Follow this tutorial step-by-step to create a 3D Alarm Clock model that you can use in video games, graphic design and illustration projects whilst learning Cinema 4D quickly and easily.
Some of the skills you’ll learn in this tutorial include creating basic 3D modelling, 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 Alarm Clock
1. How to Import Reference Images
To use the reference image in this tutorial, you will need to switch your viewport to the Front View.
Use the middle mouse button to click anywhere on the viewport. This displays all four views (by default this will be perspective, top, right and front). From there, use the middle mouse button to select the Front View.
In the Attributes tab select Mode > View Settings.
In Viewport [Right] select the Back button and click on the button next to Image.
Select the reference image from the Finder and open it. In this tutorial I’ll use the front view of an Alarm Clock from Envato Elements to help me.
Adjust the image size and transparency to your liking in the Properties window.
2. Adjust and Edit the Cylinder Shape
In the top menu bar click and hold on the Cube Button (or click on the small black arrow in the bottom right corner of the button).
In the menu that appears select the Cylinder Button to spawn a cylinder into the scene.
You may need to rotate the cylinder in order to get the right orientation.
To do this click on the Rotate Tool button and use the tool to rotate the cylinder 90 degrees so that the circular face is pointing forward.
Click on the Object tab in the Properties window. Adjust the size so that the shape of the cylinder fits the shape of the Alarm Clock background image. For this tutorial the following properties are used:
- Radius: 140 cm
- Height: 100 cm
- Height Segments: 1
- Rotation Segments: 80
- Orientation: +Y
Click on the Caps tab of the properties window. Make sure that Caps has been ticked and the Segments are set to a value of 2.
By activating caps and setting the segments value to 2, you will see that an extra cap has been created on the face of the cylinder. The shape of the cylinder should roughly fit the shape of the Alarm Clock background image at this stage.
Ensure that you check the shape using the other camera views as well (perspective, side and top etc).
Ensure the cylinder is still selected and then click on the Make Editable button to make the shape editable.
Next select the Polygon Selection button which will allow you to select the polygons of the object.
Hover the mouse over the face of the cylinder and select all of it’s faces (click and hold on the mouse button to select a large area).
Once all the polygons have been selected, right click on the selected area and select the Bevel Tool.
Click and drag over the selected area to create a beveled edge for the cylinder. Repeat the steps for the other side.
Use the Selection Tool again and select all the polygons in the centre of the circle. Then use the Scale Tool to enlarge it (click and drag in the area outside the object to uniform scale).
Right-click on the selection and click on the Extrude Tool.
Click and drag over the selected area to move the polygons inside the cylinder.
With the polygons still selected, use the Scale Tool to scale the selection down, making it slightly smaller.
Delete the Phong Tag from the cylinder. This sharpens all the edges and faces of the model. This is further illustrated in step 15.
In the image below you will see how the edges of the cylinder are very smooth at first before deleting the Phong Tag.
Once the Phong Tag has been deleted, the edges sharpen.
3. How to Create a Hemisphere
Clear the viewport to make modelling the hemisphere easier.
To do this you must hide the cylinder model by clicking on the small little grey circle until it turns red. To make it appear in the viewport again, click on the grey circle until it becomes green or grey.
Create a Sphere by clicking on Cube > Sphere.
Use the Scale Tool to scale the reduce the size of the sphere so that it matches the size of the bells as closely as possible.
In the properties window, select the Object Tab and set the properties to the following:
- Radius: 55 cm
- Segments: 50
- Type: Hemisphere
By selecting the type to Hemisphere, the shape will be split in half as shown in the image below.
4. Add Thickness to an Object
To add thickness to the hemisphere you will first need to make it into an editable object. Make sure that the object is selected and click on the Make Editable button.
In the top menu bar, select Simulate > Cloth > Cloth Surface.
In the List View, move the sphere object below the newly created Cloth Surface.
Ensure the Cloth Surface has been selected and select the Object tab in the properties window. Set the properties to the following:
- Subdivisions: 1
- Factor: 100%
- Thickness: 10 cm
Adjusting the Thickness value in the properties window changes the thickness of the hemisphere.
5. Create the Alarm Clock Bell
Rotate the hemisphere by 180 Degrees so that it starts to take on the appearance of the bell.
In the Front View, use the reference image to ensure the size of the hemisphere is roughly the same size as the bells.
Create a capsule by selecting the Capsule Button from the shapes menu.
Ensure the capsule object is selected and change the properties to the following:
- Radius: 10 cm
- Height: 200 cm
- Height Segments: 1
- Cap Segments: 8
- Rotation Segments: 36
- Orientation: +Y
Use the Move Tool to move the capsule down so that only a little bit of the tip is sticking out from the top of the hemisphere.
Select both the Capsule and the Cloth Surface by clicking and holding the Shift Key on the keyboard. Then group them by pressing Alt-G on the keyboard. You can then rename the Null by double clicking on it.
Make sure that the new group is still selected, use a combination of the Move Tool and the Rotation Tool to position the bell correctly. You can use the reference image to guide you.
Reveal the cylinder shape by clicking on the small red circle until it is grey (or green) again.
You can then make any final adjustments to the bell’s position by comparing it to the reference image and the cylinder.
6. How to use Symmetry in Cinema 4D
In the top menu bar select Array > Symmetry.
In the list window move the group containing the bell objects inside the Symmetry Modifier.
Anything inside the Symmetry Modifier will create a symmetrical object.
7. Add Legs and Details to the Alarm Clock
Use the Capsule Object to create legs for the alarm clock. Do this by creating a new capsule object and using the Move Tool and the Rotate Tool to position it into place.
Another way you can do this is by duplicating the capsule (hold the CTRL button on the keyboard whilst using the Move Tool) which was used to create the bell.
Move the duplicated capsule into position using the Move Tool and the Rotate Tool.
Duplicate the leg by using the Symmetry Modifier.
Adjust the size and radius of the legs by going to the Object tab in the Properties window.
Create a new Capsule and place it in on top of the alarm clock.
Create a new Sphere and scale it down using the Scale Tool. Place the small sphere on top of the capsule.
8. Create the Clock Hands
Create a new Cylinder by clicking on Cube > Cylinder from the top menu bar.
Adjust the size of the cylinder in the Properties window so that it matches the width of the clock hand. Use the reference image in the front view to help you with this. The settings for the hand used in this tutorial are as follows:
- Radius: 10 cm
- Height: 10 cm
- Height Segments: 1
- Rotation Segments: 60
- Orientation: +Y
Ensure the cylinder is selected and then click on the Make Editable button.
To edit the shape further select the Points Tool and then select the Rectangle Selection Tool.
Then go to the Properties window and un-tick Only Select Visible Elements. This allows you to select all the points within the rectangle selection.
Use the Rectangle Selection Tool to select all the points in the bottom half of the cylinder.
Select and use the Move Tool and move all the selected points down to create the clock hand.
When moving a whole object, select and use the Model button. If this is not selected, you may find that you will be moving the points, edges or faces instead.
Position the clock hand object by using the Move Tool.
YUse the Scale Tool to adjust the scale of the object once it is in place.
Duplicate the clock hand object by using the Move Tool and holding the CTRL button on the keyboard.
Once you have the hands, position both on the clock face by using the Move Tool and the Rotation Tool.
Use the Scale Tool to make one hand smaller if you wish.
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 Alarm Clock