Anyone designing figures?

Discussion in 'Gallery & Designs' started by Lex, Dec 21, 2006.

  1. Lex

    Lex Dollmaker

    I'm new to designing paper model figures, but can anyone tell me what is the best program to use for this? I tried Rhino, but things are getting a bit too complicated... Or is this just my own problem?
  2. Ashrunner

    Ashrunner Member

    You might want to try Poser. A friend of mine does some rather interesting things with the program. It seems to be most for animation purposes, but he likes it as it is easy to design the figures he uses.

    You can find information on it at Check Poser 7 in the center of the page.
  3. Stev0

    Stev0 Active Member

    Poser is good for quick non-professional digital figures but very bad if you require a low poly figure for paper output purposes.

    ARMORMAN Guest

  5. Bad_Scorpion

    Bad_Scorpion Member

    I'll have to agree with ARMORMAN on this one. Thats what I used for some low poly figure for some cheapo fantasy type games I helped program a little while back. Perfect type of thing for paper designs. Poser is good for the generic humanoid figures and such but pain in the rear to convert to paper. I have tried several variations. Works but takes alot of work to get a good figure design that most people would even bother trying to build. But, don't let us discourage you try them out first get a feel for what you want. But, try to remember what you are building them for,
    paper = low poly
    gaming = low/high poly
    everyything else for the most part = mid to high poly
    I work in all mediums myself. So I have several programs but can't find the box most of them are still packed in since I had to format pc and need to reload them. Thus me currently working with rhino. Works fine but I'm still trying to learn some of the fine points of it. It is rather unusually for me from some of the other apps I've used. I know long post but trying to help here.:wink:
  6. Amazyah

    Amazyah Senior Member

    I have definately seen longer but we don't mind long posts.
    You are giving us information, so spit it out!
    As the song goes, "Give it to me, baby!":grin:
    I don't think there is any such thing as a long post!
    Thanks for the info!

  7. Gil

    Gil Active Member


    The software selected will depend upon what you expect to design. Remembering that you are dealing with paper restricts the types of surfaces that can be used. Compound surfaces must be approximated with flat paper surfaces that curve only along one axis. Another major decision point is the scale of the subjects. 1:87 can be made in several layers of paper and are very effective. Larger subjects at 1:33 begin to use 3D paper geometry. An example point is some engine cylinders I designed would make very effective torsos when elliptically elongated in the transverse direction. You have to also think about possible construction methods so that one base design can be scaled to achieve a variety of figures without a major redesign each time. Lastly don't forget the clothing. It can add the necessary design nuance that pushes the model into the arena of beliveability...,

    You might want to look at Metasequoia or Blender to begin with. Try not to let the software overwhelm your original intentions. Do all the tutorials till you are at least comfortable with creating a three dimensional figure that you can easily edit. I suggest that you look into Pepakura to perform the unfolding or surface development function. The latest version works very well for these types of models...,

  8. Lex

    Lex Dollmaker

    Thanks guys, that really helps. I'll try different approaches and see what is best. (This probably is something that is not impossible, but needs meditating on.)
  9. Bad_Scorpion

    Bad_Scorpion Member

    Let me know how the meditation works out.:) If it works for you I may just have to try it. Too many things bouncing around in my head maybe this could help slow things down.:-D
  10. keith

    keith Member

    I find with low poly figures, you don't really need any animation tools at all.
    Since the joints are probably two circles with up to 32 points in total, it's easy to pose the figures by hand.
    In the time it takes you to set up a skeleton for kinematics you could have manually posed a low poly figure.

    The only thing you have to really do is to either build your figure from scratch or modify an existing 3D model....and then apply textures.

    There are a few tutorials on the net for creating low poly figures, polycount is the best place for game style figures.

  11. Lex

    Lex Dollmaker

    Er... Did you mean that people set up the skeleton for a (mere) paper model? That sounds tough.
  12. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Guest

    I think he is saying they dont set up skeletons :) and what do you mean mere?? You make them sound simple :p heh heh
  13. Gil

    Gil Active Member


    "Bones" are used to "rig" characters for animation and are sometimes referred to as skeletons. Bones are like the segmented parts of a puppet and are positioned in "key frames". Key frames are then distributed over a time line and the "in between" frames are then calculated filling in the "in between" frames. This in effect is the method used to produce animation effects. Used in card modeling the rigging is used to position the pieces in a pose that can be developed into flat surfaces for the construction of a the card facsimile...,

  14. Gil

    Gil Active Member

  15. keith

    keith Member

    I meant what Gil said :)

    I was supposed to have set up a 'bones' system for Orcberto's maid in Blender, i gave up trying after 2 weeks. I posed all the edited maid characters by hand, it took me a just a few hours.

    There is an example of a low poly game character at
    You should see from the wireframe image how easy it would be to rotate everything below the knee and then rotate, position and scale the knee itself.

    I think the hardest thing to do on a paper/card character model is the face.
    The wireframe model on the link has a very complicated face, you would need to simplify it, noses and eyes are a big problem, but you can do alot with textures.

    What types of chracters are you thinking of ?
  16. Lex

    Lex Dollmaker

    Sorry, I see what you mean now. Bones are really necessary when the character needs to animate, which clearly is something paper can't do. I'm thinking of anime characters, designing from scratch, in Mizuirogakuen style probably. (Since that is as simple as it gets~)

    -And much thanks for all the links.
  17. Stev0

    Stev0 Active Member

    Well bones can techincally help with creating a paper model character.

    When character modeling the modeler usually builds the model in a reference pose which has the character standing arms stretched to the sides and legs spread so that the limbs are away from each other and the body.

    With the character in the reference pose. The skeleton is placed in the mesh and depending on the modeling software the skeleton influences how the mesh moves. Bones are referered to like a family tree, The hand bone is connected to the forearm bone, the forearm bone is connected to the upperarm bone, the upperarm bone is connected to the shoulder bone and so on. When you move the forarm bone, the hand bone remains connected to the forearm bone in relation to it's initial position. If you move the shoulder bone the whole arm and hand moves in relation to the bone moved. The bones influence the mesh they are referenced to in such a way your flesh is moved by your actual skeleton.

    So after you have modeled and textured the character you can then put them in various poses. The overall mesh is deformed and you can output that mesh which will be frozen in that pose.

    So for character paper models. You can either build the character in question in the pose you want and they will be like that permanently. Or you can build the character and place bones in them so that you can manipulate them into various poses.

    Poser has numerous poser (hence the name) but the meshes are so dense that it would be impractical to output a .3ds mesh to pepakura.

    3D Studio Max has character animation software called Character Studio which has a skeleton called Biped which can be eddited in numerous ways to suit any kind of character, imput 'footsteps' or motioncapture and instant animation. Back in the Max1 and 2 days we used Bones Pro where you build by hand the skeleton and hand animate it.
  18. keith

    keith Member

  19. keith

    keith Member

    I did some investigating, there seems to be 2 sizes of figures available, 12" and 21". (And my stuff at 6" and 9" !!!)

    I was wondering what size people would prefer to build at, for ease of build and storage considerations?
  20. Lex

    Lex Dollmaker

    Bigger ones are definitely easier to build, but I prefer smaller ones. ---And a few inches doesn't make that big a difference on storage. Besides, there is always room for scaling up or down.

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