Sunday, October 18, 2020

First Tetra pre-papercraft 3D remodelling round done (for now ;o)


As you (hopefully 😉) can see, I did some more work remodelling Tetra's Phantom Hourglass game model! (well for now at least)

It doesn't look like I did a lot of work again compared to last week; the last part to remodel was bascially her (huge) head, and I didn't change much on the basic shape to be honest. Only her ears are changed a bit and the famous curl of hair on the back of her head, and I tried to make the textures fit a bit better and making them a bit crisper where I could.

The first remodelling round is actually pretty much done now: I gave Tetra a little bit more detail (just a *little* bit though 😉) and of course I tried to imagine how I would build her as a papercraft, because you have to make the 3D model accordingly (like how I can attach her huge head to her body...).

I think 3D Tetra so far is more or less ready for a first unfold and test build, so *maaaaybe* I'll start on that next weekend;

...although I will probably also be wanting to finish my Halloween model 🎃🦇 for this year by then (which I'm really enjoying so far! 😉) 

Stay tuned!

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Some more progress on papercraft Phantom Hourglass Tetra again! :o)

If you follow me on Twitter, you know I'm also working on a new Halloween papercraft to share this year again! 🎃😃

But I also promised to keep working on Tetra of course off and on whenever I can. 🙂 As you can see, I did a bit more work remodelling her, changing the pose and 'rounding her over' a bit more. 😉

There's still more work to do before I can start testing her as a papercraft, and the parts that I already remodelled will probably keep changing as long as I'm working on her, but I was happy to make a little bit of progress again. 🙂

Stay tuned!

Sunday, September 27, 2020

free hi- and lo-poly papercraft Pokémon Generation I starters

To finish off this throwback Papercraft Pokémon Sunday, here's actually another recent website, from The Papercraftsman! 🌱🔥🌊

He made these free hi- and lo-poly Pokémon Generation 1 starters Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle from scratch in a CAD program; they're meant to be printed on coloured paper so you can go wild with colour combinations or decorate them yourself! 😇

Download + build your own free papercraft Pokémon Generation I starters (by The Papercraftsman):

free Pokémon papercrafts (+more!) on Crafter Wong's website

Even though I haven't been doing any new Papercraft Pokémon Sundays for almost a year now, of course there were a whole bunch of new Pokémon papercrafts released since then! 🦏

In fact, there were some whole new papercraft websites no doubt inspired by the lack of updates on the PaperPokés websites to make their own papercraft Pokémon! 😉

For example Crafter Wong, who I talked about earlier when they started their papercraft weblog just earlier this year in 2020; now there are already 49 papercrafts now, including a lot of Pokémon! 😀

Download + build lot of free Pokémon papercrafts (+lots more, by Crafter Wong):

(you'll need the free Pepakura Viewer to open *.pdo files!)

Free papercraft Pokémon by Javierini

Even with the PaperPokés website being dormant for more than two years and the last Papercraft Pokémon Sunday being almost a year ago, you never really had to be without new Pokémon papercrafts of course; Javierini Papercraft alone made lots of papercraft Pokémon all this time! 😀

Download + build your own free papercraft Pokémon (+lots more, by Javierini):

(you'll need the free Pepakura Viewer to open *.pdo files!)

s s

New 2020 PaperPokés papercrafts!

Seriously guys: check back on 'old' papercraft websites from time to time! 😀

A lot of papercrafters and Pokémon fans were very sad that there weren't any updates on the PaperPokés website since early 2018, but PaperPokés team member Brandon has actually been posting quite a few new papercraft Pokémon lately! (and a couple of other neat paper models as well!😉)

So since it's Sunday, I decided to make this in a Papercraft Pokémon Sunday again (hey, the last one was almost a year ago, so this Sunday is as good a time as any Sunday, right? 😉).

Download + build your own free new 2020 PaperPokés papercrafts (by PaperPokés):

(you'll need the free Pepakura Viewer to open *.pdo files!)

Saturday, September 26, 2020

A teeny, tiny, little bit of progress on papercraft Phantom Hourglass Tetra

Yay, finally some papercraft Tetra progress! 🙂

Yeah, yeah, only a teeny, tiny little bit of progress, but still. 😉

Although when possible, I always go through a lot of extra trouble to extract a game model with its animations so I can get them in a nice pose for the papercraft, for Phantom Hourglas Tetra the extracted animation and poses weren't very interesting... But the model is pretty simple so I just chose a nice artwork image and I'll just try remodelling that pose using the extracted model as a base reference.

