forums. It is a sturdy, slightly stiff paper that is striped in appearance. It is very good for some complex projects because it come in rolls and thus large sheet can be made from it. It seems especially suitable for tessellations, and it worked great for my flower tower!

116 Comments

Tue

03

May

2011

Hexadecagonal Fujimoto Cube/Thank You Phillip West's Flikr!

This is a sixteen sided Iris opening box based off of the Fujimoto cube. I got the crease pattern (CP) here. This was a really interesting challenge because of all of the models I have done so far, this model requires the most accuracy in setting the creases, ALL of the creases, before you actually collapse the model. What I mean to say is, if you want something worth looking at, you had better precrease the whole CP carefully. I used a ruler and the sharp end of a nail file to lay in the creases accurately.

 

It is a fairly easy model, if a little time consuming. I highly recommend folding it if you want a reasonably sturdy cube-esque container.  I used the Foil Tissue paper from Origami Shop, you can check it out here.

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Tue

03

May

2011

Sipho Mabona's Swallow

Swallow designed by Sipho Mabona
Swallow designed by Sipho Mabona

If I had an origami model of the month, I would definitely say that this would be it. Sipho Mabona's swallow is such a joy to fold; I don't really know how to describe it. I found the instructions for this model in a YouTube video.  You can find it at the bottom of origami related videos here. The difficulty of this model is intermidiate, and you need to be picky about what sort of paper you use, but if you get it right, oh man, this will impress everyone! 

 

The model pictured above was made from 'tissue foil' I got from Origami-Shop.com. This paper works exceptionally well, and I would recommend it for this and a number of other projects. I have also had some success with the homemade variety of tissue foil. You can see a how-to guide for making this kind of paper in the paper making section here. This model will even work with regular origami paper (kami), but you have to be really careful when forming the head.  The paper will want to rip, as the layers can get a little thick.

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Fri

22

Apr

2011

Snapology: Snub Cube

Snub Cube
Snub Cube

I mentioned that I would be posting something about snapology in my last post...well here it is! The picture above is a snub cube which is what you get when you take a cube to a belt sander and remove the edges and corners.  Snapology is a really interesting take on modular origami. Instead of piecing together units made from square pieces of paper, snapology uses rectangular strips of paper which vary in length.  The strips of paper usually have dimensions 1 x n, where n is a positive integer.  In other words, these strips can be divided into squares.

 

There are two classes of strips: connectors and face strips.  In every snapology piece, connector strips are divided into four squares each, and these pieces do just what their name implies: they connect face strips to each other.  Face strips make up the faces of the polyhedron you are modeling. The face strips are divided into twice as many squares as the number of sides on each face. In the case of the snub cube, there are only two polygons serving as faces: squares and equilateral triangles. Since a snub cube has 6 square faces and 32 triangular faces, I needed 6 strips of (4 x 2 = 8) squares, 32 strips of (3 x 2 = 6) squares.  As a result, I needed 60 connector strips of four squares. Why 60? Because there are 60 edges in a snub cube! Anyway, snapology is a really fun way of making complicated polyhedra and it makes for a fun group project.

 

0 Comments

Sun

17

Apr

2011

My Secret Archive of Origami in Florida.

I recently went to Florida to visit my parents since I haven't seen them in a while. While I was there, I remembered my parents had a bunch of my origami sitting in their basement. I thought I should take advantage of this opportunity to take pictures for ArnoldsOrigami. Some of my pieces didn't survive storage which made me a little sad, but all of my favorites did. I tried my hardest to take good pictures of them, and I think they turned out well. 

 

Almost all of the tessellations were made from Eric Gjerde's Origami Tessellations: Awe-Inspiring Geometric Designs, an excellent book which comes highly recommended...I am recommending it...to you. The tessellation located in the fourth column and fourth row of the above picture is of my own design.

 

The modular works in this collection are shamelessly taken from Tomoko Fuse's Unit Origami: Multidimensional Transformations. I love this book. There are a lot of designs in it that are really fun and easy to make. The real strength of this book is the versatility of many of the units. One of my friends has taken the pinwheel unit to downright dangerous extremes. He has titled it "The Never Done" because he has been continually adding to it for several years now (on and off). 

 

In the last column, second row, is an icosahedron made using a special kind of modular origami called snapology. I have a few more projects in the works using this very technique, so expect an update with more of that soon.

 

Finally, if you look at the first column, fourth row, you will see an interesting "molecule" based off of Fuse's pinwheel unit. I have a project in the works that will take advantage of this very carbon like behavior. I am still hammering out the color scheme, but I hope to have it finished by the summer.

 

In the meantime, go check out all the new photos I have added!

