Taken for the “universal themes” assignment of a digital storytelling class at the U of M.


Photography Experiment: Paper Cutout ( “Child” )

An example of George Alexopoulos' work, Caith Sith from Final Fantasy 7 as a paper cutout

An example of George Alexopoulos‘ work, Cait Sith from Final Fantasy 7 as a paper cutout

I found an image that caught my interest this week. After finding his gallery, I did some more googling and found out that these things are known as “paper children” or “paper child” on DeviantArt and a few other sites. I found the idea of game characters interacting with a real-world environment, so I decided to try my hand at it. Instead of Link or Mario, I decided to go with Meat Boy from Super Meat Boy for two reasons: I wanted to see if I could arrange real-world objects in a way that reflected a platforming environment, and he’s a fairly simple character to draw. I drew a sketch of him in pencil and cut it out, leaving some trailing paper beneath his feet that would be folded so that the paper cutout could stand. I used a paper clip to weigh down the tabs so drafts wouldn’t blow the cutout around.

A photo of a paper cutout of Meat Boy from Super Meat Boy contemplating his jumps

The end result : Meat Boy contemplating his options.

The biggest lesson I learned from this? There’s a reason that all of the sketch figures are done in ink. Pencil doesn’t look too good, and messing with the contrast in photoshop doesn’t really fix it. Also, pencil smudges a lot. But the overall effect is pretty easy to do. Depth of field also really helps, as do objects to establish the sale of the characters.