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 didn't remember what a shiruken is, but sometimes Google is your friend.

    Had so much fun (again!) and I think I'm finally getting the  hang of modelling sharp weapons. (It's not perfect yet, but these are one-day models, so...)

    This is what I came up with:


    • spikeyxxx

      I'm really digging that one,great job! I like the 'supaiki', you made me chuckle. :D

      I looked for simple reference that I knew might actually give me some trouble when it came to good subsurf geometry. I actually redid the model twice, focusing on getting proper geometry. My final model had all the edge loops that I wanted, and only a minor little unwanted crease.

  • Gotta do something about my day job. It's really getting in the way of modeling, or at least texturing.

  • I ran out of time, unfortunately.  How do you make the topology of cylinders/cuboids sticking out of cylinders work?  (I know the proportions are all wrong; I'll fix that later.)

  • crew

    I wasn't sure if I would have time to create something for today, it's been a bit hectic but I managed to get something made nonetheless:

    Hopefully the rest of the week calms down a bit so I have more time to continue modeling and texturing. Great job everyone, really enjoy seeing the new renders!

  • Unfortunately little time today. I used Duplications for the spikes.Very useful feature.
    Took about 1,5 hours.

  • I wanted to do some kind of spiked bat that someone could make in weird situation from one or two pieces of plank and a box of nails. Although I am suspicious if those planks still be in one piece after being impaled by so many nails. They tend to crack so easily sometimes.

  • After looking at reference, I decided to challenge myself and try some barbed wire.

    This is the result:

  • Learned I shouldn't waste time working on details if they aren't really going to be seen.   

  • This took longer than it should have... I applied the array modifier way early, giving me more work than was necessary. It's also too even, something to look out for in my future models. I've tried to remove some nasty crease at the bottom of the spikes on the left, to no avail... Tried some lighting this time, not bad for a try.

  • Didn't have much time today, and I started out with an idea for a more sci-fi baseball bat. It didn't really pan out, so it's a lot more bat than spike. It does have a a light though.

  • crew

    Had more time to work on this. Came out as expected so I'm quite happy about it. Only thing I'd like to learn is how to create "wraps" around the handle. I know I've seen some people use the shrinkwrap modifier, so I'll have to experiment with that. Nonetheless here is my render for today. Put it through Substance Painter to add some nice details and wear on the bat and nails. 

  • I've got myself another cylinder-on-a-cylinder situation.  Help?

    • williamatics So things like these, especially with a sub-d modifier, can be really tricky. You need to plan out the amount of vertices your cylinder will need to support your spikes. I wanted 3 edge loops to support one of my spikes, as that gives me 8 verts to make the spike with. There are a number of ways to do this, but here I chose to insert another 8-sided circle. I line it up against my cylinder object's central edge, and knife project it onto the cylinder. Add a center edge loop, connect everything nicely. I'm not using an additional holding edge because I'll be using a bevel modifier set to weight, so I can create my holding edges in that way. The blue lines means its got a bevel weight to it. After the bevel just throw a subsurf on it. It worked out pretty nicely.

      Hope this helps.

    • williamatics 

      Hello William, I am not sure if I understand your question correctly and where you want help.
      I also have the problem that my English is not so good to explain it to you well and clearly.
      I really have to improve my English ;)

      Basically you can set loop cuts and then reinforce the rings  by extrude or with bevel.
      Also the inset tool works well in some situations.
      It depends on the model.
      You can also select and extrude individual faces. "extrude individual"
      Depending on the model you might have to scale with Alt-S.
      With the Loop-Tool (AddOn)- you can change vertices to a circle and scale it
      You can select a face-loop for the ring and use "P" separate by selection.
      Many of these tools from the Mesh-Modeling-Fundamentals are useful Tools

      A simple Screenshot

      That my quickly ideas so far. Perhaps this will help you as an idea.

      PS: numbernine posted at the same minute. I recommend to follow this explanations :)

      I did not care of the subsurf and there will  be problems with sharpening the edges. Sorry for this

    • mmonaloren I like that we both posted at almost the exact same time :D

    • williamatics Here's another trick (I waited on purpose to pose this, because I think you should try Numbernine's way first!):

      this is what I do when I find myself in a situation, where I know, the shape I want, but can't figure out the topology.

      Let me use your case as an example: I would make the ring, the put a cone through the ring, where it's supposed to be.

      Then go into object mode and use snapping, maybe in combination with the shrinkwrap modifier, Then place edge rings where you need them (around the connecting 'circle', one on the ring and one on the cone, also around the edge of the ring ), then finish your topology by connecting everything and extruding towards the point of the cone.

      Once you have your topology in place, you can disable snapping (and apply the shrinkwrap) and even delete the 'mould'.

      Now that you have two edge rings around the connection of the ring and the spike, you can easily add edge loops on either side of the connecting 'circle' and then scale the edge loop between then in, so that the spikes are sitting on top of the ring and it's not one piece.

      I hope this makes sense to you;)

  • I did not know you could buy spiked bats on Amazon.

  • Rusty but shiny sickle

  • Tried for rust, but definitely turned out to be blood.  Learned how to paint a mask in the image editor and tried to use a tablet,  both definitely added to the never ending list of things I still need to practice on.  Time to do other things.  Anyone know any good lighting tutorials?

  • Here it is. Next topic on my growing list are sharp edges ;)
     I am happy with this as a result for one day.

  • Here's my submission for today; as this took me hardly any time to model (thanks to Jonathan's daily exercises!), I decided to spend some time on texturing and shading, to give this a bit of a worn look, contrary to my so far squeaky clean renders in this thread.

    Love the other renders, by the way; you're all doing great!

  • Literally have to run out of the house in two minutes. Some of the ornaments on my reference were actually quite complicated that I had to resort to sculpting. The top one is looking okay, bottom not so much. For so much rushing I'm still pretty happy!

  • Thank you, numbernine , mmonaloren , and spikeyxxx for your answers. The are very helpful. Mona Loren, your English is great.

  • crew

    Here is my render for today:

    Put it through Substance Painter again. Only issue is I don't know how to properly use a metallic + smoothness map in Blender. I'm used to using the texture output for Unity, so maybe I need to try something specific to Blender's maps.

    • jgonzalez Smoothness in Unity is literally just the inverse of roughness. I'm not sure why Unity decided to stick with that instead of roughness like pretty much everything else, but there you go. If it looks wrong you just need to invert it. iirc metallic / metalness maps are the same in Unity as everywhere else. Don't forget to set any of the texture nodes in Blender (except the base color) to 'non-color', else the results can be slightly off. Another thing is that Blender uses OpenGL to calculate the normals, which flips the green channel I believe. I'm not sure which one Unity uses atm. You can choose between DirectX and OpenGL in Substance's project settings.

      Besides that, sometimes Unity's renderer just makes the material look slightly different than in Substance / Blender, which just requires some tweaking.