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Audio Waveform Pop-Up Cards

Create a 3D pop-up card visualization for an audio file!

These pop-up card designs are programmatically generated by taking an audio file and sampling the audio amplitude over time graph. They measure 5"x7" (5" x 3.5" when folded). They fit in a standard cammerical North American #10 envelope and can be mailed with a single U.S. forever stamp.

This project came about as a way for me to wish happy holidays to some geographically-faraway friends. The pattern in samples/popup.svg is generated from an audio recording of me saying "happy holidays." They are inspired by Peter Dahmen's Amazing Pop-Up card tutorial and by the art of kirigami.

3 cards in a row

1 card at an angle

How to make your own

Tools Needed:

  • A Paper Cutting Tool. Options:
  • Elmer's Glue
  • Paintbrush (for glue)

Materials

  • 65 lb Cardstock paper (I used Recollections brand from Michael's)
    • 1 sheet for the pop-up (pop-up sheet)
    • 1 sheet for card (what you will glue the pattern to) (card sheet)
    • These can be different colors
  • Extra Cardstock because you will mess up

How to generate a pop-up pattern

brew install ffmpeg

python popupgen.py --infile=<input audio file path> --outfile=<output file path>

python popupgen.py --infile=samples/audio.m4a --outfile=output.pdf
  • infile can be any audio file that ffmpeg supports including wav, m4a, mp3, ogg, and wma.
  • outfile can be a SVG or PDF

How to assemble the card

  1. Pre-work: Go through Peter Dahmen's Amazing Pop-Up card tutorial so you understand how the paper pieces should be assembled.

  2. Print out the pop-up pattern on the pop-up sheet and cut the red lines. Mountain fold the green lines.

    • If you are using a Sihouette Cameo 2, I have screenshots of the settings I used in the silhouettesettings folder
  3. Take the card sheet and cut a 5"x7" rectangle. Fold this sheet in half so that it is 5"x3.5" (some people call this hamburger style).

  4. Apply a thin layer of glue on the pop-up cutout using the paintbrush. Glue the pop-up cut out and card cutout together the same way the the patterns are assembled in the pop-up card tutorial.

  5. Optional: cut and glue snowflake.svg for the front of the card

Tips

  • If you use different colors for the pop-up and card paper, then there will be a visible gap at the crease of the card. To cover this cut out a small rectangle in the pop-up sheet color and glue it over the gap.

  • Do not tape the pop-up pattern together and then glue it to the card. There needs to be a gap. Otherwise, your card will wrinkle around the fold when you close it.

  • Use glue sparingly. Too much glue will wrinkle the cardstock.

Show a pattern

column of cards

Cards forming a star

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Audio Waveform Visualization Pop-Up Cards

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