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enter image description here

Hello. I am a beginner in Blender. I started modeling this phone and when I got to the curly cable part it was a real challenge. Could someone guide me on this.

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There are several solutions, here are 2. You could create it with a Curve modifier or with Spline IK. The second solution is bit more complicated but the object will have a more realist deformation when the curve angle is high.

For the modeling of the object, I prefered to use a Screw modifier rather than a Spiral Curve with a bevel profile, because it seemed more convenient to me, but Spiral Curve is a solution.

And, at last, I explain how to create bone controllers for each handle of your curve: it's useful when you want to animate or even keep a basic reset shape for your curve.

First, comparison between method 1 and 2, as you can see there's a subtle difference in the deformation:

enter image description here

With a Curve modifier:

  • Create your cable profile, it looks like a rectangle, shift it a bit from its origin. In Object mode apply the rotation of the object.
  • Give it a Screw modifier, play with the parameters.
  • Create a curve, flatten it, subdivide it a bit, make its origin begin at the same point as the cable origin, make sure its normals direction goes in the right direction, if not switch with W > Switch Direction.
  • Give your cable a Curve modifier, choose the curve as Object.
  • Now if you bend the curve, the cable will follow.
  • To give a bit more smoothness to your cable, bevel its profile vertices with a shiftctrlB.
  • Give a Subdivision Surface modifier to the object.
  • Now your cable is ready, you can apply the Screw and Curve modifiers if you want, but keep a copy of both object and curve somewhere.
  • To animate you can hook the curve handles to bones, as explained further.

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With bones and Spline IK, as explained here by Peter Drakulic:

  • You've made your object and your curve (see beginning of method 1). Apply the Screw and Curve modifiers of the object if you want. Keep the curve.
  • Add a bone as long as the curve, subdivide it a bit.
  • Keep your armature selected, switch to Pose mode and give the top bone a Spline IK constraint with the curve as Target and the number of bones as Chain Length. Deactivate the Y Stretch option. Now when you move the curve the bones follow.
  • Parent the object to the armature With Automatic Weight. Put the Armature modifier above the Subsurf. Activate the Preserve Volume option of the Armature modifier.
  • Again, to animate you can hook the curve handles to bones.

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You may want to create some bone controllers for each handle:

  • Create a new armature with each bones at the exact same point as each handle.
  • Switch the armature to Pose mode.
  • Select one of the bones.
  • Press shift and select the curve.
  • Go in Edit mode and select the corresponding handle.
  • Press ctrlH > Hook To Selected Object Bone.
  • Same thing for the other bones.
  • Now you can control the whole curve with this armature.

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ this solution has a flaw, if the curve angle is too strong it will deform the cable a little bit too much (reduces its height), which is not realistic, there's another solution, with bones and Spline IK, but it's much more tedious: youtube.com/watch?v=rLONnEcaHgQ $\endgroup$ – moonboots May 1 at 15:49
  • $\begingroup$ Spline IK, adding bones to the curve to reduce the amount of bending. I read about it once. $\endgroup$ – Muluh MG Godson May 1 at 15:50
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    $\begingroup$ @moonboots it might be worth turning your comment into a full-blown answer with a couple screenshots and a bit of text to grab yourself those sweet sweet answer points. $\endgroup$ – Adam Barnes May 1 at 22:06
  • $\begingroup$ It would also benefit those who can't watch YouTube in whatever place they are. *stares in disbelief at his hospital's network filters* $\endgroup$ – John Dvorak May 2 at 10:33
  • $\begingroup$ Okay, edited again, the second solution is indeed more realist, you just need to deactivate the Y Stretch option in the Spline IK constraint ;) $\endgroup$ – moonboots May 3 at 7:01

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