Pepakura tutorial

Discussion in 'Tutorials' started by Wolfinlied, Feb 18, 2007.

  1. Wolfinlied

    Wolfinlied Member

    yeah ive looked all the way thru all i have is .rez files and thats all so they are no help to me.
  2. wunwinglow

    wunwinglow Active Member

    Trouble with using meshes from games is they are designed for games, animation, rapid rendering and so forth. They often make a very poor basis for paper models as edges are not aligned, elements pass through each other, they are often really crude (ie low number of polygons) and rely on the rendering engine to smooth them out.

    MUCH, much better is to design your own models, where you can address all these issues specifically for paper modelling.

    I'd recomend getting Google SketchUp and a full version of Pepakura, the latest version of which can read a google earth 4 kmz file, including any textures you have applied, and open it out. The full version can also save the unfolded output in a vector format rather than bitmaps, (which it will do as well) so making editing easy for us who are vector-brained rather than bitmap-mushed (not that I am biased or anything...)

    I'll put some screen grabs together.

  3. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

    Hello Tim,

    Can I ask you more about SketchUp? I took a look at it, was very impressed, but came away with the impression that it wasn't accurate enough. I believe the smallest unit of measurement is 1/64". I do a lot of bitmap-intensive graphics work, I have to be able to work at the pixel level. At the resolution I'm working at (150dpi) 1/64" is about 2.3 pixels. Maybe you avoided this issue by working in vectors?

    Have you done any work combining SketchUp output with bitmap graphics? That's the combination I'm most interested in. Thanks!
  4. wunwinglow

    wunwinglow Active Member

    That is one of the reasons I prefer using vector data, you can scale it as big or small as you like without loosing any resolution. I'd be inclined to make the model in SketchUp, unfold it in Pepakura, export the unfolded data as an ai file then import that into your paint program at whatever size and pixel resolution you need.

    I have only had the latest SketchUp for a few days and haven't had any time to check it out yet, other than to draw a box, put some brick texture on it, save a kmz file, open that in Pepakura and generate an unfolded pattern. I'll try it out a bit more thoroughly tonight. My kids want to make a model of our house, so should be an ideal subject.

    I'll report back shortly!

  5. Wolfinlied

    Wolfinlied Member

    i have made some files but the extention is .abc it appears no other program will open this extention and i need to convert it to .cob can someone help me with that?
  6. wunwinglow

    wunwinglow Active Member

  7. wunwinglow

    wunwinglow Active Member

    OK, SketchUp to Pepakura; piece of cake!!!

    Draw a rectangle in SketchUp


    Extrude it to a block


    Put some textures on it


    Modify it, put some more textures on it,


    Save it as a kmz file, making sure it is version 4,


    Open the kmz file in Pepakura version 2,


    Let Pepakura do its thing, print and assemble!


    Now, go and practice with SketchUp to make all the fancy shapes you need, and experiment with Pepakura to understand the scaling, printing, cutting, tabbing controls.

    If you want to export the file, eps works beautifully to Coreldraw, although no textures are carried over. and

    This is, truly, a piece of cake!

    The model isn't our house by the way; nearly, but not quite.....

  8. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

    Short.... Sweet..... and to the point!:grin:

    AS they say in the beer commercial here........... It doesn't get any better than that!

  9. Patman

    Patman New Member

    Pepakura PDF Tutorial

    This is a simple one I found for the older version

    Attached Files:

  10. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    I believe you are looking for the Opt23DSConverter. It takes ships from Star Wars X-Wing alliance and converts them to 3ds for modeling. It was the Young kid who banged out all of those star wars models. I cannot remember his name but he is awesome. I attached the file in zip form for you. You will have to get the Star Wars Aliance game I believe or research more into that topic. Hope this helps. Unzip and install.

    Attached Files:

  11. Amazyah

    Amazyah Senior Member

    I believe you are refering to Sprintx.
    Man does that kid bang 'em out!

  12. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    Thanks Amazyah, he is the member I was referring too. He's got a bright future.
  13. Wolfinlied

    Wolfinlied Member

    basically i got a file with extention .abc and i want to make it something the pepakura program can understand.. how do i do that?
  14. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

    Wunwinglow , thanks for the advice and screenshots! Great information!

