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Topic: Castlevania: The Adventure papercraft diorama  (Read 2294 times)
Tags for this thread: castlevania , papercraft , papier_mache , diorama , video_game  Add new tag
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« on: June 02, 2014 08:24:42 AM »

I've been wanting to make a papercraft diorama of a video game screen for a long time, utilizing two-dimensional sprites and background tiles, and, at long last, I finally scrounged up the ambition to actually get it done.

I don't own a printer for my computer, and it costs a dollar a page for color printouts at the library in the neighboring city (our local library only has a black and white printer), thus, because I'm a miser, and I'm not always in the mood to travel to said municipality anyway, I decided to focus my efforts on a game for the original Nintendo Gameboy, which only had 4-color, gray-scale graphics (perfect for a black and white printer).

Here's the reference screenshot, from the first level of Konami's 1989 Castlevania: The Adventure video game (original Japanese title: "Dorakyura Densetsu", which translates to "Legend of Dracula"), that I chose as the subject matter for my papercraft diorama:

I took separate screenshots of the background tiles and sprite layers, using an emulator, and then further separated and edited the individual graphical components utilizing various art programs (Microsoft Paint, IrfanView, and GIMP).  I also doubled the resolution of everything (i.e., anything that was 16 pixels tall on the game screen, is 32 pixels tall in my diorama). This is the final PNG sheet, containing all the graphics that I needed, or felt I might need, to construct my papercraft diorama (feel free to save/print it and use it yourself if you like):

My plan from the beginning was to make the diorama's geometry separate, out of cardboard, and then apply the game's artwork, like decals, to those finished objects, which is why I didn't orientate all the images so that they could simply be cut out and folded up as-is. That approach has the benefit of allowing me to squeeze more stuff onto a sheet (remember: miser), because objects that will touch one another in the finished product don't have to be physically connected to one another on the printout.

Please note that I didn't actually use everything printed on the sheet. Some of the stuff is just there as extras in case I made mistakes or had accidents (which I did, and I always do).

The figures are Christopher Belmont, the whip-wielding protagonist, and a Ji-Zi- (that's what their titled, in the original Japanese instruction manual, but, hell if I know what that means), which are small, vulture-like humanoid enemies only found on the first stage.

Cardboard, game graphics printed out on white paper, white glue, newsprint, and permanent marker.

9.9 cm (3.9") x 8.4 cm (3.3") [widest point x highest point]

Two days: May 31 and June 1, 2014.

If you'd like to see a bunch of photos of how I built this diorama, visit the page on my site:

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« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2014 10:12:07 AM »

Amazing! Your diorama gives the game more dimensions than the actual game has.

I love it! Great work!

Thanks for showing the diorama from different angles, pictures makes it look 'flat' again. Also thank you for the details on how and what. I am not making one, but I love reading how you made yours!

This rocks!  Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2014 10:13:37 AM »

This is an amazing little diorama.  I loved reading all the details of how you made it.
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« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2014 02:07:02 PM »

That looks incredible!

I agree, it was really interesting reading your process Smiley

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« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2014 03:42:29 AM »

That looks so awesome!  How long did that take you?

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« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2014 08:38:34 AM »

Thanks everyone!

Onyxnox:  It took me two days.  I did the masonry structures, rope, and figures on the first day, and the tree and everything else the second.

And here's one more photo I took yesterday, with natural light, as that provides more shadows/depth (the previous ones were all done with flash photography):

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