Time Estimates for 3D Modeling: Curious about the 1000-Hour Claim

I recently heard someone mention that 3D modeling can potentially take up to 1000 hours. As many of us work in the realm of 3D modeling, I’m keen to seek clarification and insights from experienced professionals. Is the 1000-hour estimate accurate, or are there factors that significantly affect modeling timelines?

How long is a piece of string.


yes, modelling can take 1000 hours. off course

well, timelines. and size. and complexity. :slight_smile:

I’m curious where you heard that, in what context.

Some context would indeed be nice to have. Is this statement referring to the time taken to become proficient with 3D modeling software, techniques, etc.? If so, that seems too long.

Is it to create a 3D model? That depends on the nature and especially the complexity of the model, as mentioned by @ateliernab. For example, creating a nice model of a wine glass should take just a few minutes (longer if you are measuring and reproducing a real glass). On the other hand, I have been working on a model for ten years and invested probably 2000 hours into it, and it is not finished yet. But it is a complex model (see this Google Photos album for work-in-progress renderings) and demands a complex modeling process.

1 Like

Modeling a cube can take few seconds, modeling a city with every building detailed, with furniture and all kind of assets for a video game like GTA would take a lot more than 1000 hours. Everything is relative, it also depends on the skill level of the person making the model.
Where did you listen about the 1000 hours? And what was the context?

Yes, in one of my last projects of 2023 we were making one asset every 2-3000 hours (a vehicle model). Thats just one asset in a much larger project.

1 Like

Either it is an estimation or it is accurate amount. I don’t think if there are a good definition of “accurate estimation” at all. :wink:


1 Like

Making any 3d model takes time, but there are so many variables you can’t generalize.
A simple model could take a day, but a super-complex one could take months !

I think there are two things getting conflated here.
To become proficient at any task - 3d-modelling, playing the piano, tennis or skiing, to name just four - there is a 1000 hours ‘rule’ - it says you need to practice something for about that long before if becomes ‘second-nature’ to you…

1 Like

I have seen this rather expressed as the 10 000 hours “rule”. 1000 hours is roughly equivalent to 6 months’ work - probably not enough for becoming a professional in anything.


how old are you?

Yes indeed, iv’e always heard it as 10k too.

Considering that a work year is 2080 hours that would mean you could do 2 projects a year. Not very efficient. It really depends on what you are modeling and how complex it needs to be. You should clarifiy your question some if you want an answer.


that’s the answer

1 Like

That’s 1 to 1 1/2 man years, so I would guess there are many people contributing to a single project for the time line to be shorter than a year?

Hmm, well, @TheOnlyAaron and the others on SketchUp Live Stream do everything in two hours!

Yes indeed, can have up to 10 people or more working on a single model sometimes.


I have watched Aaron draw an entire frying pan in 2 hours.

1 Like

So then as long as we are talking crazy. A thousand people should be able do do it in ONE hour. And, their skill level shouldn’t make any difference.

How long is a piece of rope? Comprehensive models can take thousands of hours while mock ups can be done in minutes.