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Author Topic: Papercraft characters  (Read 12247 times)

Offline Muninn

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Papercraft characters
« on: November 13, 2013, 02:30:33 PM »
Hi guys. I'm building a set of papercraft models of my comic's characters (or some of them anyway), and I was wondering if anyone else is interested in how to do this? If so I can post a little step-by-step of my progress and problems/challenges that I'm running into (quite a few, I can tell you :P).

EDIT, I'll just edit in my progress as I go:

Small disclaimer, this is a way to design and build your own papercraft. It might not be the best way to do this but it suited my purpose best.


What do you need:
- 3d Software (Sketchup - link has all versions.)
- Pepakura designer (Make sure you get designer, not viewer)
- Paper (duh. Cardstock preferably).
- Cutting tools (I used a scalpel, but a pair of sissors would do just fine)
- Hobby glue
- A printer (or someone that will print the model for you)

A few notes on the software:
- I used Sketchup because it's free fast and easy, but using it also has some cons.
- Pepakura is free to try, but you need a licence to save en export. It's cheap tho, but if you must you can of course make a screen-grab of the map and build a high res version on top of it in your drawing  software, as you really only need pepakura for the layout.
I'd recommend making a simple cube in sketchup and open that in pepakura just to see what it does and how it works. It takes a few minutes to figured out the basics, but over all it's a very simple program.
Alternatively (for experienced 3d-ers you can also just use a UV mapping tool, or any unfolding plugin)

Some things that none of the guides/how-to tell you:
- Pepakura imports sketchup's google earth files (.kmz). What they didn't tell me however is that from version 7.1 and up sketchup builds the kmz files differently and Pepakura has a poor compatibility with these files (pepakura unfolded every face of my model twice, no matter what I did).
I had to downgrade to sketchup pro 6 (which only comes in payed or evaluation version) to convert my files to .obj. I tried downloading an .obj exporting plugin for sketchup 8, but that turned out to be a virus- so be careful with that.
-You only need minimal 3d skills in theory as the models are very simple, but you need to think very practical about how you construct your model if you want the average person to be able to build it.
Think of your character in very basic shapes to start with; my characters are 3d octagons on top of elongated diamonds (check the image to see what I mean).
-Also, you're model needs to be ultra neat. No stray or duplicate verticals, no faces that are accidentally facing the inside instead of the outside, no support geometry hidden inside of the model. Every face that's in your model wil be unfolded by pepakura and one face that's out of place can seriously mess up the results.

_______________________________________

Making the design:

I've the official The witcher 2 papercrafts at home (http://th07.deviantart.net/fs71/PRE/f/2013/038/2/f/geralt_of_rivia___paper_by_andre_art_cze-d5u3re0.jpg), and although they are kinda clunky looking I really loved the idea of getting a papercraft with your purchase ever since. I plan to add these papercrafts to my KS rewards so I needed some design that the average person was able to build.

I based my design on a template (or actually a mix of them). I looked at a ton of character papercrafts and tried to find something that wasn't all but a box, but didn't require super pro papercraft building skills either. The *big box like head on top of a elongated diamond shape* came closest to what I wanted, so that's what I started sketching with.



Here's some things I recommend keeping mind when designing:
- You need to be able to build it! (Seriously, if you are anything like me: keep telling yourself this.)
- Don't forget about the flaps! They need to come out of that same paper. It's good to consider them while planning your design.
- Don't add tiny parts. Cutting them is a pain in the ass, putting them together is worse.


_______________________________________

Prototype 1.0

When I was finally happy with a plausible looking sketch, I made a prototype of the base model, to see if it was a realistic build. I started with building the simplest version of the design (without any props or extra's like wings or clothing) in sketchup, then unfolded that in pepakura to print and build it.

Safe yourself some headache, and double check these things before moving on to pepakura:
- Remove all unused geometry and check for mistakes (There's a remove doubles/fix mistakes option in sketchup under model info)
- If you use components and you have faces that connect from one component to an other, make sure to explode your components.
- double.. no tripple check if ALL your faces are facing the same way. (Right click- reverse face to fix this in sketchup.)
- If you use sketchup, go to style and check 'X-ray' to see if your model doesn't have extra faces or hidden geometry in places where it shouldn't have any.


