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  1. 3D & Motion Graphics
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How to Create an iPhone in Cinema 4D: Part 1

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Follow this tutorial step-by-step to create a 3D iPhone 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:

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

1. How to Import Reference Images

Step 1

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

Cinema 4D viewports

Step 2

In the Attributes tab select Mode > View Settings.

Select view settings

Step 3

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

Select the back tab

Step 4

Select the reference image from the finder and open it.

Reference image displayed in the viewport

Step 5

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

You can also change the position and size of your reference image from here using Offset X, Offset Y, Size X and Size Y.

Adjust transparency of the image

2. How to Model the Body of the iPhone

Step 1

To start modelling the body of the iPhone, select the Cube object from the top menu bar. This will spawn a cube in the viewport.

Select cube object from the menu

Step 2

You can use the reference image of the iPhone in your 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 iPhone in the image.

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

Resize the cube object using the Scale Tool

Step 3

With the object still selected, use the mouse to click the Make Editable button. This enables you to adjust the model further, but disables the options for when you first spawn the object.

Select the Make Editable button

Step 4

Select the Edge Selection Tool.

Select the Edge Selection Tool

Step 5

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

Select the corners of the object

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: 31cm
  • Subdivision: 10
  • Depth: 100%

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

Adjust the bevel settings

Step 8

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

Demonstration of the bevel tool

Step 9

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

Select the Bevel tool from the menu

Step 10

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

Rearrange the objects

Step 11

Making sure 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 will be used:

  • Use Angle: Tick
  • Angle Threshold: 68 Degrees
  • Bevel Mode: Chamfer
  • Offset Mode: Radial
  • Offset: 8cm
  • Subdivision: 6

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

Adjust the bevel tool sliders

Step 12

In the images below you can see how the cube is effected once the values have been changed. This makes the object appear smoother, which correctly matches the appearance of an iPhone 8.

Smoothing the edges of the iPhone

Step 13

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

Reduce the bevel subdivisions

Step 14

This will give the iPhone a sharper bevel for a more stylised look.

3D body of the iPhone

3. How to Create the iPhone Screen

Step 1

To start modelling the screen of the iPhone, select the Cube object from the top menu bar. This will spawn a cube in the viewport.

Select cube object from the menu

Step 2

Use the reference image of the iPhone in your 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 iPhone screen in the image.

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

Resize the cube object using the Scale Tool

Step 3

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

Place the screen object inside the iPhone body

4. How to Create iPhone Home Button

Step 1

To start modelling the home button of the iPhone, select the Cone object from the top menu bar. This will spawn a cone in the viewport.

Select the cone object from the menu

Step 2

Use the Rotate Tool to rotate the cone by 90 degrees. Ensure that the pointed tip is pointing towards the iPhone.

You can also reduce the height of the cone and the increase the radius of the tip. This helps make the positioning of the button a little bit easier.

Rotate the cone using the rotate tool

Step 3

Use the reference image and the Scale Tool to adjust the cone so that it roughly fits the size of the iPhone home button.

Resize the cone

Step 4

Switch to Perspective View and use the Move Tool to place the cone object in the position where the iPhone home button will be.

Place the cone on the model

5. How to use Boole

Step 1

Click on the small black arrow in the bottom right corner of the Array Tool in the top menu bar. Then select Boole from the list. This will create a Boole tool in the list of objects on the right of the screen.

Select the boole tool from the menu

Step 2

Select the cone and body objects from the list and place them inside the Boole Tool. Ensure that the cone object is positioned below the iPhone body.

Rearrange the objects menu

Step 3

This will create a cut out in the shape of the cone object. You can then adjust the position of the cone object using the Move Tool until you're happy with the appearance of the home button.

Create the iPhone home button

Step 4

Ensure that the cone object is selected and select Phong in the adjustments window. Change the Phong Angle to 45 Degrees. This will adjust the smoothing groups of the home button so that they appear correctly.

Adjust phong angel

6. How to use Boole to Create the iPhone Details

Step 1

Use the shape object creations tools (cylinder, cone, cube, tube etc) to create the extra details for the iPhone. This will include things like the camera lens and the phone receiver.

Create the iPhone details

Step 2

Select all the new objects (holding shift) and press Alt-G on the keyboard. This will group the objects into a null group. Make sure that the null group is positioned inside the Boole and below the body object.

Rearrange the objects menu

Step 3

This will create a cut out in the shape of the objects you initially created. You can then adjust the position of the objects using the Move Tool until you are happy with the appearance.

Use boole to create the details

7. How to Create the iPhone Buttons

Step 1

Use the shape object creations tools (cylinder, cone, cube, tube etc) to create the extra buttons for the iPhone. This will include things like the volume and power buttons.

Place the iPhone buttons

Step 2

Use the Move Tool and the Rotation Tool to place the buttons in the correct position on the iPhone.

Duplicate and place the iPhone buttons

Step 3

You can use the different viewports (left, right, front, perspective) to aid you in positioning the buttons in the correct place. 

Don't forget that the reference image can be used to guide you at this stage as well.

Use the move tool to place the buttons on the iPhone

8. How to Create the iPhone Camera

Step 1

Use the shape creation tools to create shapes for the iPhone camera. The cylinder shapes will be used to create the holes via the Boolean tool. Remember to use the reference image to help measure the size and placement.

Create objects for the iPhone camera

Step 2

Ensure that the viewport is looking at the back of the iPhone model. You can use the Rotate Tool to rotate the camera shapes 180 degrees if needed. Use the Move Tool to place the shapes correctly on the body of the iPhone. 

The shapes must be placed within the body of the iPhone in order for the Boolean to work correctly (for the camera holes).

Use the rotate and move tool to place the objects on the iPhone

Step 3

Select both of the camera holes (shown as the cone shapes named 01.1 and 02.1 in the image). In the object list, move them so that they are inside the Boole group (created for the previous cutouts in section 5 and 6). 

All the cutout objects must be placed underneath the iPhone body object in order to work.

Rearrange the objects menu

Step 4

Once the shapes have been placed inside the Boole group, the holes should appear correctly inside the iPhone body.

Use boole to create the holes on the iPhone

Step 5

Use the same techniques as above to create the other holes on the iPhone.

Create two more cones and place them on top of the rounded camera shape.

Place the camera objects

Step 6

You'll need to create a new boole group for the new holes to appear because we are using a new object to cut holes into (instead of the iPhone body). 

Select boole from the menu

Step 7

Create a new boole group by placing the objects inside the boole (the cones must be placed below the shape that you want to cut holes out from).

Use boole to cut holes in the camera

Coming Next...

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

  • How to Create Coloured Materials
  • How to Add Lighting to the Scene
  • How to Render the iPhone
The final iPhone 3D model

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