Hardcore modelers, please help. I have render, blend, and pictures of Qs w/notes.

Chip and the Blender posse.

I put all of my question next to pictures, as I know that helps. I also included my render and my blend. I’ve threw away completely my 3 attempts, which have consisted so far of about 20 versions each attempt.

If these questions are answered, I’ll feel like I can officially 3D model (Sketchup is not official enough for me).


iPhone_v7.blend (1.08 MB)

Also this is another question… I was unable to attach more than 3 images.

Here’s the topology.

I hope the screenshot can give you some ideas. I just modified first version of your model.

As to question regarding adding geometry, you can use w-> subdivide instead of using edge loop.


Maybe avoid those traingles, stick to quads, especially if you’re going subsurf the model. I might mean a bit more edge-loops, but it’ll render better :wink:

Thanks for the replies everyone.

Here’s what I got so far.

I fixed the topology in places… I still need to fix the beveling at the the Edge Crease sections (too sharp), and I’m not sure if it’s possible yet without tweaking out my iPhone shape.

Things to fix:

  • bevel areas
  • screen area (not square yet), may just kill the idea of a inset screen and lay it flat via a UV map and/or a bump map to make it look inset.
  • have NO idea how to inset that houses the SOUND ON/OFF button (not power on top). This is the main thing that’s pissing me off. I can’t do a Boolean, it won’t work, I’ve tried.
  • Want to learn more about the emitter material (tried it here, not sure if I did it right).
  • learn how to do HDRI maps in Blender

I’ll tackle questions a & b and see how far I get with those… it’s late…

First thing I see wrong is that you are attempting to model the whole thing as one mesh object. Don’t. If real life it’s made up of several different parts, the screen is separate from the face plate, so model it that way. Not only will this be helpful now, but it’ll save you problems later down the road when you start working with materials and textures. Trust me on that, (don’t feel like explaining now). I’d break it apart into several different objects.

The main body I’d split into the following objects: face plate, back plate, bezel around the edges, and a screen. This will give you the freedom to add geometry/edge loops to individual parts without affecting other parts.

Here I separated out the side bezel thing:

Now I could get rid of all the faces circled in red, and cut holes for the buttons circled in yellow without affecting too much.

Then I’d separate out the face plate and the screen so they are 2 objects:

Now you can add edge loops for the ear speaker thingy as needed without affecting the rest of the model, like so:

and you won’t affect the microphone area at all, because the screen was separated so the mesh isn’t continuous in that area…

Next, I’d work on sharpening up the area of the front face around the screen area, without affecting the smooth corners like so:

I’ve added 2 loop cuts in the corners of the screen area, and then edge slide the verts at the top inwards, along the x-axis to get back the roundness in that area. I would do the same thing at the bottom of the screen area as well.

Now you could get rid of a lot of extra faces on the back, since it’s a separate mesh object.

One thing you should work on is getting rid of triangles as Jay-artist mentioned. Yes, they are bad, but they are only so bad. If it’s a static object, like this phone and not a character for animation, and the tri’s don’t affect the subsurf modifier, then you can leave them in and it’ll be fine and the world won’t end tommorrow…

Another thing to work on is getting rid of creasing the subsurf. Yes, it creates sharp edges, but so do edge loops and edge loops are easier to work with. It’s late and I won’t explain why, but feel free to ask, and I’ll tell you why later…

I only jumped on this topic because I did an iPhone myself…

a 3gs… and because of a 3 pic limit per post…


I’ll add another post with the .blend file I worked on for you to see. I encourage you to not start with this file and work, but do what I described and work on it yourself, you won’t learn anything by letting others fix your work…

BTW… my iPhone was 15 separate objects…


Edit: you must have posted while I was working on this, didn’t notice your update…


iPhone_v7.blend (1.06 MB)


Thanks Randy…

I’ll need to sit down with this tomorrow and really read the details. I’m going to start over again, so I can do this right.

Again, I haven’t read your posts outside of your first one (since I’ll do this when I’m ready to model again) but my only concern going forward is the SOUND On/Off button that sits above the volume + and _.

You stated you separated the bezel area (chrome surrounding). But, for that On/Off Sound switch, to make that cut… I noticed in your attachment that the corner of the phone was sharp, and you lost your phone shape (if this was explained later, please forgive, just trying to get my main question out of the way so I can start fresh tomorrow). That part has stumped me, and I’ve asked 3DsMax users and they said it can’t be done.

In separating the pieces… say I put the screen area on top of the phone structures… must there be a cut/vacant space for it to settle in? Can I put a mesh on top of a mesh and not have weirdness happen? Not sure if that made sense… basically I’m trying to ask if I make separate objects that stack or settle on each other, must the object it’s stacked on have a cut space?

Also, your iPhone looks killer. Is that rendered in Cycles or Yafaray?

I hope for my phone to look like yours. Looking forward to it…

Ok skoolbus, after reading your most recent post where you mentioned I might have made a sharp edge in your model, I re-looked at the model and realized a lot of mistakes on my part my advice. I was just focusing on your problems you posted about and didn’t notice the biggest problem you are having in modeling this, IMO.

