88 Note Synth/Midi Controller Keyboard

Hi All

First of all let me say that I’m glad to be a member of this great forum. Been dabbling with Blender on and off for a while now but would like to start improving my skills and maybe collaborate on some projects in the future. Seeing as I couldn’t find a ‘new member’ thread what better way to start than to post a work in progress that has been sitting on my drive for got knows how long.

This is a hardware host for vsti plug-ins but carries the name of the Synth1 vsti. The initial design was something used while learning blender and was part of a personal room design project:

I figured if it is ever to be finished it is better to have a goal in mind so I chucked out the old one and started again. The aim is to make it photo realistic and judging by the close-up renders there is a very long way to go before that happens. :slight_smile:

To Do:

  • knobs and faders need redoing
  • cut-outs in the case for the buttons and pads (they look stuck on at the moment)
  • texturing and lighting (the hard bits)

I designed it in Inkscape so all the labels and highlights are ready for UV mapping. That’s it really. All your comments and criticisms will be appreciated.

I am gonna be working on modelling some of my own studio kit soon, hope it looks as good as this!

I am the last person to comment on how realistic something looks, but I did notice a couple of things, for some reason the black keys are very blurry and also, are they meant to be mini keys? They certainly don’t look like standard size.

not bad… the presentation is a bit drab but its ok… thumbs Up!

Nice one, I didn’t notice that. The keys were taken from another object which was a bog standard midi controller so they probably aren’t standard sized. The blurriness is the result of too much AO but turning on the falloff setting seems to have sorted it out.

Looking forward to seeing your work and would love to see a Blofeld if you have one.

A more interesting scene will come along eventually but I guess there is no harm in doing something a bit more interesting now. Maybe stick it on a quik lok or something like that. Might even throw in a couple potted plants to add a little colour, hehe.

Am remodelling the knobs - too much detail that could be represented by textures - and want to do some cuts in the case for the buttons and pads. That should make it look a little more authentic.

Do you guys have some suggestions for faking the slight gap between the buttons and case. Textures maybe?

Here’s a brief update:

  • all knobs and buttons now have a slot cut out in the case mesh
  • controller labels have been exported from Inkscape as one big texture and have been positioned using an empty for the texture coordinates (mostly a guide for now, will be tidied up)

For the case I figured that adding a noise and cloud texture will give it a nice look when close up (not shown here) and stop it looking unnaturally uniform. Some of the dodgy shading bits are the result of the AAO error level being raised to speed things up.

I was tempted to start this again as the loops cuts have gotten insane but I figured it would be better to apply the lessons learned from this to the next model. “Keep it lean, keep it clean”.

For the final render Luxrender is installed, ready and waiting but for some reason it doesn’t like this model at all. It’s not ready for the lush ray treatment yet anyway so there’s no hurry. That’s another learning curve in itself anyway.

If I go a bit faster this might actually be finished some time before the apocalypse. :slight_smile:
Would appreciate your feedback so far.

First of all, i love synth1 and have used it for years (it recently was upgraded!)

I hope you are modeling it flat first then tilting this surface to the angle needed :slight_smile:
geometry like this becomes a little involved, adding an angle to the mix doesn’t help.

the gaps for the knobs and buttons (to do your design justice) deserves tidier geometry.
the bog standard blender release isn’t ideal for CAD, but there are plenty of tricks to persuade
geometry to give desired results.

at the moment the cutouts for the various controllers are not very uniform, google synth repairs and you will
find a bunch of devices missing buttons etc to see what the shapes should look like… or atleast you will find one with cutout shapes that you want to achieve. maybe post those here if you want some suggested geometry.

It looks like you use a 4 point hole to make the circular gaps and rely on meshsmooth for curvature? or perhaps it’s the angle of our perspective that messes with the perceived shape… i’d suggest using 5 point holes extruded downwards instead (while in editmode: add->mesh->circle->segments(5)

how comfortable are you with adding bits of mesh to existing mesh?

Lifesaver! That’s a great tip.
I was so chuffed with your suggestion that I made a video based on it so maybe when you have time you could tell me whether it is what you were talking about or not.

After contemplating the nightmare that would be changing the size of some of the holes this has come as a real blessing and will make things a whole lot easier. Edit one, Array it, rejoin it, simple. Glad you pointed out the need for uniformity as I’d gotten lazy with that.

The mesh is already at an angle but the transform orientation feature has saved the day countless times. A transform was created based on the angle of the case so all is good. A few things need tidying up though.

You know, I’m thinking it wouldn’t hurt to start this again. Looking at the GAIA synth the knobs look good without being recessed and the buttons have more space between them. Will see.

i’m glad this jogged your memory :slight_smile: (it was in there somewhere! )

on a side note, i’d extrude inwards (called ‘inset’)(by a small amount, if possible) on the 5 point polygon to give the surface a little bit more fluidity before extruding downwards. maybe experiment with both ways. if you dont notice a difference without the inset extrusion then your current way is probably sufficient.

i’ll be glad to provide any assistance after the weekend when i get back to my main computer.

starting again is never really starting from scratch, we always learn from mistakes you’ll find the whole process goes much faster a second or third time. (even if not a single bit of geometry is reused)

'custom transform orientation (CTO) ’ ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrJxv-fwad0 ) for anyone reading along. this is similar to ‘User defined Coordinate System (UCS)’ in AutoCAD. An essential tool for accurate engineering. Cool little demo fluxmachina.