Hi all a little help please

Hi everyone,

I’m a gui designer, this is the kind of thing I do…

There’s a trend for the knobs to be viewed from a slight angle which basically means they have to be 3d so I’m trying to get my head around things but it’s proving painful :wink:

After a day here’s where I am at with things…

And eventually I’d like to be able to do things like this…

(that should illustrate the ‘off centre’ thing I mentioned)

I’m having real trouble drawing the basic knob shape. I’m starting from a circle (32 nodes) and grabbing nodes in alternate pairs and using ‘scale’ to drag them in. The hard part is rounding things off. I’ve done A LOT of reading in the past 2 days and apparently bezier curves are coming in april, will that solve my problem? If so I’ll wait till then, if not please let me know any techniques I’m unaware of.

So I can extrude, scale, split to get near where I want to be, the next challenge will be textures, lighting and animation (I simply need to rotate the whole image in 100 frames).

Please have a look at the blender file and let me know any workflow problem/errors, any advice at this stage would be great.

Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you.


Apologies for splitting up my post but there was a limit on the amount of links I could use in a single post for some strange reason.

Nice gui! The knob looks fine in the file, but you’ve got some major geometry hiding somewhere - something like 2 million verts. No need for that! Get rid of that, and post some renders.

Thanks :slight_smile:

Yeah I noticed it was a little sluggish :wink:

Trouble is I don’t know what I’m doing, yet, so perhaps a better question would be, what’s the best way to make the knobs in my mockup? If I can get the basic shape right I can extrude it and take things from there.

If I could make this shape I could move on from where I’m at…

Like I said any help would be great as Blender seems like a big scary program at this stage :wink:


(would a subsurf setting of 6 have anything to do with the 2million verts?)

edit 2: I also don’t know how to do renders yet :slight_smile:

Lots of tutorials here. Great place to start.

So are bezier curves coming and would that help with what I’m trying to do?

Does the subsurf setting affect verts, is it just a more flexible way of subdividing?

How would you draw the shape in the post above? (#6)

Sometimes what I do is either make a basic rough outline of the shape, extrude it and then subsurf it, or you can make the profile with curves, extrude that and then convert to mesh to add more detail. The latter requires a little more clean up, but gives good results. There are a few ways to approach this.

Thanks for the reply aj. Just to clarify, this is only the second day that I’ve had Blender installed and I’ve never used any type of 3d program before so I don’t know how things are done. “make a basic rough outline” is what I’d like to do but don’t know where to start.

Things like extrude and scale are easy to understand so are straightforward for me. I could, from what I understand import the picture posted above and laboriously trace around with the curve tool but there’s got to be a quicker way.

Does this .eps help? I understand you were previously able to import eps files but that functionality was removed.

If any one could convert that eps into something usuable that would be great for the meantime but I’d like to know the best way to draw custom shapes.

Compared to what a lot of people do with blender this must be extremely basic, like I said any pointers would help a lot.


Well the support has been somewhat underwhelming lol but it feels like I’m getting somewhere :slight_smile:

See this is where I get confused, why does the render look terrible? The base and the barrel seem the same colour, the top splines have light on them from two lights 10+2o’clock and it definitely doesn’t have the specular profile. So either I don’t understand something or I’m doing it wrong.

Also that point in the centre of the cap, is there any way to get rid of the lump in the middle? I made sure the faces met on a flat rather than a peak btw.

Again, any help is appreciated, it’s tough figuring this stuff out on your own.

Thanks in advance

Still messing around…


Seems I’ve done something wrong with the cap, I can’t select the centre any more, it’s made up of 32 points and I can’t seem to select them all. What’s the correct protocol for making sure all the points meet in one place?

And does anyone know of a straightforward lighting/render tutorial because I’ve got to be missing something basic, I’ve moved the spotlight to just out of frame pointing slightly downward (eg directly on the splines of the barrel) and they’re still in shadow.

