Once Upon a Time: Castle Pop-Up Book Terrain
I have finished my stained glass window and altar in the Chapel.

This 3-D element was a little different from all those before in that I effectively stacked two folding structures on top of each other. This was necessary because I wanted to have an altar parallel to the floor with two solid pieces above and below that needed to fold (the stained glass window and the back of the altar).

Here you can see the altar already made. I printed it on both sides in case the underside showed. The stained glass was in two pieces, a piece of card stock that would face into the room, and a piece of paper with stained glass and the back of the altar printed on it to act as the back of the window and cover up the attachment tab

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Here you can see then back and front once I put the window and altar pieces together.

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And here is the assembly once the back side is covered with the textured paper.

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Here is the assembly installed from the outside.

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And from the inside.

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And here are some pics of the folding sequence from two angles to show the dual folding elements.

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In this pic I have drawn some lines to better show the dual folding parts. The solid lines indicate where the two pieces are attached to the altar and wall. These remain fixed in the same plane as the edge of the building. The dotted lines show where the two pieces are creased to fold inward.

The top stained glass window piece is fixed on the left(wall) and bottom(altar), leaving the top(ceiling) and right(air) edges free to move. The lower altar back piece is fixed on the top(altar) and right(altar) leaving the bottom(floor) and left(wall) edges free to move. The altar itself is attached to the wall and the floor.

The fixed folds form a sideways Z. I rather like this technique and see how it could be used in multiple ways.

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Well back to work. I am really hoping that I can get all the 3-D elements done this weekend to leave Monday for tweaking, edge coloring, and final posting.
I have finally gotten around to doing my stairs. For each set of stairs I made a template I could use to cut out my pieces. Where possible, I made my steps continuous with one of the sides for strength and to keep things lined up neatly.

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Using the template, I cut out one side with stair steps attached and two sets of plain sides from card stock that had been printed on both sides. My stairs will be going along walls, so the wall sides of the stairs will be fully supported. I cut an extra piece so I could double up on the thickness of the side that was not against the wall to give it extra strength.

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Here is a pic of all three pieces put together.

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And here is what it looks like installed on the second floor in the Magic Lab. Because the ceiling here has thickness, the bottom of the ceiling does not stay next to the wall as the castle folds up (see details of floor hinges in this post). This means that if I had attached the top of the stairs to the underside of the ceiling, they would have been pulled away from the wall as the castle closed. To keep this from happening I did not attach the top of the stairs to the ceiling. The stairs are attached to the floor which causes them to fold as the castle is closed.

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I used a similar process when making the taller stairs on the ground floor in the Armory. Because my paper was not long enough to have all my stairs be pre-attached, I had to add the top two steps separately.

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Here is a pic showing both sets of stairs in place.

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And a couple of pics showing the closing sequence.

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While I was here, I went ahead and added a summoning "circle" to the floor of the Magic Lab. Given the need for the stairs to pass through here and doors into the adjacent Library and Chapel, I will likely not be able to add any more 3-D elements to this room.

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My goal is for every room to have at least one 3-D element in it while leaving room for play.

Next I will likely work on a table for the Kitchen and then lofts and such for the Armory and Stable.
Here is a set of shelves I put together for the Kitchen. I doubled up all the layers for strength. This will go between the in and out doors between the Kitchen and Great Hall.

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Here you can see them in place.

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And here they are folding.

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If I have time I will come back and add dishes and food to the shelves and walls.
In the Armory I decided to add a jail cell with a loft above that is accessed by a ladder.

Here are the pieces before assembly. Everything is made two layers thick for strength.

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And here is what the assembly looks like in place.

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I designed the jail to be accessible for play. While the cell door folds during castle closing, it does not open and close like a door when the castle is open. Instead, I left the back of the jail open so that figures can be placed inside.

Here is a view from inside the jail cell.

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And here is a view from outside the cell. You can also see a close-up of the ladder to the loft on the left of the pic.

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And here are a couple of pics showing everything folding during castle closing.

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If I have time I will try to add some 2-D weapons racks along the walls.

Next I will likely work on the stalls in the Stable.
And here is a pair of stalls in the Stable with a ladder accessed hayloft above.

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I will have to see if there are any other 3-D elements I can fit in before seeing how many 2-D highlights I can add.
I added a few minor 2-D textural embellishments today. I had hoped to make a couple of 3-D catapults for the battlements, but I just could not find any front on views to base the textures off of and I do not have the time left to cobble together my own. Tomorrow I should be able to put some decorative covers on and clean up edges and such as much as I can.

If I can squeeze in the time, I hope to remake the Library shelves. I am really unhappy with the current iteration.

Here is a pic of the Great Hall. I have added a royal carpet leading to the fireplace. Above the fireplace is the coat of arms. (The observant will notice that it belongs to Richard the Lionheart. I figure if you are going to borrow, then borrow from some of the best.   Smile  ) Across the ceiling are strung various banners to impress visitors.

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In the Master Bedroom there is a dragon tapestry carpet and another copy of the coat of arms.

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There is a mysterious grill low on the wall behind the stairs in the Armory and some weapons racks.

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And there are more weapons stationed around the battlements.

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And buckets stand ready in the Stables and the Kitchen (the head cook refused to allow cameras in the Kitchen until preparations for dinner were finished).

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As things stand, I should have everything done in time for posting before the deadline. I will not get everything as polished as I would like, but it should be quite fun to play with. I have been learning a lot and any future projects like this should go more quickly, function better, and look nicer from the start.
Here's a sneak peak at the cover. I decided to have my "book" look like a castle from the outside. It will look like a story about a castle, then when you open it you find out it really IS a castle and you get to tell the story.   Smile

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I am really hoping I can make replacement bookshelves for the Library. After that it will be tidying up where I can and then taking final pics.

This has been a fun project where I learned lots of new things. My favorite kind.

Quote:Ambience 327 said:
I can really only think of one word that truly describes this project: MAGNIFICENT!

Seriously, this is one of the coolest things I can remember seeing here on Terragenesis. Something about the whole thing just really works for me. I think of you found a way of publishing that "book", people would buy it!
Well I finished.   Smile

I did not get all the detail or cleaning up that I would have liked, but over all I am quite pleased.

And I was able to remake my Library bookshelves after all so that makes me happy. Instead of large, double-sided whole bookcases that folded up into massive wings, I made smaller shelves similar to the ones in my Kitchen. I made the books on each shelf into two pieces and moved them to the center of each shelf. They work much better now and take up far less room.

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And the cook finally let me in the Kitchen. You can see the food stored along the walls and in bags and barrels. You can also see the hatch down to the cellar.

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A few more details scattered about, mostly barrels and the like. I will do a final notes on my build here after I get my entry entered. It is going to be tough to trim my presentation pics down to a few. I have to decide on a balance between showing the folding action and what things look like when fully opened.
I went a little overboard with my initial description of my project for my entry submission  Big Grin . I decided to post the full version here for any interested in reading it. I will add a few more final pics to round out everything here once I get my submission in.

Once upon a time, there was a book about a castle. But this was not just any book. This book had a very special story in it, a story that changed every time the book was opened. This is because this book was not just a book about a castle, it WAS a castle, and you the reader got to play the story. Let us open it up and see what we find.

This castle is much bigger on the inside than on the outside. It must be magical. As the book opens we see it is like a tower with three floors. At the front we find the main gate leading into to the great hall. In the great hall colorful banners hang high on the walls and a beautiful red carpet covers the floor. All is in readiness for the coming feast. Two doors lead us past the fireplace with the coat of arms hanging above it into the kitchen.

The kitchen is full of activity as the chefs prepare for the feast. Food and cookware are everywhere. Mind the trapdoor to the cellar as we move through the door to the armory.

The armory has weapons stacked against the walls for the knights to use in the practice yard. The jail by the kitchen door lets the prisoners smell the wonderful cooking so they are extra sorry and promise not to be bad again. Stairs lead from here up to the next floor, but let us peek through the door into the stables first.

The stables hold the stalls for the king’s horses with a hayloft above. Buckets and barrels line the walls. We can look out the back gate to see who might be arriving for the feast.

Up the stairs we enter the magical laboratory. Strange runes are carved into the stone walls. Some of them are glowing. A mysterious summoning sigil is inlaid into the floor. Stairs lead to the battlements above, but let us check out the doors to the chapel and the library first.

The chapel is a peaceful retreat from the slightly disturbing magical lab. Sunlight streams through the stained glass windows to reflect off the polished stone floors and gold leaf covered walls.

The library has lots of books. They cover the walls and fill the shelves that stretch across the floors. A door here leads to the master bedroom. The king and queen must really like to read.

The master bedroom is filled with masterfully carved wood. From the parquet floors, to the polished wooden armoires, to the four poster bed with comfy pillows and soft quilts, wood is everywhere. Even the walls with the coat of arms are covered in fine wood paneling.

Let us head up to the battlements. Here we find more racks of weapons and barrels of supplies ready to defend the castle. The king likes to walk around up here and I do not blame him. You can see for miles around the kingdom.

Once our time in the castle is done, we close the doors and it all folds away until we are ready for our next adventure.

This project was designed to be a complete piece of terrain that acted like a pop-up book. Instead of being like a more traditional book where the covers lay flat on the ground and the images pop-up above, in this book the covers stay vertical. Instead of only opening 180 degrees, the covers open a full 360 degrees coming together back-to-back to form one of the interior walls. Opening up the book causes the floors of the castle to deploy. As the floors drop down they cause all the internal 3-D pop-up elements to unfold.

Some of the challenges of designing this project as opposed to a more traditional pop-up book are the placement of the pop-up elements and the degree of motion available to deploy them. A traditional pop-up book lays flat. Each page opens 180 degrees and the pop-up elements have a central axis of folding symmetry which works well with most natural and human made objects which also tend to have bilateral symmetry. Traditional pop-up books are also viewed from one direction and can thus hide the working bits out of view.

In this castle things work differently. The pop-up elements are controlled by the opening of the floors and walls, this gives only 90 degrees of motion. Thus, the pop-up elements all have their folding axes at 45 degrees instead of 90. In addition, the pop-up elements in the castle take two primary forms. There are those like the kitchen shelves or the stairs whose parts are all parallel to the walls and floors they are attached to which can fold without needing to deform, and there are those like the fireplaces and armoires that have parts perpendicular to the attaching walls and floors that must incorporate internal folds to collapse properly. The castle also has the added challenge of having to have all its pop-up elements look nice from all sides.

All in all I learned quite a lot working with this project and had a great time doing it. I feel like a achieved a good balance between realism, playability, and the constraints of the building method. This was my first time working with both foam core and printed paper textures. I like the results and will likely experiment in this playground in the future.
Here a a few overview pics of the final project.

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I had a great time making this project and learned a lot. If I make something else like this I know my next one will be better.

If anyone has any other questions about some of the techniques used or wanted a pic of a particular bit, just let me know and I will add it here.

Thanks for all your support.

Good luck everyone and happy building.

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