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

    Like many people posting today's render, my chair didn't quite come out as expected but this was the most challenging render for this week. I originally wanted to model something similar to an Eames chair but had trouble getting the wood to curve around the leather portions so I went with a simplified version of it. On a side note I was able to use the Lattice modifier and lattice correctly for this, which is a new tool to use! 

    and since I added more details to the back of the chair, here is a render of that as well:

    Ends up looking more like a barber's chair, but I learned some new techniques which is the whole point of this challenge. On to day 6!

  • Finished my chair. I am not happy with the fabric texture or the coffee stain yet, but I got to learn more about modeling with curves

  • I'm not good at texturing or lighting (some stuff to improve on) yet (or even modelling) but here's my chair.

    • crew

      cciku-karugi Hah, I had that bookmarked and I was going to complete that tutorial and use it for this. I ended up going a different direction. I remember watching that tutorial about a year back and it was too difficult for me to follow, now I can watch it and I understood everything the first time. 

    • jgonzalez ... eh, I found it easier than others that I watched. It was still a little bit tricky in some areas, took me long than I had planned. Thanks for setting this challenge up (although I joined a little late), I have never (winces) modelled some of these stuff; this is good practise for me. Cheers.

  • This one was the hardest to model so far.  Figuring the topology out was a lot of fun.  This was also the model that has taught me the most.

    • crew

      williamatics That's great! Each of these models are uniquely different enough that you should be learning some new techniques and possible some new ways to approach modeling. It's simplistic enough that it feels like something you can achieve while still giving you a sense of accomplishment. 

  • I couldn't figure out any other ways to approach this than hair particles. One thing is certain: this is definitely not going into Unity in it's current form 😂

  • Day 6 - ShagRug
    I don´t have much experience with particles so far, exept these famous Donats Sparkles.
    I was thinking about drawing a texture. But hmm -So I used a tutorial to help me through this particle settings.

    I changed some things and used an additional second hair particle setting with lighter colors.
    For the material I used the HairInfo Node with ColorRamp and a Translucent Node.
    For my first serious particle exercise and in this short time I am pretty happy with the result.
    This 30-Day Thread encourages me to try out methods that I would otherwise have tried much later
    and all this in a very short time. Very good training also for my own time management.

  • What a great idea to get some practice at modelling! 

    There's some really nice quality models and skills being shown off  so far, keep up the good work!

    I hope you run something similar to this in the future, hopefully I can take part next time!

  • Another day, took me some time get everything figured out and next time I will do the edge a bit different ( now there just an array of cubes), but still learned some things and the result is not too bad, as it doesn't have to be photorealistic...

    @ Jere, I have also been trying to figure out a way to make a game ready version of something like this, but so far I wasn't able to.

  • Well here we are! This thing took about 4 hours to render (which I later realised was made worse by me not enabling denoising, but I'm surprised at how little noise there is for a 500 sample render) but I finally got my lounge chair done. I used these chairs are inspiration/guidelines and whilst those curves were a pain (especially when you're modeling it by pushing & pulling verts like a 200 IQ supergenius) and the wrinkles leave something to be desired (getting better though!) I'm happy with the final result.

    And here's some OpenGL stuff:

    And to answer your question ssmurfmier1985 (sorry for taking so long!): pretty much everything on that table is a texture, which reminds me, I need to stop being a cheapskate and stop using the same 3 free Poliigon wood textures over and over. Hope you get well soon!

  • Reached my time limit, discovering how little I really know.  Tried to make the rug look more like the ones where I live, worn path from walking on and some scattered dirt from when people don't take their shoes off.  I too used particle systems for the rug.

  • Here's my rag, the bottom part doesn't look really nice.

  • How is this modeling?  All it is is adding a plane and giving it hair particles.

  • I still have a lot to learn about texturing hair. But that was a good exercise.

  • crew

    Alright, it took me a while to render, but I learned a lot about using the hair particle system which is why I wanted to include this. It's a bit of a unique thing to create so that's why I wanted to include it. 

    I don't know why part of the trim on the outer edges turned white, but it took a while to render this so I'll render another version tomorrow. Went back and forth with a lot of different settings, but wanted something that looked more like a soft fur rug and I think it came out nice. 

    • jgonzalez Did you figure out what caused part of the edge to render white?

