Friday, January 31, 2020

Papercraft Kingdom Hearts Squa-, eh, Leon WIP

I haven't been showing updates so far of my making a papercraft Kingdom Hearts Squall, because so far it's basically been all the same: reworking the captured 3D model to make it better to unfold in Pepakura Designer later on.

The most important part are the "connections"; more often than not, the joints of video game characters aren't actually connected, and/or they will be pushed through one another ("collisioned") when posed, and that's just not possible in papercraft... Leon's model wasn't that bad actually as far as that goes!

I usually also combine a lot of the smaller polygons into fewer shapes that make fewer and nicer parts as a papercraft, especially on Leon's face.

The trickiest part about this has been making sure the textures fit the new parts. They were created to fit the original 3D model of course, and when I wanted the zippers to be part of the jacket, or the belt buckle part of the belt instead of separate pieces for example, or give the boots a higher shaft to go into the legs so you can actually glue them on in the papercraft model, I had to combine the textures together as well:

And the hair. Oh, the spiky Japanese anime hair... 😋

Saturday, January 25, 2020

What a cute little papercraft demon girl...!

June made a chibi version of Nezuko Kamado from the Demon Slayer anime/manga. She may look cute, but appearances can be deceiving...

He made a video tutorial showing you how to put it together, so pay close attention to it if you want to make one yourself. 😊

Download + build your own free chibi papercraft Demon Slayer Nezuko Kamado (by June's Papercraft):

(download instructions: click the "https://jcubelabo...." link in the description below the video on june's YouTube channel)

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Free papercraft Antarctic research vessel Soya

Wait a minute... The TSMC only makes free papercraft airplanes right...? 🛫

WRONG! This is the icebreaker Soya, once a Japanese Antarctic research vessel, now a museum ship (and a papercraft). 🚢🧊

Download + build own free papercraft Soya icebreaker ship (by TSMC):

(click the cat's head (I think she's called Miku?) at the top of the page to send an email if you would like to build one of the older papercraft planes they made)

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Free papercraft Vtuber Sora Tokino (non-chibi version)

Remember that chibi papercraft VTuber Sora Tokino that S.V. Paper Craft works made? Here's a non-chibi version! (which looks just as cute of course)

Download + build your own free papercraft virtual YouTuber Sora Tokino (+lots more, by S.V. Paper Craft works):

(the green "Download" link on S.V. Paper Craft's webpage will take you to the download page in the Pepakura gallery; use the free Pepakura Viewer to open *.pdo files!)

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Image burners, dumpers, model viewers, rippers, batch scipts and import plugins... Just to get a 3D Kingdom Hearts model as a base reference for a new papercraft!

A lot of my video game papercrafts are made using the actual 3D model from the video games as a base reference, and even though the games I like are pretty old, I still sometimes get questions about how I get those out of the games.

So last time I figured I'd include a short explanation on how to get the Tomb Raider Angel of Darkness Save icon Lara 3D model from a PlayStation 2 savegame file that I used for the papercraft vignette I made of her, since it was simple enough to show with just two or three steps involved.

I also figured I could maybe do so each time I started a new papercraft so people could get an overview of several different methods?

Only this time... There ended up being quite a few more steps involved... 😅

  • NOTE BEFOREHAND: I'm using my original PlayStation 2 Kingdom Hearts game from 2002, and I can't guarantee if the tools I mention here work with any other or Final Mix/HD 1.5 ReMIX versions...!
  • ANOTHER NOTE BEFOREHAND: I'm using a Windows 10 Home 64-bits desktop computer, and the first time I used this method was on a Windows XP Home 32-bits system. The tools used (and the game itself...) are many years old already and these are the two systems I know they work on obviously (I had to make some settings in my Panda Dome antivirus software to get them to work actually) and again: I don't know whether they will work on other systems...

Extracting the files from the game disc: KHDump

- Now, to start with the obvious (I hope...): you will need the PlayStation 2 Kingdom Hearts game (see also the note beforehand above).

- Insert your Kingdom Hearts disc into the optical disc drive on your computer. Then first find the KINGDOM.IDX file on the disc and copy it to a new folder.

- You will also need to make an ISO of your Kingdom Hearts disc. I like to use and old freeware version of ImgBurn version for this (tip: DON'T get the newest version from the ImgBurn website because in later versions, there may be annoying software from advertisers bundled with the installer; if you're not convinced, you can also use a completely different image burner to create an .iso of course).

- Select the option Create image file from disc. Then as a Source, select the disc drive with your Kingdom Hearts disc in it and as Destination, choose the folder where you put the KINGDOM.IDX file. Let ImgBurn do its thing and when you hear the cheerful music your .iso file will have been created.

