Turn Your Old Cards into 3D Art!

Turn Your Old Cards into 3D Art!



if you liked today's video in crafts consider following our streams at twitch.tv slash tho j wits we're gonna try and make more projects like today's live answering any questions you have and just hanging out thanks and enjoy the video hey you do you like trading card games do you like arts and crafts do you have so many poke cards that you fear you'll someday be buried alive in a sea of overpriced cardboard well boy do I have a craft for you 3d TCG altars turning your bulk shoebox TCG cards into a great little display piece with depth and a ton of creative options tons of you mentioned that you'd be interested in a tutorial video for this craft when I tweeted about it so I'm gonna walk you guys through one from start to finish for today's subject I decided to pick a fan-favorite character that many of you are familiar with on this channel the dark magician could have it 3d TCG altars are a fantastic hobby for repurposing your old unused cards and it's also a great way to do something crafty and fun without possessing raw illustration talent all that's needed to make these cards are three steps planning cutting and assembling this is also a craft that lets you add as much or as little detail as you want for people that are interested in making some truly beautiful end results I'll also talk about two bonus steps that I do before the assembly phase edge cleaning and concealing here's my current tools of the trade there are only a few things that are absolutely needed for this project one of them is of course multiple copies of the same card what's really fun about this craft is that you can use any TCG card as long as you own multiple copies of it how many you'll need will depend on the different layers you plan to cut but on average I end up using between six and ten most of the time and especially if this is your first time messing with the craft I recommend using cheap common cards it is possible to cut foil cards but it's a bit more challenging to cut and I don't recommend it right away you're also gonna want to pick a card with a couple of different perspective layers in its art so that you can really maximize the 3d effect stuff like this Pikachu that we did is a great beginners project because it only uses couple of easily defined layers art this bag is the sky then the trees then there's some leaves in front of that and then finally there's Pikachu I also recommend doing your first craft or the cart that has its main subject attached to the art border of the card so for example Pikachu again it's attached via this bottom border the hobbit card I chose technically disobeys this recommendation because hoppip touches 0 of the borders but I'll talk about what you can do with cards like these later on the second thing you'll need for this project are spacers or objects that you'll use to separate each layer from another one to give them depth the two main things are used for spacing are either foam or bulk cards from the same set as the car that we're cutting this change of heart card that I made only uses double-sided adhesive foam for its spacers which you can tell by looking at it from the side the Pikachu I made uses about a dozen bulk comments from the same set glued together in between the main layers using cards for spacers takes more time to cut and assemble but it gives the final project to cleaner look in my opinion arguably the most important tool you'll be using is something to cut cards with while there's plenty of sharp objects out there in the world I prefer crafting blades like the exacto knife for this kind of project my blade of choice is there z series number eleven blade which they claim as their sharpest I feel like this is common sense but just in case I get some angry Paras yelling at me a week from now please use extreme caution when making this craft take it slow maybe consider some kind of crafting gloves if you're really worried I poked myself a couple of times with one of these by mistake and it is unpleasant and the final thing that you need for this project is adhesive that's glue there's a ton of different routes you can take here tacky glue is the OG crafting glue that I grew up with some nostalgic for it I also really like glues that have a fine tip or a brush with them so that you can apply it in small spaces super glue is great for delicate parts that need to be attached immediately but you have to be a lot more careful with it other tools that aren't needed but I highly recommend are a cutting mat so that you can safely work with your knives without damaging the surfaces around you rulers that you can make straight cuts and a fine-tipped black marker for edge cleaning and concealing finally some advanced tools we'll be using today our tweezers for holding small pieces and helping bend pieces that I want to manipulate brush pens which are my preferred tool for detailed edge cleaning and acrylic paints and paint brushes which we'll be using in the concealing step so you got you stuff you got your cards let's make something cool before you even lift a finger to start slicing and dicing the best thing to do is write down a plan for exactly how you want to slice and dice this is like what we mentioned with the pikachu earlier writing down which layers we want to separate and in what order we want them to show up my final planning document for hoppip ended up looking like this this wasn't quite 100% what I ended up