Saturday, February 29, 2020

How to R.I.P. (some pun intended) Manny from Grim Fandango (Remastered) as a base reference for a papercraft


I've actually been meaning to do a papercraft Manny for Halloween🎃 for many years, but I figured why wait and probably end up doing something different again...? 😝

And just like with my last few papercrafts, I also want to share how I extracted the 3D model that I'll be using as a base reference; maybe some of you might like to make your own papercrafts with Pepakura Designer too, although be aware that game models usually need a lot of work before they make a decent papercraft!

Grim Fandango is a really fun adventure game from LucasArts from 1998. The original game is difficult to get to work with modern systems (although there are special installers to do so). In 2015 it was specially Remastered for modern platforms by Double Fine Productions. Before the Remaster though, there was an unofficial fan project called Grim Fandango Deluxe, which also aimed to update the graphics using the ResidualVM interpreter for 3D LucasArts adventure games.

To make that fan project possible, these awesome fans had to create a plethora (¡Three Amigos! reference...) of tools to be able to edit Grim Fandango's original game files, and it's some of those tools that I used to get the 3D model as a basis for the new Manny Calavera papercraft I'm going to make! 💀


NOTE BEFOREHAND: I'm using the 2015 Remastered version of Grim Fandango from Steam as I don't have the original version, but I guess these tools should also work with the original version since that's what they were actually made for.




Extracting Manny's 3D model

- Step 1: So you need the game. If you're using the Remastered version from Steam like me (wait for a Steam sale period and it'll be only a few bucks for a great game!) you'll have to install it first to get the game files onto your computer.

- The 3D data for Grim Fandango is packed into .LAB data archives in the Grim Fandango Program Files installation folder (and on the game discs if you have the original version). Using the Resource File Creator and Dumper 1.1 by bgbennyboy: link you can unpack these .LAB files to view the actual files inside.

- For one character, you need matching .3do files (3D model meshes), .key files (animations), .mat files (textures) and .cmp files (colormap palettes that give the textures the correct colors). The character names on the .3do files are easy to recognize, but the filenames for the animations are usually abbreviated a bit; Manny's animations for example are named ma_something.key.

- You can Dump All the files in the .LAB archive to a folder and look through them then, or if you know what you're looking for you can Dump just the files you need one at a time. First for now, you need the .3do model and a matching .key animation.


- Now put the .3do model file and matching .key animation in a separate folder to make things a bit easier.

- Download the KEY3DO2DAE tool by Cervian as a binary from the bottom of Cervian's post in the ResidualVM forums: link and place the KEY3DO2DAE.exe executable in the same folder.

- KEY3DO2DAE works as a command line tool. Cervian explains how to use it in his forum post (complete with animated gifs 🙂) but you probably know I find it easier to just make a little batch script.

-Start by making a New Text Document in the folder with the .3do, .key and KEY3DO2DAE files and type the following in Notepad:
key3do2dae mannysuit.3do ma_smoke_loop.key
(replace mannysuit.3do and ma_smoke_loop.key with the names of the .3do and .key files you are using of course!)

- Then save the text file and change the file extension from .txt to .bat.


IMPORTANT NOTE: A lot of antivirus tools don't like .bat files and fanmade .exe files that they don't recognize, so you may need to tell your antivirus software to ignore the particular .bat file just created and the KEY3DO2DAE.exe file or they might be blocked from running (NEVER turn off your antivirus scanner completely of course, and also DON'T tell it to ignore all .bat files; just the one you just made yourself!)

- Now with all four files in the same folder (the .3do model file, the .key animation, the KEY3DO2DAE.exe tool and your .bat file) double-click the .bat you created file to run it.

- This will create a new folder with the same name as the .3do file you used. Inside that folder will be more folders, but the ma_smoke_loop.dae file (or named after whatever .key file you used in the .bat script) in the Animations folder is what you need next.


- Now import the .dae file from the Animations folder in Blender (or another 3D program that can open Collada .dae files with their animations of course). Zoom in and... that's probably not what you expected...

- However, if you slide the marker on the animation timeline bar at the bottom of the screen around a bit, Manny will spring to "life" (well you know what I mean 😉).

