5/28/2009

3 months...

  ...ago I was making this post here.
     February 28th was the day I started blogging. At that time I was still using that pre-made layout offered by blogger and wasn't quite sure how it would turn out. Now I'm still using the same layout but I at least I got to add my own backgrounds. Also, three months and 56 posts later here am I, with 3 released models, hopefully with the fourth and fifth on the way. I'm just not sure about how many people actually built my models.
     I'm pretty much with a writing block right now so I guess I'll stop here.
     Thank you for all who are interested in my work and sorry for progressing so slow nowadays.


Thank you for reading.

5/27/2009

7 days

    Almost. Almost 7 days without posting an update. What is happening?
    I'm almost done with re-designing Himeguma, it just needs some final adjustments on the unfold and it'll be ready for the next step that is test building. Unfolding is pretty boring if you want to know. It's a manual process, its boring level is proportional to the number of edges the model have and yes, it's boring. Some people may say that if I find it boring I should quit doing paper models because I'm not enjoying it but come on, why should I force myself to enjoy 100% of something? Ok, this is a hobby, it should be fun and all, it should be pleasing and blah, blah, blah. For some reason I think this argument is flawed. Just because it's a hobby I should enjoy EVERY SINGLE STEP of it? If I don't do it than I'm not apt to keep on with it? What do you think?

    Well, leaving this aside, here's a screenshot of the unfolding process:
Himeguma

    I'm posting it just because I don't want to leave this post without any pictures :þ
    Since tomorrow I ain't going to college I guess I'll be able to make some progress on this. I'm beting on starting the testbuild tomorrow already...unless my dentist appointment prevents me :(
    Now back to organizing those scaterred pieces. Or should I focus on music? Lately I'm been hooked with it again. Well, one thing at a time, one at a time. :D

Thank you for reading.

5/21/2009

Why I'm not progressing as much as I did before

     So, today I'm going to talk about why my progress rate has dropped considerably since I started blogging.
     First reason is because of college. It's taking some of my time and as I said on the last post when I have free time I end up using it with some mindless and effortless entertainment such as games (the ones you don't have to think too much like racing, adventure, vs and others) and movies/anime (also nothing too complex, just some light comedy or anything stupid). Yes, editing the 3D models, unfolding, cutting and gluing and taking pictures of the process to make a tutorial requires quite an effort and it can't be done without some ratiocination.
     Second reason is the extra expenses I'm having due to college. Since I'm having lunch out almost everyday of the week and I'm also taking the bus to come back from there (college) to home my expenses were raised considerably meaning I have less money to spend with printing templates. I should buy a printer but again the monetary problem hits me so for now it's not into my plans.
     Concluding, I'm a lazy pig who doesn't want to think nor to spend money. Or something along those lines :P
     Maybe I really am but I think it's better for my own ego to think that I'm just someone who still needs to learn how to organize my own time and money. :)

             ×××
     Now, I noticed there are lots of asian bloggers around. Many of the blogs I regularly read are from asians, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines...interesting. But I have yet to find one from Japan. I think it'll be hard since japanese probably use another blog plataform (same for koreans) but, who knows? May the hunting begin! :)

Well, that's it for today.
Thank you for reading.
     
ps: yet another .etc tag! This is so useful, a joker tag! :D

5/19/2009

Himeguma Gijinka+Answer to a question

     Well, following the comment Prinsesa Musang left in the previous post I decided to focus more on just one project right now and that is remodeling the Himeguma Gijinka. This is by far my favorite design so I want to make it as best as I can right now.
     I have pretty much been able to redesign her right sleeve, reduced it to 4 or 5 pieces instead of the previous 8 and I also decided to simplify a lot her body. This because her body is completely covered by her robe so it's pretty senseless to make it with details.
     The body changes were these:
Himeguma Papercraft - Body changes Himeguma Papercraft - Body changes Himeguma Papercraft - Body changes

     As you can see I removed lots of details and curves from her body, reduced the polygon count (from 74 to 59) but I didn't resize. In the screenshots the latest version seems smaller because it's less zoom.
     The previous version wasn't that hard to build but I still think it's too much effort for something that won't be visible so why not simplify it, right? Now I need to see how stable it'll be with the changes I did. Before the upper part of her body would keep in touch with the upper part of the robe so it's pretty stable to pick her up by the robe but with the redesign her body became slimmer and I believe that this contact between robe/body won't happend so I'm afraid that it'll make it even fragiler. Will find out when I testbuild it...I don't know if I'll be able to do it this week :(

     Now, I noticed that I never told where I am from. Kenwooi asked me this question in the previous post and this was not the first time I'm asked it so I decided to answer in this post.
     I'm from Brazil, that big country from South America which official language is Portuguese not English nor Spanish so excuse my grotesque mistakes (grammatical, vocabulary, etc) I may commit.
  
