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How to Create a Retro Game Boy in 3D: Part 2

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

Follow this tutorial step-by-step to create a retro Nintendo Game Boy that you can use in video games, graphic design and illustration projects whilst learning how to model in Cinema 4D

Some of the skills you’ll learn in this tutorial include creating basic 3D modelling, importing reference images and basic rendering techniques.

In this, the first part of the two-part tutorial, I’ll show you how to:

  • How to create Materials
  • How to Colour the Model
  • How to Render the Game Boy 

10. How to Create a New Material

Step 1

Located near the bottom of the screen there should be a material selection window. Click on Create > New Material to create a new material to use that you can edit. I’ll use the materials to colour in the various objects and parts of our Nintendo Game Boy.

Create a new material

Step 2

Double click on the new material to bring up the Material Editor. This is where you can adjust the various properties of your material such as the colour, transparency and reflectance etc. 

For this particular style we will only be interested in flat colour.

The material editor

Step 3

Untick the boxes for Colour and Reflectance and tick the button for Luminance. This gives us the flat colour look for our final image.

Edit the material editor properties

Step 4

To add a material to the object, drag and drop the material to the object using the mouse. 

You can also drag and drop the material onto the object listed on the right of the screen.

The same material can be used for multiple parts of the model. For example, you can use this one material for the front, back and middle parts of our Nintendo Game Boy model.

Drag and drop the material onto an object

11. How to Adjust the Material Properties

Step 1

In the Material Editor, click on the arrow button next to Texture and select Sketch and Toon > Cel from the menu.

Select sketch and toon

Step 2

Click on the new Cel button that appears next to Texture to bring up a new menu.

Select Cel

Step 3

In this new menu, adjust the settings as follows:

  1. Change the Diffuse to match the image at below. It should be greyscale with the colour getting light from left to right.
  2. Untick Camera.
  3. Tick Lights.
  4. Tick Shadows 
  5. Select Multiply from the drop down menu.
Editing the sketch and toon properties

Step 4

Select a colour by double clicking on the colour option box. 

The Material Editor gives you many different options for choosing and picking your colour. These include RGB, HSV etc. Choose whichever option you are most familiar with as a flat colour. Because of the Multiply shading mode, the different colour shades will also appear in the material.

If the material has already been applied to the model, the colour of the model will automatically be adjusted to the new material colour.

Choosing a colour

12. How to Adjust the Shading

Step 1

To get a better idea of the shading and how our render will eventually turn out, click on the small black arrow on the bottom right of the Render Button and select Interactive Render Region from the menu. 

Select interactive render region

Step 2

Adjust the window so that it fits around the Game Boy model. Look for the very small arrow on the right hand side of the window and use the mouse to drag it to the top (this increases the resolution). Decrease the resolution by moving the arrow down if you need to.

Increase the resolution

Step 3

To change the way the light source is facing go to Options > Default Light.

Add a light object to the scene if you are more comfortable working that way.  

Select default light

Step 4

In the Default Light window, click where you would like the light source to come from on the sphere and it will sync with the view port. Experiment with different lighting positions to come up with a lighting situation that you like. 

This can be adjusted at anytime.

Editing the default light

13. Other Lighting Solutions

Step 1

To set up the basic lighting, you’ll want to go to the Floor button located in the top menu bar. Left Click-Hold and then select Physical Sky from the menu.

Select physical sky

Step 2

Ensuring that Physical Sky is selected in the menu on the right, a new menu will appear on the bottom right of the screen. Select the Time and Location tab and choose a time using the left and right arrow keys. This will change the lighting of the scene. Choose a suitable time to light up the scene.

Editing the physical sky

Step 3

To add lighting to the scene, select the Add Light button in the top menu bar at the top of the screen.

This will create a Light Object which you can move around the scene. Move the light object using the Move Tool to a suitable position.

Select add light

Step 4

To customise the lighting further, experiment with the light object options in the bottom right of the screen. Here you can adjust the Intensity, Light Type and even Colour.

