Making a keyboard 3D model

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Making a keyboard 3D model

Published by on October 24th 2006.

The Unicorn3D subsystem is intended for simple models and that’s exactly what is needed when creating an icon. Or maybe that’s what WAS needed in the past. Windows Vista 256×256 format is not that small anymore and one of our customers required a more detailed keyboard on their icon. Well, it was not easy, I had to add some new functions to make this task bearable.

The result

Let’s start at the end. This was the result of my work:

Personal computer icon

It seems an overkill to create a keyboard with dozens of individual keys for an icon, but it was a nice exercise and as a very welcome side-effect, there are now three new features that would make designing of more complex models easier:

Referenced components

The Unicorn3D Composer module (the default one) can create and use references to other components. The standard model of a key is only stored once and used multiple times - with different transformations.

Custom grid size

The Grip Points view now allows setting a grid - that helped a lot when I was placing the individual keys.

Transforming grip points

A new operation can transform selected grip points. A combination of a translation, scale, rotation, and a second translation allows a wide range of effects. I have used it to quickly move groups of keys and to scale and rotate the individual key model (cause I made it too big).

Keyboard model in the editor

An unfinished keyboard model

Here is how it looks in editor. The number of components is really quite big. Considering that each key is a NURBS surface…

Recent comments

user icon Anonymous
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I wish there were...
Vista & Win 7 icons
What about ICL files?