Bakelite Phone – Part 1 (WIP)

For the “imagined worlds” section of the Next Gen course, I intend to create a  1950’s scene with a thriller / mystery / horror look and feel.  The project requires us to incorporate sound to create atmosphere, therefore I decided to create a Bakelite phone which was prominent at the time as a sound source, from which an eery dial-tone or voice would be heard.

The aim when creating this model was to recreate the real-life object as precise as possible, using reference photos and dimensions as a guide.  This would help me produce an almost realistic and believable scene.  The added bonus of creating this model, is that I could re-use the asset in a scene I intend to create for my final portfolio piece, which I will talk more about at a later date.

In the past, I have often been bogged down by worrying about my poly-count when creating my models which has often slowed me down.  For this I decided to trial another method where I create the high-poly version of my mesh first, then retopologising it after to low-poly.

Instead of talking through a step-by-step method on how I produce the phone as shown above, I will talk about new techniques or struggles I encountered.  Whilst the main body was created with traditional box modelling techniques and adding support loops to harden up edges when mesh-smoothed, the trickiest section was the dial and its finger holes.  I will talk about how I overcame this below.

Phone Dial


Firstly, the dial is roughly 8cm in diameter and 0.2cm thick.  The cylinder has a further 10 equally space holes cut away for fingers to dial, ranging from 0 – 9.  If these holes were to continue round the whole of the cylinder there would be 14 holes.   Therefore, I decided to use a 28 sided circle (multiple of 14, with 14 side appearing too low poly), which provided sufficient geometry to re-quadrify the mesh when I Boolean out the holes.

I create a second 8 sided cylinder and created an array around the the dial until it resembled the image above.  I then subtracted these cylinders from the circle dial using a boolean.


Lastly, as mentioned above, I then re-quadrified the mesh till it resembled the above image, ensuring I added a support loop around the outer and inner edge to avoid any distorting when smoothing the mesh.


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