Jonathan Gonzalez (jgonzalez)

340 replies · posted

30 Days of Modeling

Becoming great at anything requires constant practice and that is especially true with 3d modeling. If you're here it's probably because you want to become a better digital artist. I myself want to improve my 3d modeling and texturing skills and that means I need to model a ton in order to become better.

Building a consistent habit is the path to becoming great and with that I wanted to provide a challenge to anyone else here who wants to join me. The challenge will be to model one new 3d model daily for 30 days. 

The goal of this is not to create  amazingly realistic models, but to get you practicing your modeling skills daily. You are not competing with anyone here but yourself.

Each day this post will be updated with the object to model based on that week. Below are the rules and guidelines to make this more interesting:


To make this more interesting, every week will focus on one theme. Each theme will represent a set of 7 objects that are relatively easy to model, but each have unique elements to them to challenge you in different ways. 

The themes for the next 4 weeks include: Home, Weapons, Props, Nature


  • All models must be completed by you. While we do teach Blender here, you are free to use any software you want for modeling and texturing. (Sculpting is allowed)
  • Do not include models you've previously created, while we can't verify this, remember that this is meant to install a habit of daily modeling practice. 
  • Only post a model for that day, don't try to "catch up". If you miss a day, then pick it up the next day


Post a rendered image of your completed model. While texturing won't be required, it is highly encouraged. 

HOME (June 1 - June 7)

For this week we'll focus on objects found around the home. Typically these objects are relatively easy to model and reference. You are free to get as creative as you want with these as long as you modeling what is requested for that day.

June 1 - Sofa

June 2 - Lamp

June 3 - Book Shelf

June 4 - Coffee Table

June 5 - Lounge Chair

June 6 - Shag Rug

June 7 - Floor Speakers

Week 1 is Done! Congrats on making it through the first week of this modeling challenge. On to week 2.

WEAPONS (June 8 - June 14)

For this week we'll focus on creating hand held weapons. Think melee weapons. These usually have a mixture of primitive and complex shapes. You may use sculpting during these models, and some may actually require it to achieve the look you want. 

June 8 - Axe

June 9 - Combat Knife

June 10 - Spear

June 11 - Shuriken

June 12 - Spiked Bat

June 13 - Sickle

June 14 - Nunchucks

PROPS (June 15 - June 21)

This week will be focused on props you might commonly see in games or background scenes. These can be reused to add "filler" to an environment. These props mostly reside outside.

June 15 - Barrels

June 16 - Tires

June 17 - Filled Trash Bags

June 18 - Concrete Barrier

June 19 - Shipping Container

June 20 - Dumpster

June 21 - No Object

June 22 - No Object


This week will be focused on organic plants and objects you'd find out in nature. Think of these as natural props.

June 23 - Grass Clumps

June 24 - Rocks

June 25 - Flowers

June 26 - Bushes

June 27 - Hollow Log

June 28 - Vines

June 29 - Trees


This officially ends the challenge, technically it's 29 days but we have another challenge starting up on Monday so use Sunday as a way to gather reference photos and start your next modeling challenge with vehicles!

Thank you for everyone that participated in this challenge. Some objects were easy, others were challenging and I hope you learned some new tips and techniques. This challenge was about keeping a habit going and learning some new techniques and use different tools to create something you may not have otherwise. It was great seeing all the new renders on a daily basis. Good or bad, you've created something and that's what matters. See you all in the next challenge!

  • crew

    Here is my lackluster log:

    Organic models are definitely something I struggle with that's why I think the nature topic was a good one. I've noticed I use a lot more vertex groups more often with these models which is great. Learned a few tips. I added a displacement modifier to the outer bark and inner/rim portions of the wood using two different groups to control the displacement applied to each instead of uniformly. This was added to create more bumps and distortion in the wood.

    I've also come to realize why I have trouble selecting UV islands when pressing "L" on the mesh. From time to time it wouldn't work and it would drive me crazy as I couldn't figure out why. Today I finally figured out that you need to have "faces" selected in edit mode, if you have edge or vertex selection enabled it won't work. An obvious thing looking back, but never connected it.

  • Here's my contribution for today:

    Had a lot of fun modelling the trellis (had to look up that word...), partially using Curves. 

    For the vines I tried using the Ivy Generator, but couldn't get the control I wanted, so I hand-modelled it and used the Skin Modifier.

    Had to apply the Skin Modifier to be able to make a Vertex Group for the leaves. It's all very basic really, but I am kinda happy with the result;)

  • This is my vine attempt.  I went with the skin modifier for the vine and particle system for the leaves.  Was supposed to be a clematis vine.

  • I got myself reacquainted with the Ivy Generator again. It can be an infuriating add on if you don't remember the tricks to get it to behave. Namely, set the subsurf to 1 at the most. and turn off any small displacement modifiers.

  • crew

    Ok I ended up following this tutorial: I started off by first creating them by hand but it was too low poly and didn't really look that great. So I ended up just using the Ivy Generation addon and figured I'd follow the content we already had on the site to create a scene. 

    Note I only generated the ivy on the statue, I just kept the rest in from the project files from the Creating Plants course here on CGCookie.

  • The ivy generator has given me such a hard time plus the particle system (after a couple of hours getting frustrated by the particle system, I realised that I had not enabled object under render *rolls eyes*)!!! I was ready to call it quits. The result doesn't look all that great, it could sure use some improvements.

  • Me: this looks amazing.

    *Sees date*


  • This actually took me like, forever to make, lots of re-starts!

    What I learned today, is that Camera angle and Lighting make all the difference. (I knew that already of course, but this picture made it sooo clear to me!)

    I remember, when I was a kid, swinging on these down-hanging branches over the water, feeling like I were Tarzan;)

    So, I end these 30 Days of Modelling weeping with the willow.

    I learned a lot and had great fun! Thanks Jonathan and all participants.

    On to the CGCookie July Challenge!

  • Trees are a challenge, but I think I am beginning to get the Sapling Generator figured out. I got spend a few minutes everyday on it.

  • My tree ... The bark texture looks a little stretched.

    Some leaves are floating, hehe. Does anyone know how I can fix this?

  • crew

    Ok so it's late here and I managed to get a basic tree going just to finish off this challenge. Used the same method as the bush just with a trunk. Not the best looking tree but at least I know how to create one now for future reference.

  • Thank you Jonathan for beginning this challenge and thank you to all of you, I have certainly grown in this past few weeks. I am grateful for your all your help. Cheers!

  • Can we do Modeling in other software

  • Wow, I thought this challenge still going in 2021. The challenge was done two years ago.

  • It was from 2 years ago, but I found this by searching "blender daily challenge" in google and this was the top result. I think this should be resurrected in some way. A new challenge, daily/weekly/monthly or whatever.