The Animal Project

Serina Liu
Part 1: 3D Form
Ideas for Animals

Starting this project, I was not really sure what I wanted to choose as my animal. After doing some
light research, I narrowed it down to these two candidates. However, the bog turtle’s tiny size and easy
going-ness was really appealing.
Research Time
I began by researching more about the bog turtle and trying to understand it.
I read a ton of bios and websites that both taught me about the essence of my
turtle, but it also helped me begin my brainstorming on how I was going to
communicate this little guy in a 3D form.

My story about my bog turtle:
Photo Research
Photographic research was incredibly important to me
during this project because it was the clearest form of
how the turtle looked and how it was placed/interacted
with it’s environment. There were very few clear videos
of the bog turtles in action, so these photos served as
the template for me to follow.
These next two pages were really focusing on how I could effectively communicate
the form. I am a big fan of listing out what goes on in your mind so there are some
random thoughts that have come in through my head not only in the crits, but also as
a personal awareness question.

The movement aspect of this project was really important to me. I wanted to come up with an
action that I felt like contextualized my turtle the best and would create some sort of entertaining
element to it. I added the slider mechanism in order to make it easier to interact with. The
rigidity of the plastic would hopefully keep it in place and stable unless it was actively being
moved back and forth.
Practice Drawing
One of my biggest issues was trying to find the perfect shape
of the head and attempting to find its relation to the rest. The
turtle head in the lower left corner has a very telling head
shape and composture.
Making the Form
I began attempting different ways to build my turtle. I came into the actual
making of the project with some image in mind and I think that really
helped me execute my ideas and keep me motivated.I was super excited for
the mechanism, so it definitely helped keep my motivated through all the
frustrating moments.
The crits pushed me harder to try new things, especially with the coffee
lid situation. Even though I ultimately came back to the coffee lid idea, the
explorations really made me think about the shell in different ways and see it
in a new light. I think trying to emulate the shell detail was a really great thing
and really pushed the coffee lid idea further.

Overall, I think the alterations to the shell in hopes to find a midpoint between
decorative and minimalism worked out really well. It communicates the ideas
in an efficient manner.

The final outcome was one that I was not expecting
at all. It actually worked out rather smoothly and I
was so estatic that the mechanism worked pretty
well too.

I really enjoyed making the 3D model and I really
enjoyed seeing my peers’ 3D models because
it definitely showed everyone’s creativity and
Part 2: Illustration
Part 2 of “The Animal Project” meant taking our 3D models and
communicating it through a 2D/digital medium.

I started off by trying to think about all the important things that I had
to consider while I was making the 3D model and listing them out.
By doing this, I was hoping I could capture these importances also in
my 2D version. For example, one of the things I wanted to be part of
the shell was some type of angle. I didn’t want the shell to look too
flat. I hoped that the angle would add some type of dimensionality
and structure to it.

This was also when I was considering of the possible slogans that I
could write down on my final. Since I wasn’t exactly sure about what
my final would be, I decided to come up with two in the environment
segment and two in the money segment. This would give me some
sort of leeway to pick when I did have to ultimately decide.
I have some sketches of the ideas or
concepts that I was thinking about
for the digital version as well as me
experimenting with text.

I liked Roboto a lot more and definitely
spent some time playing with the size
and weight of the font (digitally). The
notes on the left are notes taken from
class that day and clearly shows my
frustration with my ideas because it
seemed underwhelming and way too
Paper Cut-Out
The paper cut-out was much more focused
on the turtle being in it’s own environment.
When we did the crit in class, the ones that
I liked the most really captured why the
animal was endangered and told a story.

I felt like my cut-out was a little too boring
and I wanted to tell a more complex story
through the cut-out. I talked to both Wayne
and Q about it and was able to get helpful

Q enjoyed the colors of the actual entity, but
not that background green. Wayne thought
there was a little too much grass and that
the shell of the turtle could be much more
Shell color consistent Shell color changes

First Attempts
My first attempt at making my turtle in Illustrator.

