Origami is a powerful counterpoint to Photoshop, just as Paper is
a powerful counterpoint to Facebook’s standard app. It allowed the
designers to mock up one of Paper’s most complex animations —
something you’d never traditionally associate with Facebook UI —
a booklet unfolding to reveal a news article. What’s important to
note is that this animation isn’t precanned in Origami. It’s truly
interactive, always anchored to your thumb and tracking it in real
time, while a 3-D lighting system adds depth to the image. Not bad
for a piece of software Facebook teaches its designers to use in
just an hour and a half.
Origami is largely the child of Walkin, along with fellow product
designer Drew Hamlin. Its development started around nine months
ago, in conjunction with their work on Paper.
Paper presents an extraordinary experience. Maybe they could have gotten the same results without Origami as a design tool, but it makes sense to me that designers can better explore animated and interactive designs using tools that aren’t based on static images. Photoshop can only give you a look; Origami can give you a feeling.