Creativity

Papercraft: Building a castle with C4D & Pepakura

Mike vom Mars Blog 3d assembling Crafting burg c4d castle cinema4D low poly model modeling modellbau paper crafting papercraft papiermodell pepakura schloss texturen textures zusammenbau
 
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Textured 3d model, Cinema4D.

papercraft papiermodell castle schloss cinema4d c4d pepakura burg 3d model modellbau low poly modeling papercraft papiermodell castle schloss cinema4d c4d pepakura burg 3d model modellbau low poly modeling

Low poly model, wireframed.

papercraft papiermodell castle schloss cinema4d c4d pepakura burg 3d model modellbau low poly modeling papercraft papiermodell castle schloss cinema4d c4d pepakura burg 3d model modellbau low poly modeling

Textured 3d model, Cinema4D.

papercraft papiermodell castle schloss cinema4d c4d pepakura burg 3d model modellbau low poly modeling papercraft papiermodell castle schloss cinema4d c4d pepakura burg 3d model modellbau low poly modeling

Gouraud shaded, wireframed, Cinema4D.

papercraft papiermodell castle schloss cinema4d c4d pepakura burg 3d model modellbau low poly modeling papercraft papiermodell castle schloss cinema4d c4d pepakura burg 3d model modellbau low poly modeling

Textured 3d model, Cinema4D.

papercraft papiermodell castle schloss cinema4d c4d pepakura burg 3d model modellbau low poly modeling papercraft papiermodell castle schloss cinema4d c4d pepakura burg 3d model modellbau low poly modeling

Finished real world model.

papercraft papiermodell castle schloss cinema4d c4d pepakura burg 3d model modellbau low poly modeling papercraft papiermodell castle schloss cinema4d c4d pepakura burg 3d model modellbau low poly modeling

Finished real world model.

papercraft papiermodell castle schloss cinema4d c4d pepakura burg 3d model modellbau low poly modeling papercraft papiermodell castle schloss cinema4d c4d pepakura burg 3d model modellbau low poly modeling

Finished real world model.

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While most paper crafters still seem to love anime and cartoon characters, I wanted to do a papercraft castle. Crafting buildings, especially the more complex ones, can be quite demanding if you want to achieve a certain detail of realism. But it’s quite magic if your finished papercraft finally stand in front of you after so many hours of work.

For some time, I planned to create some kind of medieval castle. In the beginning, I had a detailed, complex picture in my mind, something similar to the castles seen in Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones. Or something like the beautiful Hagia Sophia, one of the most impressive buildings on this planet, besides Neuschwanstein Castle. But soon I realized that this task would be too complex to really enjoy it. I mean, hey, it’s summertime -and who prefers to stay indoors while the sun is shining out there?

So I backpedaled and went a size smaller. Finally I decided for a symmetric, square-layouted castle with four towers, connected with bridges. Still pictures of the Hagia Sophia in mind, I also decided to give the castle’s main building a dome instead of a roof. That’s a quite interesting mixture of completely different architecture styles :)

Building the 3d model

First step, as usual, is to build a low poly 3d model. During this early process, you need to keep many details in mind. The model itself should contain as few polygons as possible, otherwise it will be too hard (if not impossible) to assemble. On the other side, it should not contain an unsufficient amount of polys or the final model would look somewhat clunky. A good trick is to use high detailed, thoroughly designed textures to fool the eye and fake more details than actually exist.

This is why I usually spend most of the time with creating and adjusting the model’s textures. Unfortunately, many paper crafters out there do not pay too much attention to the textures used with their models. Some even tend to use low res graphics or downloaded textured without any customization. This is bad habit. 40% of your model’s look are determined by the shape (polygons), while good texturing at least determines 60% of it’s look. Therefore, you should really spend some time in texture works.

You also have to keep some other things in mind, like avoiding too small features or polygons that are hard or uncomfortable to assemble afterwards. Too large planes or walls on the other side, should be devided into smaller sections. Imagine a simple paper cube: there is no problem if the cube has a small scale. But if you ever tried to build a large scaled cube out of paper, you may have notived that the walls tend to dent and get hollow if the paper isn’t strong enoug. You don’t want to use ultra thick paper, so you need to know when a plane is too large and needs to be devided into smaller sections. This is plain experience that increases over time.

