3/31/2009

My papercrafting history - part III

     As you can see I don't follow a logical order here and I end up mixing everything, my history, my progress, my rants, it's awesome right? So let's see, how was my experience with the modeling programs? For those who don't remember or didn't read the previous parts, the links are available at the end of this post so be sure to check them out.
     Ok, so I decided to give it a try on two programs first, Blender and Sketchup. So there I go, finding out about Blender, how it's a powerful freeware tool (most likely the most powerful one available for free) and all. Before downloading I decided to find a tutorial to see if it was worth a try and all and after a little research I found tons of tutorials, long ones and I was too lazy to read them all so I decided to simply get the program and give it a try! Good idea? No!
     I got it, installed and I didn't know how to start using. I really wasn't intuitive for me, the controls and all. I couldn't find out how to even create a primitive, it was pretty sad. I, wanting to model my own paper models, couldn't even create a simple square on the program, nice, I was in the right path!
     Needless to say that I gave up the program and decided to give it a shoot with Sketchup. So again I decided to check out for tutorials first to find out about the basics and luckily I found some video tutorials showing the basics and how to. Watching those I got the impression that the program was much easier to use, much more intuitive and all so I downloaded it and decided to stick with that one.
     One or two weeks messing with the program and I was already thinking about what I would model first. Seeing I didn't have much knowledge I decided to stick with something easy and more cubic (without curved shapes) and as I was browsing the internet I found a picture of the Hyrule Castle from SSB64 and I though
"Hey! Why not? This one is basically rectangles and triangles! I CAN do that easily on Sketchup!".
So I decided to model it. And that's how my first model was born...well, almost.
     If my memory is with me, I finished modeling the first version of it in one week but I was still missing the textures so I had to halt the production (lol) to find the textures for the model otherwise it would be a blank castle. After trying to learn how to rip the textures from the game I decided that it could be easier to simply ask for it and that's what I did and guess what? I got'em! A kind anonymous user who was also interested in this model provided me with the textures so I could finish the model. Now with everything I needed all I had to do was apply, unfold and build. Good, easy, fast to do. Yes, it would be if I were not so worried about minor details. Yup, there were some details that was making the model look terrible so after trying to fix only the details I figured it would be much, much easier to simply restart from scratch and that's what I did, but this time I had all the details in my head so I wouldn't make the same mistakes.
     This second time I finished modeling much faster, less than two days. So all I had to do was unfold and build. Easy task, unfolded right away and left there, waiting to be printed. So, there I go, printed it and built it and there were some points to fix on the unfold and also on the model itself before I could release...
BUT! God, the nightmare! My HDD had crashed! Almost everything was lost! The partition which I used for storage got corrupted and I lost almost 100gb of archive. Sad reality, my 3D model, my very first model was there too. God, so sad. I though with myself
"Well, looks like I'll have to rebuilt it AGAIN and I'll have to ask for the texture yet AGAIN...oh, so depressing".
     I don't remember if meanwhile I built other models, I don't think so because I got discouraged by the fact that I had lost all the papercrafts templates I had saved and all.

     Anyway, here are other two models I have also built:
     Built Models
     These two got me some headaches. The girl without a name took like two to three days of work and I didn't know how to fit her shirt, it was frustrating but in the end the result wasn't that bad and the little fox girl, oh god, the second nightmare! I glued her body in the wrong way and I had no way to fix that when I noticed so I kept building it that way. Luckily it ended looking like she's sitting (or trying to) so I build that little base for her to "sit" on it but in reality she should be standing. In the end it also ended up looking good though she's too unstable, won't stop still.

     And what happened next? Did I modeled the castle again, for the third time? Was I able to get my hands on the textures again? Find out on the next episode of "My papercrafting history"!
     Yah, this is turning into a soup opera right? We just need some reprise to make it into a real soup opera, therefore I provide you the previous parts!

My papercrafting history part 1
My papercrafting history part 2
My papercrafting history part 4

     Now it's a soup opera :) Well, hope you're enjoying reading this.

Thank you for supporting all this :)
PS: Project IV is almost done, hope to testbuild it soon.

3/30/2009

Project IV - updates

Well, it's Monday, 20:30 local time and I'm dead tired. I am almost sleeping but since I'm here I decided to make a new post here and show how things are going with this project.
Project IV

As we can see the modeling process is complete, all I have to do now is finish the texture. Actually I could leave it like that but I will add a texture for the hair and I'll also think if I'm going to add some extra texture to her clothes.
Well, it's all I have to show for now. I already tried to unfold and it didn't present any problem though the real test will be when I try to built it.

Ok, hopefully tomorrow I'll post again as today I'm dead tired and I'm probably going to sleep now.

Thank you for reading.

3/29/2009

Next project! Project IV?

      All right, time for my next project.
      Seeing as there are newcomers and people who have completely no clue about paper models and this great hobby I decided to postpone my real fourth project (that I had already started but it's kind of hard) in order to create something simpler. A level one model or something along those lines. I know there are lots of easy ones, specially those cube crafts but I personally dislike the cubee ones so I decided to give it a try on creating something easy yet good looking model. I hope I can make it happen.
      I already had an idea of an easy model but now that I'm actually doing it it's proving to be harder than I though it would be. I need to think of ways to make things simple yet resembling what I want to resemble. Good god, this can be hard sometimes.
      Enough of talking, here's a little taste of what I'm doing:

Project IV


      Another humanoid? Yeah, that's all I know how to design :P
      I need to learn how to design other objects seeing I don't know how to design stuffs like animals, cars, robots, goods and whatever. Well, that's another topic that'll be left to another post ok? For now I'll go back to my project and hope to finish it soon....if college allows me to.

