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!

  • There are my floor speakers, definitely something I have never tried to make before.  Still definitely need to learn a lot about lighting and shadows.

  • Here's my floor speaker. It's the cheapest one I could find on Amazon. 

  • Here are mine.  I didn't know what floor speakers were until today.

  • crew

    Last post for week 1, hooray! I probably spent too much time getting this to be technically correct from a modeling perspective, but it was fun to model. 

    Week 2 has now begun, the 1st weapon object to model has been listed. 

  • Had so much fun with texturing and lighting and got it finished surprisingly fast

  • I spent more time on the scene than the axe, but I am really an environment artist I suppose.

  • I give up, I can't do this in one day;)

    • spikeyxxx totally understand, designing and modeling a good looking weapon, and giving it great textures that compliments it and takes it to the next level takes more than a day... even longer of you're going for game ready. I like where it's going though, the shapes are appealing 😊

  • This week will be interesting, especially since I don't know how to sculpt or anything about weapons. Definitely discovering how much I still need to learn.

  • Man, I wish I could join this right now, but I'm working on a farm this summer. I might be able to do this after summer is over.

    • crew

      @cgcookiedough If you all like these types of challenges we could host a new one every month. I'd like to have different types of CG challenges such as texturing/animation/vfx then rotating through again with modeling depending on what you all like. 

    • jgonzalez A new challenge every month?  Yes please!

    • crew

      williamatics Yeah just let me know what you all are interested in. Ideally this is something that can be done daily in order to build a habit and get better day by day. Here are a few future challenges I have drafted up:

      30 days of Texturing

      For this challenge you would only be focused on texturing objects, so you'd be learning how to properly use shader nodes, UV unwrapping and sourcing proper image textures (or creating them). This could involve using assets already created through this challenge, and/or sourcing them from something like Sketchfab. 

      30 Days of Animation

      For this we'd (CGCookie) provide a rigged character and everyday a new animation would be created. One week is movement, one is interaction, another fighting, etc. 

      30 Days of VFX

      This would be a bridge between Blender and Game dev. Essentially creating 30 different visual effects such as weather, magic, explosions, etc. 

      30 Days of Game Assets

      This would be somewhat of a combination of the first three challenges (modeling included) in which you create props and such for use in games. Focusing more on making functional objects and taking note of poly count and proper texturing.

      So with these 4 additional challenges we'd basically have 5 months of challenges lined up. I'm sure we could include more and cycle through these twice a year. 

    • jgonzalez I love all of them except the game asset one, which is fine because other people like making game assets, and I don't mind taking a break every once in a while.

    • jgonzalez hey Gonzo, I like these challenges of yours but maybe not handy to do these in the same months as a CGC Community Challenge and a Class month...

    • crew

      ssmurfmier1985 Yeah they can be moved around so there's no overlap with any other existing challenges or contests. 

    • jgonzalez Texturing and game assets are two subjects I'm interested in 

    • jgonzalez I second the motion to keep these going and think your list looks good. You could also add texture creation to practice drawing and photogrammetry and such. That's something I want to learn eventually. 

      The challenge has helped me get into a practice routine which is something I have struggled with on CG Cookie. The casual format feels a like a happy medium between completely self paced training and classes on a fixed schedule.

  • crew

    Alright day 1 of week two is completed:

    I also added quite a bit to the background which is a pegboard. I'd like to have each weapon on display on this pegboard for a final render. Looking back on how the axe sits I realize this would probably fall off to the left in real life, but lets just say it won't. 

    If time permits I'd like to bring this into Substance Painter and make it a bit more unique. For now I just added a few textures. By the way for those of you who want to use similar textures I'm using these: 

    I use GameTextures for all the texturing and if you sign up with a free account you can download 3 texture packs a month which is awesome. 

  • "At night, a faint glow could be seen moving between the bodies. Everyone knew to stay away."

    Modeled in Blender, textured in Substance Painter. The wireframe model in the screenshot is the same model as in all the screenshots as I have  no idea how to actually texture high-res geometry. Baked down from a high-poly model, the tri-count is only 1,204 so you could throw this straight into a game.

    I don't think I'll participate in this challenge, I just came across the thread and thought an axe sounded fun. Seeing some very cool stuff in this thread!

  • I didn't attend the first week because I was going through the art of sculpting course. I'm nearly done with it and since I love to model weapons, I thought I'd give this a shot. I hope being an hour late (according to my time zone) for the day is alright :) I started making it this evening so I had to rush a bit. Some minor details are missing.

    It's a bardiche but bardiches are like elongated axes on a pole. I hope that's alright too :P

    Modeled in Blender. Textured in Substance Painter. Materials were made in Substance Designer some time ago.

  • Hey there, *real* late I know but I've been fairly busy these past couple days. Didn't get a proper time to texture and render my speaker but here's the model nonetheless:

    Probably won't be able to keep up for the next 2-3 days or so but either way I'll be seeing you all shortly!

  • Just a viewport render this time. I'm planning to take all of the weapons to Substance Painter when I finally take a spin on the trial month in the near future.

  • I'm going out today so I'll pass on texturing this one. The grip was going to be bone, the guard and the rest of the hilt was going to be brass and steel and the blade was going to be pattern welded steel. Looking forward to tomorrow.

    Simple matcap screenshot :(

  • well I now know what a combat knife is, this one is not from army surplus.  My time is up again, so it is what it is, at least you can tell it is a knife.  Amazing the difference between evee and cycles and what a difference moving a light does.

  • Another day well spent, as far as I'm concerned!

    The modelling took me about 8 hours, so I've only spent 45 minutes on texturing and shading and lighting and camera placement and background, but I'm quite happy with the result and learned a ton...


    • spikeyxxx how did you do the serrated part? I had wanted to incorporate it into mine but I was having so much trouble, that I did away with it.

    • cciku-karugi Honestly, that was a nightmare;)

      I had to re-do that part several times, because of shading artefacts. Next time I will do it differently, I don't know how yet, but at least I won't make the mistakes I made this time (I hope!)

      I can't explain it, so here's what it looks like:

      Basically, I pulled the 'points' outward and that caused all kinds of problems, especially to get the angles right...

      I would have saved my self a lot of trouble, if would have 'edge slided' the 'in-cuts' inward...

    • spikeyxxx that's a looooot of vertices 😄 But it looks great in the render so we're good

    • swikni I know!

      Tried a lazy reduction by making N-gons, but that completely messed up the shading;)

      And having spent so long on it already, I thought, what the heck; it's a still render anyway. (Fun fact, this was rendered in 30 seconds on an old CPU.)

    • spikeyxxx  thank you. I'll try that, serrated edges add something extra to the knife. Thanks again.

  • I am impressed by the great results achieved here in one day.
    After my own solution were unseccsessful I grabbed a tutorial.
    I need much more training and have problems to finished this kind of model in a short time.