Animating origami crane with shape keys

I m really beginner , i know making an origami is not the best to start with, i’ve a base of maya and animation in maya, but wanna get started in blender.

Would like to know if someone could guide me for the first steps for animating a 2d plane that folds into a origami BIRD(CRANE) , maybe shape keys will be the best and fastest choice. instead of adding armatures.

Really hope someone can help me please. I really dont find so much about this in internet.

EDIT: i found this but its for another version and i dont understand many of the things he does,

maybe someone can use this video to give me a hand of the steps. for 2.8.
I wouldnt mind in donating something for someone interested in helping.

If you want to animate the folding process, shape keys might work; I think the armature approach might be better because each shape key transitions to another in a straight line. For instance, when folding the “paper” diagonally, with a shape key for the start and end position, one corner would just slide to the other rather than rotating around the fold line.

To make it “fold” correctly, you would need to add a lot of shape keys in between the beginning and ending shape key - more keys would provide smoother movement (be sure to set the interpolation to linear rather than the default bezier for the in-betweens at least).

For an armature approach, I would consider creating “hooks” for each vertex, and use an armature to animate the hooks. To create a hook, select a vertex, and press CTRL-H:Hook To New Object. This will create a new empty which the vertex is now parented to.

Whichever way you go, it will take a lot of planning to make sure you have vertices in the right places and to keep your armature from becoming too complicated. Also, you might want to make the empties different from each other (use plain axes, axes with arrows, a cube, sphere, etc.). this would make it easier to tell which vertex you are dealing with when they overlap - for instance, the first diagonal fold puts two vertices in the same place.

Lastly, using just a plane may not be best since both sides of the “paper” would have the same material. Perhaps a very, very thin box?

This is an interesting puzzle, and I will probably spend the next couple days trying to figure it out. Thanks for the inspiration!

I am following the instructions on this site: https://origami.me/crane/
I folded a Crane (it was not pretty), and marked the folds with pen. Then I took a picture of it and used it as an image in Blender as a guide to set up the vertices.

After playing around with armatures I decided it would be too complicated to try to do it with a single armature. If it is even possible, it would need a lot of drivers and constraints which you wold have to turn on and off depending on what axis (fold) you wanted things to rotate around.

My next idea is to do each step in a different scene. For instance, step one would be to fold the paper diagonally in half. This could be easily done by rotating the square plane 45 degrees. and parenting the hooks (which control the verts) now on the top half to an empty. Then rotate the empty 180 degrees around the x-axis. Place the camera and make the animation.

Next, make a new scene (Full Copy), and start step two from there. The camera, lights, and geometry would all start in the same position, so it should be seamless. Then just continue for the next 50 steps :grinning:.

The “inside reverse fold” in Step 41 took me a while to figure out using paper, so it might be a little tricky to animate, but by breaking it down into steps you do not have to worry about what came before or what comes next.

no way you could do a screen capture of how you did the first steps/folds??

Sure; I’ll work on it.

I put together a video showing my initial process:

I hope it helps!

thank you so much for your time and help, hope this also helps lot of people who are interested and couldnt find anything in internet. Its reallya complex thing to do, even if it seems simple:D.
soon i’m gonna give it a try and let you know. Thanks again Phil!