Sunday, April 7, 2013

Paper Craft Mask Projects

Just as the title says, I've started on some new mask projects!

Some time ago, I started playing around with the idea of using paper craft models to create a mask from. I decided that if I could import models of my own design into Pepakura Designer 3, and print them, I could use them as a base for a mask! I'd seen this very idea on the KCS forums years back, but the project never panned out. I ended up hunting around the internet for free 3D modeling programs, and stumbled across HexaGreat 3D and 3DAce. The former was really cool, but it was too incompatible with my OS to save files. The second though, was very similar and I was able to teach myself to create some models in it!

Here's the ones I managed to make.

Using a bunch of reference images, I created what could be described as an average face in the style of the pokemon games. Mostly going with the most recent character art style.

Using that reference, I came out with a model! I tried to keep the polygons to a minimum, but enough to be able to easily smooth out the shape when I actually build it.

After that, I modeled out a cat character I really like. Matakichi from this obscure manga Namennayo! (all of these are equally low-poly, I just turned the smoother on before snapping a screenshot on a lot of these, at the time)

And after that, Kaiji!
The model went through a few iterations, the top is the final. I really enjoyed the challenge of trying to render Fukumoto's art style in three dimensions.

After modeling them out, it was just a matter of converting them into fold-able papercraft files!

They all look a little but like this. It took a while to get everything to fit right onto Letter sized paper. At the time I couldn't figure out how to turn off the dark coloring of the pieces, so it made the edge numbers hard to read printed.
 All the models were then printed onto a thick cardstock paper. Still fold-able, but sturdy. It took several hours each to build, and the cat took me two days of work because he had so many pieces.
I finished the pokemon-styled head pretty swiftly, but stopped Kaiji halfway through because he was much too small to fit on anyone's head. I set his height to the same as the girl's, without considering the difference in width.
Matakichi came out really well, he's quite big! But that's good for the intended proportions I want to achieve.

Next comes the fiberglassing. The plan is to coat the paper models in fiberglass resin, reenforce the insides with fiberglass cloth, and then use body filler to fill the facets and sand it all smooth.

I started first with Matakichi, since he was the biggest and actually most sturdy. After a few sessions, I got the whole thing coated in resin, and the inside almost completely fiberglassed. Still gotta reenforce a few more spots yet.

Some tragedy struck in the meantime though! My first model started to come apart really bad at the mouth and chin. It's hard to see from the photo, but it was getting pretty bad. I decided to scrap this one and make a new one, along with a new Kaiji.

I edited Kaiji to be wider and have a slightly smaller cranium in 3DAce, and then created a new paper craft template from that. For the Pokemon styled mask, I edited out her mouth so that there wouldn't be that weak point in the structure. The mouth can always be sculpted later. I also figured out how to print in white instead of dark gray, making it easier for the paper to absorb the resin.

 New Pokemon style and new Kaiji.

Some time during this process, I met the awesome Michael Spookshow and we've been meeting up to work on masks together! At this point, I've now gotten both these new models coated in resin, and I'm working from there. More updates soon!