Thursday, February 09, 2006

Albertino's guépard (cheetah)

I just finished making Lionel Albertino's guépard from his book Safari Origami. While I don't have a very extensive library of origami books, I still find this model unique. It has to do with the cheetah's back.

Decades ago, many origami animals were open-backed. After a while, it became fashionable to make closed-back models. Satoshi Kamiya, in his book The Works of Satoshi Kamiya, mentions that many closed-back models suffer from very thin layers on their back. So, he started pleating his models along their backs in order to give them the proper thickness. This does mean that his closed-back models have a seam running along the center of the back.

Albertino's cheetah certainly is a closed-back model, and it has a seam running along the back's center. There are actually many layers that come together right at this seam, though not through pleating. These many layers look somewhat ugly directly exposed, almost defeating the purpose of a closed-back. So, Albertino devised a quite clever way to make the model look better.

The cheetah's tail and head come from two opposite corners of the paper, while the four legs come from the edge of the paper. This means that the two remaining corners go unused, and normally would be tucked inside the model. Albertino's ingenious idea is to liberate one of the corner flaps, and at the end of the model use that flap to cover over the exposed layers coming together at the seam. The flap goes around and over the back and gets tucked between the layers on the side. The idea works quite well. It doesn't cover the layers in the neck area, but it does a good job on the back, going all of the way to the tail.

This is a new idea to me, even if it's not new in the origami world, and I don't see it repeated in any other of his designs. Overall, it's a nice model. And, since the head gets formed from a frog base, there is considerable flexibility for making other animals of the cat family. In my model, I modified the head to look like a tiger.


Blogger Mike said...

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Blogger Jack Cruz said...

Night Thought. Keep sharing your Paper Origami
Ideas I love the way you express it.

8:40 PM  

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