- To actually extract the Kingdom Hearts 3D model files from the .iso, I use a tool called KHDump by yaz0r. There is an older 0.1 version, but I the KHDump 0.2 alpha1 version seems to manage to extract more model files so I like to use that one. Sadly, it's no longer available from yaz0r's original blog, but on the XeNTaX forums there's a link to an archive of yaz0r's tools on MediaFire, including the khdump-0.2-alpha1 tool (it's in the "Final Fantasy X, X-2, XII soft > yaz0r sorf forum backup" folder after unpacking the .7z file).

- To use it, first copy the khdump.exe to the same folder as the KINGDOM.IDX file and the ISO you made from your Kingdom Hearts disc. KHDump is a command prompt tool, but I find it easier to make a .bat script to run the extraction process. To do so, simply create a new Notepad Text Document in the same folder as the ISO, IDX and khdump.exe files. In the new Text Document, type:
khdump.exe Image.iso KINGDOM.IDX
- Make sure all the file names are the same as the ones you have in your folder (if you named the ISO file you made from your Kingdom Hearts disc differently for example, change the Image.iso part to whatever you named it). Then save the text file and after that change the file extension of the file from .txt to .bat to make it into a batch script that can run the KHDump tool.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Many modern antivirus tools don't like .bat files and tools that do things that are out of the ordinary. So when you try to run khdump.exe or the .bat file you just created yourself, they will likely be flagged, prevented from running and immediately quarantined or deleted by your antivirus software. To prevent this, go to the settings of your particular antivirus tool, and tell it to exclude the khdump.exe and the .bat file you just created from its scans (DO NOT turn off your antivirus tool completely of course!).

- Once you have made sure that your antivirus tool won't intervene, double-click the .bat script to run it and it will use the KHDump tool to extract all the files it can from the .iso you created from your Kingdom Hearts disc. If all went as it should, there should be hundreds of .mdls (3D models) and .mset (animation) files. Copy the extracted files in a separate folder for convenience.

Capturing the 3D model: 3D Ripper DX + ModelViewerWX D3D9

Tip: as alternative to 3D Ripper DX, you can also use Ninja Ripper which works similarly, but which won't have a distortion in the captured 3D model. I made an additional tutorial on it here:

- The tool I use to extract the Kingdom Hearts 3D models is 3D Ripper DX 1.8.2 by Roman Lut. Download it from the original website and install it (the password you need to enter during Setup is given to you in the first screen: ripper).

(NOTE: 3D Ripper DX outputs .3dr files for which it can automatically install a 3DR import plugin if it finds certain versions of 3DS MAX (5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 2009 or 2010 or 2011 [Design]) during setup. If you already installed 3D Ripper DX before installing 3DS MAX, you can simply run the 3D Ripper DX setup again to install the plugin).

- Now find the ModelViewerWXD3D9_0.3_new folder in the same "yaz0r sorf forum backup" folder of the .7z file where you found the KHDump tool (the folder should also include two other files: cg.dll and cgD3D9.dll). yaz0r's ModelViewerWX lets you view (among others) Kingdom Hearts .mdls 3D model files. To extract the 3D models however, you have to start ModelViewerWX as a process through 3D Ripper DX.

- Start 3D Ripper DX and under Please select DirectX 6/8/9 application to analize, browse to the ModelViewerWXD3D9.exe file (yaz0r also made another ModelViewerWX.exe model viewer, but you really need to use ModelViewerWXD3D9.exe because it is the DirectX9 version that works with 3D Ripper DX).

- Enable the Also capture to Waverfront .OBJ checkbox (this is especially useful if you don't have access to 3DS MAX since Wavefront .obj file can be opened in many cheap or even free 3D programs).

- You can also customize the Frames, Textures and Shaders output directories (by default it will create the output directories in the My Documents folder on your computer).

- Make a mental note of the Capture key (you can change it to any of the F function keys on your keyboard, but try not to choose one that's used by the application you're trying to capture from; for yaZ0r's ModelViewerWX 0.3, the default F12 is fine).

- Now click the Launch key to start the ModelViewerWX 0.3 through 3D Ripper DX.

- When you see the yellow Ready to capture text in the top left corner of the ModelViewerWX 0.3 screen, you know everything is set up alright so far.

- Now open one of the .mdls files you extracted from the Kingdom Hearts .iso file from the file menu (choose Kingdom Hearts Model (*.MDLS) from the dropdown menu with filetypes or they won't show up. Leon was in the xa_ex_1030.mdls file, but as you can see there are many more!)*

- Click open to view the 3D model in the model viewer. By default, you will see the standard T-pose of the model. If the .mdls file you chose has a matching set of .mset (Kingdom Hearts animation) files though, you will also be able to select an in-game animation to have a much more interesting pose for a papercraft.