     Well, that's it.

Thank you for reading.

5/17/2009

Priorities

     Well, I should learn to set priorities and stick to them :P
     Himeguma is being slowly edited. Slowly because I need to crack my mind trying to figure out how to improve it.
     Project IV is still waiting to be printed. I hope to print it Tuesday.
     I'm still thinking if I'm really going to write a tutorial and post in my blog.
     Music is simply halted in my life, I should practice more but laziness takes over me. Actually this is the reason why I'm pretty much without updates here too.
     College is there, things to do and when I have some free time I just want to have some mindless fun...you know, play some stupid game, watch a stupid movie or something similar. But I'm trying to change this, trying to make myself use the brain a little bit more during free time.

Picture


     Big mess right? Yes...but guess what? My next model is somewhat related to something in this picture. What it could be? :)
     Yes, I'm already working on a new model and yet there are two other in line waiting to be finished....that's why I should learn to set and follow priorities. :P Priorities, that's the rule in anyone's life.
     Ok, now I need to think how I'm going to label this post....I guess it'll be another "etc" post. That's the joker label! It's great to have one :D

Thank you for reading.

5/15/2009

Current Status

     Lately it's been quite hard for me to update because there are simply no updates to do. Today I decided to tell the current status of the projects I'm working on (not that there are that many :P)
     Project IV: Waiting test build
     Himeguma Gijinka: Redesiging
     Possible next model: Already designing
     Currently building: Nothing ATM.
     Future posts: Thinking, thinking
     
     So basically there are 3 WIP and I may start building another model this weekend though I'm not sure. I need to check which model I had printed here.
     Well, guess that's it.

Thank you for reading.

5/13/2009

Designing Process

     Wow, so many days since I last posted here. Life has gotten quite busy these days but now I think I have some time to post something new here. Well, life is still quite busy so when I have some free time I end up using it to simply surf the internet or watch something and unfortunately because of this I've basically halted this hobby. I need to get my *ss moving and restart modeling and building models! :( Unfortunately today I'm almost a zombie here, I'm dead tired and I feel like my line of thoughts is not straight so I may start to write some nonsense here (be it grammatically speaking or semantically speaking).

     Ok, now back to the topic. Last post I talked a little about the processes that I know about designing your own model. Now today I'm going to talk a little about how to transform that model into a paper model.
     The 3D model is basically a collection of geometric solids shaped the way you feel it's better. And what exactly is the template we use to build the models? Those are the "unfolded" pieces of the 3D model. It's really easy to "unfold" some simple shapes like a pyramid, a cube, a cone etc. Some people may be able to do this with much more naturalism than others but anyway, for those, like me, who simply are too lazy to think how to unfold the solids and are waaay to lazy to also calculate the size of the pieces so that they fit together, there are some automated options (yeah!) that can do this job for us.
     I have heard of 3 different programs that can do this.
     -Google Sketchup w/ unfold plugin
     -Pepakura Designer
     -Ultimate Papercraft 3D
     These three programs (or 2 and 1 plugin) are supposed to be able to load the 3D model and unfold it for you. Personally I use Pepakura Designer and was the only one I have ever tried so I really can't give a feedback for all these.
     I'm pretty satisfied with Designer as it supports the file format that I mostly use and it's a quite easy program to use. It could be improved, without a doubt, but still I'm satisfied with it. I may write a more detailed tutorial for it some day and post it here too. The compatibility does not surprises me since this program is from a japanese developer and the 3D modeling program I use (Metasequoia) is also from a japanese developer and that it's looks like it's quite popular so it's really not a surprise. By looking at the features of Pepakura and Ultimate Papercraft, it looks like the latter have much more to offer and it also supports many more formats too so this may be an advantage but I still have to use it to be able to compare and give my opinion.

