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!

  • I'm late posting my axe... I'm not even going to try texturing it, the mesh inside is a mess. I'll have to model a new one so that I can practise texturing. This was a challenging one for me, eh...

  • crew

    Awesome weapons everyone! Here is mine. I didn't follow any tutorial or anything for this and I think I did fairly well for the most part. The topology isn't as clean as I'd like, but I did the best I could. Also figured out how to bridge vertices, so that's a new thing I learned with this model. I usually add a noise node and use that for the roughness to break up the super clean look and this time it worked well for the metal. Reminds me of those Japanese blades that have swirl marks in them so I left it in. 

    As far as the recommendations for future challenges. Texturing is definitely something I can throw in. That's an area I really don't know much about though, but all the more reason to dive into something like that. For those interested in texture creation are you interested in using tools like Substance Designer (or Alchemist)? 

    I'd like to have the challenges rolling month to month as long as it doesn't interfere with any other community or class challenges. Maybe it's something that can be incorporated. This was mostly a spur of the moment thing for this current challenge so after this one we can discuss it more thoroughly. 

    • jgonzalez I'd definitely love a texture challenge, I'm quite poor in that area. I don't know about the software you just mentioned, never used any of them, but it would be good for me to try either of them out.

      Your combat knife looks good btw

  • My combat knife...

  • Does the wireframe get in the way, or should I keep it?

  • So these combat knives are popular with soil scientist to dig and cut samples in the field. Some of them get handed down from adviser to grad student. I assume many came from Vietnam. Many pictures of soil profiles include the knives as a scale. Of course they don't stay as sharp with this kind of use.

  • Learnings this week and today: It is a good idea to put into practice what you´ve learned (e.g bootcamp) ;)

    So this time I took more thoughts into the topology before starting modeling.
    And its works much better for me.

  • I never thought that making weapons would be so much fun. Here's today's:

  • This is a good start for something interesting. Unfortunately I can feel my brain going offline for today so it's difficult to make any decisions about the design. Until tomorrow! 

  • I went for a more complex design. Topology took some time and I don't want to just slap on bad textures on it. I'm kinda starting to like messing around with matcaps :D Fits well since the model is unfinished.

  • One "30 Days of" that I really want is "30 Days of Drawing/Concept Art".  I'm terrible at drawing, and I think that a "30 Days of" for it would help me to get better at it.

  • wanted to make it look like it was flying in the air, learned about force fields (wind) and cloth simulation.    The blade probably should have been larger, but looks like a spear.    Gave up on the lighting for this one and just used an hdri from hdriHaven.  Maybe better lighting would have made it look more 3d.  Currently living in fear of the gun, which I am sure is coming, will be quite a stretch for me to do that one.

  • My spear.

  • My cuhrazy spear (or lance, who knows). Was originally looking up realistic reference, but came across some ridiculous stylized stuff and thought that'd be neat to do. I do need more practice coming up with my own designs, so thought I'd give it a go. Might flesh it out / texture it somewhere down the road

  • crew

    I was having a bit of trouble with this one. Just couldn't get things to work well so I'm calling it a day. I also had trouble getting my camera into view, kept somehow appearing in the middle of the spear so I just took a screenshot of what I have. Not the best model, but at least it's done. 

  • Oh Mondays.  I didn't have as much time for this one as would have like.

  • Hira shuriken and bo shuriken. Interesting topic that I haven't studied before.

  • I wanted to approach this with array and curve modifier, like the "Modeling a Wheel" Exercise. I thought that would be easy ;)
    But once again: this did not work as espected.
    So after playing and testing around for hours I chose the traditional way.
    And put another note on my list.

    • mmonaloren mirroring along both X and Y axis should do the trick, then you only have to model one pointy part :)

    • mmonaloren Hi Mona, in your case, because of the symmetry, Miranda is completely right and mirroring is the way to go!

      When you have a less symmetrical form like the one I chose, the Array Modifier saved me.

      Although, certainly Array and Curve Modifiers can be really frustrating, it is worth getting comfortable with them.

      In my submission for today ( for the outer part), I used a Mirror on the Z-axis, and an Array, set to 4, with an Object Offset and the Object was an Empty at the centre, rotated 90° around the Z-axis (disabling the default Relative Offset),

      Curve Modifiers are even trickier, and even I (now, that sounds like I'm an expert, which I am definitely not!) struggle with them most of the times, but you'll get better at them with time.

      Anyway, you're doing great, keep it up!

    • spikeyxxx 

      @ Miranda and @ spike
      thank you for your help and hints
      Your shuriken looks great.I like these nice and sharp edges

      "Although, certainly Array and Curve Modifiers can be really frustrating, it is worth getting comfortable with them."
      Thats the point ;)
      I really wanted to use exactly these modifiers :) Would have been nice to made some different shapes.
      Because I made these wheel and some other exercises but every time I had some trouble.
      Finally it worked- but my workflow was not as smooth as I wanted.
      Btw. - the chain worked immediatly, but I often struggle with cycles- hmm.
      So I wanted to try it again.

      Finally I use the mirror and made one model with empty etc. No problem.
      But this is not so fancy ;)
      The combination array and curve modifier opens many possibilities I guess.
      One day I will managed this hopefully.

  • I had fun doing this.

  • I went for the simple.  Had to look up what these things were.  Thank full to booleans and mirroring.