Marionette Movement

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One of the project we have been working on for the last few was to create a design and from that design, construct an origami puppet. The focus of this was to try and create interesting movements and forms that had their own characteristics and personality.

When creating, and brainstorming my marionette, I wanted to make something that had some flow and rhythm to it. I eventually achieved this flow by using a repeating shape, the triangles of the neck ad tail, and connected it in one solid row. Of course, I didn’t want my marinate to simply be a worm or snake made out of triangles so, in order to give it some structure I gave it a solid and ridged base. To obtain this I used solid rectangular structures and sewed them tightly together. From there I created the legs, once again using modular design, to give my marinate even more interest within its structure.

Looking back at its basic design, there were a few design choices I made to help emphasize different parts. For example, to help convey that linear flow and rhythm created by the triangles, I choose to keep all the triangles approximately the same color, that color being gold. Unfortunately, I began to run out of gold paper and had to use orange and yellow to subsidize it, however I kept those changes in a pattern to keep that linear reinforcement and unity. I also did something similar within the legs, where I kept the same color pattern for all the legs to help make their similarity stand out more. However, as a whole the marinate has mainly warmer colors to keep the unity.

The major structural differences and made more apparent through my color choices. Since I wanted to keep similar parts together yet separate from the different parts within my structure, I used differences in color and patterns to help add some distinction. The tree major contrasting parts were the spine, body base and the legs. The spine, neck and tail are all very fluid, and have little limitations placed upon their movement. This heavy contrasts the extreme rigidness of the base body, which was created using large rectangles. The legs were also allowed movement, however it was much more limited once again separating it from the spine, neck and tail.

A lot of the shapes I used in this design so have pointed edges and parts, which helps unify the piece as they relate to each other. However, it was necessary to use the more solid and rounded rectangles as the base. Without it, the marionette would have no center to move or build from of a place to help maintain the balance of it. So, while those shapes may stand out in comparison to the others, a distinction also helped by my color choices, they are needed or else there would be nothing to tie it together or balance. The pieces that stand out the most probably are the golden triangles though as they take up the most space, and have the most complex movement and fluidity. Honestly, if I had used a different shape I do not think this would have turned out the way it did as the triangles not only got the desired line movement, they also allowed free movement without compromising the structure or it’s unity.

The modules defiantly helped in keeping the forms together. The triangles used for the spine easily kept together while still allowing free movement. The same can be said for the legs as, due to the repeating shape, they folded easily on themselves when necessary but still held their independent shape. This helped strengthen the overall fluidity of the marionette.

Looking at my Marinette objectively, the color scheme is fairly warm with the coolest color being a dark green which I used to accent the structure as a whole. I also see that I used a lot of pointed and sharp edged shapes. This gives the Marinette an interesting silhouette of its form without it being too cluttered and having enough structure to be recognizable. In terms of texture, while the modules themselves give the marionette an interesting texture, I left the “texture” out of the color choices as the form would get too complicated and muddled. Overall the size of the different body parts in the form seem fairly proportionate with each other, with no one part being too large or too small to make no logical sense. Tis gives the form a very nice balance and since of harmony within the structure as a whole. However, a lot of the harmony comes from the repeated use of shapes and how they are linked together. This contained repetition also gives the marionette some much needed order within its structure.

The overall design was based off a character I created a while named Kal. When we were given the assignment, we were told we could make anything as long as it used modular design and showed movement. I thought that Kal’s design would create enough interesting movement, and would present a challenge so I chose that design. The next step was to redesign in terms of modules and basic shapes so it could be easily recreated with origami and string. Finally, there was simply making it and creating a few adjustments here and there after some trial and error. Actually, that is probably the best way to describe my creative process. I like to make loose and basic plans which progressively get more complex as I work on it due to additions from trial and error. It’s not the most time efficient was to do something but it leaves plenty of room for improvement and changes if something goes wrong.

In the end, I like how the structure approaches some “fantasy” like ideas. The main one being how would a six legged, horse creature walk and move. Would it be like a spider with each leg independent or would they move in a uniform way? I eventually designed it so that the front two legs would stay uniform on their respective sides and the back two would alternate with the front. I also gave the legs, what I guess you could describe as extra joints. Using three pieces of origami for each leg instead of two, I wanted to create visual interest within the legs. This brought up the idea and question of how would legs with that many joints fold up and operate. In the end, I am pleased with the results and answers I got to these questions and ideas during this project.




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