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Fivezero's Pepakura How-To (This is very PIC HEAVY)

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This is a Work in Progress, it will be revised (probably many times). But here's a little thing to get started.


PART 1: The Program wink.gif


Alright so Pepakura is a great program that I use to craft much of my custom armor that I build. You can just about anything you want with this program. Whether it be a Stormtrooper chest plate or CLU's helmet from Tron: Legacy, if you can make a 3d model of it then you can make it in Pepakura. I encourage you to check it out and do some experimenting (that's how I learned a majority of what I know). You can download a free version but won't be able to save your unfolds. But here's some basics I've learned over the years.


So we begin by opening (File, Open smile.gif) a 3d model. There is a list in the program of file types that can be opened (.obj, .3ds, .dae are examples). I use Google Sketchup for many of my models that I work with and in the free version you can export as .dae, so it works for Pepakura. For this little how-to we'll use a simple Venator-class Star Destroyer.



Now I usually go right to Unfolding by hitting the Unfold button on top. The program begins to unfold all of the polygons in the model onto the grid on the left. The dotted lines are the edge of the paper. Currently the model is about 56mm long (but we'll scale this thing later).



I usually head into the File menu to adjust Printer and Paper Settings. I make the Paper size "Letter" in the drop down menu of the window and adjust the margins to 5 mm (gives you more space to put polygons on).




Now close that window and head to 2D Menu on the top. Here I click "Show Flaps" and turn them off (It gives me more room to arrange the shapes). I also turn on Edge ID to help with assembly unless you want to waste time trying to figure out what goes where.



Also in the 2D Menu you will find the "Change Scale" option. Click this to begin changing the scale of your piece (duh, really Fivezero tongue.gif)



So it brings up a window with options to scale the piece. Type in what dimension you want to change and the others will change in proportion. I made it 560mm long.



And here's what everything looks like after scaled. However now comes the fun part where you rotate and disconnect faces to fit everything in between the dashed lines that represents the area that is printed on the paper.



So the Disconnect/Connect Face tool is the little blue icon, that is the third tool from the left.



Basically you drag it over the pieces to find a green line then click to disconnect the face. Double click the red line to connect faces (they will connect only with the ones they're supposed to connect to in the model).



It is done!



This is the next tool that is crucial to arranging the pieces in the Grid... This is the Rotate tool, to (you guessed it) rotate the pieces and get them to fit. It is the second from the left on the toolbar. When you select this, a bunch of circles appear on the pieces at the vertices.



Click a circle and a crosshair pops up. Then you click another circle and drag your mouse to rotate the piece. Do some experimenting to get the piece to fit.



So here's some progress on the pieces. The more pieces you fit in each box, means less paper (well I use cardstock) gets used to print out your armor.



And here's the finished arrangement (not perfect, but I'm not actually assembling this). Make sure all of your pieces are within the grid lines or they'll get cut off when you print them out.


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Part 2: The Build - SWG Bounty Hunter Helmet




So here we go, first we start off with printing the object you're making. Pretty standard here, File then Print...





Here's the printed out stuff (had to redo it, forgot Edge ID :()



And dive right in to cut it out. CUT THE SOLID LINES ONLY!!!!!!! I just use a utility knife when I cut this. I hate this part of the build, it is time consuming, boring and very repetitive. But after you're done is when the fun starts!



Everything all cut out.



Now there are two kinds of lines you will notice on the actual pieces. A dashed line for Mountain folds (the fold will fold out to look like this ^) and a dot and dash line for Valley folds ( think like a valley so it folds in like this V). Just think Mountain and Valley. I use two different colored pens, one for Mountain (blue on my piece) and the other for Valley (green for this build). This serves two purposes to keep your lines differentiated with color (it helps) and to indent the cardstock to make nice clean and crisp folds.



Just keep working around to get all of the lines indented. I use a ruler to keep every line straight.



All ready to fold (the FUN part)!



Remember - - - is the MOUNTAIN fold, where you fold it out like a Mountain. - . - . is the VALLEY fold where you fold it in like a Valley. :D



I use a bit of hot glue to connect the seams, it's pretty permanent and provides some structure to keep the cardstock together later in the build.



Now once you get going on the next piece, you will want to check the different pieces to see how they fit together (unless you want to make it a big puzzle). Here's how ya do it.



And here's the interface. So if I wanted to connect a different piece to one I've assembled, just click on a piece next to it in the model and it will highlight it on the model and in the grid on the right. Then search for your parts in your stack of cut out pieces and start building!! This also helps to show how pieces go together since you might need a very slight fold or an extreme fold to connect stuff.



So there ya go guys!

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I was bored the other day, during my little armor break so I figured I would go ahead and get started on this. :D


There is, but it is a weird system like ID 2-3 would be the first part. I don't understand it personally.


In part 2, I'll show a way to track parts and select individualized pieces to help with assembly. I do keep the file open while I assemble to make things a bit easier.

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Single armor pieces render a couple seconds at most. If you did a whole set of armor, it make take a bit more time to render it and unfold it (but I suggest doing it one piece at a time). Of course the more complex the piece (like a 500,000 face model) means longer rendering time.

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You mean the Star Destroyer?? I didn't make that I will admit, I used a model on Google Sketchup's 3D warehouse they have where you can go and look at and download models others have created.

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  • 6 months later...

I don't know how I have missed this. Pepakura is pretty awesome stuff. I have been working on a helmet but haven't messed with it in a while. Here is my progress on an ODST helmet from Halo Album should be public https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150546741549828.402182.804994827&type=3 Also here are some of the most recent pictures of it being bondoed, just need to sand a lot more hah




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Very cool looking master chief helmet. What did you frame it with before bondo'ing?


Not sure what you mean, After I glued the cardstock together, I loaded it with a few coats of resin then added two layers of fiberglass to the inside.

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