 

0 Comments

Tue

05

Apr

2011

Robert Lang's Long Horn Beetle

This is a lot harder than it looks!
Long Horn Beetle designed by Robert J. Lang

Hello, sorry for the long hiatus, but I have been having a mess of a time trying to fold new models.  After seemingly countless failures, I decided to try a model that had stumped me earlier this year:  the Long Horn Beetle, designed by Robert Lang. This model can be found in Origami Insects II by Robert Lang. I can't recommend this book enough. Every model is excellently diagrammed and each one is a very interesting lesson in origami. I suspect that my next set of models will be from this book. Getting to the point, the longhorn beetle had confounded my best efforts in the past, and I am very happy to present to you my most recent (and quite successful) attempt.  One section of the diagramming sequence was especially difficult to fold for me: the narrowing of the antennae. This section forced me to fail at least half a dozen times. So, when I finally decided to retry it this time, I precreased the narrowed sections. Additionally, in order to make this region more accessible during the narrowing steps, I decided to unsink the "crotch" of folds that form the base of the antennae, then I re-sank the "crotch" to return the model to the prescribed sequence. 

 

I folded the long horn beetle from a black/black double tissue using the glossier side as the visible surface. I did that hoping that it would imitate the shiny quality of insect chitin. This model was a blast to fold and shape, and I hope I can find a suitably nice piece of paper to do the model a bit more justice than this version. 

 

0 Comments

Tue

08

Mar

2011

Robert J. Lang's Tree Frog...mine is blue.

Robert J. Lang Tree Frog
Blue Tree Frog designed by Robert J. Lang

I finally decided to try out the tree frog designed by Robert J. Lang. The diagrams for this model can be found in Origami Design Secrets by Robert J. Lang. I remember watching Robert Lang deliver a presentation on origami at TED a bunch of years ago (check it out here). During his talk, he flashed an image of an origami tree frog with toes and little rounded finger tips. I was amazed at the detail and the life-like quality. So recently I decided that I should give it a try. Unfortunately, I found this model to be really...boring. I am not sure why, but this model was really tedious to fold and shape. I can't really see myself folding this model again anytime soon. That having been said, I am really happy with how it turned out.

 

I folded this model from a blue/blue square of double tissue. Because of how boring it was to fold this model I made the decision to reduce the number of toes on the back legs of the frog from five to four. A real tree frog has four toes on its front legs and five toes on its hind legs. It is one of a very small set of animals that has a different number of toes on its hind legs than on its front legs. Despite the usefulness of the additional toe to the frog, I didn't think it was crucial to include it in the paper model...so it didn't.

0 Comments

Tue

08

Mar

2011

Satoshi Kamiya's Eagle Ray (long tailed version)

Satoshi Kamiya Eagle Ray (long tailed version)
Long Tailed Eagle Ray designed by Satoshi Kamiya

In the book The Works of Satoshi Kamiya, there is a very cute model of an eagle ray with a short tail which is nicely diagrammed. However, there is included in the book the crease pattern for a long tailed version of the eagle ray. Author Satoshi Kamiya left solving the crease pattern as an exercise for the reader. Since I have very little experience solving crease patterns, this was a great opportunity to bridge the gap between diagrams and crease patterns. I could use the crease pattern for the long tailed eagle ray and the diagrams from the short tailed eagle ray and interpolate the new sequence of folds. Additionally, this served as an exercise in modifying an existing model. All in all, this model was the best lesson in origami design I have yet learned!

 

Folded from a black/black double tissue 13.8" square. I had to fold the short tailed version first to get a sense for the sequence of folds and their effect on the final model. After I was satisfied with the result, I tried to modify the original folding sequence to produce the longer tail. This process went by pretty quickly, as it only took me 4 tries to get it right.

0 Comments

Fri

25

Feb

2011

Satoshi Kamiya's Smilodon

Smilodon
Smilodon

Hello again!  Here is my second attempt at Satoshi Kamiya’s smilodon, the diagram of which can be found in his book The Works of Satoshi Kamiya.  I have been a fan of Satoshi Kamiya’s designs ever since I discovered his crazy dragon: Ryu Zin 3.5…It is going to be a while before you see anything like that on Arnold’s Origami.

 

Satoshi Kamiya’s smilodon is extremely clever because it is specifically designed for sturdiness. For those of you who are not really familiar with animal origami, representational models of animals typically have an opening on them somewhere, and the two most common locations are on the belly-side of the animal or the back-side of the animal.  If the model is a quadraped and the model opens on its back, the edges and the reverse side of the paper show, which can make for a pretty sloppy mess on more complicated models.  On the other hand, if the model opens on the belly-side, typically only one or two layers of paper make up the back, resulting in a relatively flimsy model.  Flimsiness isn't bad necessarily, but if you want a model of reasonable complexity, a belly opening model might not give you the rigidity that you need to achieve your desired effect.  Getting to the point, Satoshi Kamiya’s smilodon was designed to have a strong back, making for a really solid model...which I like.

