I have done a number of Blender tutorials and feel confident in making my first complex mesh. I am attempting to model a drum machine that I own. It's almost all simple shapes, nothing with a lot of contour or texture, so I feel confident about this as a first project. I am using background images from renders that the company use as promotional photos as I model, so I know everything is roughly to scale.
I am not wanting step by step directions from anyone, but rather general tips and advice to help me move forward. I have done tutorials that are more complex than this, but obviously I wasn't using my noggin for those :)
The drum machine is an Analog Rytm
I have created the body and faceplate as separate objects. I have modeled the nuanced beveling that the body case has under the faceplate through subsurf + mean crease. The faceplate also has a subsurf modifier. I created the drum pad indentations with a mixture of loop cuts, mean crease on certain surfaces and extruding them downward to make pockets. I am running into a road block on how to progress next: my idea was to tackle the sixteen buttons along the bottom
I am wanting to clear up the subdivisions that using loop cuts has created. When I click on edges I want to clear and use "dissolve edge", it removes the edge but it also turns the faces into warped textures that I can not use loop cuts on anymore. Here is a small screenshot that illustrates what I mean. From what I've seen on other forum posts, dissolving the edge is making that face no longer a quad so its unable to interact with loop cuts anymore ... do I have that right?
My dilemma: how do I keep cutting into the faceplate to make room for the buttons in a way that won't make the faceplate increasingly difficult to work with? Also, what would be the best way to make circular + oblong cuts into the faceplate for the rounded buttons? Also, have I gone about making the faceplate the wrong way entirely? I was basing this off of a laptop tutorial I followed since it handled building the keyboard in a very easy way, and since this has a number of buttons it seemed like a good guide to emulate