Thanks for reading.

3/28/2009

My papercrafting history - part II

     So, I really got into papercrafting. It's fun and the results end up turning pretty good looking and it's also cool to put these on your desk to show to your friends and say "I built those!". In the end I decided to keep doing it since I had all the material needed and there were a lot of models I wanted to build.
     Time goes by, November ended, December came and I've built more models. Nice and all but something told me I wanted more. It's not that I wasn't interested in building the models available on the internet, it's not that I couldn't find good looking models to build but still I wanted something more. That's when I heard about designing paper models. I though:
     "Hell, why not? After all I have free time and it's something that may turn out well!"
      And so I decided that I was going to learn how to create my own models from scratch so I could say that I have "made" the models and not only "built" them. I knew some people ripped the 3D models from games and used those to transform into paper models, I got kind of interested on that but after I made some more research on the topic I gave up. Even though the models were in a level that I would never reach as a designer those weren't done with my own sweat. And so I decided that I would create my models from scratch for sure.
      All I had to do now was to find out which programs to use. And a whole new world appeared in front of me. There are so many 3D modeling programs! Sketchup, Maya, AutoCAD, Milkshape, Metasequoia, Blender and tons of others! Which one should I use? Which one is the best of the best? How am I supposed to choose? Some people say that it's horrible to have just a few options and I say that it's horrible to have so many options. In the end I decided to narrow my options to programs that I were either freeware or had a shareware version that could be used. From all the options I decided to try Sketchup, Metasequoia and Blender because all of these can be used freely even though the two former have some functions that are only available on the full version, which you have to pay for and also because these 3 programs seemed to be the programs that most of the papercraft designers used.

      Built Models Here are other two models I've built. First one is a megaman enemy and the second one is the Black Mage from Final Fantasy IX.

      And how did my testing (aka fooling around) with the programs turned out? Well, I'll write about it another day because now I'm pretty tired already and I have a text to read so don't miss the next episode!

My papercrafting history part 1
My papercrafting history part 3
My papercrafting history part 4

Thank you for reading!

3/27/2009

Project III - Sarah Completed!

     It's finally done! Yes! I was able to finish building this and now it's ready to see the vast world! This took quite a time specially because I don't have a printer at home and because of college work.
     Even though I'm pretty dead today I decided to post this before going to sleep so here's it!

No Pieces

      Yes, I do keep these and for some reason I like them. But this is not important now, is it? No! Here's what should be here:

Sarah Complete

      Now some comments:
      In the end I though that my testbuild looked better in some aspects and the final build in others. Her hand is hard to build and I hope that the instructions I added are enough but if not feel free to leave a message or contact me via e-mail.
      I'm releasing this model in two sizes, one that have 2 pages which ends up in a model that is 18cm high aprox. and another one that have 3 pages and ends up in a 21cm in high aprox. Further information is available on the Read Me.txt on the pack. Do read it please.
      Take a look at the guide before start building and have lots of patience while building this.
      Well, I don't remember of anything else that I should talk here so here's the download link:

Instructions (3,64mb):
Rapidshare/Megaupload

Templates (4,05mb):
Rapidshare/Megaupload

Have fun building this! And I'm waiting for feedback ok?

3/26/2009

Project III - Sarah updates

     I'm almost there! Almost there! I have already printed it and am building it while taking pictures for the instructions. Now I hope this will be done by tomorrow! Finally!
      Want to see how it's turning out? Check it out:

      Sarah building process     Sarah building process

       I encountered some problems while building this version. Problems that didn't bother me so much when I was on the test build, I don't know why. So far my impression is that this build will look worse than the test build, I don't know. Well, I'll keep going to see how it turns out but for some reason I really feel like my test build is looking much better, strange.

      I'm also already thinking about my next project though I won't reveal what it is. Actually I have already started to work on it but I may show something about it only after I release the templates for Sarah so I'll just end this topic here. So if you're curious please check back later!


Thank you for reading.

3/24/2009

My papercrafting history

     Today I'm decided to tell a little about how I got into this hobby which lead me to start this blog. But before doing so, just a fast update. I still have to print the colored templates from Sarah (as I mentioned before I do not own a printer) and after that I'm going to build it and make the instructions so I hope that until the end of the week I'll be able to post it.
     Now let's start my brief history. A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far away something was happening and it has nothing to do with what I'm about to tell. It all started on October of 2008 when I went to a friend's house because it was close to his birthday and at home we were baking a cake for him. Well, fate or not he had just started doing some papercrafts, something that at the time I had never had any interest in but when he showed me the models he had built (the Snake in the Box from Metal Gear Solid and Thwomp from Mario) and he said how fun it was to build and all I got interested in trying it.
     Since long time before that event (maybe 2 years before) I already knew about a site that had a papercraft discussion board but I never had the curiosity to check and see what it was all about and only after that that I decided to take a peek. Long story short I got really into this and decided to give it a shot too. I made some research about what I needed to start, what kind of paper, what kind of glue and all those questions I tried to answer on my Introduction to Papercraft posts so I could start.
     After all the hassle of finding out how the materials were called in my country (since I'm not from an english speaking country) and where to buy them and finding a place where I could print in thicker paper I had everything I needed to start. I think it took me two or three weeks from deciding which model I would build first, finding all the materials and actually start building. And obviously all those concerns pop up in my mind. Will it turn out good? Did I choose the right kind of paper? The right kind of model? Do I really know how to use this x-acto? Ah, something interesting to say is that at first I didn't find a cutting mat so I was using an old mousepad as a cutting surface. For me it was an extra worry since I didn't know if that surface was appropriate or if it was going to damage the blade.
     But in the end things went well and my first model was done. Ok, it wasn't perfect, I couldn't attach the head correctly but in the end it looked pretty fine.
     Long story short, I really liked doing it and started building other models. Here are some of the models I built in order:
Built Models 1      Built Models 2      Built Models 3
      All these were simple models that took me less than 3 hours to completely cut and glue but I had lots of fun building these. It's really a nice feeling to see your efforts bringing results.

