From fan art to cosplay to mods, DOOM fans run the gamut when it comes to showing off their passion. Enter Myke Hernandez, a talented artist who captures id Software’s bestiary of baddies with a unique medium: papercraft.
These are no mere two-dimensional paper dolls, mind you. Under the handle GameQraft, Myke transforms paper into three-dimensional, polygon-accurate models like this demonic trio from DOOM 3.
“Like a lot of gamers, I always wanted action figures from these games when I was a kid, but they were never made,” says Myke. “So now I've decided to make them myself.”
GameQraft’s work technically counts as mixed media, since Myke combines digital mapping skills with paper sculpting to create a final piece that’s accurate to its in-game counterpart, down to the polygon count.
“I use a series of programs to convert the actual game models to a format that can be imported into the papercraft software. The model is then broken down into hundreds of flat polygon triangles known as faces, which can be re-arranged,” says Myke.
From there, the design is turned into a printable template, cut out, folded and then superglued together. GameQraft sculptures are made from thick, laminated cardstock paper to make them sturdier and protect the printed ink. They’re also stuffed with craft Poly-Fil for a little extra weight and to make it more durable for display than if were totally hollow.
“One of the greatest challenges is getting the textures to appear the same way they do in the game,” says Myke. “The game engine processes the models in a way which modifies the texture's appearance. I manually correct and enhance the textures before printing to match the game.”
As you can imagine, going over the textures on an in-game model from something like DOOM 3 is a demanding task. “The more detailed the model is, the more difficult it is to design a template because of the large number of faces, just like pieces to a puzzle. The construction phase is very meticulous and takes weeks.”
How much detail are we talking here? The GameQraft model of DOOM 3’s Hell Knight featured 2,692 faces – one hell of a jigsaw puzzle, if you ask us. “Just think of paper scraps everywhere and tons of superglue on your fingers,” says Myke.
Passion is a requirement when making something as intricately detailed as GameQraft’s models. Thankfully, the artist behind these recreations has ample to spare – especially when it comes to DOOM. You can see the attention to detail in each project, including Myke's personal favorite: a well-crafted figure of DOOM 3's Pinky.
“I've been playing DOOM since way back, when my father brought home a (at the time) state-of-the-art Windows 95 PC and a disk full of shareware games,” says Myke. “Years later, I went on to build my first custom PC specifically to handle DOOM 3.”
A hardcore id Software afficionado, Myke is a frequent attendee at QuakeCon, where DOOM fans get a chance to see GameQraft creations in the flesh – err, paper. “I love to attend QuakeCon,” says Myke. “I always bring my figures to put on display, and plan to also do so in 2020.”
Speaking of 2020, next up in GameQraft’s production include models from DOOM 3’s Resurrection of Evil expansion pack, including a giant-sized Maledict! Of course, Myke is also hyped for DOOM Eternal’s release this March. “Ever since the DOOM Eternal reveal, I've been uber-hyped,” Myke says, “I can't wait to rip and tear the plethora of new demons with all the new weapons and abilities.”
Hankering for more games brought to life through papercraft? Check out GameQraft online via Twitter and YouTube. For more DOOM content, keep it glued to the Slayers Club! DOOM Eternal launches 03.20.2020 on PC, PS4, Xbox One and Google Stadia.