Modeling holes for a speaker

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  06 June 2013
Modeling holes for a speaker

Hi everyone,
I'm trying to come up with a way to model the holes for the "Pill" speaker by Dr. Dre.
I was wondering if someone could point me in the right direction on how to tackle this.
Here's a link to the speaker itself:,pd.html
I've tried different ways
1. Using Zbrush's Noise Maker
2. Modeling a plane with the holes in it and trying to wrap it on the "pill" shape
3. Booleans
PS I posted this same question on the Zbrush forum and got a couple of tips on how to do it. But the final geo ends up being messy and too dense...
  06 June 2013
Maybe not the most elegant solution, but you could do a single plane with an alpha and displacement map.
  06 June 2013
I'll give that a shot. I thought about the alpha, but didn't go for it since it would lack thickness, so hopefully the displacement can take care of that.
  06 June 2013
Here's a quick test on it. Seems to work from far, but requires a ton of subdivisions.

If I find a different way I'll post it here.
  06 June 2013
So here's the result.

I just used an opacity map in this case. The displacement was taking forever to render and once it was done I noticed some artifacts. I'll have to look more into doing better displacement with Vray.
  06 June 2013
Hey man,

What you've got doesn't look too bad, but you might want to try to blur your transparency map and plug it into your bump channel.

If you need extreme resolution and accuracy, you can try making a high poly version of your speaker cover, with each polygon around the size of each hole. Select all your polys, and inset them all localy. Extrude them in a little, and delete. If you smooth that, they should round off as circles.


Last edited by AJ1 : 06 June 2013 at 11:28 PM. Reason: grammer
  06 June 2013
I would take AJs advice and use a bump map instead of displacement map. It should look just as good as displacing, as long as you aren't doing any extremely close renders.
  06 June 2013
Sounds like a good idea, I didn't think of using a bump map
When I first started I went with modeling super hi-res and insetting and deleting the polys to make the holes (as you suggested). The problem I was encountering, besides my laziness, is that the pattern of the holes is not regular. The holes alternate in position from one "ring" of polys to the next, so I would have had to pick every polygon by hand. Also, I tried rotating every other ring so that I would have the effect of alternating holes, but then I had problems after smoothing (since the edges where at an angle), plus when it came to the end part, rotating rings there would have been impossible.
I'll go ahead and try the bump map method.
Thanks guys,
  06 June 2013
Doing it all at once does not make sense. Subdivide a highres version to the resolution you need then just model a 4x4 polygon and duplictate a rotate it the number of times using an array to complete a ring...and then combine it. This works for the cylinder part leaving you with only the corner piece to do by hand.
: my website :
  06 June 2013
Like Mason said.


You could start with a cylinder, subdivide it enough times, cap the end with an hemisphere object matching the cylinder's sides. Select all the verts and chamfer "open" all of them, just make sure you don't have poles and the hemisphere is evenly divided. With enough geometry you could add a subd modifier to round off all the holes even more and you won't have artifacts show up.
  06 June 2013
Yeah, I think Mason's method seems to be the most effective one in the end.
I 'm interested in seeing how to model this using NURBS. I might be wrong but it seems that a NURBS model would be much "lighter" in terms of geo.
Thanks everyone!
  06 June 2013
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