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  1. 3D & Motion Graphics
  2. 3D
Cgi

How to Create a Smartwatch in Cinema 4D: Part 1

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Follow this tutorial step-by-step to create a 3D Smartwatch model that you can use in video games, graphic design and illustration projects whilst learning Cinema 4D quickly. 

Some of the skills you'll learn in this tutorial include creating basic 3D modelling, importing reference images, adding lighting to the scene and basic rendering techniques.

In this, the first part of the two-part tutorial, I'll show you:

  • How to Import Reference Images
  • How to Prepare for Modelling
  • How to Model the Smartwatch

1. How to Import Reference Images

Step 1

Use the middle mouse button to click anywhere on the viewport. This displays all four views. From there, use the middle mouse button to select the Right view.

Cinema 4D views

Step 2

In the Attributes tab select Mode > View Settings.

View settings

Step 3

In Viewport [Right] select the Back button and click on the button next to Image. 

Choose back button

Step 4

Select the reference image from the finder and open it.

Reference image displayed

Step 5

Once the image is displayed in the background of the viewport, change the transparency of the image. This can sometimes make it easier to model from the reference image.

Change the position and size of the reference image from here using Offset X, Offset Y, Size X and Size Y.

Adjust the transparency

2. How to Model the Watch Face

Step 1

To start modelling the face of the Smartwatch, select the Cube object from the top menu bar. This spawns a cube in the viewport.

Select Cube from the menu

Step 2

Use the reference image of the Smartwatch in the Front View to help adjust the cube. 

Use the Scale Tool to make the shape of the cube match up with the shape of the Smartwatch in the image.

Ensure that you use the other views (front, left, right, perspective etc) to check that the shape looks correct from every angle.

Transform the cube to fit reference image

Step 3

With the object still selected, use the mouse to click the Make Editable button to allow you to adjust the model further.

Clicking the Make Editable button disables the options for when you first spawn the object.

Because of this you must make sure that you are happy with the current shape of the cube before clicking this button.

Select the Make Editable button

Step 4

Select the Edge Selection Tool.

Edge Selection Tool button

Step 5

Use the Edge Selection Tool to select all four corners of the object. The selected edges are highlighted in orange.

Select the edge corners of the cube

Step 6

Once the edges have been selected, use the mouse to right click on the selected edges. In the menu that appears, find Bevel and select it.

Select the Bevel Tool

Step 7

In the adjustment window (usually located in the bottom right of the screen), play around with the following:

  • Bevel Mode: Chamfer
  • Offset Mode: Fixed Distance
  • Offset: 50cm
  • Subdivision: 10
  • Depth: 100%

Feel free to adjust the sliders and values until you are satisfied with the object's appearance.

Curve the corners of the cube

Step 8

In the images below you can see how the edges are effected once the values have been changed.

Use the reference image of the Smartwatch in the Front View to help whilst you adjust the corners. 

Use reference image

Step 9

Click on the small black arrow in the bottom right corner of the Bend Tool in the top menu bar. Select Bevel from the list. This creates a Bevel tool in the list of objects on the right of the screen.

Choose Bevel button from top menu

Step 10

Select the Bevel tool and drag it into the Cube object. This will apply the bevel features to the cube.

Bevel in listed view

Step 11

Ensuring that the Bevel tool is selected in the object list, use the adjustments window to change the way that the bevel works. 

For this tutorial, the following are used:

  • Use Angle: Tick
  • Angle Threshold: 68 Degrees
  • Bevel Mode: Chamfer
  • Offset Mode: Radial
  • Offset: 20cm
  • Subdivision: 6

Feel free to adjust the sliders and values until you are satisfied with the object's appearance.

Adjust the Bevel object settings

Step 12

In the images below you can see how the cube is changed once the values have been changed. This makes the object appear smoother, which correctly matches the appearance of the Smartwatch which is being modelled.

Curved edges

Step 13

For a more stylised and graphical approach, reduce the Bevel Subdivisions to a value of 1.

Simplified edges

Step 14

This gives the Smartwatch a sharper bevel for a more stylised look. However, if you're going for a more realistic look with a smoother bevel, increase the number of Bevel Subdivisions instead.

Low Poly watch face

3. How to Create the Smartwatch Screen

Step 1

To start modelling the screen of the Smartwatch, duplicate the current object from the list view. Do this by holding CTRL on the keyboard to click and drag a duplicate object.

Duplicate the watch face

Step 2

Remove the Bevel Modifier from the duplicate object.

Remove Bevel

Step 3

Use the Scale Tool to adjust the thickness of the new object.

Ensure that you use the other views (front, left, right, perspective etc) to check that the shape looks correct from every angle.