     Well, I think that's pretty much it. All you need is a 3D modeling program and one of the three programs I listed here and you have all the tools you need to design your own models! May not be the easiest thing to start doing but at least it's not impossible! :)

Thank you for reading.

5/09/2009

Designing process - Introduction

     So, how do people design a papercraft?
     I can't really answer how people design GOOD papercrafts but I can try to explain some processes. But before doing that we need to define what exactly a GOOD papercraft is.
     Some may say:
     -Ah, good papercrafts are the ones that looks awesome when finished.
     Others may say:
     -No, good papercrafts are the ones that are really, really detailed.
     Meanwhile, others are chanting:
     -Lies! Good papercrafts are the ones that are easy to build.
     Besides those, we can find the ones arguing:
     -What? No, good papercrafts are the ones that are easy to build, looks good when finished AND are detailed.
     And, obviously the there are ones that will simply say:
     -Who cares? Just design a model of [insert something here] and gimme the templates so I can build it and brag about how awesome I am.

     What's my point here? I just want to show that good and bad is really relative so something that I may find good may not be that good for you. People share different opinions since our opinions are based on our life experience and, obviously, each person had different experiences and acknowledge them in a different manner.
     Anyway, now I'll just point out a few of the methods that I have heard of when it comes to designing papercrafts.

     Process: Recoloring
     How it works: You choose a model that is already made and recolor it's templates using an image editor.
     Difficulty: Not much. You need to know how to work with image editors, only that.
     My opinion about it: I find it hard to consider this a "designing process". It's a way to start but I really find it hard to consider it as an original design.

     Process: Ripped models
     How it works: You choose a game that you like and that makes use of 3D models (probably any game from n64/ps1 generation's onward), find a way to rip the file containing the models and the textures and hope you can convert it into a format supported by the programs you're using (will talk about these programs latter).
     Difficulty: Can be quite hard to rip from some games since not all games uses the same encrypting method and not many people are interested in decrypting every single game out there. Some of the models may be too detailed (high poly count) while others may be too flat. What I mean? Well, compare a model from FFVII and a model from FFXII and you'll understand.
     My opinion about it: I'm really not much in this method. You don't have that much freedom to work, you're bind to the existence of a game with the model you want and I have seem many bad papercrafts made using this method. The biggest problem when it comes to ripped models is that most of the models cannot be transformed into a paper model right away. It needs some work before that and many people don't know/forget about it. Still I think it's a good way to start if you really know nothing and think have no imagination to start modeling from scratch but it's not a good idea to start with a high poly count model.

     Process: Modeling from scratch with a program
     How it works: You install a modeling program in your computer and start designing a 3D model from scratch. Quite intuitive right?
     Difficulty: Can be really hard to start, may be discouraging, you need to have imagination and you'll need to have some knowledge on how to create textures, in other words, you'll also need to know how to use an image editor program (paint, gimp, whatever).
     My opinion about it: Well, this is the method I use. I think it give you freedom to do the way you want but you're bind to your abilities with the program you're using and to the features available. It can be quite hard to start specially if you've never had any contact with 3D modeling but I believe the models end up having your own touch. I really prefer this method to ripped models because I feel that by modeling from scratch I have more authority to say that the model is mine.

     Process: Paper engineering
     How it works: You design the 2D pattern using a pen, ruler, compass and your brain.
     Difficulty: I believe this is the hardest method from the ones I listed. Why? Because you're designing the model from scratch without the use a 3D program. Yes, you're basically using pencil, ruler, compass, calculator and your spacial vision to draw the unfolded pieces on a paper. In other words, you basically draw the pieces on the paper, cut and build the model.
     My opinion about it: I tried to do this only once but got nowhere. The project I started is still there, waiting to be continued. Like I said, this is probably the hardest method and maybe, because it's the hardest, it may result in the best models. Or not, it's all up to the designer ability.

     These are the processes that came to my mind. There may be others that I do not know about but I believe these are the most common ones. Later I'll post more about designing process.

