All posts tagged “origami”

Creating an Origami Style Vector Swan in Illustrator

Creating an origami-inspired design is an easy feat when you know the technique. Follow the quick tutorial steps below to learn how to bend your digital paper to create a fantastic design. We’ll be using Adobe Illustrator, but you can adapt these techniques to other vector or vexel programs as needed.

Tutorial: Origami Style Vector

What You’ll Be Creating

Step 1: Trace Your Illustration

You’ll need a general idea for your design. Using a stock photo, trace the outline, or the contour, of your object with the Pen Tool (P) to create a basic composition of your design. Set the Fill Color to Null and Stroke Color to Black and 1pt Weight. This will serve as a guide for the rest of your design. Group (Control-G) together your line work and lock the group in the Layers panel.

TIP: It’s a good idea to use a picture as a background to create a basic form for your design (for example, an animal or object).

Use the Rectangle Tool (M) to draw a large rectangle over your Artboard to create a background (the color chosen is entirely up to you).

Step 2: Trace Plygons Along the Illustrations

Since origami is a paper folding technique, we’re going to focus on the corners within the contour of the shape created in the previous step. Use the Pen Tool to draw lines connecting these corners, giving the design a folded look (see below).

Starting with the head of the swan, in this case, draw lines that connect corners to corners. Some of them criss-cross or stop in the center of another line in order to look like folded paper.

Continue drawing connecting, zig-zagging lines within the body of the outlined object. Don’t get too detailed in the lines you’re creating. You want to create the illusions of wings with a few zig-zags versus meticulously drawing lines to represent each feather. Also note how large each section is. Keep Your origami from looking crumpled by making sure sections aren’t too small. Paper can only fold down so much before losing a good, crisp shape.

TIP: To create the shapes, it is necessary to think about the form of real origami paper. Think where the edge of the paper should be as well as how large the paper is (usually origami paper is square, measuring 6-8 inches in size).

When you’re satisfied with your “fold lines”, Group them together and lock them in the Layers panel.

Step 3: Colour the Shapes

Use the Pen Tool to trace over each “folded” section of your design. In this case, we used different shades of gray to differntiate between the foreground shapes and background shapes (or portions of paper tha toverlap each other).

Continue tracing sections within your origami design until the whole design is complete and you’re ready to move on to the next step (see below for reference).

Step 4: Create Gradients

This part is the most important; it makes our illustration realistic. Apply Linear Gradients to the shapes you created in Step 3. Remember to pay attention to where the edges are (as defined in Step 2). The different shades of gray used in Step 3 should also give you an idea of where your shadows and highlights should fall within the origami design.

Use the Gradient Tool (G) to define the angles going from gray to white within the Linear Gradient.

Tip: Add realism to your design by defining a lightsource and creating extra shadow shapes to give your swan (or other object) depth and weight.

White and gray were chosen in this design because it looks more like real paper (and because many non-paper swans are predominantly white). The following shades of gray were used within the design below (though any range of dark to light hues will work wonderfully): #efefef, #d0d0d0 and #bfbfbf.

The angle of the gradient depends on where the fold is. In the case of the origami design in this tutorial, the (imaginary) light source is in the upper left of the picture plane. Keep lighter colors within the gradient toward that light source and darker colors along folds, within “background shapes” (those that were defined as such during Step 3, and near the right (see below for reference).

Alternatively, you can swap out white and gray for differing hues like green and yellow. so long as you have one lighter color and one darker color, the technique is the same.

Step 5: Details Make the Difference

This part is optional but the result is great. Sometimes we need an extra shadow within the design to make the illustration more realistic. If you need it, you can create a new shape (with the Pen Tool) with a Linear Gradient that goes from Black at 100% to 0% Opacity. Lower the overall Opacity of the shape in the Transparency panel as needed and make sure the gradient doesn’t meet the edge of the shape or else it’ll look like another fold was added to the paper.

Final Step: Use Your Own Style

Anyone can create an illustration with an origami style. That’s the reason why you need to differentiate yours from everyday ideas. Create a background or use different colours or animals; whatever you want to make your illustration unique.

Download the Source Files


The post Creating an Origami Style Vector Swan in Illustrator appeared first on Speckyboy Web Design Magazine.

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These solar arrays fold up like origami flowers

Sending stuff up to space is no easy task — even 45 years after Apollo 11. Size, weight, and cost are all massively important, so some researchers are turning to advanced origami to fold up solar arrays. The result of their two years’ worth of work is a solar array with a diameter of just 8.9 feet (2.7 meters) when folded and a massive 82 feet (25 meters) when unfurled. A 1/20th scale model of the array is what you see here.

To build the solar array, Shannon Zirbel and professor Larry Howell of Brigham Young University, and mechanical engineer Brian Trease of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, enlisted the help of renowned origami expert Robert Lang. One of the major difficulties faced by the team is that solar arrays are not as thin as…

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15 Giant Origami Installations That Will Amaze You

If you think origami is just for making swans from napkins, well, it’s actually a little more than that. Origami is the art of creating a masterpiece with a simple piece of paper. While the usual origami can be made at home with paper the size of your palm, the 15 giant origami sculptures in this post is going to blow your mind.