As you can see, so far, I did the legs! (yes, that's really all so far 😉)

If you look closer, you'll see that I did a little bit more than just change their position to fit the desired pose, though. Just like with Linebeck 9 years ago (apparantly, I actually released Linebeck exactly 9 years ago - which I swear is just a coincidence though 😇) I want Tetra to be a bit more 'smooth'; the arms and legs on the extracted game model are just square, but I found for Linebeck that if I make them hexagonal, it already makes it possible to make the papercraft's arms and legs much more rounded in the end!

Of course that's entirely optional: you can leave the arms and legs as they are, or divide them even more to make them even more rounded.

You will have to do some remodelling of the game model though, because as usual with game models like these, the legs, arms, head etc. are pushed inside other bodyparts, which you can't do with a papercraft in the physical world of course. 😉

It may be while again before I get to do some work on Tetra, but stay tuned and eventually she'll get paperfied; have fun! 😀

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Free cute Hatsune Miku Amiguru Jump paper toy!


You might not like the business model of annoying advertisements and 'in-app purches' from simple freemium mobile games like Hatsune Miku Amiguru Jump, but there's no way you don't like the cute and (really) free papercraft toy! 😇

Saturday, September 12, 2020

free papercraft The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Kass

Again, I didn't really do any work on paperfying Phantom Hourglass's Tetra yet, but that's why I always say to check back from time to time on other 'old' papercraft websites; that way you can find some really nice papercrafts to make like TenPepakura's Kass from Breath of the Wild! 😀 

Download + build your own free papercraft The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Kass (+lots more, by TenPepakura):

free papercraft ANA airport ground support vehicles

So you made the papercraft Airbus A-380 airliners from ANA All Nippon Airways, and now you need some ground support vehicles? 🛫🚚😊

Download + build your own free papercraft airport ground support vehicles (by ANA All Nippon Airways): 

Saturday, September 5, 2020

free papercraft N-scale Dutch canal houses and windmill :o)

Brother started their 1:150 scale (about N-scale) papercraft model railway building series a couple of years ago, but this Dutch update with world famous Amsterdam canal houses ("grachtenpanden") and even a windmill ("windmolen") caught my eye of course! 😊

Intermezzo: education time ;o)

Windmills allowed the Dutch to create much of the Netherlands
below sea level
(hence the name😉) and still keep dry feet...

There are a lot of Amsterdam canal houses that are famous because they were beautifully built during the Dutch Golden Age,
but the one at Prinsengracht 263 became famous because it was the house where the jewish girl Anne Frank
hid with her family from the Germans in World War II

Download + build your own free 1:150 scale Dutch canal houses and windmill papercraft model railway buildings (+lots more, by Brother):

Sunday, August 30, 2020

How to extract 3D models from a Nintendo DS game to use as base reference for a papercraft model (like Tetra from The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass ;o)

When I showed you before how to extract 3D models from games like Final Fantasy IX, Tomb Raider 1-5, Escape From Monkey Island, Grim Fandango or Kingdom Hearts, it was 'relatively easy', because those games come on a CD or DVD ROM that can be read with regular DVD drives (or even simpler as digital downloads so that you can directly access the game files you need on your computer).

Nintendo DS games however come on Nintendo DS Game Cards, so I used a special device: the Super Memory Stick 4 (SMS4) Game Backup Master made by NeoTeAm!

(NOTE 1: There are other methods and tools you can use, like a Nintendo 3DS with the homebrew GodMode9 software, but I'm just telling you how I did it - so I can't help you with other methods, sorry...!)

(NOTE 2: I'm using The Legend of Zelda Phantom Hourglass as an example, but this method should work for Spirit Tracks and other Nintendo DS games that use Nintendo's Nitro file system as well! 😀 )

IMPORTANT NOTE 1: The only legal way to get the game files you need to extract a 3D model from an NDS game, is to get them from your own copy of the game...!

IMPORTANT NOTE 2: To run the apicula tool by scurest you might need to tell your antivirus software to ignore the folder with the apicula.exe executable; it's a fanmade tool and your antivirus software might think it's a malicious program and prevent you from running it.

Only do this when YOU are 100% sure that the files are not malicious of course, and NEVER turn off your antivirus software completely!

⬤ Dumping a ROM of your Nintendo DS Game Card to your computer (Super Memory Stick 4 Game Backup Master + NEO2 Pro Manager V1.32)

-  The Super Memory Stick 4 Backup Master was developed by the NeoTeAm and looks just like a USB memory stick, only with a Nintendo DS Game Card slot on the side. It's still available from several shops, but it's pretty expensive and prices can vary widely, so if you want to go this way be sure to shop around for the best bargain from a store you can trust!

