Developing 3D picturebook prototypes

In November 2021, a group of 3D artists and storytellers collaborated using a hackathon format to creatively design and produce 3D picturebook prototypes. The hackathon format brought together teams who were strangers before the event to rapidly workshop and create potential models.  

To demonstrate what we were looking for, we worked with artists from City of Glasgow College to demonstrate how a double-paged spread from Fatma Sharafeddine’s picturebook Amma Osha could be transformed by 3D artists and displayed via Edify. Neil McDonnell provided input on the Edify platform showcasing the ways in which it could be used to change perspective and influence the meanings being made. Julie McAdam and Lavina Hirsu provided insights into the reasons for wanting to develop 3D picturebooks and shared the criteria that would be used to evaluate the prototypes.  The event was supported by Mengxue Zhao, the project Research Assistant who is doing her PhD on translation and the online multiplayer game League of Legends.  

All three teams completed the hackathon and details of their prototypes are provided below.  

Sam Hayes, Thi Thu Hang Phi and Davide Ceriani created a short story titled Uprooted that provided a positive tale of how a plant was able to flourish after being uprooted. The evaluative panel recognised the value of the narrative and urged the team to think about how to integrate the text into the narrative or use Edify to provide more scenes from the child’s perspective. 

3D image of Uprooted project page

Watch on YouTube at

Molly Abuthnott, Julia Hajduczyk, Isabella Bushko and Jonathan Formosa collaborated to produse Simon the Sloth, a tale of a slow bagpipe player who travels the world to try and improve his playing. The prototype made full use of the Edify features as the story allowed viewers to move around and explore new environments. The educational links to learning about the world and sloth protection were clear and the panel highly commended the team’s use of Edify portals. 

3D image of Sloth playing bagpipes

Watch on YouTube at

The third team of Malak Abdel Ghaffar, Elvira Mishra, Zbigniew Jedrzejewski and Max Wardle created a story of generations, identity, spaces and oranges called Where are you from? The panel liked the series of vignettes from around the world that carried the narrative forward. 


Where are you from project title page

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On completion of the hackathon each team was awarded advice from an evaluative panel made up of Martin McDonnell from Edify, author Fatma Sharafeddine, City of Glasgow College lecturer Douglas Liddle and researchers Julie McAdam, Neil McDonnell, Lavina Hirsu and Susanne Abou Ghaida. Each participant was offered high street vouchers to compensate for their time and the offer to meet with Martin McDonnel from Edify. 

The work from the hackathon will be showcased at an event on the 15th March, please use the Eventbrite link to sign up.  

'We are really looking forward to finding out more about the creation process behind these prototypes and whether there would be any commercial interest from external partners'  Dr Julie McAdam

First published: 14 January 2022

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