      Tomorrow I'll post the second part of this history. Unfortunately I lost most of the templates from the models I have already built because my HDD crashed on January and all the templates I had simply vanished so I really can't provide though I can search if someone is interested in a particular one.

My papercrafting history part 2
My papercrafting history part 3
My papercrafting history part 4

Thank you for reading

3/22/2009

Project III - Sarah Testbuild complete

    Yes! It's finally done! The test build is completed!
    Just as expected her hand was extremely hard to build and I think it looks too small compared to the rest of her body. I think I'll resize her hand to make it bigger, besides this I have to change some flaps here and there to make it easier to build and I think that's all there's to do.
    I took two pics of the test build so everyone can have an idea of the outcome:
    Sarah test Build     Sarah TEst Build 2
     I'm also thinking about making something for her to sit on...but I don't know what it could be. I have some box templates and I though about using those but I'm not sure. I'll see if I can think about something or else I'll leave her sitting on the board of my table.
     Now all that's left is to apply the changes that I have in mind and build the colored version. Again I don't know how long it'll take for me to do this since I'm still not used to build thinking about writing a walkthrough and also I need to see when I'll have some free time to print this.
    Yes, I need free time to print and money, unfortunately. This is because I don't have a printer at home so I have to print on stores that we call (literal translation) "express graphics". The monochromatic templates I print at my college since they're for testbuilding purpose I don't mind using normal print paper (75gsm paper) but for a finer build I rather use a thicker paper and that my college don't offer so I have to go elsewhere.
    To sum everything, the good news is that the testbuild is done and I was satisfied with the result and it should be ready to be released. The bad news is that I don't know how long it'll take me to print the colored version and write the walkthrough for it.
    Well, stay tuned for more updates and future projects.


Thanks for reading.

3/21/2009

Quick update - Project III

    Well, yesterday I didn't update again. This is becoming normal. Oh well, it looks like I can't keep a work pace fast enough to allow me to update once a day the blog.
    Anyway, currently I'm testbuilding this model and things are looking fine so far. There are some imperfections here and there but most of them are hidden so I don't it'll be a big deal. But I'm worried about her hand. It's so, SO SMALL. I don't know if I'll be able to build it or if I'll have enough patience to even try.
    Ok, back to work. I still need to finish reading that text of 40 pages and I have to finish testbuilding this model...don't know which one I'll do first.
    
    

Thanks for reading
    

3/19/2009

Project III - Sarah updates+etc

    So, in the end I didn't update yesterday.
    Unfortunately, Monday, Wednesday and Friday are the days I spend less time at home so I end up having less spare time to update here or work on my models.
    Well, now to the updates that I have made.
    I edited her "V" hand to make it easier to unfold and fortunately it turned out quite well, now I just need to see if it'll be easily buildable or not. I think it'll be pretty hard to build as still produced some tiny pieces but I seem to be unable to find a better solution for this problem (besides changing her whole hand, something that I really don't want to do) so I'll test build it and see how it turns out.
    ↓Here's a screenshot of how her hand is now:
    The Hand
    I think I'll be able to print the monochromatic version for testing purpose tomorrow so I predict that I'm going to testbuild it this weekend.
    For those who might be interested, here are the pictures of the model in monochromatic colors and it unfolded.
    Sarah Monochromatic     Sarah Unfolded

     That's it for this model, now all I have to do it test build her, figure out if it's actually possible to build, fix the errors that I may have left behind and print it colored and build again to write a guide if I find it necessary. I hope to finish doing all this until next weekend but there's always the etc. part of the post.
     As you know, college is taking a lot of my spare time. For next Friday (not tomorrow) I have to read and write a review of two pages about a forty pages text. And I have yet to read another 2 or 3 texts that may sum up more than 60 pages. Yeah, this is going to take some time and I still have the desire to keep working on papercrafts and write some other tutorials to post here. Priorities needs to be set.

Well, life keeps going and things needs to be done.

Thanks for reading.