- Once you have an SMS4, you will also need the latest NEO2 Pro Manager V1.32 software and the NEO SlimLoader IV/SMS4 driver to make it work.

- You can get them from the mini pocket CD that should be included with your SMS4, but if you didn't receive the mini CD or if you got an old version you can also download it from the bottom of the first post in this thread on the NeoTeAm Forum: link
- Download the version from the "last V2 CD driver disk download link", because it includes the troubleshooting manual to install the NEO SlimLoader IV/SMS4 driver on 64-bits Windows 10 systems, which you will probably need because the installation is quite tricky on newer systems (and because the first download link doesn't work anymore anyway 😉)

- Run the Neo2_Pro_Manager_1.32A_Setup.exe file to install the NEO2 Pro Manager V1.32 software.

- This went without problems for me and at the end it will automatically ask you to install the NEO SlimLoader USB driver packet. On 64-bits Windows 10 systems though this step will probably fail, and you will need to go through the steps in the guide-NEO_SL4_WIN10-x64.pdf file to get it to work.

- I found the guide-NEO_SL4_WIN10-x64.pdf driver installation troubleshooting guide pretty thorough and clear: in my case (on a 64-bits Windows 10 system) only the last option of disabling the driver software signature verification would work though...

NEO2 Pro Manager and driver installation

- Now that you got the SMS4 working, insert a Nintendo DS Game Card in the device and insert the SMS4 into a USB port on your computer.

- Next, run the NEO2 Pro Manager V1.32 software, and with the driver installed correctly it will automatically recognize your NDS game.

- Switch to the SMS4 tab in the top left of the NEO2 Pro Manager window and click the Dump ROM button.

- Specify a folder on your computer where you want to save the ROM file and then be patient because the dumping process can take a while... 😊

- When the program is done, you will find an .nds file in the folder you specified: now if anything happens to your original NDS Game Card, you always have a backup! 🙂)

NEO2 Pro Manager ROM dumping

- You can play your .nds backup file on an emulator like DeSmuMe or put it on a special NDS flash card to play it on your actual Nintendo DS handheld (I have never done that however so don't ask me which one you'd need exactly...! 😉) but of course in this case I will show you how to use it to extract a 3D model to use as a base reference for a papercraft model! 😃

⬤ Unpack the Nitro files from the .nds ROM file (dsbuff v1 Final + Puyo Tools Version 1.1.0)

- The .nds file is kinda like a container file that contains all the files for the game. It still needs to be unpacked to find the 3D model and texture files which can be done using tools like dsbuff v1 Final by WB3000
NOTE: You need Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 or higher to use dsbuff. There's a good chance you already have it though, but otherwise you can download it directly from Microsoft: link
- Download dsbuff v1 Final from an archived version of WB3000's website: link (or search for it online)
- Unpack the .zip file and then run dsbuff.exe.

- The interface looks very minimalistic, making it a bit difficult to understand... Start by clicking the long button (with the folder and magnifying glass icon) at the top to Browse for the .nds file you dumped from your Nintendo DS Game Card.

- Click the Unpack button in the bottom center (the box icon with a "-" minus sign in a red circle) and then the smaller browse button (the folder icon with the magnifying glass) next to the Unpack Directory box to select a folder where you want to unpack the game files (I usually like to create a new folder to keep everything nice and organized).

- Now click the OK button (the checkmark in the green circle) to unpack the game files to the folder you selected.

unpack dumped .nds ROM file with dsbuff

- If you look in the unpacked Data folder, you will find lots of game folders and files, but most of the 3D models in the Npc (Non player characters like Tetra) and Player (Link) folders for example are still in .bin (model) archives and .nsbtx (texture) file formats that you can't open like that.

- To convert them, you can use a tool like Puyo Tools Version 1.1.0 (I use an older version because I couldn't get the newer version to work for me!) by Nick Worokekin: link
- Download and unpack the file, and then run the PuyoTools.exe executable.

- Open a .bin file with Archive > Extract > Select Files and browse to the data\Npc folder; in the Supported Archives drop-down list in the bottom right choose All Files (*.*) to be able to see the .bin and .nsbtx files.

- Select the .bin file of the character you want to extract and click Open.