To select a bunch of verts, in edit mode use ‘c’ to get a circle select tool (size it with the mouse wheel) or use ‘b’ to get a box select tool and drag a selection box around them. Make sure you hit ‘z’ to get into wireframe mode. If you are in “solid” mode and you have “limit selection to visible” enabled, you’ll only be able to select verts you can “see”. To make all verts meet, you probably want to merge them into one. Select them and hit ‘alt-m’ then select At-center.


I wouldn’t say the support has been underwhelming. You are just asking a lot, and like I said, spend some time watching some tuts (on the site I posted). I won’t tell you how to draw a basic shape - there are several great tuts that do that. Trust me, spend some time watching some videos, and you’ll get a lot of questions answered - questions you don’t even know to ask yet. What I’m saying is that someone has already answered those questions better than I could here, The big question - “Why does my render look funny?” Nobody wants to recreate a whole rendering tut here. People on BA are very supportive, but will expect you to do a little of the basic work.

Thanks abbey, what I ended up doing (after failing with the lasso tool) was to face select the inner circle and then used vert select to deselect the outer ring leaving only the inner points selected. I’m definitely going to try alt m trick, thanks :slight_smile:

3dM am asking a lot because there’s a lot to ask :wink:

I wasn’t aware you’d posted a link to a site, did I miss it?

I have spent hours and hours trawling tutorials, written and video, and think I’m not doing too badly considering I only installed blender yesterday! :slight_smile:
I think you hit the nail on the head when you said “You don’t know what you don’t know” (paraphrasing). At the moment it’s a case of getting as far as I can, then googling, applying that knowledge then googling etc etc.
Of the 30 or so “shape” videos I’ve seen they all relate to sculpting and starting with 3d shapes (cubes etc) I’ve not seen one that talks about the basic method of drawing a 2d path (expect for some guy tracing a logo). I figure I’m using blender for a very specific application and might be quicker if some one could point me towards a relevant tutorial rather than me skipping through 30 which are not applicable to what I’m trying to achieve.
Again I wasn’t asking for someone to type a rendering tutorial, I was asking for a link to a relevant tutorial that someone might know of. I’ve gotten alot further after posting in the lighting/render sub forum but the lights still don’t illuminate how I would expect them to given their position.
Anyways I’ve got some more research to do.

Thanks :slight_smile:

Sorry, the link didn’t make it for some reason:

Ah blender cookie! :slight_smile:

Thanks, I’d found that site on my travels but forgot what it was called, it was the best site I found. It’ll be interesting watching that speakbox tutorial again, I might understand it a bit more this time :wink:

This is the new version of where I’m up to btw…


Alt-M worked a treat abbey :slight_smile:

You’re getting there. :slight_smile:

I looked at your file, and reduced all subsurfs to level two, after ‘shading smooth’ - hit W in edit mode for that.

Also might need to ‘recalculate normals’ - Ctrl N.

post of the blender internal render - it now has 11k verts.

I’d certainly spend some time watching some tuts - will help you get faster, err well faster. :smiley:

Not much of a reduction then :wink:

I’ll definitely look into shading smooth and I can guarantee I’ll be watching lots more tuts :slight_smile:

But it’s like now for example, there’s a little position marker in post 12 (above) which I made out of a cube and that was fine, I’m trying to do the same with the image in post 17 but it isn’t on a 90 degree angle. I drew and tweaked the ‘cube’ off to the side away from the main knob and when it was ready moved it into place and rotated so it lined up.
Now I’ve decided that it’s too thick but I can’t select a face and move it because it’s at an angle and my x,y,z is still locked to the grid.
So I can move it back out, reset the rotation and then adjust the width but that’s not the right way to do it, there has to be some kind of ‘relative’ function but I can’t for the life of me figure out what to google to tell me the answer. Or maybe there a command to align the axis handles to the object, which I’ve kind of done with ctrl alt shift c but it doesn’t affect the rotation of the axis.

It’s the basics that are holding me up. I think you can “extrude individual” that’ll get me there, maybe but ideally I’d like to rotate the axis handles to match the object.

Any ideas anyone? :slight_smile:

To boil all that down into a question…

Say you had a cube which you rotated by 45 degrees and you wanted to have its axis handles echo this rotation how would you go about doing that?