G1 Project

The final project in my Into to 3d Animation class was to model the small electronic object of my choice. I chose my trusty multi-tool Bob, who happens to be a htc G1.  I’d like to go ahead and apologize for the rendering quality on some of the in-production images.  It wasn’t until well after the project was completed did I realize that I hadn’t take a single still image of  any of the in production work I had done and thus I had to go back to some of the older saved scenes and render them out on my more basic home PC. Sadly, my home PC tends to choke up on rendering anything beyond the most basic settings.

The Basic Shape:

The process to create a “photorealistic” G1 is long and complex but begins with gathering some good reference material:

Composite of the reference material used

Front, extended battery cover, and back of the G1

With reference material firmly in hand, or more accurately, in reference planes in the Maya project we can begin in earnest.   The next step is simply creating a basic low-poly object that resembles the shape of the object:

G1 basic body shape

Basic G1 body

Here the basic shape of the object was extruded from two basic cubes using reference material (pictures of the G1) into the basic shape of the screen and main body. Special attention was given to the shape of the button platform and the curvature of the underside of the phone (not shown).  It was at this point I made the decision to go ahead and model my personal G1 with the extended battery cover as opposed to the standard (and considerably less cumbersome in the pocket) battery cover.

Keyboard and Buttons:

Once the basic shape was attained I created a number of buttons and divots in various shapes and sizes. Using the duplicate tool I joined the basic keyboard button shape into a row of buttons, then duplicated several rows into a full keyboard, elongating those buttons that needed to be stretched out:

Buttons, divots, and keyboards oh my.

From button, to row, to full keyboard, and various other buttons.

The whole process didn’t take nearly as long as I thought it would with buttons and diviots easily being extruded from a single plane on top of  a reference material overlay. Once the shape was just right it was a simple matter of scaling the buttons to the proportional size of the body and inserting them in holes cut to size:

Dropping in keyboard

Dropping the keyboard into the body.


With the “heavy lifting” of the keyboard and buttons out of the way I could begin to add some detail to the project.  Adding the camera and speaker grill divots:

Camera housing being dropped in.

Also getting to add detail to the long neglected screen by cutting out divots for the speaker and screen:

Screen details added.

After adding a few details such as the camera button and volume adjustment button and the cutouts for the slide-arm and micro-sd card cover I was ready to smooth the object out so I could create a workable UV map to begin he texture phase:


The final model smoothed and ready for texturing.


Texturing cosists of several steps. First the object needs to be broken down into a UV map which will allow us to overlay the colors, bump mapping , and specular mapping we which to apply:

Basic UV showing where everything will be when a texture is applied.

Once this basic UV is arranged properly it’s a simple matter to import it to Photoshop and overlay the color, bump map and specular maps over it:

The color, bump, and specular maps

With the finished maps loaded back into Maya we can simply apply them to the model’s texture and with he addition of some basic lighting we get our finished product:

Shot A of the finished G1

Shot B showing the underside of the G1 with extended battery cover.

The ubiquitous turntable animation.


In retrospect there are a great deal of things I would have done differently on this project with a  final face count of 62260 I could have definitely trimmed down on the level of detail where it wasn’t warranted and keen observers will note that the color and specular texturing is a bit off.  However in the end I’m happy with how this turned out considering I hadn’t touched the Maya software prior to 4 months ago.

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