- I left everything as it is in the Archive - Extract options. Now click Extract and Puyo Tools will automatically create a NARC Extracted folder in the same folder as the .bin file you chose (in this case the data\Npc folder) with the extracted files (there should be at least a .nsbmd model and .nsbca animation file if it's a character model).

unpack .bin files with Puyo Tools

Actually extracting and converting the 3D models from the unpacked Nitro files (apicula)

- Download and unpack the apicula tool by scurest from the first post in this thread in the VG Resource forum: link (make sure to get the right build for your version of Windows!)

- After unpacking the .zip file, create a folder called nsbxx_files in the same folder as the apicula.exe executable

- Copy all the unpacked files from the NARC Extracted folder and the matching .nsbtx file from the data\Npc folder to the nsbxx_files folder you just made.

preparing to use apicula

- Now if you want, you can preview the 3D model in the .nsbmd file to make sure it is what you want by creating a small batch file to run the apicula tool.

- Start by creating a simple Notepad text file in the same folder as the apicula.exe executable and then simply type the following:
apicula view nsbxx_files
- Save the text file, and then change the file extension from .txt to .bat to make it into a batch file that you can run to operate the apicula tool.

- Double-click the .bat file you just created and a short script will run which will load the .nsbdm file in a model viewer (use the W, A, S, D and E and Q keys to move the model and rotate it by holding and dragging the left mouse button to get the model into view, and try the O and P keys to run any animations if the .nsbmd model came with an .nsbca animation file).

- Once you're happy that the .nsbmd file is the model you wanted, create another simple Notepad text file in the same folder as the apicula.exe executable, this time typing the following:
apicula convert nsbxx_files -o dae_files
- Change the file extension from .txt to .bat again and double-click it to run it.

- This time the apicula tool will create a new folder called dae_files. Inside will finally be a Collada .dae model file which you can open in a regular 3D editing program, and the textures converted to .png image files.

(if you want some more information on how to use apicula tool, have a look at their Github page: link)

view and convert the Nitro model files with Apicula

⬤ Converting the Collada .dae file to Wavefront. obj for Metasequoia (Blender)

- Import the .dae file into Blender v2.79 with File > Import > Collada (Default) (.dae) (the newer Blender 2.8x versions don't seem to have a .3ds import option anymore; so it's your choice whether you really want the latest version?)

- By moving the animation slider at the bottom, you can choose a specific pose from the animation for the papercraft model you want to make.

- Export the model in the specific pose you want with File > Export > Wavefront (.obj).

convert the Collada .dae file to a Wavefront .obj file with Blender

- Now you can open the .obj file with a specific pose in Metasequoia (or another 3D program of your choice). In the OBJ Import dialog window, UNcheck the Flip right and left and Invert faces boxes, but CHECK the Invert V of mapping box.
- If you exported the .obj file with Blender to the dae_files folder with the .png texture images files, Metasequoia should automatically apply the texture images to the model using the info in the .mtl file that was exported automatically together with the .obj file (otherwise you will have to do this manually in the Material Panel).

- The textures will still look wrong for many pieces, but that's something you will have to fix anyway as you rebuild this 3D base reference, because the extracted game model won't make a very good papercraft 'as is'...

- A lot of the pieces are unconnected or collide with each other, and many pieces can be remodelled so that they'll be much easier to assemble out of paper if you think ahead of time about how you want to unfold and glue the the 3D pieces as 2D papercraft parts later on. 🙂

opening the Wavefront .obj file in Metasequoia

Now, paperfying this Tetra will probably take me a lot longer than FF9 Beatrix did (because real life busy-ness... 😉) but stay tuned and have fun!

Tools used:
- Super Memory Stick 4 Backup Master by NeoTeam: available in several online shops specializing in retro gaming or NDS flash cards (search around for the best bargain from a shop that YOU trust!)

- NEO2 Pro Manager V1.32 and NEO SlimLoader IV/SMS4 driver by Neo TeAm :,7831.0.html (download the version from the "last V2 CD driver disk download link" at the bottom of the first post)

- dsbuff v1 Final by WB3000:

- Puyo Tools Version 1.1.0 by Nick Woronekin: (newer versions of Puyo Tools didn't work for me, they might for you?)

- Blender v2.79 (the newer 2.8x versions don't seem to have a .3ds import option anymore; so it's your choice whether you really want the latest version?)
- Metasequoia

Condensed version of this Nintendo DS Phantom Hourglass 3D model extraction tutorial (which will work for Spirit Tracks and other NDS games that use the Nitro file system too) in one *big* image:

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