- There will probably be some small issues (that you can fix later on in a 3D program, like Manny's head being a bit too low here) but it should look much better already. Now you can export him as a Wavefront .obj in the pose you want for your papercraft.



- Now I like to use Metasequoia to do my 3D modelling for papercraft because its .mqo files work very well with Pepakura Designer which I use to unfold the 3D model later on, but you can use other 3D programs that you might be familiar with as well.

- In the Material Panel in Metasequoia (press Ctrl+M if you can't see it) you will see a list of the materials that are used on the 3D model and that you'll need to find and convert next.

(Alternatively, you can also open the .mtl file that Blender exported together with the .obj file in Notepad by changing the file extension from .mtl to .txt and then it will show the contents of the .mtl file as a plain Text Document).



Extracting Manny's textures (Remastered and original)

- If you want to use the Remastered textures (they have 16x16=256 as many pixels and therefor are much crisper than the original ones) you will need another tool by BennyBoy called DoubleFine Explorer 1.3.8: link

- Use the DoubleFine Explorer 1.3.8 to open the MATERIALS.lab file if you have the Remastered version. Find the textures you need for your characters (you can use the Search box in DoubleFine Explorer at the top if you want) and Save the Files As png images.


- You will probably notice that that some textures apparantly weren't Remastered though: m_bone, m_finger and m_wrist are really just white-ish squares with black lines, so I guess there wasn't much to remaster (I also used a greyish mc_heel.mat and mc_toe.mat for the shoes because I couldn't find the brown m_s_heel and m_s_toe among the Remastered textures?) You still need them of course, so you have to get them from the original textures.

- So again in the Resource File Creator and Dumper 1.1, this time look in the original .LAB files (NOT in the MATERIALS.LAB!) for the matching textures and Dump them like the other files before.

IMPORTANT NOTE: you will also need the matching .cmp colormap palette file, or the textures won't have the right colors! For mannysuit.3do, the color map palette file was called suit.cmp so make sure to look all over the original .LAB files to find the right one!

- Put the .mat files and the matching .cmp file (the Dumped .mat files might not show the .mat file extensions as you can see in my own example) in a separate folder to make things a bit easier again.


- Now you will need a tool to convert these .mat files to something that your 3D program can use. I used MatMaster 2.0 by Pete "The Hutt" Klassen: link.

- Click File > Batch Conversion, and then open the .mat Source Files you copied.

- You will probably see in the preview that the colours aren't really correct though, because that's why you need to load the matching .cmp colormap palette file!

- Once you've loaded the right .cmp colormap palete file, you can select a destination where you want the converted textures to be saved.

- Click Convert and the .mat files will be converted to .bmp bitmap files in the Destination folder (use this method for all the textures if you're using the original version instead of the Remastered version).



- Now you can assign the textures to the 3D model and finally Manny will look the way she is supposed to, and he can be used as a basis for a new papercraft.


Stay tuned! 🙂

Tools used:
- Resource File Creator and Dumper 1.1 by bgbennyboy: https://quickandeasysoftware.net/software/resource-file-creator-and-dumper

- KEY3DO2DAE by Cervian: https://forums.residualvm.org/viewtopic.php?p=4102#p4102 (download the binary file at the bottom of the first post)

- DoubleFine Explorer 1.3.8 by BennyBoy: https://quickandeasysoftware.net/software/doublefine-explorer (if you want to use the remastered textures)

- MatMaster 2.0 by Pete "The Hutt" Klassen: https://www.massassi.net/programs/ (to convert the original textures; originally for LucasArts' Jedi Knight)


Addendum: In case you're wondering about the difference between the original and the Remastered textures, I made this little comparison. Note that the original textures aren't the ones on the left; those are enlarged 16x to the size of the Remasted textures already. The original ones are the tiny ones at the top left...





Addendum 2: For convenience if you want to save this tutorial, I condensed all the steps into one image again:



Monday, February 24, 2020

Free toio core cube papercraft body kits


If you use the free black-and-white/colour-yourself papercraft delivery truck, bus, sports car and SUV with toio's core cube ("toio コア キューブ"), you can really drive them around your play city!