Editing the light properties

14. How to Colour the Screen

Step 1

Duplicate the material by holding CTRL on the keyboard and then using the mouse to click and drag the material to the side.

Duplicating the material

Step 2

Double click on the new material to open up the Material Editor and select Luminance. From there we can change the colour to the following:

  • R: 79
  • G: 222
  • B: 183

We can also click on Cel to change the shading properties of this material if needed.

Choosing a green colour

Step 3

Duplicate the first material again (hold CTRL and click and drag with the mouse).

Duplicating the material

Step 4

Double click on the new material to open up the Material Editor and select Luminance. From there you can change the colour to the following:

  • R: 111
  • G: 126
  • B: 135
Choosing the grey colour

Step 5

To create a flat colour, select Cel and change the properties of Diffuse to one colour.

Editing the shading options

Step 6

To apply the new materials to the object, use the mouse to drag and drop the materials to the object that you wish to colour. Drag and drop the material to the object list on the right side of the screen.

Drag and drop the screen material onto the Game Boy screen.

Applying the green material to the screen

Step 7

Drag and drop the dark grey material onto the screen border of the Game Boy.

Applying the grey material to the screen border

15. How to Colour the Buttons

Step 1

Duplicate a new material from the first material again (hold CTRL and click and drag with the mouse). Double click on the new material to open up the Material Editor and select Luminance. Change the colour to the following:

  • R: 232
  • G: 96
  • B: 32
Creating the red colour material

Step 2

Duplicate a new material. Double click on the new material to open up the Material Editor and select Luminance. From there we can change the colour to the following:

  • R: 165
  • G: 199
  • B: 219
Creating the light grey colour material

Step 3

Drag and drop the light grey material onto the button borders of the Game Boy.

Applying the light grey colour material

Step 4

Drag and drop the bright red material onto the main buttons of the Game Boy.

Applying the red colour material to the buttons

16. How to Colour the D-Pad & Small Buttons

Step 1

Duplicate a new material as you did before. Double click on the new material to open up the Material Editor and select Luminance. From there change the colour to the following:

  • R: 89
  • G: 98
  • B: 106
Creating the dark grey colour material

Step 2

Drag and drop the new material onto the D-Pad, Start and Select buttons of the Game Boy.

Applying the dark grey colour material to the buttons

17. How to Render the Game Boy

Step 1

Click on the Render Settings button located in the top menu bar.

Selecting the render settings button

Step 2

In the Save settings you can select the file location that you want to save your image in. Make sure you also choose the format (PNG) and tick Alpha Channel.

You may wish to tick Alpha Channel on, if you want to continue editing the image in another program such as Adobe Photoshop.

Choosing the save settings

Step 3

Under the Output Settings choose the resolution, height and width of the image. This tutorial uses the settings 1920×1200 72dpi.

Choosing the output settings

Step 4

In the Anti-Aliasing settings, select Cubic (Still Image) which can be found under Filter. This will ensure that your render is nice and sharp.

Choosing the Anti-Aliasing settings

Step 5

Click on the Render button to render your final image. Remember to make sure that you have selected the right view in your viewport (front, right, left or perspective etc.) and that you are happy with the camera angle. 

Choose a suitable angle in the viewport by navigating around the scene.

Click on the render button

Step 6

You can also create a camera if you would like greater control over the camera and render options.

Click on the camera button

The End Result

Wait for the final render to finish. Once the render is complete you can repeat the steps above and change the camera or the view port to create a new image from a different angle. 

Throughout the course of the project you have successfully learnt how to:

  • Import Reference Images
  • Prepare for Modelling
  • Model the retro Game Boy
  • Create Materials
  • Colour the Model
  • Render the Game Boy 

Feel free to share your own creations below. You can also export your image into Adobe Photoshop to enhance it further or to use it as part of a larger image.

Final Nintendo Game Boy Image