Introduction: Uncharted 1 Journal Replica

About: DIY fanboy

Hi there my name is Flávio and I'm a huge Uncharted fan. To get more Uncharted related items, or more pop culture stuff, please follow me on my youtube channel. Where I create different stuff like 3D Models, custom collectables, cosplay items and show the entire process from the conception, to having it on the palm of your hand.


Step 1: Introduction and a Bit of Background Story

This guide will show you how I created the Uncharted 1 Journal Replica with all the steps to accomplish it.

I have been a huge Uncharted fan since the first game was released on the playstation 3, back in 2007, loving everything about it, the plot, the adventure, the gameplay, pretty much everything. But when I experienced Nathan Drake going through is attic on Uncharted 4, just going trough every item that he collected during is adventures, I decided that I wanted to recreate every item that we owns. So that thought led me in to make his Journal from his first adventures on the ps3. This was a long effort, but I'm very pleased with the out come, and decided to share with you all.

Step 2: Materials

The materials I used were these ones:

- A5 Hardcover notebook;

- 120 gr A4 White Paper;

- Glossy Photo Paper A4;

- Transfer Paper A4;

- 2D Printer;

- 3D Printer;

- X-Knife;

- Scissors;

- Black marker 0,5 mm and 1mm;

- Pencil H1, H2, H3;

- Brown Pencil

- Glue stick;

- Transparent duct tape;

- Duct tape;

- Coffee;

- Hair Spray;

- Lighter;

Step 3: Collecting Photos/drawings

To recreate the journal, having the most accurate drawing and texts possible, I went over to the video game uncharted 1 drake fortune to capture the images. While in the next installments of the games we can access the journal in every chapter and go through every page. In this one, limit by the technology of it’s time I guess, we can only access the journal in specific areas, and we can’t swipe the pages. But I got to replay 4 chapters of the game, which was nice.

So, to make the job easy for you here is a list of the chapters that you have to replay to reach to the area where you can access the journal:

Folha 1: Chapter 2 – The Search of El Dorado

Folha 2: Chapter 2 - The Search of El Dorado

Folha 3: Chapter 13 - Sanctuary

Folha 4: Chapter 13 - Sanctuary

Folha 5: Chapter 14 - Going Underground

Folha 6: Chapter 15 - On the Trail of Treasure

Folha 7: Chapter 15 - On the Trail of Treasure

Step 4: Edit/Adjust the Photos

When I got all the images, I wanted I transferred them to my pc and started editing them. The first thing I did was to rearrange the images both in dimension and slope. Then I change the color to only black and white to get just the stroke of the draw, discarding all of the rest of the colors, since I wanted to transfer the lines only to journal, I didn’t need the rest of the color scheme.

For the handwrite, I used a font that was closer to the one that is on the journal and placed the text in the same area where they were supposed to be on the journal. Some of the texts were easy to read, but there were some parts that I could only figure out by looking at the pixels at the tv and adjusting the settings like the brightness and contrast. But there was a page where they not even try to write something down, I’m talking about this one:

For how much big your tv is, there is no way to understand the handwrite, so I had to come up with some text that fit the page and made sense. Since this is the Francis Drake journal, all of his entries are regarding the island and the locations, so the text I wrote is about the puzzle that leads to “the land of the dead” as he described it, and the caves that follow.

Step 5: Printing the Pages

When all the pages were ready, I went and printed them on the transfer paper.

Step 6: Creating the Journal

Now the notebook, I had to make some modifications to it, like gluing the first pages to hide the lines that you saw and to give more thickness to the pages. When that was done, I used a mixture of warm water and two spoons of coffee to create the effect of the pages looking older. To do this, I used a paintbrush I scattered the mixture on all the pages, but before I moved to the next page, I used a paper towel to absorb the excess and a air dry to dry the page. And I did this process for all the pages on the journal.

To create the drawings and the texts, I used the transfer paper and with a pencil, transferred the images to the actual notebook. This was a two steps process, First the process of transferring the image and then, with a brown color pencil going trough all the draw to make sure that no little detail was left behind. For the texts, the process was the same, but instead of using a brown pencil I used a thin brown pen.

When all the draws and text were done, I started to work on the cover. The first thing I did was to protect all the pages and the strap with a masking tape, so the spray color couldn’t reach these parts. With all the areas protected, I used a gold spray can to paint the first layer of the journals cover. I used this first layer of gold, so later when I scratch the cover, I can get this nice gold color in those scratched areas. With the first layer dried, I went and used again the masking tape, and this time I created a rectangle along the cover, resembling the real journal.

For the second and final layer, I used a brownish red to paint the cover. Just a note, I waited 24 hours in between each layer, so both of the colors could really sink and dry in the cover material. Now as you can see, the masking tape did a great job, preventing the red color to go through the rectangle.

To give that old and wear look to the journal cover, I used three different types of sandpaper, the first one was the 320, then the 400 and then the 800. For the weathering process I started by sand first the edges and corners, since these are the areas that tend to get damage in the beginning. Then, actually there was no method on how to weather it, the key in this part is just to be random. Just a thing I did was to sand a bit more the gold rectangle, because those perfect and straight lines, were making the journal feel a bit too clean and new for a 400 years old journal.

The last detail that was missing was the gun shot in the journal. To recreate this, I used a soldering iron and just made a hole in the same area were the journal was shot. The soldering iron was a really great option because it gave a nice effect, making the edges of the hole on the cover melted and all the edges off the hole on the pages scorched.

Now that the hole was done it was missing the bullet. The bullet was 3D printed and to make it feel like it was shot against something and got smashed, I used the air drier and mold it against the journal to get the best approximation on how the bullet was suppose to look like. I will post the link of the model on the description. Then I went and painted it with a black mate color.

Actually, there was another detail that I forgot to mention, that was still missing, the Francis Drake symbol on the journal cover. For this one, I decided to model it myself, by using an image of the insignia and trace over every detail. This was a tedious process to get every detail out, but it was all worthy to make the journal feel closer to the real one.

When the model was ready, I send it to my 3D printer to start printing. Then, I went and used the same gold pray can to paint the symbol. To adhere it to the journal cover I used a glue stick and in all the parts some super glue to make sure that the symbol wouldn’t fall down.

Step 7: Photo and the Map

This journal wasn’t complete without the map and the photo that Elena took on their first adventure together, so I went and made both.

For the photo the process was pretty simple, I searched for Elena, Nathan and sully photo and the picture appeared within the firsts result. Then I modified it, to make the uncharted and naughty dog logo disappear, since they weren’t part of the real photo. Then I printed it in glossy paper, cutted and wrote on the back the message that Elena left for Nate, but unfortunately, I didn’t capture that part.

For the map, I used some screen captures, and created it with the same process that I used before for the drawings and the text. But like in the texts, there were some that I couldn’t quite figure out, so I had to come up with some texts that made sense. All of the texts on the map were in Spanish, and luckily, since I’m Portuguese I was able to figure what the other texts were saying and create new ones that made sense. When the map was created, I printed it in a thicker a4 paper and applied the same old effect on the paper, with the mixture I had created earlier. To make the map feel older and worned out, I folded it like we see in the game and used a lighter to burn the edges and corners, getting closer to the look that the real map has.

And that was the whole process of recreating this journal.

Step 8: Final Result