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.


  1. haha im never good in 3D design, or is it because i've never tried it before? lol anyway, the only "designing" i do is editing pics on photoshop.. haha.. =D

  2. If you don't try you'll never know if you're good or not right?
    And it's not like the best designers were born with the knowledge, they developed it.

    Ah, I don't know how to use photoshop that well :P
    I use paint.NET, I think it's pretty similar and all but I don't know how to use it properly, so sad. I should learn so I can create better textures for my models.

  3. A couple of weeks ago I was pretty much in the same boat: Too busy to actually blog about anything. I'm glad that you're not planning on stopping this hobby for good. Your paper models are amazing! Do keep making them! ;)

  4. Nah, I barely started this hobby, it's too early to stop :)

    Thank you for the compliments. I still have a long way to improve but slowly we'll get there. :)


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