3/17/2009

Project III - Sarah updates

     Ok, a new day is almost ending and today I've made some progress.
     I managed to unfold almost everything. What I missed? Yeah, exactly what I though would give me trouble, her "V" hand. It has too many close polygons which ends up resulting in extremely tiny pieces that would be so annoying to build. Besides this I'm also facing problems to unfold it because the camera control we have on pepakura is not the best so it's zoom is limited thus making unfolding some parts really hard which is the case of this hand. If you guys want to have an idea on how it's her hand right now here's a close up on it:
Hand
     I don't know if it's possible to have an idea but this hand needs to be redone and I'm going to do it before testbuilding it. I don't know when I'll finish this but hopefully it won't take too long since this is mainly the only issue left to be solved...at least for now. Chances are that I'll face other troubles when testbuilding it though testbuilding purpose IS to find possible mistakes.
     Well, as I said before, I already have other projects in mind and I really want to start those. Actually now I'm working on something else besides this Project III. Yes, I said I wouldn't work on two or more projects at the same time but the other one has lower priority and I don't know if I'm going to post here on the blog since I'm not the only one involved though I'm doing it on my own.
     Want to find out what it is? I'll reveal it after I release The Girl, a.k.a Sarah. Hopefully in one and a half week I'll be able to release it to the public so stay tuned.

Thank you for reading.

PS. I really need to finish this project soon or else I'll need to think on another title for my posts as this is getting pretty repetitive.

3/16/2009

Project III - Sarah + etc II

    So, it's 21:30, Monday and here am I writing a blog entry.
    Unfortunately I didn't work much on this project today as I left home at 7:30 and got back at 17:30. I did some editing and started unfolding it today but didn't have much progress. I believe I'll have some problems unfolding her right hand (the one doing the "V") and Pepakura is accusing that one hand of having opened vertices though the model is actually fine. Well, either way I gave up trying to fix it and will keep going and see the result.
    My guess is that I'll have to simplify her hand because if I leave it as it is right now the unfold will result in some really small pieces.
    That's pretty much all I did. I already have some ideas for my next projects but I don't think I'll work on two projects at the same time because it would slow down both too much.

    Now some rants about life.
    Holy cow, I still have 40 pages of text to read for tomorrow's class. I have less than 13 hours to read everything and I still have to sleep 8 hours and will spend more 1 hour doing my own necessities. I guess I should read it in the toilette or whatever. I think I'll end up not reading this as I still have some other stuff to do. Yeah, college is there and things needs to be done. But I'll still try to update this daily with posts that have some relation with papercrafts.

Thanks for reading.

3/15/2009

Project III - Sarah + etc

     Sunday, the day we do nothing and worry only about how long until Monday starts.
     Well, today I did worked a little on Sarah's model (yeah, decided to stick with this name) and it's almost finished. I think I'll already send it to Pepakura to do the unfold so I can see better if there's something I need to change before printing.
Here's a screenshot of the exploded model:

     Sarah Exploded view
     As you can see I changed her boots and did some minor changes on the hair that it's not visible with these screenshots.

     That's pretty much all I did with this model today.
     Now to the etc part.

     I would like to thank for those who are interested in my work. There are already 3 followers and I'm happy with that. I'm really glad to know that there are people who likes and are interested on what I'm doing. This motivates me to keep going.

     Also I want to say thank you for everyone who's posting comments on my posts. I'm sorry that I'm not answering every one but time sometimes is scarce, specially now that college have already started and I end up spending my time having classes (boring ones) but I read every comment posted. I'll try to keep posting once a day be it by showing some updates on my WIP or by posting something else like tutorials or just some random information.

     If anyone have any suggestions be it about models, tutorials or anything feel free to contact me or leave a comment.

Thank you for reading

3/14/2009

Introduction to Papercraft - Part IV

Now I'm going to talk a little about the programs that you'll most likely need when handling with papercraft templates.
First, the most common that I thought everyone knew about but seems like I was wrong.

How to open .rar files?


Ok, you've found some nice models that you want to build and all, have everything prepared but when you download the model it comes in a .rar file that you don't know what to do with. It doesn't seems to be what you wanted. It's not an image, it's not something you know but for some reason that's what you got when you clicked on that "Download" button.
For those who don't know, .rar is a compressed archive. Instead of having to download page per page of a 10 page model, people will compress it and share only one file which contains all the pages of the model. Or they'll compress it before sharing to make the file more compact thus using less bandwidth. It's pretty much like a .zip file but with a different extension (they also have different compression algorithm).
Ok, now the important thing to know is how to open it. You have some options and the best ones are free. I recommend either 7-zip or WinRar. The first one is a freeware that have support to many compressed format including .rar, .zip, .lhz and others. The second one is the famous WinRar that also supports many compressed formats but is shareware though it's fully functional during AND AFTER trial period. Just download and install, no secret at all.

What about .pdo files? What are those?


So, instead of a .rar file you found a .pdo? Or rather, found a .pdo file inside the .rar?
No, this .pdo is not related to PHP language nor stands for Petroleum Development Oman. This type of archive is used by Pepakura

Hmmmm....and Pepakura is...?


Pepakura is, besides other, a program developed by Tamasoft that "can convert 3D models into paper models". It basically imports a supported 3D model and gives you the model totally flat in 2D almost ready to print and cut. Almost. I will explain why on future posts.
Go to Tamasoft home page to grab the program. You'll find two programs named Pepakura, one is Pepakura Designer and the other is Pepakura Viewer. I suggest that you grab Viewer because many of the .pdo files people share are locked archives that cannot be opened with Pepakura Designer. You may find .pdo files that are unlocked but Pepakura Viewer will be enough for you now.
Later I may talk more about Pepakura Designer, for now I think it's enough.

Can I convert a .pdo file to .pdf?


