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The 3D Phantom Manor
Paper Model Design Process


The haunted mansion in Disneyland Paris, known as "The Phantom Manor", is a ramshackle Victorian house on a hill. Disneyland Paris, and The Phantom Manor opened on April 12, 1992. This haunted mansion is located in Frontierland, next to Big Thunder Mesa. Unlike the other Disney haunted mansions, Phantom Manor follows a specific story plot of a jilted bride, and a phantom groom.

November 23, 2006
The Phantom Manor Paper Model Kit
I have begun designing the third, and final Haunted Mansion paper model kit, The Phantom Manor!

The Phantom Manor, which is the haunted mansion in Disneyland Paris, is actually much taller than those found in the other Disney Parks, and at over 65 feet tall this paper model will be at least 13 inches tall in order for it to be at the same approximate scale as the other two models! It will be the largest model so far.
As usu al, don't hold your breath waiting for it! The other two mansions took at least 6 months each to design, but I will keep you posted on its progress. Some time soon I hope to create a new section to this site which will document the process, as I did with Liberty Square and New Orleans Square.

You can see and download all of my free paper model kits here at




January 6, 2007
The Beginning
Up until this point, all of my 3D models have been created using Lightwave, however one of my clients requested that I learn Maya in order to be compatible with their other vendors. So I will be creating The Phantom Manor 3D model in Maya 7 in order to get accustomed to the tools. I am not abandoning Lightwave, but it is always good to learn new things!
(EDIT - Actually, due to the fact that AUTODESK seems to be ignoring the fact that Mac users of Maya can no longer use their software if they upgraded their OS, I ditched Maya and retuned to Lightwave. THAT WAS A LOT OF MONEY TO SPEND ON USELESS SOFTWARE, AUTODESK! I hope they fix the problem soon!)

Thanks to you, the fellow Minions of the Haunted Dimensions, I have a huge collection of Phantom Manor reference shots to help me design the model. In particular I would like to thank Rita and Doug who gave me an astounding 332 detailed shots of the manor from one of their visits!




The Phantom Manor looks much more like the stereotypical vision of a Victorian haunted house, and I am very excited to add it to my collection!

I could attempt to give you an extensive description and history of the Phantom Manor, but it has already been done, beautifully, at Happy Haunts.
Check them out!

January 10, 2007
The first thing I must do is create a simple shell of the manor. At this stage I try to keep the model very basic. This allows me to visualize the paper model elements and determine how much of the model's details will be real 3D structure and what will be printed details. As with the Liberty Square model, the curved mansard roof elements are going to be a challenge.

February 14 , 2007
Here is my 3D model of the Phantom Manor so far.
The curved mansard roofs are going to be a ch allenge to create in paper model form, but if they were not curved the house would lose all of its original character
It is exciting to see it at this stage.

I am almost ready to break it down into flat plans and try to make my first paper model prototype!

March 4, 2007
The basic 3D model is completed.

The next thing I need to do is to study the model and figure out the best way to break it down into smaller, easy to manage "boxes".
One of the early challenges is going to be designing the front tower so it will fit into the curve of the roof. Do I cut the tower to fit on to the front of the curve? Or do I cut out the roof so that the tower fits into it?

I'll probably do the first option.


April 9, 2007
Phantom Manor Model Update
The 3D model is now ready to be flattened.
Each 3D element is on a separate layer and I removed all of the unnecessary facets which will not be part of the paper model. I examine each element and determine how best to design the pieces to be relatively simple, but with enough 3D detail to be visually effective. I try to keep my models as simple as possible and I am always making compromises between designing three dimensional structural elements or using two dimensional art and textures which will appear to be 3D.

In the example below, I am flattening the roof structure of the tower.
My process can be a little tedious, depending on how complicated the object's geometry is, but the results are usually very good.
The first thing I do is to "unweld" the polygons, meaning I separate all of the polygons into individual pieces. Then I rotate each polygon, or group of polygons so they are parallel to each other on a flat plane. In this case, I started with the top edge polygon and rotate it so it is aligned with angle of the polygon under it, then I select both of those polygons and rotate them so they are aligned with the next polygon. I repeat this until all of the polygons are aligned with the central square, which is actually the top of the tower.

