K-ON! Clubroom – Model Spotlight #1

Between progress updates, I thought it would be a good idea to showcase some of the existing assets in more detail.

Let’s take a look at the first spotlight model: Mugi’s keyboard.


keyboard-spotlight-1As you can see, the model itself isn’t too complicated, although there are a few interesting curves hiding in the corners. The real detail is actually contained in the enormous texture file.

All the labels from the real instrument have been painstakingly recreated. With so many layers of text, lines and shapes, the source file comes to a total of 115 MB, and eats up almost 3.3 GB of memory when open. All that for a trim 553 KB final image!

keyboard-spotlight-2In the end, it was worth all the effort. When you lean in close using a VR headset, you can read every line of text, including a few Easter eggs hidden on the back.

Of course, the keyboard has a matching stand as well!


Watch the skies, and look forward to the next update!


K-ON! Clubroom – Back In Action!

It’s been a long time, but I’m finally ready to continue working on this project.


The clubroom in the most recent Unity 5 build.

One of the lessons from K-ON! is that you shouldn’t be afraid to rely on your friends!

So if you have any experience 3D modelling and would like to contribute (I’m afraid it will have to be volunteer work), please leave me a message.

The following “major” assets have yet to be created:

  • The turtle and the hare on the banister outside
  • The amps for the various instruments
  • The cassette player
  • Ritsu’s drum kit
  • The old fan (RIP)
  • Decorations inside Ton-chan’s aquarium


Thanks for visiting! Yeah, I’m a rocket ship on my way to Mars.

K-ON! Clubroom Hiatus

Well, I was planning on upgrading the K-ON! project to Unity 5, now that the Rift is supported natively. Unfortunately, the support is less than satisfactory. Much less.

Meanwhile, the Oculus support in Unity 4.6 seems to get worse with every update. Extended desktop mode is broken as of V0.6.0.0 and direct mode has massive performance problems.

I simply don’t have the time or energy to continue working on the project while such issues are present. Therefore, I am putting it on hiatus.

On the bright side, the actual work of building the clubroom is nearly done, and I’ve put too much effort into it to let it go to waste. I promise: it will be finished.


Apologies from the vicinity of the dwarf planet Ceres.

K-ON! Clubroom – Parts 29 to 34

Let’s take a look at the remaining builds from 2014.

K-ON! - 59 - Stairwell

Here is the stairwell outside the clubroom. There’s still some missing details, but the basic structure of the room is there.

K-ON! - 60 - Stairwell Window

The stairs continue until they’re out of view.

On the other side of the room, the air conditioner that was added during a particularly hot summer.

K-ON! - 62 - Aircon

I still haven’t added the power point it plugs into. I’ll have to do that sometime.

K-ON! - 61 - External Door

This build also saw the addition of a unique external door model. I wasn’t happy with the way it looked here, since it doesn’t have a lot of interesting details.

Immediately following the addition of the air conditioner is the tea cabinet. Sadly, it’s empty in this build. No tea time yet.

K-ON! - 63 - Tea Cabinet

It’s really big, by the way.

After adding the air conditioner and the tea cabinet, I needed the sink to complete this corner of the room.

K-ON! - 64 - Sink

I used a Unity extension called “Reflection Manager” to add some nice reflections to the model. “Reflection Manager” generates cube maps with added parallax correction. It looks really nice in VR.

The next build sees the addition of the two music stands that sit next to the whiteboard. I’m really happy with how these turned out.

K-ON! - 65 - Music Stands

But what’s that sitting on the right music stand?

K-ON! - 66 - Fuwa Fuwa Time

It’s Fuwa Fuwa Time! This is from the scene where Azusa and Yui try to teach Ritsu how to play guitar. Unfortunately, the resolution of the Oculus is a little too low to read the music.


And that’s everything I added back in 2014! Next time, we’ll check out what was added in early 2015. Don’t burn up on re-entry before then!

K-ON! Clubroom – Parts 23 to 28

It’s finally time for a new update! Let’s take a look at some builds from September and October last year.

First up, the bookshelf behind the whiteboard gets some more residents:

K-ON! - 48 - Books

Lots of brightly coloured books. They don’t have titles, but that’s what you get for being background details.

Next up, Ton-chan gets a cupboard to sit on:

K-ON! - 49 - Food Box and Cupboard

The pink tin is where the turtle food is stored.

Too bad there’s no aquarium yet. Sorry, Ton-chan! You’ll have to wait in the bucket a little longer!