- When you have selected a pose you like, you can press the 3D Ripper DX Capture key F12 (or whatever you changed it to). When you see the screen flash, it means 3D Ripper DX has done its thing, so you can close ModelViewerWX now and find the Output folders you set in the 3D Ripper DX configuration screen.

- In the 3D Reaper DX > Frames folder you will find the 3D model in both .3dr and .obj format (the .mtl file is an additional file with texture information for the .obj file). The textures will be extracted as DirectDraw Surface .dds files to the 3D Reaper DX > Textures folder (although many 3D programs can read .dds files, Pepakura Designer can not, so you will have to convert them to a .bmp, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .tif, .tiff or tga image format with an image editor that can open .dds files, or a free online image convertor or a special free tool like DDS converter).

Fixing the distortion

- Normally, you could go two different ways. The first way is if you have 3DS MAX with 3D Ripper DX's 3DR Import plugin installed: then you can import the extracted .3dr file that way in 3DS MAX.

- Sometimes this has an advantage: 3D models that are extracted with 3D Ripper DX are always distorted a bit. For models extracted from some applications, the 3DS MAX 3DR Import plugin can rectify this distortion automatically by applying some Recommended values to the imported 3D model. But as you can see in the case of ModelViewerWX, the Recommended values of the 3DR Import plugin are empty, so the imported .3dr file will be just as distorted (Leon looks kinda flat as you can see...) as the Wavefront .obj file that you extracted together with it.

(Tip for another time: Sometimes if you open an extracted .obj file from 3D Ripper DX from some applications in Notepad, you will see a line saying: "#AR=1.31483, FOV=45.14745(height), Xscale:0.54660, Yscale:0.41572, Zscale:1.0" or something like that. Those are basically the Recommended values that the 3DS MAX 3DR Import plugin looks for. This means you can also manually scale the X, Y and Z axes by the mentioned scales to correct the proportions. But in the case of ModelViewerWX, 3D Ripper DX won't be able to determine these scales and you'll see that the lines isn't there if you open the .obj file in Notepad (the example shown here is from a different file).

- Because 3DS MAX is an expensive program, most people will probably use the .obj file anyway. I like to use Metasequoia as my 3D modelling program, because the basic functions that I use for papercrafting were easy to learn (and are all functional in the free, unlicensed version as well) and it has an as far as I'm concerned perfect compatibility with Pepakura Designer (it even says so on the Pepakura Designer website).

- You can really use any 3D software that can do basic modelling and that can export to any file format that Pepakura Designer can open though: Metasequoia .mqo or .mqoz (as said: the best combatibility) Wavefront .obj, 3D Studio .3ds, Lightwave .lwo, AutoCAD .dxf, STL binary .stl, Google Earth 4 .kmz and .kml Hexa Great .6kt and .6ks or Collada .dae.

- Fixing the distortion on a 3D model extracted with 3D Ripper DX is really as simple as opening the 3D model in Metasequoia (or any other 3D modelling software) and scale the model in the X, Y and/or Z dimension separately until Leon looks normal again (the 1.500 factor is just an example; experiment with all 3 axes scales until the 3d model looks "right" to you).

- After reassigning the textures (Metasequoia can read .dds files but Pepakura Designer can not, so remember that you will have to convert them anyway!) you will finally have a Kingdom Hearts model that you can use as a base reference to make into a papercraft.

And that is what I will be doing next. 😊 Stay tuned!

Tools used:
- ImgBurn (DO NOT get the latest version from the official ImgBurn website; the newest releases are shareware and are bundled with additional software from advertisers!)
- KHDump 0.2 alpha1 + ModelViewerWX D3D9 by yaz0r: (has a link to a MediaFire archive with many other of yaz0r's tools as well)
- 3D Ripper DX 1.8.2 by Roman Lut: 
- Metasequoia 4.7.2:
(If you found this "little" tutorial useful and want to save it, you can download it here as a single image)

* Addendum: It can be difficult to find the Kingdom Hearts character you want among the hundreds of extracted .mdls model files. There is a small clue in the filenames: they all start with "xa_" but the two letters after that at least tell you which world the model in that file is from:
xa_al = Aladdin's world (Agrabah)
xa_aw = Alice in Wonderland's world
xa_dc = Disney Castle
xa_dh = Dive to the Heart world (at the start of the game with the Dream Sword, Dream Shield and Dream Rod)
xa_di = Destiny Islands
xa_ew = End of the World
xa_ex = common characters and enemies throughout the game
xa_he = Hercules' world (Olympus Coliseum)
xa_lm = Little Mermaid's world (Atlantica)
xa_nm = A Nightmare Before Christmas' world (Halloween Town)
xa_pc = Princesses of Hearts' world (Hollow Bastion)
xa_pi = Pinocchio's world (Monstro)
xa_po = Winnie the Pooh's world (Hundred Acre Wood)
xa_pp = Peter Pan's world (Neverland)
xa_tw = Traverse Town
xa_tz = Tarzan's world (Deep Jungle)

Friday, January 17, 2020

Free papercraft Nintendo Game Boy & Super Mario Land game cartridge

Building a papercraft classic Nintendo Game Boy is fun and all, but what's the point if you don't have any games for it? Well, luckily ArtistSunnyPen has got you covered, because they included a Super Mario Land game cartridge!

