3D form, print,
A 3-part project that centered around an endangered animal, and focused on translating the form of the animal as well as its environment across a 3D plastic model, a 2D illustration, and a pop-up book spread. My animal was a black skimmer, a shorebird with a unique hunting method that's endangered in my home state of New Jersey.
Part 1: 3D Form
The first part of the project was to create an interactive model of the animal from found plastic packaging, paying attention to silhouette, form, & proportion.
I researched the black skimmer, taking note of its behaviors and sketching the bird itself. I then began breaking the form of the bird down into simpler components, and tried looking for those forms in plastic containers I had collected. The final model was a result of what I had learned about construction and shape from previous prototypes, as well as how I could go about implementing an interaction (in this case, the beak of the model opening and closing).
Part 1 process: initial research, prototype & interaction notes.
Part 2: 2D Translation
The next part of the project was to create a 2D representation of the animal and its environment in Adobe Illustrator, paying attention to color and simplification of form. The composition would also include a short, alphabet-book-like description of the animal and why it was endangered.
I sketched thumbnails of possible concepts and eventually created a cut-paper collage of one of the stronger compositions. I wanted to show more aspects of the skimmer that I couldn't portray in the 3D model, namely the environment and the skimmer's habit of living in flocks, so I decided to portray the skimmers hunting by a shore. I then used the cut-paper college to inform the composition as I moved into Illustrator and further refined the piece.
Part 2 process: initial sketches & thumbnails, cut-paper draft, refinement, & Illustrator versions.
Part 3: Pop-up
The final part of the project was to reinterpret the animal's form as an interactive two-page pop-up spread, using two tones of colored paper as well as black or white.
I started by exploring different pop-up book mechanisms, particularly looking for those that could mimic a bird's wings flapping. After mocking up some spreads, I decided to play with the idea of extinction—the animal disappearing from its environment—by having the spread just show the environment when opened. The user would then interact with a pull-tab mechanism to add the bird back into its environment.
Part 3 process: some prototypes, from mechanism exploration to more finalized spreads.