Thursday, January 13, 2011


Here is my design of papercraft model of the character Rana from the game Minecraft.  Also, Minecraft is awesome, and you should play it.

Here is a video showing a lot of Ranas, from a simpler time back when Ranas roamed free and wild on the fields of Minecraft.

Now, Rana no longer exists in the current version of Minecraft.  Word is that the graphics designer Dock had left Minecraft long ago, and with him all his creations are pulled too, for reasons unknown.  However, the way I see it, the real reason behind Rana's removal is thus:

The relatively more complex, more beauteous, yet not-so-blockular design of Rana simply does not jibe with the purist, isomorphic Notchian regime.  Her dangerous ideologies of such uncubical, dispixelated 3-dimensional representations have captivated the dumbfound gaze of countless disciples of Minecraft, inextricably drawn to Her and further to madness (such as this poor misguided soul here).  Soon it became clear that Rana posed too much of a threat to the uniformity of the World of Minecraftia; She was an anomalous peculiarity in the status quo that is this raw, primitive Blockscape, yet she was brilliant.  And so, the Almighty Nizzotch spoke and mandated Her exile, never to be in the official server at least, and hopefully the children of Notch will grow more ignorant as Minecraft develops, and the lost, heretical accounts of the Abomination shall be but a myth evermore, awash under the sands of each subsequent version update, as the forgotten name of their pagan Goddess echoes no more with the St. Creepers cleansing of the Moon-worshippers incurably perverse...

But I digress.  The following paragraphs will speak of more papercraft-related stuff, less Cult of Rana'ites stuff.

Beginning with the design, here are the reference materials I referenced:[Left] .png image showing the front and side views of Rana, in colors.
[Right] "test2.md3", extracted straight from Minecraft, which contains the 3D data, but minus the textures.

Well, the .png tells me exactly what colors to use for the textures, which is excellent.  Otherwise, I would have obsessed over what shade of whatever colors those are supposed to be over rare sightings of Rana in images and videos with Minecraft's variable lighting.

After some research, I settled on, for dealing with the "test2.md3" file, the unregistered shareware version of 3D Object Converter, which taunts me with the functionality of converting it into .mqo for Metasequoia (or many other popular formats, such as .3ds) which is only available in the registered version.  Still, it's an awesome, fully functional program for viewing just about all graphical file formats that exist.  I believe I may have further use of this neat 3D viewer for later projects.

Well, since the file conversion strategy is at a dead end here, I figured I'll just reverse-engineer the whole 3D model from scratch, since the geometries of Rana really aren't that complicated.  So, I took some front, side, back views of the 3D model for reference in the background in Metasequoia, as I create the 3D shapes and adjust them according to proportion.

Here is what my reverse-engineered Rana model looks like after two all-nighters.  Yeah, that's a lot of objects, with a slight tinge of some kind of OCD.  Anyway, I'm particularly satisfied with how the bends at the elbows and knees turned out.  Those tiny adjustments really do make the model much more wholesome and organic, if I do say so myself.

And here is a Pepakura snapshot.  Yeah, that's a lot of little pieces.  I have adjusted some of them a bit wider, for easier building.

Well, now to build the model!  Yeah!!

This here was a stupid way to flatten the side hair object into just one piece, with awkwardly positioned glue tabs.  I had to trim off the given glue tabs which were too small to work with, and add on bigger glue tabs butt-joint style.  I'll be revising the Pepakura decisions later.

Here's the shoe, partitioned into 4 pieces.  I believe this is the best way to do things, joining the front and side pieces first, and then close with the back piece last.

Here's my recommendation on how to join the bottom frills of Rana's jacket to the main jacket part.  Attach the frills, both sides glued together, onto the bottom square piece, and close it to the main jacket part's 4 glue tabs at the bottom.  (The .pdo might not be revised to reflect this method, since I like keeping one glue tab on the other side, just to help me keep things oriented.)

Fun fact: The geometries of Rana's shorts, specifically in the buttocks area, have been altered so as to be more pronounced than as seen in "test2.md3".

Oh man these are some tiny cubes!

Most pieces of the body are about done.

I thought those orange L's (blushes) were hard.  Wait till I do those slanted, even thinner yellow L's (jacket lower pockets)!  Also, the glue tabs were too big and required trimming with scissors.

Here I had accidentally glued the eyes and blushes to the BACK SIDE of the face object, which is a major problemo since the face object is not symmetrical that way, oh noes!!  Then I cursed at the patron gods of papercrafts for not alerting me sooner.  Fortunately, this error was still salvageable.  I cautiously peeled off the eyes and blushes, and some imprint of the ink remained on the back side, which will be covered up by the hair piece anyway.  Hooray!

The Yukkuris make a cameo to try on Rana's body.

Oh, the only other possible problem is how to join the ponytails to the head piece.  The task here is rather awkward, to join a pointy corner to a flat surface.  Since I used thin paper (20 lbs copy paper), I managed by just kinda squeezing together the pieces anyway, and the flat surface of the ponytail would slightly give the concave shape to adhere to the face corner, with generous blobs of tacky glue involved in this negotiation, of course.

Anyway, it's done.  Rana on a pillow!

Rana sideways on pillow!

Rana facedown on pillow!

Rana studies physics from the drinking bird!!

Rana leads a small army of ketchup packs in a daring amphibious assault across the kitchen counter!!

Rana, Rana, Rana!!

You may now download the Rana papercraft model at the Downloads section of this blog.

Fellow Minecrafters, please resume discussion and/or worship of Her most supreme froghatness at this forum thread from which you have been tricksed to visit this blog.  That is all.