Days and weeks have been put into creating these gigantic and ridiculously oversized origami projects. From fantastic giant swans, to bulls, dragons and even a paper boat (you just have to have one of those), these giant installations were inspired by classiс origami designs and blown up to humongous proportions for your viewing pleasure.

White Elephant by Sipho Mabona. Swiss origami artist Sipho Mabona has folded a massive life-sized elephant from a specially produced 2,500 square foot sheet of paper at the Art Museum in Beromünster, Switzerland. Sipho needed the help of up to 10 people to lift and fold the elephant into reality.

Crouching Digital Origami Tigers by LAVA. Commisioned in 2010 by the Customs House in Sydney, Australia these tigers were then adopted by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). These "large" cats are made of recyclable materials and are brought to life with pulsating low energy LED lighting.

Painted Ponies by Kevin Box. These origami horses are currently located at the Santa Fe Botanical Garden as part of the artist’s "Origami In The Garden" exhibition. It’s quite amazing how it can look delicate yet strong at the same time.

Giant Origami Blackbirds by Matthew Gilson. Folded from 9′ x 9′ squares, these giant origami blackbirds were created by photographer Matthew Gilson. They now greet visitors in his Milwaukee Avenue studio.

Paper Boat by Frank Bolter. This paper boat, suitably named "HMS Origami", has floated down the River Thames in London. It measured 5.4m in length. German conceptual artist Frank Bolter (not him in the picture) used a special sort of paper which would normally be used in the manufacture of drinks cartons.

Origami Dragon by Hawaii Origami Club. Made by the Hawaii Origami Club, this cool red origami dragon represents a particular element of fantasy that could easily be found in various children’s books.

Origami Chair by Hiroki Yoshihara, Sandra McKee and Ivan Aguirre. This chair was made using a sheet of polypropylene, which is light and rigid enough to become the structure but soft enough that it can actually bend many times – makes for a comfy sit.

Ascension, The Crane by Crimson Collective. Coachella is one of the biggest music festivals in the US. In 2010, this massive installation called Ascension, The Crane became the center piece at the festival’s entrance. It was illuminated with colored lights, which makes it appear even more powerful and huge.

Hero’s Horse Monument by Kevin Box Studio. The mythological pegasus has always been an inspiration for many. Installed in 2014, this white pegasus origami structure is an amazing 21 feet tall.

White Bison by Kevin Box Studio. This white bison which was folded then cast in bronze still looks delicate like paper. This artwork was inspired by an origami paper bison made earlier by artist Robert J. Lang. Its size is 52″ x 20″ x 85″.

Giant Origami Crane by Bananas Projects. Last year, Logan Square welcomed its visitors with a huge 10-foot tall origami crane created out of bed sheets. Sima Cunningham, a 24-year-old musician who lives at the house off Fairfield Avenue and Logan Boulevard, as well as a group of her friends came up with this idea.

Anything Can Break by Pinaree Sanpitak. Debuting in 2012 at the 18th Biennale of Sydney, this large-scale installation is suspended from the ceiling. It is made up of origami cubes and glass clouds and acts as an interactive soundscape.

Rhinoceros Origami by Eric Joisel. Originally trained as a sculptor, Mr. Joisel was a self-taught origami artist. His work resembles that of no other artist in the genre. This giant folded rhinoceros is made from a single sheet of paper with no cuts.

HINWEG / AWAY by Sipho Mabona. This vivid and awesome installation of origami people hanging from balloons was featured as part of the Afrikanischen Literaturtage in September, 2001 at Kornschütte Luzern.

Giant Dynamic Interactive Origami Sculpture by Jonas Lobo. This giant motorized origami sculpture resembles a shell. It was made out of a single sheet of folded paper, wires and various electronic components and was shown at the NYC Maker Faire 2013.

Amazing origami work


A huge exhibition of 80 contemporary origami artists featuring 120 paper creations is planned to take place this summer at Cooper Union in New York. Check out more details on Colossal.






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Aldo Tolino creates stunning Origami portraits


In this series “Past Futur Perfekt“, Aldo Tolino plays with faces that he destroys and rebuilds in spectacular portraits.








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Lifelike Origami Artwork In The Wild [PICS]

We have previously featured a collection of splendid artwork by Won Park, a brilliant origami artist who specializes in turning dollar bills into lifelike creations. This time around, we have found an origami artist that goes by the username of FoldedWilderness who likes to make lifelike origami animals and photograph them in their natural surroundings.

lively origami animal
(Image Source: FoldedWilderness)

In this post, we have selected 12 origami animals to showcase what FoldedWilderness can do. Even without the facial details, the creator can depend solely on the color of the paper and the mere shape of his or her origami skills to create some pretty awesome paper-folding masterpieces.

A Donkey’s Journey. Folded from a single sheet of paper, this donkey is ready to take the first step in its journey – well, it would if it could move.

a donkey's journey

Autumn Blue Jay. The secret to producing all the gorgeous colors on these origami animals is that the artist painted them with acrylics beforehand.

autumn blue jay

Flower Child Fox. Foxes are usually way larger but come on, look at that? What can you complain about?

flower child fox

Jack Russel Terrier. A dramatic result of precise origami combined with professional photography skills.

jack russel terrier

A Landscape More Beautiful. The majestic stallion watches over the forest.

a landscape more beautiful

Playing the Fox. Good things come in pairs, they say. That’s definitely true when it comes to origami animals.

playing the fox

Singing Cardinal. A lot of skill and effort has been put in to produce this prodigious piece.

singing cardinal

Spring Arisen. An origami rabbit blending seamlessly into its natural surroundings.

spring arisen

The Howling Wolf. They say good photos would leave an impression on you, but the best photos would tell you stories. This definitely belongs to the latter.

the howling wolf

‘Tis the Season! Yes, even origami animals enjoy the season of giving!

tis the season

Where the Antelope Play. Believe it or not, this is the first origami animal that FoldedWilderness ever made using hand-painted paper.

where the entelope play

A Wild Chocobo Appears. This one is for all the fans of Final Fantasy’s Chocobo!

a wild chocobo appears

Origami turns creepy in artist’s paper mask portraits

Pairing a fashion photographer with an origamist may seem like an odd mix, but Giacomo Favilla and Francesca Lombardi have proven that such a collaboration can lead to surreal results. They’ve joined together for One of Us, a project featuring black and white portraits of people wearing origami masks. The masks themselves come in all shapes and sizes — some more creepy than others — with animals a strong focus; a puma, cat, rabbit, and crocodile are included. Londoners will have an opportunity to see the pictures up close when One of Us is given the exhibition treatment starting November 28th at The Book Club. Other work from the portfolios of Favilla an Lombardi will also be on display as part of the event, which is slated to run…

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The Corkigami Chair: Spain’s Carlos Ortega Design finds inspiration in natural materials and origami structures

The Corkigami Chair

When we first stumbled across Carlos Ortega Design in 2012 at Feria Habitat Valencia, we were drawn to the creative designs and sheer quality of traditional woodworking techniques. Now more than a year later, the brand introduces the new …

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Cool Hunting

12 Impressive Dollar Bill Origami Creations [Photos]

How can you make a dollar bill become more valuable than a dollar? Turn it into something else, using origami. And that’s what Won Park does, as a full-time profession (for real). Take a look at his origami koi fish below and you will know why he is dedicating a career to it.

dollar bill origami
(Image Source: Won Park)

Won Park does not just specialize in koi. Give him a dollar bill and he can create just about anything and boggle your mind at the same time. Let’s look at 12 examples that prove the true strength of his origami mastery. Unfold the post to reveal some paper-folding magic!

Millennium Falcon. Got a few bucks to spare? You can get the Millenium Falcon, with just a few dollars and Won Park’s crazy skills!

millennium falcon

Koi Fish. This breathtaking origami koi fish once marked the highest achievement in Won Park’s career. He even found the spot on the bill that can be the koi’s eyes and head.

koi fish

Spider. What can you do with two dollar bills these days? With two dollar bills, Won Park can make a spider come to life.

two dollar spider

Butterfly. It’s amazing how he can fold a piece of paper and breathe life into it. Next thing you know this little butterfly is going to fly off your screen.


Ox. It’s… ‘Oxsome’! I want one on my desk!


Bulldog. Wired magazine sent Won Park a 10 pound note and asked him to make something. He did not disappoint, with this English bulldog.


Chinese Dragon. Two one-dollar bills are enough for Won Park to flesh out the details of a Chinese Dragon.

chinese dragon

Camera. Learn to fold this origami camera by getting its diagrams in this Yahoo! group! Patience and skilful manipulation of paper not included.


Phone. An origami phone with number buttons. Now I’ve seen everything.


Battle Tank. If you are wondering, the cannon and tracks are 2 separate pieces of bank note. That’s why it’s named Two Dollar Battle Tank.

battle tank

F1 Racecar. Normally, I’d joke about how easily the money in my wallet disappears after pay day, but rarely are they in the form of an F1 racecar.

f1 racecar

U.S. Capitol Building. How American can a sculpture get? And without any snipping, glue or tape involved. Amazing!

us capitol building

Impressed with Won Park’s origami? For more, head over to his deviantArt portfolio for more magical origami, or join this Yahoo! group to get your hands dirty folding your own paper creations!

Also don’t hesitate to share your favorite works with us!

Origami Inspired, Shape-shifting Bag

Omni bag is a clever shape-shifting bag inspired by Origami. There isn’t any bags out there that offer this, a bag that can transform into different shapes. Depend on what you want to carry, with slight adjustment and folding, you can easily change its shape. Omni is a collection of multipurpose foldable bags, suitable for…