Guidance needed for a difficult shape. (beginner!)

Hi everyone.

I’ve been trying and trying to model this synth knob, but it gets worse with every attempt.
It’s such a simple shape but i find it hard to get a grip on modeling it.
The ‘cylinder’ has a slight taper along the shaft.

I really don’t like being the guy that throws every question on the forum.
But i’m really stuck and could use some guidance.

I guess my question is: how would you tackle this?

Many many many thanks in advance.


I would start with a cylinder with a number of faces that’s a multiple of 8. Then, I would delete most faces, keeping only 1/8 of the cylider, allowing me to model only one of the grooves. Then, I would duplicate and rotate the object by 45 degrees, restoring all 8 sides. This is possible, because the object’s origin is still where the middle of the cylider was.

Alternatively, You may want to learn about booleans, which would allow you to place 8 cylinders at an angle around the knob and carve them in.

I would do it with a plane modeling just one indent and then use an array modifier and a simple deform “bend” to give the final shape.

The way I do shapes like this is to break them down into their most blocky, basic shapes. How would it look with only a handful of polygons.

So what is it? It’s a 16 sided cylinder with some vertices scaled inwards. I’ll select the appropriate verts and edges, scale them in and out, adjust some bits and bobs here and there, and ran Looptools along the bottom of the cylinder to recircleize it. Once I had the basic shape down, I applied a subsurf modifier, added some constrain loops, inset the inward curves to give them sharp edges, and there it was…

The loop constrained object is on the left, the raw basic underlying geo pre-loopcut is on the right.

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