Pepakura Tutorial

So this is a tutorial I posted to my Cosplay Amino page and decided It would be cool to have a copy here. I have changed a few things but 90% of this is just copy and pasted into the blog format here.
This tutorial covers the ‘How To’s’ up until the point where you construct the pattern pieces. Essentially this post is/was an introduction into Pepakura for those who hadn’t used it before, giving general tips and advice on how to start and what Pepakura actually is.
Hope you enjoy and I’m happy to answer questions to the best on my knowledge.


Pepakura is a paper craft program which allows the user to download ‘pep patterns’ or if you’re using the designer version you can make your own patterns. But before I get a bunch of sighs and moans from people who aren’t interested in ‘yet another cosplay technique’ I’ll show you what you can make!!

The Dawnbreaker (Skyrim)

swords 2
Featured in my most recent photo shoot (November 2015) 

Dragon Priest Mask (Skyrim)

Those are the two files I have made so far and the Dawnbreaker looks pretty complex but it’s really simple! The program makes it so easy!

A lot of Halo cosplayers use Pepakura and their main site is 405th.com which doesn’t stop t just Halo armour it has a lot of other contributors from other series.
Personally I find all of my files on Deviantart from a user called ZombieGrimm who has a great selection of Skyrim files from full armour sets (yes ladies in the female variants too) to weapons and even a scale model of a dragon skull!!!
But how does Pepeakura work Nivera I can hear you asking..

First you will have to download either Pepakura Viewer or designer. It’s good to have both but I will go into that later.

Say you want to make Auriel’s Bow from the DawnGuard DLC from Skyrim, I’m currently working on this anyway so it’s convenient right!

 

You get this image on Deviantart I’m not so sure about the 405th. Hit the download button and you’re away!
I personally create a folder for all my pep files on my main desktop for convince. So save your files there. Once saved open Pepakura designer or viewer then open your folder containing your pep files and drag and drop the file you want into the Pepeakura program of your choice. (One file at a time, if you try do two at once it will replace the original)

Once you have done that the previous image will show in which ever Pepakura program you used to open the file. (of course it will be showing the file of your choice)
Most weapons are ALWAYS scaled to size, which means the maker of the file scaled it up to human size by going off in game models. BUT don’t rely on me telling you that, always cheek to see if the person you got your file from does this. ZombieGrimm can be trusted with your life on this one.

BEFORE YOU PRINT!!

Pepakura is an American based program which means all paper is in lettering paper size. So if your printer doesn’t do that or you don’t live in America then change the paper size.

Above is the safest print settings. The lines are kinda think but that’s a good thing for beginners so use that if you’re unsure before printing! Personally I find the line-weight set at size 8 to be the best, 0 is invisible and 10 is very think. I wouldn’t go much smaller than 5.

However, when changing the page size to A4 the program sometimes will scatter the pattern pieces (seen on the right) which means manually clicking and dragging them onto the page without going over the margin. So check that before you print!

Once all your patterns are in the page and you’re happy hit print! The best paper to use when printing I find is 160GSM. It’s heavy,tough and durable which is good for props and armour. Dawnbreaker was made from normal printing paper which is something I do NOT recommend. It took ages to reinforce and make sturdy enough for the con + photo shoots.

Tada!! You have your pages! The best way to cut out the patterns is with a craft knife that way you’re more likely to stay to the lines and not cut things you shouldn’t. Scissors do also work but I always find myself cutting over the lines and it seams to be more time consuming.

Pepakura uses a system of line dotting called Mountain Folds and Valley folds this is to indicate how to fold the lines. Personally I have never followed this process (I’ve just folded everything both ways) and all my projects have turned out fine. But if you are interested here is a link Pepakura Folds.

Cutting out your patterns

My secret is to use a clear file to keep my patterns in when cut out. Some people use boxes but they are uneducated!!!
You’re pages should have a page number down the bottom, cut that and put in in a clear file slip, then cut all the patterns from that page and put them into the same slip. And repeat until all your patterns are cut and put away.

Crafting your patterns

Most patterns will have numbers along the edge and all you do is find the pattern with that number and tab and glue them together. Sounds easy until you look down and see you have over 100 patterns and over 1000 tabs to glue together!
So that’s where the two different programs come and help. If you have Pepakura viewer you can hover over the pattern you want to join to another and a red line will appear connecting that pattern with another showing you where they connect.

Genius right! Now you can see why I keep the pages together, it makes everything a lot easier when matching!

Pepakura design doesn’t do this. So that’s why you need viewer.

And then you piece together the patterns and boom! You have a weapon/armour or something!

Differences between Pepakura Viwer and Designer.

Viewer can~

•open files

•print files

•give guided lines to connect patterns

•let you move pattern pieces

And that’s it

Designer can~

•Let you scale everything to your size and change the size of patterns

•more printing options (I ALWAYS print on designer)

•make your own Pepeakura models

•open files

•print files

•move pattern pieces

You can see why it’s useful to have both. Neither cost any money to download and on get updated every month or so but its not necessary.

And that’s my Pepakura tutorial!

Link to the original blog post on Cosplay Amino is here.


That link is to my Cosplay Amino page if you couldn’t already tell by the similar (EXACT SAME) usernames. The point I’m trying to make is that I am the author of both the blog post on Cosplay Amino and the blog post here featured on (you guessed it) my blog. Because I am the author I have the authority to post it where ever I want, you however don’t. Feel free to share this post but do not re-post (copy and paste) it somewhere else without my permission and credit.

Thank you for reading I hope you have learned something
-Nivera

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