I was chatting with my mate Yawn Beworn the other day about the best way to learn origami. One to one teaching came out top, but that’s not always possible or practical for would-be folders. We’ve used diagrams for many years and the trend has been that they get better and better (check out Rikki Donachie’s work in the book by the late Rick Beech, “Origami You Can Use”). In terms of sheer efficiency, a good set of diagrams takes some beating, yet people still struggle sometimes to follow them.
The advent of cheap digital cameras with video facilities has opened a huge new world of opportunity for origami instructions. At their worst, they can be pretty useless, but at their best, have to be about the best practical way to illustrate the folding sequence for a given design. They are cheap and easy to produce and as long as you get the lighting, angle and focus correct, plus a clear, audible commentary. A cursory tour of youtube shows the crazy amount on offer (though most are far from brilliant), with the added bonus that some are by people with real ability, such as Eric Gjerde showing how to do a Fujimoto triangular crease pattern – is this the best way to learn these days?