doing in the end but it laid 95% of the foundation that I worked with for the rest of the project I only went off this piece of paper when making this but for better visualization here's a render explaining my thought process Ardus back we've got the sky behind the clouds then the clouds are in front of that and there's this small brown cliff then the trees are in front of the cliff and the grass is in front of the trees and then finally we got the star of the show hoppip in the front I also ended up writing a separate set of assembly instructions for haboob itself keeping its furthest back elements like the tail and some of the limbs at the back while putting some other objects like the leaf and it's kicking foot out in the front once you know what you want to do with each of these layers it's time to cut so we're finally at the part of the video where I can show you some cool time lapses and give you a couple of tips along the way I just want to point out here that yes I do hold my pencil the wrong way I can hold it in the correct way and you might see me switch to the correct way every once in a while once my hand starts cramping but most of the time you're gonna see me using this caveman claw grip I know it looks super weird I've heard it a million times I tried it the right way as a kid used one of those pencil grit things it just never worked out for me you want to keep firm consistent pressure on both your card and your hand I probably rushed this a little bit because I was trying to get footage for the video but there's no reason to go quickly here at all you don't have to cut it all in one sitting one thing I actually really enjoy doing is sitting down playing some good music cutting a layer or two and then sending the project down for later the biggest secret for this step is keeping a sharp blade especially for cutting out fine details most of your cuts are gonna be made with just the tip of the exacto knife so the second of that tip gets dull it's time to switch to a new one I've tried stuff like sandpaper and wet stones for blade sharpening but nothing compares to just replacing the blade this is a weird comparison but cutting through your cards should feel like cutting through slightly hard butter it should feel pretty smooth if you feel like you have to press insanely hard it's probably time to make a switch I still keep my slightly dull blades off to the side they're good for simple work like straight lines my general rule of thumb is to cut about twice as many spacers as the regular art layers that you'll be displaying I had six main layers and I think twelve spacers how much space ey in your image comes down to the art and your own personal preferences like I mentioned the ruler is your friend when it comes to cutting in a straight line don't forget to keep your ruler pressed down with your non-dominant hand to keep that line in place while you're cutting if you don't you'll push your ruler away and mess up the line and if you do screw up with a cut or you're unhappy with how something looks when you're done you can always turn your happy little accidents into a spacer card and try again and that's why it's so good to make this project out of cheap bulk Commons my final tip here is that if you're cutting tiny pieces make sure to leave them somewhere where you won't lose them like a cup or something I can't count the number of times I bump the table or sneezed and completely lost a piece once you have all your layers cut out you can start arranging the different combinations of layers and spacers to get an idea of what your finished project is gonna look like because hoppip isn't attached to a card layer we kind of have to hold it over the stack to get an idea of what its gonna look like this should at least give you a visualization of what you want your final composition to be if you're doing a simple project and you want to wrap right now you can go ahead and skip right to step five and start assembling but if you want to put in a little extra time and make your finished project look really nice we're gonna go over some cosmetic things that you can do to make this project pop almost always when you cut a trading card apart you're gonna find an unsightly layer of white at the edge of your card this doesn't always show up super well on camera but trust me it is super easy to notice in person especially when you rotate a card to the left and to the right here's the first 3d alter I ever made and you can see those bagel exposed white edges with edge cleaning we use markers rush pens sometimes even paints whatever you want to to color this white edge and hide it from plain sight this technique definitely requires a little bit of balance you want to get rid of the white at the front of the card but you don't want to get so much ink on there that it starts to bleed onto the art I like brush pens for getting the best of both worlds between paint and markers for more anime style cards I like to use a darker color or a marker and if you're just gonna use one universal color I'd say a light gray is probably your best bet for more of watercolor styles with less to find out lines and edges I like to try and find a marker with the perfect match have like a hundred artis of brush pen colors which is probably a little excessive but this is also probably my favorite part of the entire process so I didn't mind spending a little extra to have some more fun here hopefully this shows up on camera but here's our