Week 5 Digital Story Critique

One of the sites suggested by Lori was digital storytelling at the University of Houston, so I thought I’d check it out. I LOVE finding creative ways for students to learn. Under the technology tab I found the digital story called “How Pop-ups Got their Pop” by Shaunna Smith 2008. I was expecting something on the line of some sort of technology that I would learn about, so to go back in time to paper was interesting. There was an historical overview at the outset of creating interest with interactive text by means of moveable parts.

  it has been said “that in order to appreciate the existing we must first understand the past and where it’s come from “

Pop-ups were simple disks and folds, often seen as child toys. 13th Century there were rotating disks used to organize and simplify research, astronomy and navigation. Later anatomy texts incorporated folds. Then came lift tabs and in the 19th Century pull tabs were incorporated into texts with rivets, strings, and levers. They were 2D. The pull tabs transformed one image to another much like closing a curtain or spinning a wheel. After that came layers, introduced in the 19th Century. These gave the images a 3D effect. One way was called peep show where the opening led back through more openings creating a tunnel effect. Layers were then combined with tabs to reveal 3D images within a story, very popular with children’s books. Pop-ups came in the 1920s when turning the page activated mechanisms that pulled the scene up…”it” popped up surprising the reader with every page turn. The pop-ups were used in books and then incorporated into graphic design greeting cards. Pop-up books still exist. Some designers have taken the concept into the adult realm to demonstrate and teach various concepts. Ron Van der Meer, paper engineer, was shunned and told adults would not be interested in pop-up books.   OK, so I had to look him up…he was born in 1945. Here are some of his books:

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Van der Meer persisted in his quest, teamed up with content experts and created pop-up books for adults. There are contemporary and intriguing pop-up books today, some with hidden compartments the reader must discover. (Disney’s  movie, Enchanted) incorporated the pop-up technique from paper to digital for the movie. The digital team found a new respect for the paper engineers! Pop-ups are still alive. They draw the reader in because of the 3D world, there are surprises, and as engineering marvels, they are loved! A powerful final quote that Shaunna spoke was…“when referencing Rinehart’s book Star Wars: A Pop-Up Guide to the Galaxy the NY Times said it best…calling this sophisticated piece of engineering a pop-up book is like calling the Great Wall of China a partition.”
Getting Started with Digital Storytelling Visual

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The visual above is on perhaps the front page when you pull up the University of Houston website. In using this criteria for Shaunna’s digital story, I have to say that she did a fantastic job ALL the way around the circle. For what we’ve been sharing, too, such as economy and media grammar it truly is a well done digital story. I suppose the only way you are not interested or would rate it low would be if you were disinterested in the content. I also re-evaluated my initial thought of ….paper….technology….? I was brought back to my very first class at CU Denver, Trends, INTE 6750 where we went back in history to come forward to see the changes in technology. I also see why Imgur  asks you to give various labels to your pictures that you upload so they can be cross referenced. A person would find this if they mentioned paper art, paper design, paper engineering, etc. OK, back to Shaunna. She is either a natural or she rehearsed A LOT, because it was flawless, the rate was balanced, there were no stumbles and she did all of that speaking while the visuals were changing to show exactly what she was talking about. The audience does not have to guess, for example, what a moveable disk is. I stopped the video several times to rehear, not because I did not understand, but because I wanted to quote her. I also wanted to go and find the people she spoke of. My daughter did a simplistic moveable book in her elementary class that used strings on one page to pull the monkey from the ground to the top of the tree. My other daughter used a pop-up style book in high school when she created myths. They were magnificent and we still have them. On a scale of 1 to 10 pop-up surprises, I give this digital story 10 pop-ups. (Reference to radio talk show host and how they rate movies by an element of the movie itself) Clever. I hope you will enjoy this as much as I did! 😉



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