On the right side (above) you can see the results. After adding tabs on the edges, this shape can be scored and folded to become the tower roof. So now you can see why the curved mansard roofs of the Phantom Manor will take some time to design.

July 16, 2007
Deconstructing the Phantom Manor

I have begun deconstructing my 3D model of the Phantom Manor.
I unweld all of the polygons, then I "unfold" them by rotating each surface from the corners, the way one is able to unfold a real box.
These unfolded elements will become my templates when I begin creating the surface art.

December 30, 2007
Happy New Year!
To start off the new year on a positive note, I have resumed my work on the Phantom Manor Paper Model Kit! I finally completed the task of "unfolding" all of the elements of my 3d model. Below, you can see what all of the flattened wireframe pieces look like when stacked on top of one another.


The next step will be to scale all of the elements to fit within an 8.5 x 11 sheet.
I also need to determine where to place glue tabs and slots. Once that is complete, I can build my first plain white prototype.

January 4, 2008
Phantom Manor Layouts
All of the pieces of my Phantom Manor paper model are now separated and scaled to fit within an 8.5"x11" page format. Actually, I keep all of the elements within an 8"x10" size in order to insure that everything is within a print safe margin.
To keep all of the pieces within this page size I had to scale down the model slightly, so it might not match the scale of my other two mansions. However, the Phantom Manor is a much larger structure (over 60 feet tall!), so it will still be taller than my New Orleans Square and Liberty Square models. Perhaps, some time in the future, I'll scale down the other two models so they all match in scale.

Observations about the Phantom Manor model:
As I said, it will be taller than my other two mansion models.
If you built the Liberty Square model, then you are familiar with the tiny front steps. Well, my model has 6 sets of steps!
Remember the difficulty I had designing the mansard roof of Liberty Square? Well. Phantom Manor has the added difficulty of having CURVED mansards!
I have not decided how to design the porch posts and supports. I am waiting until after I get the first prototype constructed, to see what is needed.

I am finally getting excited about the project.

January 12, 2008
Phantom Manor Prototype Model #1
Things are coming together nicely! It already looks like the Phantom Manor.
It will be 10.5" (27 cm) tall, not counting the weather vane.
It has been surprisingly easy to construct so far.

The porch floor will be where the bottom line is, and it will surround most of the house. The side curves of the top portion of the tower do not match the curve of the roof, but it is very minor, and easy to fix. The roof has a tendency to sink in the middle, so I will probably create a simple support tube that will keep everything fairly level.

January 18, 2008< br>
Phantom Manor Model Update
Here it is!
I encountered very few problems so far. I still have to design the porch supports and railings.




This is the size of the Phantom Manor model compared to the other two mansion models.

January 22, 2008
Phantom Manor Model Update
I have found that one of the more difficult things to design is the geometry that allows porch floors, pillars and roofs to all align and fit properly. It has taken me two days to resolve these challenges.

In the photo (above), you can see that the porch pillars are very thin. Even though they are the correct scale, they are too thin and delicate to use in the paper model. My next version will have pillars that are twice as thick as these.

January 29, 2008
Phantom Manor Model Update
I believe I solved the problems with the side porch and balcony. I had to do a lot of redesigning and resizing. I used tabs to attach the top balcony roof to the side of the house, however, the slots had to be cut through the supports that reinforce the main body of the house. I will probably change the design so the tabs will be used to glue the balcony roof to the outside surface wall of the house.

January 30, 2008
Phantom Manor Model Update
It is time to start creating the art and textures for the model!
I use a mixture of photo composites, my personal texture photos, and Photoshop techniques to recreate the surface elements of the Manor.

February 1, 2008
Phantom Manor Textures
Here are some examples of the textures so far.
The roof texture took a full day to create. I try not to use too many tiling or repeating textures, so I had to treat each roof panel as a separate piece of art. The shingles had to look irregular, and I added moss to places where it looked like moss would grow. As an added detail, I sprinkled dead leaves above the gutters and across the flat roof top. I created the entire roof by hand in Photoshop.


