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Beautiful papercraft sculptures animated with projectors

These gorgeously atmospheric paper dioramas are brought to life with a shadow puppet effect created by a projection technique normally reserved for full scale buildings.

Davy and Kristin Maguire

We've seen some gorgeous, painstaking animation before, but the world of Davy and Kristin Maguire has a fragile beauty all its own. Each seems to be inspired by storybook illustrations, in the silhouette style of Jan Pieńkowski or Arthur Rackham, where shadowy figures play out their dramas on intricate stages.

So far, the Bristol-based duo has completed four projects in their idiosyncratic style: The Icebook, a paper pop-up book; The Hunter, a tale about human cruelty; L'Alchimie de Courvoiser, a commissioned project for cognac brand Courvoisier; and The Paper Architect, a story about a model-maker whose imagination is poured into his tiny paper figures.

Each work consists of intricately constructed 3D paper sculptures, that most frail of building materials. To animate the stories told on these elaborate stages, the Maguires use a technique called projection mapping. This involves digitally mapping a 3D object, then adjusting the image to be projected so that it will display on that surface without distortion.

It's a technique most often seen on a large scale -- against the side of a building, for instance -- but on the tiny scale, it has a charming, delicate effect.

The Maguires have a fifth paper animation coming out very soon, based on the character of Miss Havisham from Charles Dickens' Great Expectations. Meanwhile, you can see more of their work on the Maguires' website.

Via Colossal