Download + build your own free papercraft classic Game Boy & Super Mario Land game cartridge (by ArtistSunnyPen):

(download instructions: click the Google Drive link in the comments on ArtistSunnyPen's DeviantArt page; use the free Pepakura Viewer to open *.pdo files!)

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Free Disney's Frozen Arendelle castle papercraft by abdibox

Check out this free papercraft that abdibox made of Elsa's and Anna's "humble abode"! 😉

Download + build your own free papercraft Disney's Frozen Arendelle castle (by abdibox):

Crafter Wong's new papercraft blog chibi Pokémon Glaceon

I obviously have a lot of fun making and sharing papercrafts (else I wouldn't have been doing it for so long😊)

But I am by no means the only one of course! And it's always great to see a new papercraft weblog like that of Crafter Wong of someone deciding to share their papercrafts for others to enjoy as well! 😀

Download + build your own free chibi papercraft Pokémon Glaceon (by Crafter Wong's Papercrafts):

(use a tool like the free 7-Zip to unpack *.rar files and the free Pepakura Viewer to open *.pdo files!)

Sunday, January 12, 2020

First papercraft release of 2020! Free Tomb Raider PlayStation 2 The Angel of Darkness Save icon Lara.

...and the first papercraft release of 2020 is a fact! 😀

This was fun to make, because well, it's a new Tomb Raider vignette and those are really turning into a nice series 😉 but also because I think it's a Lara that not all people get to see, since she only lives on the PlayStation 2 Memory Card of people that played the PS2 version of The Angel of Darkness.

That's also why I kept this vignette quite minimalistic, with just Lara and a PlayStation 2 style base. The next papercraft Tomb Raider vignettes that I have planned are a bit more elaborate again, but they'll have to wait a while, because I want to do other papercrafts as well of course... But for now, I hope you enjoy my first papercraft of the New Year, have fun building!

Download free Tomb Raider AoD Save icon Lara papercraft:

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Another cute free 2020 Year of the Rat papercraft

The Illustration Factory showed the making of this cute 2020 Year of the Rat papercraft on their weblog a little while ago; it's all in Japanese, but from the pictures you can tell they first scratch built the paper model, then when they were satisfied they took it apart to trace the handmade parts in a computer program (basically the same way I do my own hand drawn papercrafts!)

But the best part about Illustration Factory's 2020 Year of the Rat papercraft is of course: you can download the result for free! 🐀😊

Download + build your own free 2020 Year of the Rat papercraft (by Illustration Factory):

(download instructions: click the "サンプルページ" link just below the completed picture on the Illustration Factory's weblog)

Wear a (papercraft Splatoon 2 ;o) fishskull on your head!

Have you always wanted to run around with a fish skeleton on your head but felt the smell would probably be too much? Try this papercraft Splatoon 2 Fierce Fishskull headgear version that shiroi38132723 made! 💀🐟

Download + build your own free papercraft Fierce Fishskull headgear (by shiroi38132723):

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Tomb Raider Angel of Darkness Save icon Lara test build

Even in the Year of the Rat, I will continue making papercrafts of course! 😇

First I will have to finish my Tomb Raider Angel of Darkness Save icon Lara vignette and I've been doing a test build of her as you can see.

There are some small things that I want to fix a bit (like straightening her legs a bit for instance) but all in all, this will be a very minimalistic vignette anyway so it's just Lara, and I think she will fit right in. 😊

Free 2020 Year of the Rat papercraft by Heppoko

Besides boats, submarines and airplanes, the Heppoko Paper Model Studio has also made a Chinese Zodiac animal series since 2011! And as you can see, 2020 is the Year of the Rat. 🐀

Download + build your own free Year of the Rat papercraft (+lots more, by Heppoko Paper Model Studio):

New monthly papercraft series from Sasatoku in the Year of the Rat as well!

As for the question whether or not Sasatoku will have a new free monthly seasonal papercraft for the new year as well: yes. 😃 (starting with a rat mobile to celebrate the 2020 Chinese Year of the Rat! 🐀)

Download + build your own free papercraft Year of the Rat mobile (+lots more, by Sasatoku):
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