#12: Modeling Instruments

Modeling for Show room...



Show Room is a fairly simple level but it contains some complicated assets within it. I began with downloading some free to use assets from the Unity Asset store to mark the placement for my own personal assets as they were created. My first practice model to replace the placeholders was a few sets of lighting variants which can be found on the walls throughout both games. After this practice I decided to start on instruments with the intention of animating them for audio visual effects.  Using the skills obtained from the Blender courses (1DL - 6DL) I began modeling amplifiers, cymbals, drum kits, percussion elements and eventually the string sections within the Main Stage level.


Below shows some of the works that I did inside Blender after following the video series. 




Amplifier Model (Basic Geometry)

Blender 3D Amplifier Model - Mootzart
Blender 3D Amplifier Model Cycles Render - Mootzart
Unity Engine - Amplifier 3D Model in Scene- Mootzart

Drum Kit (Detailed Geometry)

Blender 3D Model Drum Kit not rendered - Mootzart
Bender 3D Model Drum Kit - Mootzart
Blender Drum Kit Pedals - Mootzart
Blender Drum Kit 3D model in Unity - Mootzart

Concert Bass Drum (Basic)


Blender Concert Bass Drum Model - Mootzart
Blender Concert Bass Drum in Unity - mootzart



Blender Future Timpani 3D Model Concept - Mootzart
Timpani 3D model Unity Engine - Mootzart

String Section: Violin, viola, Cello (most complex model)


The modeling process for the string section was probably the most detailed model I have made so far. I started with the Violin and essentially re-scaled it to fit the proportions of the other instruments. I used Blenders metric scale system to keep the scale of the instruments realistic, however this was pretty much a waste of time as some re sizing is usally always needed inside of Unity. 



I began useing a googled violin blueprint as a outline for my model (the same method used for the coffee cup in the original Blender tutorials by Blender Guru 1DL). This is a great method for keeping to a scale and adds that extra realism to the final product. Working from 2D to 3D in this instance is the best workflow

Blender Modelling Violin using Blueprint. - Mootzart
Blender Violin Body - Mootzart
Blender F Holes Violin - Mootzart
Blender Boolean Violin - Mootzart
Blender Violin 3D Model Blueprint - Mootzart
Blender Violin Progress - Mootzart
Blender UV Mapping Violin Body - Mootzart
Blender 3D Violin Model Cycles Render  - Mootzart
Blender - String Section Simple Render - Mootzart
FBX files in Unity from Blender - Mootzart
Blender Material Meta Data in Unity - Mootzart

The overall experience of modelling is actually really fun. But it is a painfully long process which I have only really just began to learn. It takes a long while to learn all of the tricks, and there are certainly better methods then what I have shown. But at least this may give you some directions to the methods that I used to learn the basics. Some of my models are actually of a good standard considering I have only spent a few days in total learning and modeling. So it shows the power of getting on with it.

The Concert Bass Drum was extremely simple. I utilised the mirror modifier to speed up the process for modeling the framework. And used the principles i used to model the Drum Kit for the rest of the geometry. The beater was just two resized cylinders with a smooth shader applied. All materials where done within Unity. I sources a drum skin image from the internet to apply to the surface of the drum. Other then that the rest is just a use of various diffuse materials with different metalic settings.  

Overall I am very happy with the string section models. Althought they do not look quite as realistic within Unity, im sure this can be upgraded once I am better practiced with materials and UV mapping. The materials element of Blender as mentioned above, dosnt carry across into the game engine. However applying the materials within Blender carries across some of the meta data that maps out the parts of the model. With this you are then able to apply materials made within Unity to the imported FBX model. 

I tested out some materials I made in Crazy Bump and applied the basic diffuse images to check to see a example of the final results. Within Blender the model looks really good in my opinion. And it is obvious that this had more time spent on it. I then  duplicated and scaled up versions to make the rest of the string section.

I had to then do the painful task of ensuring its UV map worked correctly. Going through the model section by section within the varying layers to create seams for the map. This was so that when the model is exported into Unity as an FBX  file it carries across the UV information allowing Unity to apply materials and light maps correctly. This is a process where I am still a novi


The model naturally progressed from that point using the blueprint and checking my 3D geometry as I went through part by part.

The above shows the progression from 2D to 3D after using the blueprint as a reference. With some edge pulling and loop cuts it was quite a easy task but time consuming. The F holes where made using a Boolean modifier as demonstated in 2DL. I first modeled a 2D F hole shape and then boolean'ed it into the body of the Violin model. 


At this stage I feel I do not need to explain the images.  Above shows the Timpani model I made using Blender. And below shows the model version in Unity. I applied a reflection probe into the scene to enhance the matalic features within the probe. Reflections are costly for the processing so it is reccomended that a users limits the amount of them within a scene. They are also not perfect simulations of reflection either. 

The Model gave me alot of problems when transfering it into Unity as I was still learning about UV mapping and normal faces. As well as getting a similar look inside of Unity as I did in Blender. I never did quite get the same visuals due to not having extensive knoweldge on materials within Unity. But I will update them as I do. I believe this model will be a great use of baked normals as mentioned in 6DL.  The model works for its visual purpose though and sits nicely within the scene...

The Drum Kit shown above was a time consuming model to make. I was using internet based reference photos which contributed to its strange look. However I am very pleased with the final look from Blender's Cycle Render engine (The native Blender program used to render the model). 


The most intricate parts of the kit are the pedals. They took the longest time to aquire the detail of the mechanism and probably wasnt worth the effort due to them hardly every being seen when in the scene. 


The above model was simple and just allowed me to replace the amp placeholder in the Show Room scene. It uses simple cube shapes and some basic material nodes using the node editor. Blender creates a sort of material map/list that transfers to Unity and other engines to replace the slots with engine made versions of the materials. (Blenders material data does not carry across so they basically have to be made twice. Once for your reference in Blender and once in the engine for a final look).