Why, yes! For those who don't know, .pdf stands for Portable Document Format and was developed by Adobe somewhere between 1993~1994 and you'll need Adobe Reader to open it.
To convert to .pdf you'll need a virtual printer such as CutePDF or Bullzip. Both are freeware and pretty similar in usage form though I prefer the latter because it also prints to image formats such as .bmp, .png and others.
How these works?
These installs in your computer and behave as printers so simply install them and try to print a document from a program like Word. When choosing your printer you'll find CutePDF printer or Bullzip Printer as an option. Choose it, change the preferences (such as paper size, quality and output format on Bullzip) and print it. I think they work on any program that supports printing so you can use this not only for Pepakura but for any other program.

Something else? Not that I remember.
So, if you guys have any question feel free to ask in the comments or send me an e-mail (shadowmoon87.blog at gmail) with your doubt.

Thank you for reading

Introduction to Papercraft - Part 3
Introduction to Papercraft - Part 2
Introduction to Papercraft - Part 1

3/13/2009

Project III - The Girl

     Well, since I didn't received any suggestion for the name of this project I think I'll call it The Girl for now. I'll see if I come up with a better name later(maybe Sarah? Blonde anime girls normally have english names so why not?).

     Updates! Updates on the model!
     Here's the current stage of the model:
     The Girl

     As you can see I have already added some textures on her. She already have a face :) and you can bet that it was the most difficult texture to do. God how long did I spend to paint that eye on Paint.Net? How many tries did I take to get a satisfying result? I don't know as I didn't count.
     Either way, there are some details that I want to check before doing the unfold. I'm not satisfied with her feet and I think I'll re-do her right hand (the one with doing the "V").
     The Girl

     I don't know when I'll finish this model but I hope it'll be available by the end of the next week. Maybe next Saturday or Sunday though I can't guarantee as I'm doing all the work alone and I still have to worry about college.

     So, does anyone have a suggestion for her name? Should I name her "Sarah" (or Sara, whatever) or not? Meanwhile I'll tag this and the other posts that I talk about her as "The Girl - Sarah".
     Feel free to leave opinions, feedback or suggestion here on the comment area or at my e-mail.

Thank you for reading

3/12/2009

Project III

     Well, I don't know how I'm going to call this papercraft yet. Since she is my original creation I think I should give her a name or at least give this project a name but I don't know how to call. I'm pretty bad at giving names. Someone wants to give her a name? I'm taking suggestions so feel free to drop something on the comments ok? It's better if she has a name so it'll be easier to tag the posts too.


     Meanwhile, here's another update on here. Just some minor changes on her hair that I made. I simplified her hair and decided to keep the details to be added by the texture.

Project III

     Not much to add besides this. Modeling is not a real easy task and takes quite a long time to do it.
     Papercraft is not something to be done in a rush, it needs time, unless you want your model to end up looking bad.

     So, guess that's it. If you come up with some interesting name for her than let me know.

thank you for reading

3/11/2009

SSB64 Hyrule Castle update + Next project

Ok, so I have finally built the final version of the SSB64 model and took the pictures of it. Now I have finished updating the .rar and will update the old post with a new picture and new download links.

Now, my next project is just something I decided to create to see how good my ability on metaseq is. Here we have a 4 view screenshot of the model:
New 3D model
As you can see it's just girl doing a "V" with her hand. Nothing fancy, just something I decided to model to see my level. It's looking pretty good and all specially if we consider that I'm doing all from scratch (no, it's not a ripped model nor anything similar).

It probably won't take me too long more to finish this model. I'll keep updating on this one as frequently as I can.

I do have a queue list of things I want to model and I do have some other stuffs I have in mind that I'm thinking about posting here. I'm also trying to learn more about SEO and other stuff from this blogging world that I'm completely unaware of so I don't know what I'm going to give priority. I should give give priority to college but whatever.

I think this model will end up looking good and no, it's not any specific character, it's an original character designed by me! Yeah!

Thank you for reading

3/10/2009

Quick update

Well, since my college classes started I've been really tired.
I'm still not used to the schedule and the routine and the climate is also not helping. Since the beginning of the year that has been pretty hot though on these latest weeks the temperature has risen a lot. This troubles me because sometimes I come back home at lunch time (normally at 12:00) and the sun is cracking the floor.
This and the fact that I'm pretty useless when it comes to organize my time makes it hard to keep up with everything but hopefully things will get to their places and life will get back into a routine I can follow up.

What's new?
First:
Started a Twitter account. Nothing fancy nor anything, just decided to take a look and see what's all the hype about.
Here's my link on Twitter: Shadowmoon87 Twitter
Check if you if you have a Twitter account ok?

Second:
I finished building my final version of the SSB64 Hyrule Castle and I just need to take pictures of it.
Will give more details tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.

Third:
Another papercraft design is on it's way. Let's see when I'll be able to show some previews of it to the world. Let's see when I'll be able to find some free time (that I'm not tired enough to only want to sleep) to give some previews of it.

Fourth:
Guess there's no fourth, only three.

That's it.
Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail.

3/08/2009

Introduction to Papercraft - Part 3

So, you've found that great model that fits your abilities and you're the passion to build it is burning within your heart?
Great!

Have you already studied the templates and already got an idea on how to build it?
Perfect!

Do you know how it should look like when done?
Awesome!

Already decided where you're building and have set the place up?
So everything is done! Let's get to work!