      Maybe, (this has happened to me a few times lately) you have some duplicated geometry left over, that you forgot about.

      Especially in the latest builds, where the 'render icons' in the outliner are hidden by default, you might not notice, that, although they are hidden, they still render (and as they don't have any material, they show up white, partially intersecting with the 'final' model).

      Nice carpet, by the way, but you'll have to watch it bigger, because, like with most of the  rendered rugs, it doesn't work well in this small picture...

    • crew

      spikeyxxx I'd have to take a look at it. I believe I selected the outer ring of faces and added a blue material to it and I possibly forgot to select that one face.

  • Awesome rugs! As simple as it sounds, there is a great challenge in it (at least for me). That's something I need to think it more closely in the near future.

  • @Jere I agree

    My To Do list ist growing and it´s just the seventh day of modeling.
    And Particles are definitely a topic on the list.

    June 7 - Floor Speakers
    I have no idea of floorspeakers, so I oriented myself to references from Bowers&Wilkens CM9.
    It seems to me they are good quality.
    Intersect Boolean was my simple convenient/lazy solution for the speakers.
    The Materials are simple Principle Shader Settings / one Wood-Texture.

    Because I couldn´t decide between wood or black - 2 renders today

    • mmonaloren Looks great, Mona! 

      I looked them up and as far as I can tell, you've used a render as a reference;)

      In this case, that is totally fine of course, but if you ever want to go into photo-realistic, that is something to be aware of.

      Any way, they look really good! 

      As for the material. just take what you think looks best, because technically the sound comes mainly from the inner volume (shape and size). The material used for the casing contributes only for about 5% for the sound.

      They once made an acoustic guitar out of paper and it sounded almost indistinguishable from one made out of wood (with the same shape, that is)!

      Keep up the good work, I'll be looking forward to your (and anyone's) submissions and hope you're having as much fun and learning as much as I....

      Forgive me for blabbering on, but I just happen to know something about acoustics and couldn't help myself;)

    • spikeyxxx 

      Thank you for your comment.Is always interesting to get some other thoughts.
      Having a real object would be the best.
      I use several references,mainly this one speaker reference

      and some close ups. Don´t know if it is a render or a simple photo with white background.
      I liked the simple style and the golden touch;)
      This time I spend more time in lighting to give it a touch of high quality.
      Lighting is also on my list but not on top

      I don't know if it's going in the direction of photorealism.I am still fully concentrated on learning the modeling techniques.
      Then step by step to other themes.

      Great speakers have been posted.

      This weekend will be difficult for me to finished the dailys weapon.
      And if I want to go into sculpting now---hmm---We will see. I look forward to your results.

      Have fun.

  • Breaking the rules as always and didn't make floor speakers but just one normal speaker 😎 I decided in the beginning that this will be more dense than the previous models and added even subsurf in some parts. It felt refreshing.

    • crew

      swikni Hah, honestly I just wanted some speakers that would fit the theme of "home" and floor speakers are the most common. Technically your speakers could be floor speakers since we don't have any reference objects around it to denote how big they are. 

  • This is render for today:

    I guess, that next week, things will get more complicated;)

    Weapons tend to have a lot of detail..

    (As for week 4, that's where Philip Capon will feel right at home!)

  • A tad late to this one (becoming a bit of a theme) but here's the shag rug I made:

    I think the biggest issues stem from me not being very good at the particle edit feature, but if there's something else you can point out I'd appreciate it! Also a big thanks to everyone who gave me feedback on my lounge chair (namely ssmurfmier1985, spikeyxxx, phoenix4690, jgonzalez and train30), it was very much appreciated. Onward! 

    • thecabbagedetective Looking good, Aaron!

      Did you say, that you had problems, because of you, not being good at particle edit?

      You are probably one of very few,  to use particle edit for a carpet!

      You can use textures to control Density, Hair Length, and whatever...

      If you set your hair particle system to: 'Advanced', you can use physics, like boids to control the hairs.

      In the Children section, you can set different kinds of Roughness and 'Kink'.

      It definitely takes a lot of experimenting with different settings, but doing this with particle edit is really unusual...

      That being said, I think that you're result is great! It looks really natural!

    • thecabbagedetective The swirly pattern looks good.

  • I don't know why the shiny part has streaks in it... eh, but I'm kinda pleased with it so far.