Download + build your own free papercraft toio cube body kit vehicles (by toio):
https://toio.io/toio-drive/papercraft.html

Cute free papercrafts from the ADD Drive computer class website


ADD Drive offers classes on learning to work with PC software; PC here stands for "Personal Computer" of course, although maybe it has a double meaning, seeing the free papercraft section on their website. 😊

Download + build your own free ADD papercrafts (by ADD Drive):
http://www.adddrive.com/add/perpar/

free papercraft 2020 dodecahedron calendar


"Dodeca-" is a prefix meaning "twelve-". I bet you learned about it in geometry class, and asked yourself "when am I ever going to use what I know about dodecahedra?"

Well, since a dodecahedron has 12 sides just like a year has 12 months, you can use it every day by making a calendar out of it! 📅

Download + build your own free papercraft 2020 dodecahedron calendar (by the Papercraft Post):
http://thepapercraftpost.blogspot.com/2019/09/calendar-globe-2020.html

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Free papercraft Kingdom Hearts Leon / Final Fantasy Squall Leonheart!


It's a bit shocking that this is my first Kingdom Hearts papercraft release in almost 10 years...!? And at the same time this same paper model is the second Final Fantasy papercraft in a few months. That's Kingdom Hearts for you. 😊

Download free Kingdom Hearts Leon papercraft:



 


Have fun building!

Friday, February 21, 2020

Extracting 3D models as base references for papercrafts from yaz0r's ModelViewerWX D3D9 without distortion


When I started my Kingdom Hearts Leon papercraft, I showed you how I used yaz0r's ModelViewerWX D3D9 together with Roman Lut's 3D Ripper DX to extract the actual 3D game model to use as a base reference. I used that method because I used it before and I knew it worked, even if the 3D model has a scale distortion (which is easy to fix).

Just as I was finishing the papercraft model though, Paperlegend read my extracting tutorial and sent me a message telling me about a method using the Ninja Ripper tool by blackninja instead, which will  extract the 3D model without distortion so I wanted to share that method with you too! 🙂


  • NOTE BEFOREHAND: I had to tell my antivirus software to exclude the Noesis folder from its scans or it would block the tool from working (it seems to be fine with ModelViewer WX and Ninja Ripper). Only do this if YOU trust the tool as well of course, and NEVER turn off your antivirus software completely!!


Capturing Kingdom Hearts 3D models with ModelViewerWX D3D9 and Ninja Ripper

- The steps to extract the Kingdom Hearts .mdls model files and .mset animation files that you will need with yaz0r's ModelViewer WX D39D are the same of course, so for that I will refer you to the first part of the original tutorial: https://ninjatoes.blogspot.com/2020/01/image-burners-dumpers-model-viewers.html

- Download and unpack the .7z archive containing yaz0r's tools from the MediaFire link in the XeNTaX forums and find the ModelViewerWX D3D9 tool (in the "Final Fantasy X, X-2, XII soft > yaz0r sorf forum backup" folder after unpacking the .7z file).


- Now, instead of 3D Ripper DX, download the Ninja Ripper V1.7.1 tool by blackninja here: http://cgig.ru/ninjaripper/

- Ninja Ripper works similar to 3D Ripper DX, in that you have to run the application you want to capture from through Ninja Ripper. So start Ninja Ripper (after unpacking the downloaded .7z file, you can find a 64-bit version in the x64 folder, and a 32-bit version in the x86 folder; both of them seemed to work for me, but try the other if one doesn't work of course) and set the Target (DX 11/9/6/7/6 application) by clicking the three ... dots next to the Exe: box and then browing to the ModelViewerWXD3D9.exe file.

- Ninja Ripper will automatically determine an Output Directory, but you can change it if you want by clicking the three ... dots next to the Dir: box.

- You can choose several wrapper modes from the dropdown menu depending on the DirectX version of the application you want to capture from, but the Intruder Inject mode worked fine for me so that's what I used.

- Now click the Settings button and make a mental note of the All Rip key (F10 by default, but you can change it if you want). Close the settings windows again and then finally click the Run button to start ModelViewerWX D3D9 through Ninja Ripper.