completed work so far before and after edge cleaning the step takes time but you don't have to press down very hard when you're cutting your hand probably won't cramp and I think it's relaxing and worthwhile then we got concealing this is probably the least necessary step but I feel like this is the one that can really elevate your piece into a collaborative work of art depending on what art you chose and how high up you decided to make your different layers you might notice that some layers show up twice when you look at them from an angle this is super noticeable for my first ever altar with karate man where you can see his two faces and hoppip here you could tell that if I put hoppip in the foreground you could still see hoppip all the way in the back so what can we do about this we could cut out eight more hops and just stack them but that sounds time-consuming and terrible what I like to do was conceal background elements that will eventually get covered by the same element so for example that big hop up in the back is gonna get covered by clouds the simplest way to do this is to block out duplicate art by covering it with a dark marker for darker or simpler art this is a great way to give a background a shadow look without drawing too much attention to what you covered I did this for my change of heart card by covering the back character with black and I think it worked well if you want to go full extra and we're in this deep we're going fall extra I like to use paints to conceal extra objects and blend them into the existing layers there's a chance you've seen the fantastic work of artists like loon Umbra on Instagram they use paint to cover and completely extend the art of trading cards to make beautiful full art results we won't be painting anything this impressive today but we're gonna use the same fundamentals I use a light coat of white or gray acrylic as a base covering every extra little blocking layer that I can after you've let that layer dry you can start mixing in a layer or two of color that matches your existing background on top of it thin paint brushes tend to work the best because the surface that you're painting on is really dang small I prefer to do the lighter colors first and then mixing the darker ones since it's harder to go back the other way around if you're trying to make a gradient I try and mix the colors while they're still wet but otherwise I wait for each color to dry if you ever feel like you messed up you can use a damp toothpick to lightly scrape away the paint that you don't want anymore I go completely overboard here with painting like for example I ended up painting the entire mountain even though it only takes up one tiny bit of the finished card if you want to work smarter all you have to do is cover the elements that you think will stick out if you viewed it from an angle that said this is the part of the project that I am by far the weakest dent so it's one I actually really like to explore and challenge myself in unlike brush pens acrylic paints are insanely cheap and this is a medium I definitely like to explore more in the future are you ready because it's finally time to assemble it all for me that means gluing all the layers together and assembling hoppip separately because hoppip uses a lot of tiny elements I decided to use super glue to instantly attach some of the tiny limbs and leaves to get them connected as soon as possible I use the tweezers a lot here both to hold the tiny pieces and to shape some of them such as curling the leaves and hop its head to give them a more realistic 3d look for assembling the card base layers I used mostly crafting glue carefully lining up the portions that get stacked and then putting a heavy object over the pile for a couple of seconds while letting each layer dry then I added a couple of stylish tweaks like getting the flowers on attaching a raised card border adding a couple of raised energy symbols and other small cosmetic features that literally no one will notice besides me for attaching Copic to the whole thing I decided to stack a couple of small squares of my double-sided adhesive foam I wanted to keep the area small so that you can't notice the foam when looking at it from an angle with hoppip sitting on the sticky pogo stick we can finally line it up and add it to the stack and that's it we are finally done everybody's their own worst critic and I could point out some of the mistakes I made with edge cleaning or painting or whatever but honestly I think it's important to be proud of your work and I'm proud of this end result I think I found a really cool way to show off an old TCG card that means a lot to me and I think it'll make a great display piece in my game room I'm one of those little plate holders or something it blows my mind that this was over nine years ago now but this card really helped me establish part of my identity here on YouTube I was making Pokemon TCG tutorials and I had this little skit about me desperately trying to find a rare card that I was using a proxy for I didn't intentionally script for hoppip to be the card that I flipped over it was just a random proxy but the moment was so iconic for viewers at the time that hoppip ended up growing into both an inside joke and the mascot almost a decade later my content is completely different we've got new topics new formats and hot new inside jokes but I'll never forget where it all began you

23 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *