Sunday, December 5, 2010

Book Review : Elements Of Pop Up: A Pop Up Book For Aspiring Paper Engineers : David A. Carter

Right On The Money

This is an outstanding book of reference for the pop up paper engineer.

There are plenty of books, that talk about the materials, what pop ups is all about, a few design ideas, and which give a few different components that go into popups. Some deal with a project building step by step. These are similar to several books on learning to draw, paint etc., where a series of samples are given, and by doing them, one learns to do exactly that particular piece. These books were teaching 'How to draw cars', 'How to draw people', 'how to draw animals' etc.. where the focus was on the cars, and people and the animals.. The real need for a learner to master the subject and make it their own is to know the foundation. what is need is a 'How to draw'.Period.

Then there were special books created by teachers such as Glenn Vilppu, Kimon Nicholaides, Bruce McIntyre, who came along and presented the 'elements'. Once we master the elements of any subject, we are well equipped to 'creating' an endless variety.

This book, true to its title deals with the elements. Like the alphabets and words of a language, the book contains page after page of simple elements, increasing in complexity. There are plenty of different elements that are presented using parallel and angle folds.

Simple elements such as box, cones, cylinders, armature, tents etc. are presented, and explained in detail. The book presents the 'elements', and all we need is the creativity to go build what we want to, using these elements. This is the classical approach to understanding this subject. Very well made book.

Also, the book takes us into the realm of paper engineering, with wheels, cams, pull-tabs and such.

The highlight of the book is that, all the elements that are dealt with are demonstrated with a working sample pasted on the book, along with detailed descriptions. There are 44 elements that the authors deals with in this large format book. 32 focussing on pop ups, and the rest based on wheels and pull-tabs. The templates or 'dies' for all these templates are available for free download from the author's website, which would be an amazing add-on.

This would be an essential book in the po-up engineer workshop.

After purchasing half a dozen books, I was looking precisely for one of this kind, and am glad I found it.

This is an extract from my review at, You can find more of my reviews here.

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