 

I folded my first smilodon out of purple origami paper only to realize that, even though I am not really sure what a smilodon actually looks like, it probably isn’t purple.  So I retried it with homemade tissue foil—yellow on one side and white on the other.  I am really happy with the results!

0 Comments

Sat

19

Feb

2011

Michael LaFosse Squirrel

Michael LaFosse Squirrel
Squirrel designed by Michael LaFosse

This is my second attempt at Micahel LaFosse's squirrel, whose diagrams can be found in Advanced Origami by Michael LaFosse. The base of the squirrel was not particularly hard to fold, but the final shaping was tricky, especially with regard to the head and feet.  Unfortunately, my first attempt at the squirrel left me with a comically small head.  I also needed to improvise a new design for the feet because I could not get the squirrel to stand using the proposed feet design.

 

I folded the squirrel from triple tissue using one layer of brown tissue paper and two layers of an off-whiteish tissue paper. I liked folding the triple tissue paper (even though it was a little stiff) particularly because it took creases very well, and it was much easier to reverse the creases than when using double tissue. Shaping this paper was a bit of a hassle, but I am really happy with the result.  I definitely think it is definitely the cutest thing I have folded.

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Sat

12

Feb

2011

Brian Chan's One-Sheet Rose

Brian Chan's One-Sheet Rose
One-Sheet Rose designed by Brian Chan

These are my first two attempts at the one-sheet rose designed by Brian Chan. I really love this model because it is so clever. The whole thing—rosebud, calyx, stem and leaves—is made from one sheet of paper, as the name suggests. The best part is, the rose isn't all that hard!  You get a lot of origami bang for your buck. I am just really impressed with the design.

 

Anyway, the red/green rose is folded from tissue foil, and the yellow/green one is folded from double tissue. Each medium produced different results, and I am really happy with both. The tissue foil was much easier to shape, but the final rose looks a bit clunky. The double tissue was easier to fold and collapse, but the final shaping was a bit of an ordeal, though it did produce a skinnier stem and more realistic calyx.

0 Comments

Tue

18

Jan

2011

Robert J. Lang Tarantula

Robert J. Lang Tarantula
Double Tissue Tarantula

I got this tarantula design from Robert J. Lang's book entitled Origami Insects II.  The anatomy of the tarantula makes for a very complicated crease pattern, and this particular model took me about 12 hours to fold.  To construct the tarantula, I used my very own black and brown double tissue paper.  As a pleasant surprise, I accidentally made the paper so that it was black on one side and a splotchy brownish-black on the other.  The splotchiness of the paper gave the tarantula a more organic look and really enhanced its overall appearance. As of yet, I haven't been able to replicate the splotchy effect in other pieces of double tissue, but hopefully I will some day.

 

The tarantula above is my third attempt at this model. In my previous attempts, I used my own tissue foil which, even though it makes shaping the model a lot easier, made folding the base almost impossible. I struggled really hard with the the sequence of three consecutive closed unsinks that are necessary for this model. I found that using double tissue made these steps much neater and cleaner looking than what the tissue foil could achieve.

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Mon

17

Jan

2011

Michael LaFosse Toucan

Michael LaFosse Toucan
Double Tissue Toucan

I modeled this toucan using Michael G. LaFosse's diagrams, which can be found in his book Advanced Origami: An Artist's Guide to Performances in Paper.  LaFosse's toucan has tremendous personality but is also quite elegant at the same time (view his creation here).  I tried to capture those characteristics in my own model, hopefully with some success.  The paper that I used to fold the toucan is homemade double tissue paper--red on one side, black on the other.

2 Comments

Sun

16

Jan

2011

Robert J. Lang Hummingbird

Double Tissue Hummingbird
Double Tissue Hummingbird

This is my double tissue hummingbird, modeled from Robert J. Lang's Origami Design Secrets.  (See his version of the hummingbird here.)  To enhance the curvature of the wings and the overall elegance of the model, I wet folded the paper.  Wet-folding is most effective on animals and other organic objects because it offsets the stiff and geometric quality of traditional origami folds.  To wet fold, I use Elmer's Craft Bond Paper Craft Glue Gel diluted with water.  I haven't figured out the exact glue to water ratio, but further experimentation will get me closer to the desired mixture.  For now, I just have to make sure that I don't apply too much liquid on my paper, or else I run the risk of tearing it.

 

My biggest challenge with the hummingbird was shaping the body--especially the tail.  The nice flared tail you see now took many tries.  For the longest time, the tail lacked any curvature and just looked like an unsightly rigid protrusion.  The next time I attempt the hummingbird, I want to use black and orange (or perhaps black and pink) double tissue paper/foil.

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