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Origami Palm Civet

Civet is cat-like mammal that can be found around Africa and Asia. Different species have different fur pattern. The one used is palm civet which can be found in Indonesia.

All the appendage in this animal has color change: snout, ears, legs, and tail (which starts from the back). Therefore it is a good subject for color change. 


Color change on the legs and tail should be straightforward. As long as we use edge/corner flap on them, we can do outside reverse fold near the tip and unwrap the paper inside-out. The challenge lies on the head.

There is a multipurpose base to make a quadruped creature with tail and some features in the head (horn, antler, ear, etc). It has two squares and two rectangles. The rectangle provides the necessary river to separate forelimbs and hind limbs. The initial plan:

As you can see, the limbs are formed from the paper's boundary. So this base is well suited for civet.

To design the head, I start with the snout. It is done by pleating and pulling out 1 layer to expose the other color.

Second is the face. The plan was to use a short flap and do improvisation to expose the color. So just imagine we have that short flap:

Last is the ears. Repeat the same process by adding another short flap, and do trial and error.

So we need a long flap and 2 pairs of smaller flaps to make this head. The shape should looks like this:

All those flaps need to be in the paper's boundary. Represented as circles on the paper's corner:

It can be put directly on the body as shown below. I used fish base with border grafts to fill the molecules.

The crease pattern is complete. I folded the base, and found that the body is too long. To fix it, I need to reduce the gap between forelegs and hind legs. This is done by changing the rectangle's proportion from \(\sqrt{2} : 1\) to \(1 + \sqrt{2} : 2\).

Why use such proportion? It's because the reference point is easy to find; simply extend the spread-sink's fold (blue dashes in picture below) until they meet at a point as triangle. I like to use this kind of trick to simplify locating references.

The other change is the tail. I stretched the bird base to produce longer tail, at the cost of shorter hind legs. This is a technique I learned from Tetsuya Gotani's book. It produce a neat structure which lies between fish base and bird base.

Here is the final crease pattern.


The body can be quite thick, so I want to use double tissue. However I failed to make a double tissue with black and brown color. The black paint will leak to the brown part. I might try to add another brown tissue paper, but in the end I decided to use tissue foil.

Shaping the model is quite hard. I need to be careful so the model doesn't look like dog. To do so, I made the eyes larger, crimp the back, and adapt a crouching pose. 


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