My friend, Bill, and his wife do freelance graphic design. We'd talked, briefly, about doing some clever pop-up marketing together in the past.
This evening, he sent me this url, for a company that creates some very cute snowglobe promotional products: http://shop.3dpapergraphics.com/
Check out their very clever use of clear plastic with print. Very nice!
Their use of sliceforms, which is what these types of popups are called, is not particularly new, however they do a very nice job of an old idea.
If you're interested in learning about how to create your own sliceforms, check out cpeep's tutorial to create a sliceform christmas tree.
After getting Bill's email this evening, I took it upon myself as a personal challenge to replicate the snowglobe in sliceform fashion. The model on the left is very rough, but I just wanted to show that I could do it.
I was impressed with how it folds completely flat, but then expands easily to form a very solid-seeming object.
(I also add, that, in addition to designing the snowglobe sliceform, I also got dinner on the table, gave two squirmy boys baths, read them a bedtime story, checked my email, made a few ox cards and did a comp for a (sold!) princess card at the same time -- life can be challenging for the working mom with hobbies!)
Naturally, the snowglobe design that 3D Graphics created and are marketing is patented and should not be copied for commercial use, which I wouldn't do. I just wanted to prove that I could figure it out.
Sliceforms, on the other hand, are a widely used technique. I just have to figure out a clever way to use them (that isn't snowglobes).
For another reference that discusses sliceforms, see Paper in Three Dimensions, which shows you how to create an Eiffel Tower using this technique.
Many solid shapes can easily be converted to a sliceform... it's fun! Give it a try!