This test was 10cm in height. Voila:



(poor size reference, because the ponies are small, and the d20 is XL sized :P)

Reviewing prototype 1.0.
So, the model stands, but only just. Putting the pants and legs together was a pain in the butt. I used copy paper for the test, which didn't help it either - but I thought the parts were just to small. Luckily I thought the head was to big and bulky (and wobbly because of that-and the thin paper) so I can change the proportions and scale the whole thing up a bit. I'll be fixing all of those things in test 2.0


_______________________________________

Prototype 2.0

I updated the model; I made the head proportionally smaller and scaled up the model as a whole a bit - and added a rough first draft of the texture. Also tried some different cuts here and there (moving a cut and or flaps from one edge to an other).



And then I build an test of that. This time with texture (although my printer is very crappy) and with all the model details. I also used thicker paper for the build, perhaps a bit too thick even.
Building this one was definitely easier, but I prefer the smaller size. Since I technically scaled it twice (in proportion and as a whole) I think I'm making it a bit smaller again, and settle somewhere in between these two tests.

It's starting to look like it, but I'm still not entirely happy with the build. I'll probably have to take the paper thickness into account. Everything is an exact fit in the model, but nobody builds that perfectly. That, and I want to move some more flaps and cuts for easier building and to prevent the edges of the paper from showing up in front of the model as much as possible.

- I also forgot to erase some of the fold lines that aren't actually supposed to be folded (in the face).
- Design for the wings isn't final. I was just testing some ways of attaching wings to her back. I'm actually looking into making them removable (pun intended).

Almost there though!



Notes:
-If you have any folding/cutting lines on area's with dark textures (like the hair) and you've a crappy printer like me, you won't see the lines after printing. You can either invert them, or add a white border to the lines (pepakura has a checkbox for that).


_______________________________________

Prototype 3.0 (near final build)

An other update.

I changed the arm model. The overall thing is slightly smaller (0.5 cm) and I didn't really like the scoop-arms, so she has box like arms now :P. It makes the model look a bit more bulky around the shoulders but I haven't decided if I mind or not.

I also changed the texture a bit, but it's still just a draft (until I settle on a final build), and I made her feet slightly bigger again. The model stands fairly easy on it's own now (considering the big head) but I think Dusk brings up a good point. A base might not be a bad thing to add.

Other changes made were mostly to the map of the model. I made two versions of the head. The 2nd one (the one without the hair layer)  is a lot easier to build because of better edge/flap placement, and I changed the edge on her cheeks from a horizontal to a vertical one which I think I like better (Especially if light hits it from the top this looks better).


« Last Edit: November 17, 2013, 05:20:49 AM by Muninn »

Offline monicang

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Re: Papercraft characters
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2013, 02:50:24 PM »
I'm interested! :D

I love Morwenna's face and Neburas is cuute :3

Offline sky665

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Re: Papercraft characters
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2013, 06:24:20 PM »
Oh man they look like a challenge to put together! Really worth it when done well though I bet! XD

I got a little paper fish car I set up sitting on my desk.. but I kept cutting where I shouldn't have, and folding in all the wrong places.. And in the end it came out alright but I may have cheated with a bunch of tapes and cutting in the wrong places! Heheh

Offline Muninn

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Re: Papercraft characters
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2013, 03:58:49 AM »
Alright, I edited in the first part of my papercrafting woes XD.

Offline gpike

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Re: Papercraft characters
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2013, 05:39:02 AM »
OH man, that's ambitious!
I made a custom cubee one once, but they are very simple and you just print your own design on a predesigned base (mine did have extra parts like ears that popped out though).

Yours look really cool!

Good luck. 0_o

Offline Muninn

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Re: Papercraft characters
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2013, 09:51:26 AM »
Aaand an other update :D. Prototype 2 added.

Offline neekaneeks

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Re: Papercraft characters
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2013, 10:12:34 AM »
Love it so much :)
Gran Grimoire: The story of men with facial hair

LadyArrowsmith

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Re: Papercraft characters
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2013, 12:57:51 PM »
wow. just so awesome! :D

Offline Duskglass

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Re: Papercraft characters
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2013, 06:53:58 AM »
for the standing up problem, my friend who makes a lot of papercrafts attaches a base to the bottom (like just a square of plain paper). I'm not sure if this is something she adds herself or whether it's part of the patterns she uses, but it's effective at keeping them upright... so that may be something to consider. :>

Offline Muninn

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Re: Papercraft characters
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2013, 05:21:47 AM »
Thanks guys! I've updated it again. Still home printed, and still bad quality pictures, sorry.

Adding a base is a good idea Dusk, I'll definitely look into that.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2013, 05:24:19 AM by Muninn »

kodagames

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Re: Papercraft characters
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2016, 11:03:00 AM »
Looks fantastic!
Would you know if its possible to print a model with the numbers folded to the inside?

 

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