I think overall this turtle was not very successful. It looks sort of contorted (in a weird way). Although it is recognizable as a turtle, I think I had a lot of difficulty trying to find the
right balance. The marks on the neck are a little excessive and resemble some type of disease, which makes me uncomfortable. The feet/claws could also use some work to
look more realistic.

Things that did work however, was the shell and the pattern. I hoped that the change in color would help show dimensionality. I think it definitely helped communicate the idea,
but the shell as a whole could be more rounded and much more bulbous.
During class we had talked about trying to find a balance between illustration and
abstraction. I wanted to test this concept out and attempt to abstract the turtle from
a highly complex illustration to a very basic simple shaped turtle.

The Original First Draft:

In my paper cut-out version, I had a green background, but when I moved to a digital
space, I didn’t really enjoy the look of the green background.

My first instinct was to go with brown just because it really stuck to a quite simple and
condensed color palette which I enjoyed, but when I printed it out in Reese, the colors were
all way too similar to be presentable. All the colors got way more washed out, darker and

I think it worked relativeily okay when displayed digitally, but really did not look good in it’s
physical form. That meant that I needed to play around with the colors because eventually
it needed to be an illustration that worked both digitally and physically.
Iterations Part Two

“Sun” in the back apparently looks like a picnic plate

The blue is way too perky and flattens out the piece as a whole

People generally seemed to like the lighter rock in the front opposed to the darker one in the
front. I think the darker rock worked better underneath the turtle because the lighter one has a
very similar color.

Hoping the radial gradient will draw towards the turtle head
Final Crits

Final Crits:

- A lot of negative space on the left hand side -- very one
side heavy

- The font of the slogan could be a little smaller maybe

- Some points of tension between the actual turtle and
the rock that is standing on top of

- Last row of shells that are most far away should be
darker than the other rows
Part 3: Pop-up Book
Pop-up Book Ideas
1. Turtle head going in and out

This definitely was the obvious choice of pop-up because the
motion itself resemebles that of a turtle’s neck going in and out
very effectively.

I was super skeptical about doing this one just because it seems
a little too predictable and even a little boring (???) I was also
not into this idea as much because my 3D model for part one
consisted of this motion of going in and out and wanted to try out
something new.

2. Turtle flipping over when book opened

This choice of pop-up is probably my favorite. I think it’s a lot
more unexpected, fun, and refreshing!

The mechanism is based off of the “C” to “D” in the alphabet
book. I think that this mechanism creates more of a narrative
in comparison to the other ones, It highlights the vulnerability
of the turtle (alive and then dying) and definitely creates a more
interesting interaction.

3. Turtle coming up into shape

This is by far the simplest mechanism to make. It is an
automatic pull strip.

I don’t really like this one as much as the others because I think
it is by far the most boring interaction. The shape is also a little
wonky because it’s hard to make it ovalular in a natural way.
Understanding/Exploring Mechanisms

I want to see how different mechanisms were folded before I started to make them by
hand to test out. I found these on some beginner pop-up making website and thought they
were worth taking note of.

Duncan Birmingham is also just a really helpful source. I am pretty sure these pop-up
instructions can be attributed to him. His YouTube videos were also incredibly helpful to
making these different mechanisms.

Having the ABC3D book around was also really helpful because I definitely peeked through
it to try to understand the mechanism. I definitely learned a lot from just looking at the
mechanism and testing it out multiple times.
Crit and Actions

Class today was mainly about showing and demonstrating the process that we were making on our
pop-up mechanisms. It was a way to get some feedback both from the professors and classmates.

I showed the two mechanisms that I thought could potentially work in communicating my bog turtle.
This included the flipping turtle and the automatic pull strip one. I think the general vibe of both
the class and the professors was that the automatic pull strip was much more boring and would
definitely need some other element to make it engaging.

