22 March 2022

Calculator – Prop breakdown – Shangyu Wang


Inspiration Source

I was cleaning up the clutter the other week and found this calculator that I bought in middle school(about 8 years ago).  It was covered in dust, but still working, so I thought it was a great reference for practice textures.



I used Maya to model the calculator.  I used the camera to take the front, top and left view of the calculator before I started modeling, then I imported it into the Maya window as a background image to avoid errors on scaling, after that was easily aligned the position of each button.

The modeling of the calculator is not very difficult, and before you start, you can analyze its components.  There are four parts of this calculator, bottom, middle frame, top, and buttons.  The calculator has many buttons that I used Boolean for, so it requires more patience when manually modifying the mesh to make it cleaner.


When modeling with Boolean, you can start with half of the model.  Because the object is symmetrical, mirroring can save a lot of time.


The very last step is also a very important step before doing UVs, to observe the reference object.  All the buttons are not aligned perfectly, some of them might be tilted, this is why we need to adjust the position of each button so they are slightly misaligned, that way the model can be more realistic.



UV was done in Rizomuv, and I used three UDIM.



I did not make a high poly model, so all options are default.



After baking, I filled it with different colors using a filler layer.


There are many digital symbols on the calculator, and it is difficult to find them one by one. I searched for an image of the brand new calculator on Google, then went to Photoshop to extract the symbols on the calculator by removing the colors from the image.  After that, I converted it to black and white to enhance the contrast of the image, then erase the extra stuff, and convert it to an alpha image.


I used these Alpha images as masks to project onto the calculator buttons.


I used a paint layer to erase some frequently used locations because the paint on top of the frequently pressed area has been peeled off.


Added normal details with alpha.


Added scratch detail with Dynamic Stroke and set the height and roughness of the scratches.


I used the dirt generator and make some dust.


I used fingerprint alpha as the roughness and add edge wear details using the generator edge wear.


Finished the texture, the next step is to export the texture to Maya Arnold.



  • I created a new aiStandardSurface node.
  • There are four types of texture exported, roughness, metallic, base color, and normal, link them to the corresponding location.
  • For lighting, I only opened a Dome light.
  • Before rendering, set the rendering resolution to 2560 by 1440, and Camera AA samples to 4. Adjust the render angle and press the render button.

Thank you for reading and I hope this tutorial is helpful to you!