Here are some of the chimneys and dormers. The chimneys on the Phantom Manor are very unique and fairly complicated. I did my best to keep the general form of the chimneys, while still designing them to be single pieces which fold together. Keep in mind that the tallest chimney will only be
2 1/2 inches tall (6 cm), so I wanted them to be manageable at that size.
I tried to stay true to the brick designs as best as I could.

As I have said before, when designing my other models, I want them to be a balance of paper folding and textural dimension, which will be easy enough for a novice to construct.


February 3, 2008
Phantom Manor Fever
The textures and art for my Phantom Manor paper model kit are complete!
The next step is to import the art into Illustrator to add the cutting and scoring lines, and to begin the process of creating the construction directions.
Meanwhile, to help build the excitement for the upcoming model, I wanted to repost a video of the 2004 Halloween show that was produced at Disneyland Paris. It is (was) brilliant!
As a frame of reference, keep in mind that the projection screen is actually the 60 foot tall Phantom Manor facade, draped in white cloth.
Enjoy!


February 5, 2008
Phantom Manor Ironwork
I might be making the decision to not create the ironwork that crests certain parts of the manor's roof.

I changed my mind. I decided to make the ironwork for both paper and transparencies.

My original rationale was this...
As you can see from the photo, the ironwork is extremely thin, delicate and widely spaced. To make the ironwork as a paper element would mean either making it so intricate that it would be very tedious to cut, or it would create a "wall" of paper around the top of the manor that would detract from the proportions of the house. I believe the same would hold true if the ironwork was printed on transparency film, but I'll probably offer a transparency version on the final model.

I decided that a transparency version would probably look fine, then realized that many of you might have been annoyed that offered no other option. So, you will be getting both, and you can decide what works best for you.

February 7, 2008
Notice Something New?

In preparation for the release of my new Phantom Manor paper model kit, I FINALLY added the Manor to my collection of Haunted Dimensions front page designs.
Unlike the other two front pages, I did not create this one as a 3D illustration. I just do not have the time. Instead, I created this image using several different photos of the Manor that I composited in Photoshop to remove the people who were standing at the front door, and remove unwanted foreground junk. Then I re-colorized the image to match the palette I have been using for the other front pages, and added a few artistic brush strokes and tweaks.
I am very happy with the outcome, considering I only had to spend about 2 hours to create it.

Check out the new Phantom Manor theme music too!

The actual model kit is coming along nicely.
In fact, the model component pages are now complete. I even created a new
Phantom Manor Model logo.
The only thing left to do is create the intructions. That means I first have to build the final model, and document the process. This will be the second prototype, so there is still a chance that I will find design flaws to fix, but hopefully nothing too serious.

February 11, 2008
Porch Problems
I am experiencing some problems with the porch of my Phantom Manor model.

I decided to build the transparency version of the porch rails. One of the problems seems to be that the transparency plastic is just not sturdy enough to hold its shape when forced to align with the slots in the porch and roof. The slots seem to be perfectly aligned, but there is just enough stress on the rails to cause the pillars to bow. Oddly enough, lifting the porch roof does not straighten the rails. I believe it is caused by a very small variation between the vertical alignments of the porch and roof slots, caused by the imperfect nature of small scale paper models. I will make the roof slots much wider, to allow for the variations. I will attempt to reinforced these pillars by gluing toothpicks behind them. Of course, I will need to darken the toothpicks with a marker first.
The long porch on the left side of the house had also had a few bad measurements. They were VERY small variations, but enough to cause big problems at this scale.
I like the shutters and windows!

I have been photographing the construction process, in preparation for the least enjoyable phase of the model design, making the instructions.

February 12, 2008
Color Prototype Completed!
I am very happy with the results!
While building this protoytpe, I discovered a few small problems, and places where I forgot to add a score line or a tab, but otherwise it went much better than I expected.
The transparency ironwork and porch pillars look great! And I believe I solved the problem with bent porch pillars.