Now, where to start?
Should I cut all pieces first and build after, or should I cut two pieces and glue than before cutting the next? Should I score (carve) the pieces before I cut?
God, so many questions unanswered!
Ok, take it easy!

The sequence of your steps is up to you to decide.
On smaller projects I normally cut all the pieces first to only than start building. On bigger projects I normally cut all the pieces from one page and build them and only than I go to the next page. That's how I work.

Also, have a place to keep the pieces you've cut as you don't want to lose those (like a box or a bag).
Another thing to remember, avoid applying glue directly to the tabs. Instead, spread some glue on a piece of paper first and use something like a toothpick to apply the glue. This will prevent you from applying too much glue on the tab. Don't underestimate the power of glue! Applying liters and liters of glue won't hold the pieces better! Applying too much glue will weaken the paper and you should avoid this as it will be harder to try to fix something if the paper is weaker.
Still talking about glue, try to avoid getting glue outside the tabs as glue is a great way to leave a nasty dirty mark on the model.

Now, I normally carve the pieces AFTER I cut them. Why? Because I normally carve on the BACK of the pieces and not on the front. I do this to get a cleaner look on the front but still have the advantages of a carved piece.
And what are the advantages?
A carved (or scored, whichever word you prefer) piece get a cleaner and precise fold.
You don't need to carve every piece. On round parts you don't really need to carve (like the body of my Totoro model) as carving will give a more..."polygonal" look and you don't want a round papercraft looking polygonal right?

Well, enough of talk! Let's get our hands on the model!
Cutting process
On the picture below you can see three colored lines.
Those are the Good cutting line, Regular cutting line and Bad cutting line.
Totoro Cutting Line
As you can see, the Good cutting line is tangent to the board of the piece but it's INSIDE the piece.
The Regular cutting line is OVER the piece board.
The Bad cutting line is FAR AWAY of the piece board.

Try to stick with the Regular or Good cutting line.
At first I would aim only for the Regular cutting line but nowadays I'm aiming mainly on the Good cutting line.

Now, I guess you noticed that there are some dotted lines too right? And some lines are a mix of dots and longer lines right?
Well, those lines are FOLDING LINES AND SHOULD NOT (I REPEAT, SHOULD NOT!) BE CUT!.
The image below explains it better.
Folding lines
As you can see there are two kinds of folds, the Mountain Fold and the Valley Fold . If you've already done some origami you may be already familiarized with these.
You have to do exactly what the name of the fold says. When you fold a Mountain Fold you should end up with a mountain. Couldn't get the idea pretty well? Luckly I have an example with an actual model right here for you!
This is the piece I'm going to use as an example.
Folding direction
It's one of the towers from my Hyrule Castle Model. As you can see I emphasized the folding lines.
Here you can see the piece already cut and carved:
Folding direction
And here's one of the folds done:
Folding direction
As you can see it forms a mountain. Use the texture as reference(the side with the texture is the "floor").
The same goes for Valley fold(unfortunately I don't have an actual example, sorry).

Two last tips I would like to give.
One is about cutting directions.
There are some cases where cutting in one direction gives you a better result.
Take a look at this example:
Cutting direction
The green arrows shows the direction that will give you a better result. Why? It's hard to explain with words but let's give it a try.
On this case you're cutting a piece that get's thinner on the end of it. If you cut it on the opposite direction of the green arrow that part of the piece may get wrinkled. I don't really know why, it simply does, I learned this by experience and now I try to avoid.

The other tip is about adding weight to your models.
Before you finish closing your model add some weight to it. I normally do this by adding pieces of paper.
By adding weight you're preventing it from flying away with the wind and, in some cases, you're giving stability to the model.

Well, I guess that's it for now.
I think I covered what I think to be the most essential and hope I didn't forget any topic.
Feel free to ask question, send suggestion compliment or criticize.
Add a comment or simply send me an e-mail at
shadowmoon87[dot]blog[at]gmail

Thank you for reading

Introduction to Papercraft - Part 4
Introduction to Papercraft - Part 2
Introduction to Papercraft - Part 1

3/07/2009

Introduction to Papercraft - Part 2

So you already know a little more about the tools you need to start papercrafting right?

But one question remains.

What kind of model can you build?
Basically anything. Within reasons, obviously.
You can find from simple cubic crafts:
Tissue-san
to more advanced models:
Built Models

The sky is the limit.

Looks pretty awesome but where can I find some models?
The internet is packed with free models waiting to be built.

Are you a novice and want to simply give it a try?
Check out Cubeecraft.com There you'll find a collection of cubic crafts that can be built even without glue. Pretty cool!

You feel more adventurous and want to give a try on something more complex?
Check out the papercraft section from Canon Creative Pack. They have a big collection of simply awesome free models. But be warned that their models are quite big.

Do you want one place where you'll find a huge collection of many papercrafts scattered around the internet?
Than check out the Papercraft Museum. There you'll find lots and lots of models to download from the most various themes and difficulty.