Anyway, creating the low poly 3d model wasn’t too tedious. If you examine the pictures above, you’ll probably notice that the four towers of the castle are actually all the same. I just modeled one tower and duplicated it – that’s called rapid development and it best works with symmectrical models, of course :) A very detailed, unsymmetric and winded medieval castle would have taken much more time.

Decorating the assembled model

Faithful followers of my blog might already know that I normally use 160 gram high glossy photo paper for my paper crafts. It’s a good compromise between stability, price and weight and it’s not too hard to cut. Before I invested into a hobby plotter that automatically cuts out all the paper parts, I spent hours over hours just cutting out every single piece -and sometimes there are hundreds of them! If you’re a frequent paper crafter -go and get a plotter. You won’t regret it.

Once you are finished with modelling, unfolding, printing, cutting and assembling, the real fun part comes: decorating the final model. For the castle, I printed out some small scaled ivy tendrils (which would be impossible to cut out manually, by the way -another good reason for buying a plotter). I also used some spread grass (artificial grass) and glued both, the grass and the ivy tendrils to the walls and towers. This gives the castle a more detailed and somewhat aged look. Nice. Then I put the castle onto a base plate on which I glued some grass, small pebbles and model train trees. Looks quite nice, I think :)

By the way, here’s a small, but very important advice if you plan to create your own papercrafts using an inkjet printer: do NOT buy the cheapest ink available. Cheap ink tends to fade out very quickly, especially when exposed to UV light (sun light). Use your manufacturer’s original ink to stay on the safe side -and avoid placing your models near to a window. Being directly exposed to sun light is pure stress for inkjet printed paper models.

Download

Due to many requests I decided to offer the castle for download. Unfortunately I don’t have time for a guide or any kind of instructables. I can therefore only provide the PDO files of the castle for download. You can view these files in 3D with the Pepakura Viewer and print them as a cut-out sheet using your printer. The castle is not the most complex model I have developed, with a bit of skill it should be possible to build it without instructions. You can refer to the pictures here as a guide.

Download Mirror #1: Mike vom Mars Castle (PDOs)

Download Mirror #2: Mike vom Mars Castle (PDOs)

 

papercraft papiermodell castle schloss cinema4d c4d pepakura burg 3d model modellbau low poly modeling

Decorated, finished castle.

Cinema4D

I am working with Cinema4D for more than fifteen years now (semi professional), but I still find myself discovering new stuff almost every day. It's absolutely amazing how much functionality Maxon packed into this mighty tool while keeping a clean and intuitive user interface. For me, Cinema4D is the perfect allrounder and I use it for all kind of graphics and animations.

My papercrafts

I use to create my papercrafts in Cinema4D, which requires a good amount of low poly modelling skill (remember, you'll have to manually assemble everything in the end). To unwrap the 3d model (converting it into two-dimensional, printable pieces), I use Pepakura Designer. After printing the individual parts, they are cutted using a Plotter and then glued together.
Hint: to cut out all the individual parts of my models I use a cheap but very helpful hobby plotter, which has proved to be extremely useful and time-saving. It is available at Amazon.

 

You think this article raised lots of questions? Or you're interested into this topic and would like to know more about? Want to express your personal oppinion? Then feel free to drop a comment here.

Mike vom Mars Blog - mike-vom-mars.comAuthor: Mike vom Mars
A couple of years ago, Mike emigrated from his home planet to Earth to study and examine the human species. His findings offer a deep insight into the nature of human beings and their strange society.


 
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Recent Comments

  1. where can I buy the catsle?

  2. Mike-vom-Mars

    I created this for my own purpose only. It's not meant to be sold but I'll see if I can create a downloadable package of it if I'll find the time to do so.

  3. I would also very much like a link to the package if you create one. This is beautiful and I would love the opportunity to put it together.

  4. I get the message that the files are no longer free to download, and I must create an account in order to access the three files. Is this correct?

  5. Mike-vom-Mars

    Ted, just try another mirror. MediaFire still works.

  6. mey be get its die line for making?

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