If you thought 20 Cool Examples of Dollar Bill Origami and One Sheet of Paper Art were cool then you’ll definitely love this pepakura influenced work. Dutch artist Bert Simons takes paper folding art to a whole new level by creating hyper-realistic 3D paper sculptures. By blending technical computer modeling with traditional sculpture art, Bert has created some fascinating works.

The first step in his process of making a paper portrait is digitizing a model. Bert starts his work by putting a lot of points on his model’s face to have some reference when modeling – the same concept as facial motion capture used for movies. He then takes all the data into his computer where he reconstructs the texture mapping of the face with Blender, the open-source 3D program. After 3D modeling, Bert goes back to 2D by flattening the texture and then printing everything out. Finally, with his trusty paper folding techniques and a little bit of glue, he puts together these incredibly complex 3D puzzles and turns them into hyper-realistic portraits.

And the best part is that you can build your own Bert! Right-click on this link and save the papercraft template pdf file to your computer. Print the 12 pages on thick (80 gram) paper and start making your own personal Bert.

Website: bertsimons.nl

Realistic 3D Paper Portraits by Bert Simons

Portrait Of Mr. Ivo Opstelten

Portrait and wearable papercraft mask of Mr. Ivo Opstelten, Mayor of Rotterdam 1999-2008. Last 2 months I spent working on this portrait, well 248 hours in total. Besides the paper portrait I also made a wearable mask which features in a short documentary by Jup de Heer on Mr. Opstelten.

Portrait of Rozemarijn Lucassen

First I have to digitize her. I do this by putting a lot of points on her face to have some reference when modeling.

first parts glued..

and after 3 days of cutting and gluing a new paper portrait.

Portrait of Harry Hamelink

Left harry posing, Right the 3d model. For Harry’s portrait, I used the ‘dot per dot’ reference method to reconstruct his face in 3d. I hope to speed up the next portrait by using my laser scanning setup which I am experimenting with right now.

Building a piece like this takes about 6 hours, cutting, folding and coloring the edges before gluing.

Anatomy Head

This is my papercraft anatomy head, an anatomical incorrect representation of the human facial muscles. I have always been fascinated with anatomical drawings and models. Although I collect skulls of birds, I don’t have the balls to stuff a dead animal or even a human as Prof. von Hagen with his “korperwelten” does.

Self Portrait of Bert Simons