Now I will begin work on the building instructions, as I build (what I hope will be) the final model!
February 19, 2008
Instructions and Diagrams
I created a layered, exploded view of the Phantom manor model, that I will use to illustrate the construction phases. This is the front view, and there is also a rear view. Now I will begin the diagrams which illustrate how the individual pieces fold together.

February 26, 2008
Instructions and Diagrams
I believe I am nearly finished with the instruction manual for the Phantom Manor model.
I think I will need to make two or three more pages.

February 29, 2008
Something to Make the Phantom Manor Model People Crazy
On
this crazy Leap Day, I thought I would reveal some news that will make some people crazy.

The Phantom Manor Paper Model Kit is complete!
Yes, it is finished! The PDF document, the necessary web graphics, programming and download pages are complete (but not uploaded yet).
The reason? I want to print a final copy, and partially build a few of the elements, to be sure they are correct. I am not going to make you wait until I complete the entire construction, just long enough for me to be satisfied that you will be getting a final version. I do not want to have to revise and reissue new versions due to dumb mistakes on my part. And believe me, I am very good at the dumb mistakes!

NOT MUCH LONGER!

March 3, 2008
The Phantom Manor Paper Model Kit is
RELEASED!


At last, the "Triplets of Terror" are complete,
with the release of The Phantom Manor Paper Model Kit!
The Phantom Manor can now join her sister haunted mansions, Liberty Square,
and New Orleans Square, on your favorite shelf or display!

There a were a couple of last minute changes, and a lot of trial and error in trying to figure out how to create a PDF document that was a small file size while still keeping the graphics looking their best. With a 6.5mb file size, it is the smallest download of the three mansions.

The instructions were as tedious and endless to create, as usual. I had the added consideration of knowing that this model is going to be particulary popular with Europeans, particularly the French. I would have loved to have created the whole download page in both French and English, as a tribute to the Disneyland Paris fans, and while I do speak some French, I certainly could not write a construction guide! Instead I relied more heavily on illustrations.

Below: Prototype and final model.


Below: the line-up of all three completed mansions.


I am relieved and a little sad to have hurdled this last project. I am also amazed that this huge body of work orginated from a little fan site with a few haunted mansion illustrations!
Liberty Square was the first paper model kit I ever designed, and at the time I had no intention of doing any others. It was only through fan requests that I continued the series, and I am very glad I did!
Now to see all three Disney mansion models side by side is stunning!

What's next?
Don't worry. I have a few tricks up my sleeve. After all, there is a new mansion on the block!
For now, I need a break! This was A LOT OF WORK!

Any small donation would be greatly appreciated. It might even inspire me to jump on the next the next projects sooner. The DONATE button is at the bottom of all of my model download pages.

Even if you do not donate, I would still love to hear from you! And do not worry about language. I am able to translate most languages (actually my software does it) :)
And pictures! Send me pictures!

Thanks again to all of the Fellow Minions of the Haunted Dimensions, for all of your support over the years! You make being a haunted web master a lot of fun!

~Ray~

To DOWNLOAD my FREE paper models,
Including The Phantom Manor
GO TO PAPER MODEL PURGATORY, HERE


March 9, 2008
The Phantom Manor Entrance Pillar Paper Model Kit
is RELEASED!


While I am still in Phantom Manor mode, I finished the Phantom Manor Entrance Pillar model!
It is approximately 7" tall (17.5cm). It has only 6 pieces and is 268kb!
It is NOT to scale with the Phantom Manor Model.
On the front of the pillar is the Phantom Manor plaque, and on the back is one of the ride disclaimer signs. Unfortunately, due to the size and resolution of the PDF, it is difficult to read, but it will be recognizable to guests who have visited.

To DOWNLOAD my FREE paper models,
To download my FREE paper models,
GO TO PAPER MODEL PURGATORY, HERE



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Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Disneyland Paris, and all Haunted Mansion photographs, characters, multimedia and artwork are copyrighted by and/or are trademarks of the Walt Disney Company / Disney Enterprises. This website is not affiliated in any way with any Disney company. Site launched 9.26.04. Copyright © Ray Keim. Haunted Dimensions™
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Email Ray: haunted3d@raykeim.com