You basically have a square object that you are rounding out by using the subsurf modifier and cranking up the subsurf levels. Don’t do that… :no: The iPhone has rounded corners, so model them as round corners and don’t use subsurf to round them for you. It’s kinda like trying to fit a square block in a round hole, sure it doesn’t fit, but with a sledge hammer you can make it fit…

If you’re going to remodel this thing, then do it right and without a sledgehammer. You have a good basic shape, and a real nice render, I must say, so use that as a guideline for the remodel. Go for the basic shape first, without subsurf and then work on details and refine from there.

I don’t know an easy way to show you how to model this, it may seem easy and in fact it is easy, once you know the basics, but diving into it head first without the basics will be frustrating. I would start with a corner and a circle to make the corner. A 16 vert circle, delete 3/4 of the circle and work on moving verts around like so:

Now you have a rounded corner, and work from there to form the face plate.

To answer your questions, a mesh can intersect another mesh object without any problems. The only time it will be a problem is if you have 2 meshes in exactly the same place - think of a plane, then duplicate the plane and not moving the 2nd one at all. Now they both occupy the same space and will cause a render error. You can stack objects on top of each other and allow them to intersect each other, it will be fine.

I didn’t get into the power switch, and who ever said it can’t be done is wrong. And my renders were with Luxrender.

Post back here, and I’ll give you a hand… yet again, it’s late…


Great idea!!!

In regards to retaining the phone shape without completely relying on subsurfs…
It seems so obvious (from what you said in your last post), but it didn’t even cross my mind. My first attempt was creating a curved shape using Bezier curves, converting to mesh, and then extruding. But, as you know when I filled the shape it was a bunch of triangles.

The idea of drawing the phone shape with polygons is a great idea. I’ll do so. I’ll post later today with my progress.

So far I have complete success for (not shown in the attachment):

  1. Front plate
  2. Back plate

For the bezel… see attached. I think I nailed it, but I’m not sure how it’ll interact when I make this cut for the On/Off Sound button. Better than before since I’m not worrying about a subsurf on a rectangle.

Also… for the front and back plate I used subsurfs from a rectangle; whereas, the bezel I polygon drew the shape. Right now they don’t match perfectly, so I’ll need to tweak. I may have to redo the the front and back plate based on the shape I used for the bezel. Not sure yet.


So this is the only part that is holding me back. I’ve tried everything… outside of what you see here… I’ve tried 3-4 different ways of expressing lines to create this same shape. I’m only using a SubSurf to smooth it out, but this damn button is on the curve so it’s crazy to do this setup. Any recommendations?

I tried a Boolean, but it did nothing, I notice this sometimes it doesn’t work. But, I only use this as a last resort.

OK. I did it! Oh man, thinking in polygons is not easy.

Here’s where I’ve taken it so far. Calling it a day.

Hey skoolbus, looking much better!!! Glad you have figured this out and had such good luck with it!! The oddness in the pic in post 14 is probably because of the triangles. I’m surprised your not having problems with the last posted pic. Triangles (faces with 3 verts) are bad and should be avoided (almost) all the time. In some cases you can slip a few in here and there and get away with it.

Yea, modelling with polygons at first can be a pain to learn, but like everything else, once you learn it, it’s easy. If I may ask, you’ve been a member here since 2009 and have 192 posts, what have you been doing if it hasn’t been modelling? It seems to me most users of blender just use it to model & render scenes, so I was kinda surprised that my suggestion to you to just model it was new and revolutionary to you…

I’ll be gone for a few days (out of town) when I get back maybe you can post up your current file and I’ll look over it and maybe show you better ways to model stuff. I can already see a better way of making that hole in the bezel, but haven’t the time now…

Great job!

Edit: Nice render too!!!

My contribution to your cause. When you need to cut a circle or “rounded rectangle” in your mesh, don’t be afraid of face loops/edge loops!


faceloop.blend (323 KB)

Or you can just use an edge loop to make it simpler.


Thanks Randy.

To answer your question… I’ve attempted to learn Blender since 2.4. I’ve always wanted to learn 3D but I could just never wrap my head around it… I’m more of a 2D Illustrator Designer. So I’ve been learning Blender, quitting for a good 6 months, jumping back on, quitting, etc.

Only since I mastered Sketchup and Vray, I wanted more that the program couldn’t do (I hit that level about 2 months ago). That pushed me back to Blender. The UI is fantastic compared to 2.4-ish.

Since the year 2000, I’ve attempted:

  • Bryce
  • Mirai
  • Nendo
  • 3DsMax
  • Maya
  • Carrara
  • Modo
  • Lightwave
  • Houdini

I’ve only stuck with Blender because most companies cringe at the prices of these 3D programs, and by saying “it’s free” no problems arise. That or the companies I’ve worked for have 3DsMax from 10 years ago with no urge to upgrade.

Plus our company currently uses a 3D house that are creating phones for a corporate litigation trial we’re working on and they look incredibly awful. Because non-artists management they think it’s incredible… and what I’ve created with you in 3 weeks looks like a masterpiece compared to what they’ve done in Max… I’m hoping to create a bunch of 3D items that I can show to them to get into 3D. I’d like to create something like you have that looks real… whereas the 3D models our company is paying a boatload for looks like it took 1 minute to model and have a material IOR of 3.0 (or the highest possible) and it looks like crud.

I’ll post what I get to when I texturize. The next step for me is to attempt to put a glass piece over the camera (front) that matches the sheen of the faceplate and/or put a separate mesh on top that is glass.