Season’s Greetings that Pop!

The Library is closed for the holidays from Tuesday, December 24 at noon through Thursday, January 2, 2020, inclusive. All branches will open on Friday, January 3, 2020. Please visit the branch page listing for specific opening hours.

Peeps into Fairyland : a panorama picture book of fairy stories. London: Ernest Nister, 1896.

Peeps into Fairyland : a panorama picture book of fairy stories. London: Ernest Nister, 1896.

Until then, we want to leave you with this year’s holiday remix video inspired by our collection of children’s pop-up books. Elis Ing, Liaison Librarian at Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC) selected three festive pop-up scenes from the Sheila R. Bourke Collection, held at RBSC. There over 2000 items in the Bourke collection, which is especially rich in materials from the “golden age” of book illustration from the 19th and to the mid-20th centuries. From chapbooks, and “toy books” to deluxe gift books, the collection is a treasure trove for the young and young at heart.

Once the scenes were selected, Gregory Houston, Digitization & New Media Administrator, set up a small shoot in the Library’s digitization lab whereby work-study students V. Owusu Ansah and Olivia Sykes were filmed opening the interactive books to the featured two-page spreads. With the footage captured, Houston then used After Effects, a digital motion graphics application, to animate the scenes. Houston thoroughly enjoyed working on this project saying, “It was fun to combine the live-action portions with motion graphics and see the visuals come to life. One could almost compare it to augmented reality, but with rare books.” Houston describes the process in detail:

All the video sequences were filmed at 1080p and imported at a screen resolution of 720p. By making the composition smaller, it allowed us to do a steady zoom in without losing image quality. A mask was created for the central area where the animated sequence was inserted. This sequence was created by freeze-framing a video frame and cutting the visuals into parts. These parts were animated using keyframes and the puppet tool, a handy feature that allows you to add pins in the image, then move and warp the image based on where you move the pins. This gives a more lifelike effect to the moving parts. Once the animation was complete, some minor colour correction was done and the music was added to the composition. Titles, fades and crossfades were all implemented at the very end.

Curious about this collection? Learn more about our movable and interactive books here as professor Jacqueline Reid-Walsh, Associate Professor, Pennsylvania State University, College of Education, Curriculum and Instruction and Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, walks us through highlights from the colourful exhibit on display earlier this year entitled “Books That Pop!“.

Look out for more playful initiatives in 2020, including one project connected to McGill’s bicentennial!

If you like the remix above, enjoy these other McGill Library rare remixes from the days of yore (2018 and 2017 respectively).

Happy Holidays! Joyeuses Fêtes!


Leave a Reply

Library Matters seeks to exchange and encourage ideas, innovations and information from McGill Library staff for our on-campus readers and beyond.

Contact Us!

If you have any questions, comments, or even an idea for a story, let us know!