Scale watch face

Step 4

Once the shape and size of the cube has been adjusted correctly, use the Move Tool to move the screen into position.

Move object into position

4. How to Create the Smartwatch Buttons

Step 1

Click on the small back arrow on the Cube button and select Cylinder from the list of options. This will spawn a Cylinder in the scene.

Select Cylinder from top menu

Step 2

Adjust the properties of the Cylinder so that it is facing the correct way, has the correct size and has the desired thickness for the button. 

Use the Move Tool to move the button into the correct place using the background image as the reference. 

The settings for the Cylinder are as follows:

  • Radius: 25cm
  • Height: 25cm
  • Height Segments: 1
  • Rotation Segments: 36
  • Orientation: -X
Place button

Step 3

Ensure that the cylinder is selected and click on the Make Editable Button. 

Choose Make Editable Button

Step 4

Duplicate the cylinder. This acts as the second button.

Duplicate button

Step 5

Now that the object is editable, edit the points. Ensure the second cylinder object is selected and click on Points Button. 

Click on the Rectangle Selection Tool to select the points to edit. Select the points to then move them using the Move Tool.

Select Points Tool

Step 6

Use the Rectangle Selection Tool to select half of the cylinder. Then use the Move Tool to move the points down.

Adjust points

Step 7

To move the two buttons into position, when moving a whole object, select and use the Model button. If this is not selected, you may find that you'll be moving the points, edges or faces instead.

Select Model button

Step 8

Use the Move Tool to move the two buttons into position.

Move new button into position

Step 9

Ensure that you use the other camera views to ensure that the button placement is correct and moved to the right area.

Check all views

5. How to Create the Watch Strap

Step 1

To start modelling the wrist strap of the Smartwatch, select the Cube object from the top menu bar. 

This spawns a cube in the viewport.

Choose Cube object from menu

Step 2

Adjust the properties of the cube so that it resembles the appearance of a wrist strap. This is usually represented as a very long rectangular shape. 

The settings for the strap are as follows:

  • Size X: 230 cm
  • Size Y: 1000 cm
  • Size Z: 45 cm
Adjust cube to make strap shape

Step 3

In order for the shape to bend correctly, width segments must be added to the object. For a smoother bend more segments should be added (Y).

Add segments to watch strap

6. How to use the Bend Deformer 

Step 1

In order to create a suitable bend to the wrist strap you will need to use the Bend Deformer. Select the Bend button from the top menu bar. 

This spawns a bend deformer object in the list view.

Select Bender deformer from menu

Step 2

In the list view move the Bend Deformer into the watch strap object. This means that the deformer will affect and influence the watch strap object only.

Move bend deformer in list menu

Step 3

With the Bend Deformer selected make sure that Fit to Parent has been ticked. The ensures that the deformer affects the whole watch strap.

Click fit to Parent

Step 4

With the Bend Deformer still selected, go to the parameters box and play around with the Strength

In this tutorial I used the following settings:

  • Strength: 180
  • Angle: 90
Adjust Bend Derformer parameters

Step 5

In the list view, select the watch strap object again and use the Rotate and Move tools to move it to the correct position on the smart watch.

Move and rotate strap into place

7. How to Complete the Watch Strap

Step 1

In order to edit the watch strap further click the Make Editable button on the top left corner of the screen.

Select Make Editable button

Step 2

Choose the Polygon Tool and use the Move Tool to extend the tip of the watch strap. 

You'll also notice that by going into an edit mode like this disables the Bend Deformer temporarily. 

Use Polygon Tool

Step 3

Once you return to Model Mode by clicking on the model button, the strap appears as normal with the extended geometry.

Return to Model Mode

Step 4

Choose the Edge Tool from the left menu.

Choose Edge Tool

Step 5

Use the Edge Tool and the Selection Tool to select the edges of the extended strap.

Select watch strap edges

Step 6

With the edges still selected, use the Bevel Tool to curve the edges.

Select the Bevel Tool

Step 7

In the edit window, change the settings to the following:

  • Bevel Mode: Chamfer 
  • Offset Mode: Fixed Distance
  • Offset: 72 cm
  • Subdivision: 30
  • Depth: 100%
Bevel the corners of the watch strap

Step 8

Return to Model Mode to see how the watch strap looks and finalise any further adjustments you'd like to make. 

Once you're happy with the way it looks, duplicate the watch strap. Do this by holding CTRL on the keyboard to click and drag a duplicate object.

Rotate the duplicate strap by 180 degrees and place it on the bottom of the watch.

Duplicate watch strap

Coming Next...

Final smart watch 3D model

In the second part of the tutorial series, I'll show you:

  • How to Create Coloured Materials
  • How to Add Lighting to the Scene
  • How to Render the Smartwatch


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