And here are some of the models I have already built:
Built papercraft Built papercraft


So you have found that awesome car/building/character paper model and you want to build it NOW!
Now, don't haste, ,don't haste.
Make a few considerations first:
- Are you a newcomer?
If so, try to build an easy model first so you can get hold of the whole process and get used to it. See if it works better with scissors or a x-acto knife. You don't want that awesome model you found to turn out crappy because you couldn't cut it right, right? There are lots of pretty easy yet awesome models out there.
- Do you have a work place?
Don't try to build it while laid on the bed. Decide where your work place will be and organize it. Clean up the place, get two or more boxes or a plastic bags to use one as trash and the others as a place to keep the already cut pieces (you don't want to reprint a whole page because you lost one piece right?). Lit up the place and be sure you have enough free space to rotate the paper freely.
- Do you understand the templates?
Before start cutting like mad, see the template and try to understand it. Visualize where each tab should go, try to imagine how that piece should look like in the outcome. Study the template before you cut. After you cut, study the pieces again because now you can move the pieces to have a better visualization.


Well, that's it for now. Will write a part 3 later giving some tips on the building process.

Thank you for reading

Introduction to Papercraft - Part 4
Introduction to Papercraft - Part 3
Introduction to Papercraft - Part 1

3/06/2009

Introduction to papercraft

I believe that those who may visit my blog already know what papercraft is all about but for the sake of those who stumbled by accident I'm going to write a simple introduction to papercrafting.

So, what is papercraft?
Papercraft, or paper model, is a technique where you build objects in 3 dimensions using paper. We can say it's similar to Kirigame (in which the user only folds and cut small parts of paper to get the result) and origami (where the user only folds to get the final result).
There are many papercrafts available for free on the internet about the most various themes, from simple animals to complex buildings or even articulated humanoid models.
Commercial models are available, sometimes, on magazines and on specialized sites but you can, without a doubt, have an infinity ammount of fun building only the free models available out there as there are some pretty awesome and complex models for free.

And what do you need to start on this hobby?
You'll need:
Tools
- printer
- scissor/x-acto knife
- glue
- cutting mat
- patience
- tweezers
- toothpick
- scoring (carving) tool

And the questions that everybody makes....how do I print? Which kind of paper do I use? And what about glue? What's a cutting mat? X-acto knife?

How to print?
Like you would print any other document, be it text or image document. Open the document, go to File -> Print (or ctrl+P for most of the programs), adjust the printer and have fun.
Since print quality is a factor here you will probably prefer the laser ones instead of the ink ones because ink normally has lower quality.

Which kind of paper to use?
There are lots and lots of different kinds of paper out there to choose from but one thing that you should know it about paper thickness.
Check the gramature (grams per meter square or gms) of the paper to decide whether you should use it or not.
The most common kind of paper is 75gsm. It's not thick enough for most of the projects you may find out there but it is still usable for simple projects (like cubic papercrafts). My Totoro test build was made on a 75gsm paper so you can have an idea how it turns out.
Normally I recommend people to use a 120gsm paper as it's not too thick for small pieces but it's thick enough for bigger pieces. My Totoro final build was made on a 120gsm paper.

Ok, so you live in a country that doesn't use grams per square meter but pounds. What to do? It's really hard to give an answer for this because the measure parameter is different.
Taken from Cardfaq.org :
"The American measures of paper weights are nothing if not confusing. The weight (e.g. 80 pounds) of a paper refers to the weight of 500 sheets in the paper's basis size. The basis size varies with the type of paper."
On that site you'll find further information but as you can see, it's confusing and since I use gsm I know nothing about pounds. Though I have seen many people refering to 30lbs paper and 64lbs. I think 30lbs would be better since it should be as thick as 120gsm.

What I recommend here is that you try different types of paper and find out the one suits better to your taste. You'll find out that some models work better with thicker paper than others and when you're more experienced you'll be able to decide the thickness of the paper that will give a better result to that specific model.


What kind of glue to use?
That common paper glue is fine. You know the ones you used on kindergarten? But stick with the liquid ones and not the stick ones. Liquid glue tend to be more efficient, it's easier to apply and will glue for longer time.

X-acto knife? Cutting mat? What?
X-acto knife (x-acto, exe-acto, exeacto, exacto, exact!) is a precision knife that give you more mobility when cutting specially curved surfaces. It also gives a cleaner look on the board of the cutted surface than the scissor but if you work better with scissors than go on and use it.
Cutting mat (or self-healing cutting mat) is a surface made of a material that allows you to cut things on it. The advantage of having one is that you won't leave cut marks on the furniture you may be cutting on (probably your table), it won't (or shouldn't) dull your blade as much as other surfaces and the mat surface stay smooth and clean even after you've used it many many times (hence called self-healing).

Here's my x-acto and cutting mat:
Cutting mat+x-acto knife
Our friend Wikipedia have entries on both items:
X-acto
Self-healing mat

Tweezers? Toothpick? For what are those?
I normally use a toothpick to apply glue on the tabs and surfaces. I heard there are glue guns or something like that that is made specifically for applying glue and I heard it's better than using a toothpick. I never used one so I can't compare and won't say anymore about it. Feel free to search about it and use it if you feel like.
Toothpicks may also help you to apply pressure on tabs that are out of your finger range, be it because the tab is inside the model and the only opening is too small for your fingers or whatever other situation you may find.
Tweezers are useful on the same manner as the toothpick as you can apply pressure on tabs out of the range of your fingers but it's also useful to work with smaller pieces in general.

If you don't know what a tweezers is check Wikipedia again

Why is there a PEN in the first picture?
Well, that's what I use for scoring. There are tools made specifically for this task but since they look pretty much like a ball pen I end up using a dead ballpen (dead=no ink) to get the same result.
This is a way to reduce even more the costs (that aren't high).

