Author Options:

How do you read crease patterns? Answered

Recently,  I saw a website by Robert J. Lang.  I really like origami,  so I looked up some of his diagrams, and, guess what?  They were all a bunch of crease patterns.  Right now those are pretty dang useless to me.  I was reading some of the entries to the site and i saw this: "A reasonable number of people now have the skill to “read” a crease pattern and fold the encoded form."  The second I saw that, I thought, "Are you mocking me?"   So, in other words, how do you "read" CP's as the great (just kidding) Robert J. Lang said?


http://origami.oschene.com/   is the web address for the flitful flog site. Another good resource on using crease patterns, By selecting a model you would like to build from the gallery you are redirected to the blog about that model where you can download the crease pattern for your chosen model- some cps (crease patterns) are presented in step by step crease pattern pictures showing how to fold the patterns, there are also videos and members chat about related topics, there is always some one on hand to answer questions and help anyone who is struggling.
One of the things I like about this site is it is so inspirational, the models are amazing and all the resources to suceed in building them are freely available all it takes is patience, the willingness to think the problems through and keep on keeping on. The message boards are full of people some better some worse than you and you can share the sense of achievement in your success as well as sympethise when yet another try gets balled up and launched at the waste paper basket..

The spiral data tato redux is a great model to start with also called the surprisingle complex cd case, the tutorial is on instructables and cps on fitful flog, all you need now is some paper, some patience and someone to smugly show your creations to.

This is really helpful, thanks!

Agreed. I really want to fold an origami Klein Bottle, and the best design is Robert J. Lang's, but I have absolutely no idea how to use it :).

It'd be nice to learn what the crease patterns mean, but I'm simply looking for the Fedora model Lang has. Can anyone point me in a direction leading me to make that?

I am an expert at the jobs I do- many years of practice and learning made me an expert- therefore within the worlds of my expertise I can "see" things that less practiced eyes/minds miss or mis-interpret (spelling is not my expertise!)
Start with easier projects/instructions and be patient with yourself.

and you.

Okay, you all have very helpful tips.  Thanks!

I'm stuck between Re-design's anwer, and Orksecurity's answer for best one. Thanks guys!

The majority of crease patterns don't have the crease assignments, they don't tell you which are mountain folds, or which are valley folds.  Rather, what the crease pattern tells you is the basic structure of the folded piece - ie how long certain flaps are, and where they are.  This basic structure is like the skeleton of the model (the 'tree', in origami jargon), from which you can add details like ears, teeth, etc.

If you can, get hold of the book "Origami Design Secrets" by Robert Lang.  That's currently the most comprehensive treatise on this subject.

Those on his site are WAY too complicated to start with.

Go here and try these to get a start and see if you can work up from there.

As I understand it, it's a puzzle-solving problem. The crease pattern indicates "mountain" and "valley" folds -- ie, folds away from you and toward you respectively. Theoretically, that's enough information to reconstruct the form; the trick is figuring out what sequence of folds are needed to produce those mountains and valleys with a minimum number of other folds and backtracking steps.

But I think "a reasonable number of people" in this case is defined as serious origami practitioners who've been using crease patterns to record their own designs and/or have enough experience looking at both folding instructions and crease patterns... and thus have some experience saying "oh, I can reproduce that by doing this." And even so, I've heard reports of folks successfully reproducing the fold and then having its creator tell them that the original method took half as many steps...

I think your best bet for now is to find a club (or a website?) where more experienced folks hang out and ask them to help you find or construct the necessary instructions. Or go looking for designs which come with step-by-step instructions.