GUI design: adventures in Blender.

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  • Impermanence
    Impermanence Member Posts: 121 Advisor

    Good job really!

  • colB
    colB Member Posts: 755 Guru

    Looks great Peter.

    Can you give us a bit more info about your process in Blender?

    which tools did you use for modelling the knobs and buttons?

    How did you set up the environment, camera etc.

    How do you plan to set up the camera for creating the images for knob animation?


    Generally, I'm not a fan of having perspective applied differently to different knobs. Particularly in a context where there might be other GUIs on the same screen that obviously won't follow that perspective. It would still be a great way to create very convincing non-perspective GUIs using maybe infinite telephoto or something (assuming that's even possible)... I guess the result I'd go for would be like your flatter original, but with all the extra subtleties that the realistic lighting and surfaces give you.

    Awesome for product shots for UL, or website too!

    More please!

  • Murat Kayi
    Murat Kayi Member Posts: 428 Pro

    Love this! Makes me wanna try the Ensemble...

  • Bolle
    Bolle Member Posts: 332 Pro

    I started with trying to model a Moog style knob, just to see how far i could get with that. In it's most basic form it's just a cylinder and a partial sphere combined. Everything beyond that is slowly chipping away at it and googling for modelling tips. I eventually modelled it three times to correct mistakes. In essence modelling this knob was not too hard.

    Modelling the Davies knob took me a lot longer to get right.

    All the rest like the chassis and wood side panels are just rectangles with bevelled edges.

    For my purposes, everything basically came down to scaling, rotating, cutting and bevelling edges. That's 95% of the modelling job. Anything else is googling for a tip or a trick for something specific.

    I imported the graphics into Blender from my old 2D file.

    You can download HDR environments to simulate lighting conditions from various places, but none of them looked good to me so i made a basic lighting setup myself. A floor, ceiling and walls with a bit of colour and throw a bunch of lights in there. It's not very hard, and the lighting conditions in most music studios or environments are kinda random/non-stylized anyway.

    The camera setup for the GUI will be straight from the top, as seen earlier in this thread, with a 36mm lens and a focal length of about 55mm. I might still fiddle with the focal length a few cents, not sure yet.

    With a lot of fiddling around, you can set up Blender to render only specific parts of the camera view.

    My inspiration for using Blender are the GUI's designed by companies like Arturia. I own their Mini V3 (Minimoog model D) and it looks amazing. Mine will be purposefully under-lit, because i went for a vibe somewhere in-between 'bedroom DIY synth nerd' and 'high tech music studio'. And i want my blinky lights to stand out slightly.

    This is one of Arturia's compressor plugins for instance:

    But i understand what you mean. If i were to design a GUI for a Block or something, i would probably design it with a flat perspective.

    Greets,

    Peter

  • Bolle
    Bolle Member Posts: 332 Pro

    I don't feel like spending an hour or two rendering and composing for this project right now.

    Who can guess what i started diddling with instead?


  • Murat Kayi
    Murat Kayi Member Posts: 428 Pro

    3d printed and stuck on a DIY midi controller and load up Monark and you could have Monark standing around in your studio...we would have come full circle from hardware to virtual to hardware, lol

  • Bolle
    Bolle Member Posts: 332 Pro

    Started messing with Monark, just for the fun of it.

    This might end up in the User Library as a reskin job, but it'll be some time. I only work on it sparingly.

    The original design is very well and intricately done, and i would like to recreate the full functionality of the original.

    Greets,

    Peter

  • Bolle
    Bolle Member Posts: 332 Pro

    Something's cookin'.

    Greets,

    Peter

  • Bolle
    Bolle Member Posts: 332 Pro
    edited April 2022

    Hi everyone!

    I don't know if this is interesting to anybody but i'm excited about trying this out. I thought i should share and perhaps along the way get some advice about how to handle the build of this concept from a mathematical / control point of view.

    Anyway.

    I started working on my first 'full' synth, with a keyboard in the GUI, and since this is the thread about my adventures in Blender: here's another one.

    Thought i would do the keyboard macro first, because it's a bit labour intensive.

    In this project, the keyboard and keys don't look perfectly straight like a rectangle. They fan out and are wider at the front. Like so (not my picture):

    Also: pressing a key exposes part of the side(s) of adjacent key(s), making it (almost) impossible to layer the images in such a way that playing the (midi) keyboard doesn't cause all kinds of issues with visuals overlapping and interfering where they shouldn't.

    And also: the shadows on every key change depending on the state of the key(s) next to it. (I went with only three visual velocity stages per key. Zero, half and full).

    Like so (my screenshots / render):

    So: every key could have 9 or even 12 visual states, while only having three "mechanical" states. It's not impossible to render every one of those images per key and create the mathematical framework for every key to look exactly right in accordance with the state of its neighbouring keys.

    But i'm obviously not going to do that.

    I checked my Arturia 'Mini V3' (Minimoog, 3D design) for clues on how to best go about the keyboard design. They took the easy (and smart) route by lowering the control panel angle, "shooting" the synth straight from the top and so keeping the keyboard view flat and rectangular from the camera viewpoint.

    I did some tests with my thing and it requires flattening the whole synth by reducing the keyboard <-> control panel angle to get a clear and workable view of both. And it looks bad so i'm going to try it my way.

    I'm hoping to control these visuals with incoming note and velocity, with three velocity steps that are unequal (velocity range is 0... 1 and i want the key's half pressed state to show at around 0.2 velocity) Right now i'm using a Quantize module to create 5 steps (quant = 0.25) and ignoring step 3 and 4. It works pretty well but maybe there's a better way to do this.

    Greets,

    Bolle

  • Paule
    Paule Member Posts: 1,328 Expert

    Some looks like swimming on the surface.

    About the MS-20: You can't use the „Rack“ cables to save it in snapshots. Myself use salamanderanagrams sys.

    With a mod background by Philippe with more contrast then my own.

    My 3-D knobs are done with 3d knobman

  • Bolle
    Bolle Member Posts: 332 Pro
    edited April 2022

    I used a picture of an MS20 as an example. It has nothing to do with my project. And those "swimming" keys are there because it's just a quick render i did while i was working on the design. Sorry if i confused you.

    I would change my post to avoid further confusion, but apparently editing is only allowed for the first post and last one that isn't yet replied to.

    Greets,

    Bolle

  • Paule
    Paule Member Posts: 1,328 Expert
    edited April 2022

    Misunderstandings: I like the swimming elements on CRUDE.

    Here is one from 2019 with spaghetti cables but always a single save in the ens no snapshot supports to FPP.

  • Bolle
    Bolle Member Posts: 332 Pro

    I have no idea what you mean by "swimming elements on Crude", and i have no idea why you are still talking about your Korg MS-20 emulation, but go right ahead.

    Greets,

    Bolle

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