Coraline house: Construction underway!

After having this project shelved for a couple of months now, I finally got around to starting construction of my Coraline house popup that I started back in March (Adam will surely be excited 🙂 ). I built the top and bottom for the popup and started working on the “Coraline” logo for the front cover. The logo is silver foil cardstock glued to a piece of grey paper for the shadow; the first letter I tried to make, a “C,” turned out OK; I’ll just need to take a bit more care in gluing the pieces together for the final product. This first letter was mostly to see how this would look, and whether it’d be worth the effort to worry about the paper shadow. It looks pretty good, so I think I’m going to continue with it. Pics over there –> in the Flickr sidebar.

Construction planning for the “Coraline” house

Coraline house - startI began the process of designing and planning the construction of the house for the “Coraline” popup diorama I’m working on; it’s proving to be more straight-forward than I had originally thought it might be. I’ve spent about an hour and a half getting it to this point; it shouldn’t take more than a few hours more to complete it. Then I’ll plot out the other three layers and begin construction. Should be fun.

The roof overlay will need to be reworked a little; I didn’t catch the little area of roof that’s visible between the turret and the front eave, and I’ve lost a little detail there. Will be easy to fix. Then I’ll need to work out which details I’ll build up with paper and which will be added in with score lines or colored pencils or watercolors later; at this point, the majority of the major features look like they’ll work well as paper. Will adjust as necessary during construction.

I’m liking how this is going so far. It should be a fun project to complete.

Coraline house planning - layer plans

Building a “Coraline” pop-up diorama

I posted last week about my newfound love for the movie “Coraline;” I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I just might try to go see it in the theaters again (especially when I’m in Minneapolis in a couple of weeks and hopefully might have a chance to see it in 3D). The visual style of the movie inspired me, like nothing else really has in a long, long time. Even while I was watching the movie the first time, a set would flash by or there’d be a closeup of one of the characters, and I just kept having these thoughts go through my head of “I could build that, and it would be awesome.”

Then by chance at work last week, I ran across this fantastic sample booklet for Corbis stock photos. It’s an extremely thick book with popups constructed of a variety of images from their stock photo library, as a leadin for the sample DVD included with this dem. Here are some other images of the book; it has a plastic dust jacket that you have to remove or open to get to the popups; here are straight-on and oblique views of the first of the book’s four popups; and finally a side view of the fourth popup and the DVD pocket in the back flap.

I immediately stole it from our designer (after asking nicely first if I could) and took it home, and I spent many minutes just looking at it – flipping the pages, opening and closing the popups, looking at them from a variety of angles.

The splash page for Coraline.com is tailor-made for this sort of treatment. So, I decided to build it.

After breaking down the frontpage, the project will be a four-layer popup diorama, and I’m going to do a couple of layers of sky and have a button on a rotating wheel that I can turn to cause the lunar eclipse. My plan is to build the layers as paper collages rather than just have a flat image on each; we’ll see how that turns out. You can see some rough sketching I’ve done to start breaking down the house and see how I might attack its construction.

I’m going to document my progress on this project here; for now, take a look at the initial engineering prototype as I start playing with layer positioning and relative sizing. I threw this one together in about an hour and didn’t really do a whole lot of measuring; I just eyeballed the scale for the most part, and I actually think it turned out really well.

This prototype is built with 8 1/2 x 11 65-pound cardstock. I’m probably going to build the final product out on a 12×12. The proportions will be very similar; it’ll just end up being quite a bit wider, which will fit well with the feel of the Coraline.com menu. I’m still considering whether to do a second engineering prototype at the larger size; it’d probably be a good idea.

Stay tuned…