Illustrate an iPhone 4 in Inkscape

iPhone 4 Illustration
If you want to show your fantastic logo design to your client you might want to show them what it would look like on different media, like T-shirts or on a web page. Another idea would be to show them how it looks on a smartphone. This tutorial shows how you can illustrate an iPhone in Inkscape. It’s based on this Photoshop tutorial but doesn’t claim photo-realism. For a more photo-realistic effect you’ll need to fire up Gimp but Inkscape does a great job even with me at the helm. If you have more time than I had you could refine this even further. I’m not not using Inkscape’s full potential here.

First, drag in a picture of an iPhone. I’m lazy, so I used the illustration from the PS tutorial. Rename the layer to ‘Bitmap’.

Create a new layer for tracing the outline and rename it ‘Outline’.
Lock the ‘Bitmap’ layer switch to the ‘Outline’ layer and trace around your bitmap image with the Bezier Tool. It might be hard to see so it helps if you lower the opacity on the bitmap image. I created lots of nodes when I traced. I reduced the number at the node-tweaking stage. I usually put lots of nodes on the curved parts of the path to ‘tell the path what I want it to do’ then leave one node at each end of a curve drag-select the in-betweens and delete them.
iPhone screenshot
Tweak the nodes and the path between them by click-hold-dragging them. Delete nodes that make your path bumpy. When you’re happy with it fill the shape with #141517ff.

Create a new layer above the ‘Outline’ layer for the metal band and rename it ‘Metal’.To trace the metal band on the bitmap image just click the eye icon in the layers tab for the ‘Outline’ layer. Trace around the metal band in your bitmap image with the Bezier Tool then tweak as before.
iPhone screenshot01

In the Fill and stroke dialog, choose linear gradient for the fill and remove the stroke. The gradient should be black, white and grey. Use the bitmap as a guide. You can add more stops to refine the detail of the gradient. Choose ‘Edit’ from the gradient dialog and ‘Add Stop’ to add stops.
iPhone screenshot02

You should have something like this now.
iPhone screenshot03

Give the band a bevel by adding a 2 pixel white stroke to the leading edge.Change the cap to rounded.
Change the stroke to linear gradient, choose the gradient we just used and click duplicate (we are going to tweak it but we don’t want the original gradient to change). The gradient will be inserted left to right so you will need to drag the end stops to the top and bottom.

Tweak the stops and colours so that it stands out from the band we made. If 2 pixels is too wide at the end of the bevel path then change it to 1 pixel, duplicate it and move it left or right. It will now be thicker in the middle and narrow at the end.

iPhone screenshot04

Create a new layer above the ‘Metal’ layer’ and rename it ‘Buttons’.
Hide the other layers and trace the iPhone vibrate on/off switch with the Bezier or Rectangle Tool. You can round the corners of the rectangle with the handle that appears in the top right corner.
Fill the shape with #141517ff.

Change the stroke to white and linear gradient. It should be white to transparent, left to right, automatically.
iPhone screenshot05

Duplicate the shape and flip it left to right. Select and drag the resize handles so it fits inside the original shape with the dark border.For the fill, choose then duplicate the gradient from the metal band.

I won’t give detailed instructions for the volume controls. I did them in the same way as the on/off switch but use an ellipse. These buttons stick out from the case so shift them left of centre. The fill should be a simple subtle grey to light grey.

Duplicate the first shape we made for the on/off switch (dark inside with a bevel) and change the fill to a dark to light grey. This will form the plus and minus signs. Put the minus sign in the bottom button first then use 2 duplicates for the plus sign. rotate one and do a Path > Union. Tweak the nodes to account for perspective. Use the bitmap as a guide. Reduce the opacity to around 50%.
iPhone screenshot06

Create the metal band divider with a 3 pixel stroke colour #141517ff
iPhone screenshot07
and below it a bevel at the metal band divider with a white stroke.
iPhone screenshot08

Let’s make the bevel of the front face of our iPhone. Duplicte the metal band. set the fill to dark grey and give it a 1% blur. Control-shit-drag to resize it down a pixel or so and move it a little right of the band. Lower it a step below (behind) the band.
iPhone screenshot09

Next add a reflection on the edge of the face with a white stroke. Reduce the opacity down to about 15%.
iPhone screenshot10

Create a new layer. Rename it to ‘Screen’. Draw a trapeziod as shown. You can ‘eye-it’ or drag down some guides.
iPhone screenshot11

Draw a path around the screen on the top, right and bottom sides, 1 pixel, white stroke, opacity 14%. This is the gap between the screen and the glass.
iPhone screenshot12

Create a new layer called ‘Camera’. Draw an ellipse and fill it with dark grey. Select radial gradient and change the transparent stop to opaque black. Shift the gradient centre to the right.
iPhone screenshot13

Draw an ellipse inside the camera as a lens reflection. Fill it with #0197fdff, blur it and reduce the opacity.
iPhone screenshot14

Now we’ll draw the speaker. Create a rectangle and use the handle to round the edges. Use the skew handles to line up the edges for perspective and then change it to a path. You can now tweak the nodes to get it right.
iPhone screenshot15

Remove the stroke and set the fill to linear gradient, dark grey to light grey and drag the gradient handles around to put the lighter reflection in the bootom right.

Duplicate the shape and control- drag-resize to make it smaller. If you lose the shape then use Path > Dynamic offset to resize instead. Give it a dark grey fill and a black stroke. Reduce the opacity of both to soften them.

Next we make the Home Button.
Create an ellipse and fill with a radial gradient, black to dark grey. Offset the gradient center to the left.
iPhone screenshot17

Draw the Home Button icon, a rounded rectangle with no fill and white stroke. Tweak better than I did ;).

Draaw the face glass reflection. It’s a path cutting across the top left corner. Remove the stroke and fill with white and select linear gradient, top to bottom, white to transparent. Reduce the opacity to about 40%. Send it below the camera and speaker.
iPhone screenshot18

Draw a path around the top and left of the reflection as the corner highlight with a white stroke of 1 pixel. Reduce the opacity, use rounded end caps.
iPhone screenshot19

Draw a shadow shape around the bottom in dark grey.
iPhone screenshot20

Blur it, reduce the opacity and send it below your phone. It needs to be on the ‘Outline’ layer and pushed back in Z-order.
iPhone screenshot21

Voila!
iPhone 4 Illustration

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