The next addition is an important one:

K-ON! - 50 - Desks

Finally, the desks make their appearance!

K-ON! - 51 - Desks Again

These were a bit more difficult to model, since they have some more organic shapes in them. Where did KyoAni get the design from?

K-ON! - 52 - Room With Desks

This side of the room is looking pretty good!

Nothing new in the next build, except for a very important fix. I finally switched to FXAA to get rid of the annoying white dots. Check out this comparison:

K-ON! - 53 - White Dots

Click for full-size.

It may not seem like a big deal, but it’s very annoying in VR. The pixels are a lot bigger when they’re right in front of your face.

Good news, Ton-chan! Your aquarium has arrived!

K-ON! - 54 - Aquarium

It took a while to get the aquarium looking how I wanted, but I got there in the end. The water ripple is a simple glass shader with animated UV coordinates. It’s not an accurate depiction of how water refracts light, but it has the advantage of being possible in a game engine.

K-ON! - 55 - Inside Aquarium

Also, please note that Ton-chan’s food tin now has white stars instead of white dots. Hey, I go for accuracy where it counts.

I made some changes to the aquarium in the following build.

K-ON! - 56 - New Aquarium Lighting

I used a different light for the glow around the aquarium (for performance reasons), and modified the pebble texture to make it clearer.

But that’s not all:

K-ON! - 57 - Chairs

Yay! Chairs! These were especially annoying to model!

Take a close look at the arm rests. They start out flat, then twist to match the angle of the back rest (which is supported solely by the arm rests). They are also the back legs.

K-ON! - 58 - Sunlit Chairs

I refuse to believe that any school would purchase such a bizarre chair for their students.


Thanks for stopping by! Remember, these pictures were taken from builds in September and October last year. There’s been a lot of progress since then, and I can’t wait to show you.

Any complaints about late updates should be forwarded to Orihime and Hikoboshi in Vega and Altair respectively.

K-ON! Clubroom – Parts 20, 21 & 22

K-ON! Amazed

Oculus Rift support! Check it out:

K-ON! - 40 - Oculus LoadingK-ON! - 41 - Oculus Room

With the cassette music playing and the sun setting, you could easily spend a good hour or two just soaking it all in (I know, I’ve done it).

K-ON! - 42 - Oculus Room Front

The first two builds with Oculus support were mostly about getting the functionality in and replicating the controller setup from before (analog crouching and tip-toeing). It didn’t take long at all, but the results were stunning.

The improvements in the third Oculus build are even more interesting.

There’s a modified loading screen that puts the cassette at a more comfortable distance. Trying to focus on close-up objects isn’t a good idea in VR.

K-ON! - 43 - Improved Loading Screen

A new denizen of the clubroom makes its appearance: the mirror. Thanks to Unity Pro (necessary at the time for Oculus support), I was able to create mirror with real-time reflections. A little bit of tweaking with the virtual camera resolution kept performance at a manageable level.

K-ON! - 44 - Mirror and TilesK-ON! - 45 - Mirror and Tiles Again

The lighting in this build got a bit of an improvement as well, with the addition of bloom and Crepuscular rays (often called “God rays”).

The lens flare on the Sun has also been simplified.

K-ON! - 46 - Pro LightingK-ON! - 47 - Oculus Lensflare

This is the first of many Oculus Rift updates, so stick around.


I’ll see you on the dark side of the Moon.


K-ON! Clubroom – Parts 17, 18 & 19

It’s been a while, so let’s take a look at some more builds!

K-ON! - 36 - Cassette

After I made the loading screen, I decided to include the cassette tape in the scene. It was already modeled at 1:1 scale, so this was an easy addition. I also made the tape spools spin on the loading screen (no animated GIF, sorry).

Next up was a pretty major addition: the organ. This old instrument doesn’t get much use in the show, but it’s still a faithful member of the clubroom.

K-ON! - 37 - Organ K-ON! - 38 - Organ Side

If you look closely, you can see some weird white lines on some of the organ’s edges. This is a bug to do with anti-aliasing in Unity. It gets fixed in a later build when I switch to using FXAA.

The next build after the organ didn’t add any more objects, but the sound of cicadas coming from the windows really makes the scene feel like a warm summer afternoon.

K-ON! - 39 - Cicadas


Until next time, try to avoid the event horizons of black holes.

P.S. The next build is pretty awesome, so stick around and invite your friends.