Thank you for reading
     

5/06/2009

Editing, editing

  Well, I started thinking on how to edit Himeguma but I have yet to figure out how to do a good job. And not it's hard to think because I'm simply dead, completely sleepy. Hard to think straight...and for some reason I feel the need to eat even though I'm not hungry. Guess that if I brush my teethes this urge to eat will cease. Well, guess I'm going to do so. Today was a long day, tomorrow will also be a long day and same for Friday. Yup, life doesn't stop.

Yes, this is just a reminder that I'm alive and am trying to advance with the hobby but life is holding me back.

Thank you for reading.

5/04/2009

Himeguma Gijinka Papercraft

      Yesterday...all my troubles seemed so far away!
      No, not that. Let's try again.
      Yesterday I posted about my Himeguma gijinka papercraft. Today I decided to talk a little bit more about the model itself. That model I started modeling more than a month ago, maybe even two months ago and actually I finished it a few weeks after creating this blog. A few weeks later I test built it even though I knew there were some details I wanted to change. Test built completed I found out it was not the easiest thing to build but that the major problems were not so easily solvable. What the problems were?
      1) Assembly process: What's the best order? Sleeves first and than arms or the opposite?
      2) Building process: Sleeves are way too hard to build, it should be simplified.
      These were basically the problems I faced. I believe that this picture here will explain problem 1 better:
himeguma model

      As you can see, I made her whole body and literally dressed her body. Now, if she had articulated joints AND her dress/robe was made of cloth or something similar than there wouldn't be any trouble assembling it but unfortunately none of the two conditions are met. The arms are glued to the body and the main part of her dress wraps her body and the sleeves wraps her arms. I think it's easy to see the trouble here right? I cannot build her dress and wrap it around her completely built body because of her arms and it's also hard to build the sleeves around her arms already glued to her body. That's the big problem. Anyway, in the end I managed to build it and the result is that that you can see in the previous post.
      And now a few more pictures below showing the front view of the 3D model and my testbuild besides the final built just for comparison:
Himeguma model           Himeguma Papercraft

      There are just a few differences that caused a lot of changes on the whole model. I don't know if it's really visible but her shoulders were really large and I shrinked them. In the process her right arm/sleeve changed a lot.
      
      Well, that's it. Now I have to study because I have a test tomorrow and I know nothing, but before I need to take a shower because I'm almost sleeping here and need to wake up.

Thank you for reading.

5/03/2009

Done! But...

     Is this it?
Papercraft No! something is missing! Extras! Extras! Add extras!
Can't lose these! Now, extras, the difference! Hope I won't lose these!

      And after adding ALL the extras (didn't shot every one, I forgot :P) this is what we get!
ヒメグマ


      Now, I liked this model but it's a pain in the *** to build it. In other words, I think it's pretty badly modeled. I don't know if I messed up while building it (specially the right "arm of the clothe" that I don't know how to call in english :þ) or if the problem was with the model in itself. I believe that the major problem is in the model so I decided to try to work on the model a little bit more, see what/how I can improve it to make it easier to build before releasing it. I just really wanted to have this built and that's why I struggled to build it but I don't think it's really worth all the trouble unless you're really, REALLY interested.
      I believe I didn't mentioned this before so, yes, this is also one of my own projects. And who is this? This is a Gijinka (擬人化)which is a Japanese word meaning "humanoid", "personification", or "anthropomorphic". It's a Pokemon Gijinka, in other words, a personification of a pokemon. The art I used as base for this model is this one:
Gijinka - Teddiursa

      For those who know pokemon, this is Teddiursa, or Himeguma (ヒメグマ) in the japanese version. The picture was taken from this site. It has many other pokemon gijinkas available.
      And for comparison purpose:
Papercraft comparison

      Yes, her arms are mirrored, I know. And you can't see the arm that is in front of her face either. The last detail I may try to fix but I'm not going to de-mirror her, I liked it that way. :)
      Now off to change the labels from the other posts :P

Thank you for reading

5/02/2009

What's going on?

     Nothing, really :þ
     But things are getting shape:
Papercraft

     And another angle:
Papercraft

     Actually now I'm kind of stuck and I need to think (again) what's the best way to keep the building. I hope to have it settled and finished by tomorrow. Let's wait and see.