And WHERE can I find all these items?
You may find those items on craft store easily or even on the internet.

Thank you for reading

Introduction to Papercraft - Part 4
Introduction to Papercraft - Part 3
Introduction to Papercraft - Part 2

3/05/2009

Totoro papercraft Finished!

Ok, it was faster than I expected!
Finished building it today and already made the pack with everything needed to share the model.
There were some parts that were really troublesome to build but overall it was a nice model to build.

For some reason I like to keep the templates paper without the template...like this:
Totoro Templates Done

I normally use it to cut into pieces to fill the model and give it some weight.

Now, how did the model turned out?
Check it out right here:
Totoro built

Even though there are some parts that could still use some work the final result was good enough for me.
And why did I decide to do a Totoro papercraft?
First because I really love the movie itself and so this character.
Second because I could only find other two Totoro papercraft and none of them caught my attention enough to make me want to build them. Not that they are bad models, just not my type of model. So I decided to create my own
Third because I though it would be cool to have this duo here:
Totoro duo


Now that my reasons are explained it's time to give the download link:
Totoro Final Build

RS
MU

Have fun building and be sure to read the Read Me.txt and the building guide!

PS: for those who have no idea what Totoro is, check this site here or search for "Totoro" or "My neighbor Totoro" on your favorite search engine.

Thank you for reading

3/04/2009

Totoro papercraft updates

Unfortunately the site I use to host the pictures is under maintenance...actually expanding something there and due to that I am unable to upload new pictures so.
So, to give an update on what's happening on my life. Since monday my classes at college started so now I'm not with so much free time on my hands as I was when I started this blog. Well, at least now I do have to wake up earlier and have some responsibilities so I guess that my progress on papercrafts will be slowed down a little.
About the Totoro model, how's it going?
I have already printed and built almost every part, I just need to close the main body and attach everything on it and it'll be done. After doing this I'm going to write a simple guide on how to build it and than I'll release the model to the public. I hope to do this until Sunday. It is, in fact, a simple model to build and all, maybe just the arms/hands is harder to visualize so I'm thinking of writing the guide focusing on that.
Major details will be given with the model as I intend to release with a Read Me.txt file or will add the details together with the building guide.

That's it for today, hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to post again and with pictures.

3/02/2009

Updates

     Ok, I have taken pictures of the Totoro test build, I have already fixed the issues on the model and now am going to build the final version of it.
Here are some pictures of the test build:

Totoro Test Build Totoro Test Build
     I didn't finish building it because the way it was unfolded it would be too troublesome to build some parts. I also resized the texture and now am going to build it.
Totoro Template
     3 pages but there aren't many pieces. I don't think this will be a hard model. Check out later for the finished version.

Thank you for reading

3/01/2009

What's next?

     Well, I posted that model that I have already shared with the internet. It was downloaded at least 100 times. It's not much, I know but hey we need to start from somewhere right?
     Anyway, I promise I'll post a better picture of the finished model. The final version! So it won't be different than the ones you'll build.

     Now, another model I have done is a character from a movie that I really liked. I first watched it when I was.... I don't know, maybe 6 years old or something along those lines. Yes, I was really young when I first watched it but I remember I liked it by that time. As time kept going, I grew up, memories faded and later, after I already knew how to think (or at least I believe so) I came in touch with the studio that produced the said movie and ended up watching many other movies made by them, including the one from my memories.
     And after all these years I started modeling and out of nowhere came the idea of modeling this character. Ok, it really wasn't out of nowhere but that is another story.
     This character was kind of easy to model because it really doesn't have many details but it's still a nice model. And who is it?

     Totoro, from Tonari no Totoro, movie by Studio Ghibli!
Here are some screens:

Here's the model in four views with the parts apart.

Totoro 4 views

Here's the front view of the model with the parts where they should be.

Totoro Front View

Here's the side view of the model with the parts where they should be.

Totoro Side View


     As you can see it's already modeled. Actually it's already unfolded and the template almost ready to be shared. I already test built it and all, changed what had to be changed and there's not much to do left, I just need to build it again to see if the modifications I made are enough to make the model easily buildable.
     So check out later for the download link ok?

My first papercraft - SSB64 Hyrule Castle

Added a the templates in .pdf as requested

     So, here it is! The first papercraft I have ever designed!
Hyrule Castle

     As the title says it's the Hyrule Castle from Super Smash Brothers 64!
     Now to the details.
     I designed this papercraft because I though it would be easy to model and therefore would be a good choice for a beginner like me. I designed it using Google Sketchup (as some may recognize from the screen).
     Now, I think this is a pretty easy model to build, pretty straightforward and all so I didn't even bother writing instructions for it. I would say that this is a good choice for those of you who have already started on the art of papercrafting but aren't confident enough to start building some more complex models. This could be your second or third build without a problem.
     Here are some more screenshots of the model from other angles:

Front view:
Hyrule Castle Front View

Top view:
Hyrule Caslte Top View

     And here's the finished model:
Hyrule Castle Finished


Download link (templates in PNG):
MU
RS


Download link (templates in PDF):
MU

     Some may have seem this already on papercraft museum or on /po/ as I have already released this before but now I'm officially sharing it!
     Have fun and remember to read the "Read Me.txt" available on the rar!


PS: I didn't write a building guide for this because I though it was a pretty straightforward papercraft but if you have any question feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail (address on "About me").