In regards to the flipping turtle, I had to give a disclaimer that it was still not completely working
like I had wanted it to. However, the concept of it seemed to get the class really excited and it was
agreeable that it was far more interesting. The main difficulty would be making it 3D and getting it to
actually work.

My next step was to set up all the
things that I had to do because Wayne,
Twigg and Q were talking about coming
to a final pop-up, sticking to it and
trying to refine it.

I listed out the problems that I was
having with my pop-up in general and
needed to come up with a solution too.

I realized that I needed to really focus
on the mechanism and try to figure out
what I was doing wrong before I started
thinking about everything else. It was
just frustrating that my first iteration
worked while the other ones didn’t
work as seamlessly.
Working on Mechanism

Working on the mechanism was frustrating because a lot of things
were not consistently working. It took a lot of redo-ing and I ended
up making around 5 copies of this mechanism in hopes to get it to
work properly. My very first iteration worked out really well, but the
later ones didn’t come close to it’s seamless-ness.

However, I think ultimately, I got it to work pretty well. It took a lot
of experimenting, but I think that the fold that I eventually got was
probably the most accurate which made it consistent in it’s flipping.

Things to Consider:

- Does the width of the bands affect the flipping motion?
- Ultimately, how big can the turtle actually be?
- Length of the actual strip that is meant to carry the turtle
Visuals for Pop-Up
The hardest part of the visuals by far is doing the surroundings. I had a hard time trying to figure
out what was most and least effective.

Black vs. White Paper
- Black paper and the vibrant green color-aid has a great contrast. This makes it way easier to see
the turtle and also is a lot more lowkey.
- White paper is a lot more “shocking” because it’s very bright, which might take away from the
turtle. White on white blends in really well and creates really great shadows.

Front View vs. Overview
I had an extra hard time with this part. I talked to Wayne and Q about it and they both understood
the front view as some sort of land/rock. Wayne liked how simple it was and Q really wanted to
see some green continued throughout the piece (with leaves). However, when I talked to Justin, he
seemed to be much more into a top view. It made sense because the turtle was a top view angle,
so it would make sense if the surrounding was also overview. Ultimately, trying it out, the overview
surroundings reminded people of ponds or some sort of body of water rather than rocks.

Turtle visual front and back
Making the Final
Working with color-aid was not as bad as I was expecting. For my certain case, it was definitely better because I
didn’t have to bristol my entire sheet of color-aid because I wasn’t planning on using it as my background. I know
this posed a huge problem for a lot of people. However, for some parts of the turtle, I had to put the color-aid on
top of the bristol because it added some 3-dimensionality as well as some depth to different parts of the turtle.

I basically scaled up my turtle and just placed the lighter color-aid where the lighter cardstock was and the same
with the darker green. It threw me off a little bit just because the cardstock colors looked way more appealing to
me and the contrasts between the dark and the light in the color-aid were pretty apparent. Overall, I think it turned
out nicely though.

The image to the right is the draft that I made. For the actual final, I wanted
hopefully for the turtle to be a bit smaller and not take up as much room
in order to emphasize the small size of the bog turtle. I wanted the actual
background to be more overwhelming.
Final Pop-Up

Overall, I am still a little weary about how the surroundings turned out. I am
beyond estatic that the mechanism worked and I was really happy that it
resemebled what I had imagined in my head. The surroundings was tough from
beginning to end because I had a hard time trying to find a balance between too
much and too little. I think the green leaves really helped because without it, it
looked way too empty and kind of like a big black hole of nothingness. I think the
green helps carry the color throughout the entire piece and works out nicely.

I am pretty happy with how it turned out and I am really glad that a lot of my
peers really enjoyed it visually and the interaction. It felt nice that people got the
narrative and also had a good time playing around with it. It was funny because
some of my peers I talked to found the turtle “so cute that they would totally want
to buy one on the black market” which is perfect because it shows one of the
problems that the bog turtle has!

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