- Open a Kingdom Hearts .mdls file and its animations in ModelViewerWX as explained in the original tutorial: https://ninjatoes.blogspot.com/2020/01/image-burners-dumpers-model-viewers.html


- Once you've found a pose you like, press Ninja Ripper's All Rip key (F10 by default) and the tool will create a new in the Output Directory specified in its configuration screen (by default, it will be in the folder with the .exe file of the executable you're trying to capture from; you can also quickly find it by clicking the Browse button next to the Output Directory box in the Ninja Ripper configuration screen).

- You will find that Ninja Ripper captures the texture images as .dds files (which you can convert using an image editing program, a special tool, or an online image conversion website) and the actual 3D model as .rip files.

- To open the .rip files, Ninja Ripper comes with several plugins for GIMS Evo (Game Indefinite Modding Suite Evolved), 3DS MAX, Blender and Noesis. For this tutorial, I will show you how to use Noesis, because it's a small program you don't even have to install.



IMPORTANT NOTE: what you might need to do though, is to have your antivirus program to allow you to run the Noesis tool (mine would block it, thinking it was a malicious process). Only do this if YOU trust the tool, and NEVER turn off your antivirus software completely of course!!



Converting Ninja Ripper's .rip files to Wavefront .obj files with Noesis

- Download Noesis version 4.4191 from Rich Whitehouse's website and unpack the .zip file to find the Noesis.exe tool inside: http://www.richwhitehouse.com/index.php?content=inc_projects.php&showproject=91

- Now before running Noesis, copy and paste the fmt_ninjaripper_rip.py file from Ninja Ripper's noesis_importer folder to Noesis's plugins > python folder.


- Start Noesis, and in the file tree on the left, browse to the Output Directory where Ninja Ripper exported the .rip files. Double-click one of the .rip files to preview the 3D model. Although the body parts are exported separately, you will see that they don't have the distortion that the captured 3D model from 3D Ripper DX had.


- Choose Export in the File menu to open the export dialog box. For papercraft, I always like to export the game models as Wavefront .obj file, which you can choose from the Main output type dropdown list.

- Click the Export button. By default, Noesis will export the file to the same folder of the .rip file you're converting (you can change this by clicking the Browse button under the Destination File(s) box).

- Do the same for the other .rip files so you will have .obj files for all the separate body parts of the model.





Putting Leon back together in Metasequoia

- I like to use Metasequoia for working with 3D models for creating papercrafts so that's the method I'll be showing, but you can use other 3D programs as well. Open the first .obj file in Metasequoia.

- In the OBJ Import dialog box, make sure the Move to center and Invert V of mapping boxes are NOT checked, but the Flip left and right and Invert faces boxes ARE checked! (this way, the separate body parts should be imported in their correct positions, the textures orientation should be correct and the faces (polygons) should be oriented correctly too)


- After opening the first .obj file, click File > Insert and select the second .obj file

- Again, make sure the Move to center and Invert V of mapping boxes are NOT checked, but the Flip left and right and Invert faces boxes ARE checked to make sure the speparate body parts are inserted in their correct positions and the textures will be oriented properly. Do the same for all the other exported .obj files.



- Now you can assign the exported .dds texture image files to the materials created in Metasequoia (note that you will have to convert the .dds texture images later on if you want to use them with Pepakura Designer!) and you will have a 3D Leon without any distortions that you can use as base reference for a new papercraft model! 🙂


As you can see, this method involves a few more steps than using 3D Ripper DX, but the big advantage of course is that you won't have to "guestimate" correcting any distortion of the 3D model, so this is a very good alternative to 3D Ripper DX!

Tools used:
- ModelViewerWX D3D9 by yaz0r: https://forum.xentax.com/viewtopic.php?t=7538 (has a link to a MediaFire archive with many other of yaz0r's tools as well)
- Ninja Ripper V1.7.1 by blackninja: http://cgig.ru/ninjaripper/
- Noesis version 4.4191 by Rich Whitehouse: http://www.richwhitehouse.com/index.php?content=inc_projects.php&showproject=91

If you liked this tutorial and want to save it, you can download the combined steps as this single image:


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