Sewing Patterns from Video Game Models

[Edit: Full tutorial in MAKE: Vol 38!]

Video Game Plushies

Meet Max. He’s a Baby Roshan, from the video game DOTA2.

I algorithmically generated his sewing patterns from the 3D model, custom printed the fabric, and stitched him together.

How I made Max:

I started with this awesome 3D model of Baby Roshan. It is made up of approximately three things.


The first is a set of 3D points, to define its shape.
3D points

The second is a set of 2D points (called UVs), to define how textures are applied to it.


The third is the texture itself.

I took that model, and created a new set of UVs for it, such that whenever two sets of UVs joined, a seam will be created on my final plushie.

custom UV mapping

new UVs

Given that the two sets of UVs map to the same 3D model, transformation matrices can be calculated to transform the old texture into a new texture. Using scripts that I wrote, I transformed every face, and assembled the result. Here’s one of several pieces.

Piece 1

This new texture I printed into fabric and sewed together to create Max.



I hope this inspired you.

[Full technical/mathematical explanation of what I did here]

  1. That’s an awesome walkthrough. very creative. Is there existing technology or software akin to this project? Turning 2D objects into something 3D has some implications that others would be interested in. Creating laser cut models for example. perhaps trying to create gingerbread houses or complex gingerbread models from simple gingerbread shapes would be a spinoff of that.

    And there’s also the reverse engineering of fondant cake decorations. Currently there isn’t a good way to break a 3D shape into its constituent 2D parts other than to just simply trial and error cutouts and bond them together hoping you can get something that looks similar. Your technique is methodical and repeatable. I would think packaging that into a single unit as a good/service would be something that someone would pay for. Just saying…

    • Jenny said:

      This process works, so you could totally make 3D to 2D conversions with it. As for other technology, I haven’t researched very much. There’s a couple SIGGRAPH papers by Igarashi on similar work. There’s also papercraft designers, which is almost the same, but uses a different UVW unwrapping algorithm.

      I’ve never thought about reverse engineering fondant decorations. That’s kinda neat!

  2. Oshi said:

    Outstanding, this has some huge cosplay implications. I’ve been using Pepakura Designer to create patterns for foam armor from game models, but pepakura doesn’t translate well to fabric. I’m going to have to experiment with this method.

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