    I'm still wondering about how you negotiate going to/from vector to bitmap.

    Suppose you design something in Sketchup/Pepakura, then use a graphics editor to make the textures. What if SketchUp gives you something like a door that is 80.4 pixels wide? Do you just make the graphic as close as possible, then let SketchUp re-size it to fit the vector-mapped outline for the door? I'm thinking that could cause some weird aliasing or other unpredictable problems. Have you ever dealt with this situation?

    Thanks again for the lowdown! :)
  15. .abc?

    I have a bit of experience decoding and translating 3d files. If you could send me some files I'll see what I can do - if you have a screen shot of what the model looks like - that helps me recognise what transforms I have wrong. If I have any success I'll add it to UMC2 which already outputs metasequoia files for pepakura. I currently contemplating adding cutting and unfolding to UMC2.... but I'm making some paper models up too! I think I have the bug
  16. sjsquirrel

    sjsquirrel Member

    File types


    How did you get the .abc file?

    Each program, whether it's a word processor, paint program, 3D model program, or whatever, has it's own unique format for saving data. The author of the program selects a three letter extension to represent the data type. If we're lucky, the three letters give a clue, but for the most part you can consider them random characters.

    To help you out, we need to know what program you were using to get that file with a .abc extension.

    That said, Plastic Bonsai's UMC2 program does a good job with some of the more common file types, and I also use a program called Accutrans 3D which is quite good, and very inexpensive shareware ($20 US).

    There are a couple other programs I've found useful for converting games meshes. NIFTools Handles a number of popular games.
    DDSConverter converts dds format texture files to other formats recognized by Metasequoia and Pepakura.
    And 3ds2msh which has been mentioned already.

    I'm sure there's other good ones out there.

    I also VERY much like your idea of pulling together a list of resources and making it sticky (particularly because I had the same idea :) ). I would even volunteer to start the thread and maintain the list in the first post so that new visitors always see the complete and up to date list in the first post.

    I have already started my own little collection of resources, and I'm seriously thinking about starting an intro to Metasequoia tutorial, and then a more advanced one on taking an existing model and reworking it.

    Now let's hear from more of the veteran developers out there - what are your favourite tools/resources?
  17. sjsquirrel

    sjsquirrel Member

    A word of advice...

    Plastic Bonsai,
    [start advice mode]
    My advice to you is don't go there. As an I.T. professional I've seen it time and time again - the more things a program does, the more things it does poorly. The best programs I own, and the ones I use most, are almost all single purpose. They do one thing, and they do it very well. Translating one 3D file format to another is one thing. Unfolding a 3D shape to a 2D pattern is another thing. Make it a separate program.
    [end advice mode]
  18. twb962

    twb962 New Member

  19. Well it depends were you start from - the core of the program the data format can be expanded simply and the overall design makes it easy to add. Control-wise it is a simple addition select->edge, edit-> cut and transform-> unfold. I know what you mean though, UMC2 doesn't do some of the earlier stuff quite so well now but I blame C++ ;). I might import/export .pdo as well as the expanded format will hold the extra data. I can't help it I'm a tinkerererrr or however it is spelt.
  20. Gearz

    Gearz Member

    Hey Steve.. excellent idea on the META tut, I hope you continue with it.. There are some great tuts out there, although most of them don't cater for novice designers = find a great 3D mesh ( unusually highly detailed ) and try to crunch it through PEP.. So a 'reverse engineering' approach for a tut would be gold for all those budding designers!

    I tried to go down that path with a tut on the Rodger Young project, but its proving a much to complex project to use as a tut subject, ~ I've ended up with pages of txt, gfx and example files, just to illustrate a small step that I've taken for granted. ( lack of literary skill doesn't help)

    Yep I like the idea.. A suggestion for the sticky thread/tut = 'SO - YOU WANT TO DESIGN YOUR OWN MODEL' (using META AND PEP)

    Definitely worth further speculation, there's enough talent in these forums to choke a dinosaur. Perhaps you could call it all in, and get a contribution from members individual expertise, all under one banner..

    ~ PB your UMC2 programs is excellent, I hope you do, do further Dev with it = Thanks for your efforts, its appreciated!

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