What to do with "Shelved" projects?


Hey artists,

I’m pretty new here, and to modeling in general. I’m teaching myself to model, mainly through doing, and as such, my models show progress in ability. Sometimes, this happens partway through a model, or, when going back to a model I’ve not finished.

I have a few models that are half-finished. I look at them and see issues, which is good as it shows my progress, but I don’t know enough to know if it’s salvageable, or if I should just move on.

Do any of you have projects you have shelved for later, and never went back to? What’s the best way to clean up bad topology, or in my case on older stuff, too many polys?

Be interesting to see what people have had on their perpetual back-burner.



If it’s a subject that you’re still interested in then there’s no issue with returning to it later if you’d still like to complete the project some day, I have a lot of projects like that.

As far as old work goes, it shouldn’t take long to see what things are still usable compared to your current capabilities, in some cases you just have to start from scratch again, but that’s also something that will allow you to improve and do a better job.

Some projects might be too ambitious or some things I haven’t developed the skills needed because I’ve been focusing on other things.


Yeah I gues so! I’m currently trying to learn how to model cleaner, and I worry if I open up old projects I’ll be stuck for hours cleaning topology, when I could probably start again and get similar progress, on a cleaner mesh, in as much time.


One thing to learn is that while you’re working on a project if you get to a point where you’re going to have to do something that you can’t undo without a lot of work then save the file before that and then save to a new file afterwards, that way you can go back to a time where the model was simpler. You’re going to end up with more files saved but it’s worth it also as a way to back up your work in the event that a file gets corrupted.


Yeah, I’m learning to model small and simple, and add in complexity as I go. It’s part of me using sub-ds for the first time and just generally learning cleaner flow. Saving frequently and ways changing name is good habit I have ALMOST mastered


I don’t usually shelve a project because I want to, but because I have to. If something else of greater priority comes along, personal projects get put aside. If I can revisit them at a future date, I certainly try.

If, upon closer inspection, they’re still interesting, I’ll continue. If, however, I dislike it more than not, I might just cannibalize it for parts. For example, I might hate the character, but love the accessories. Those will go into a collection while the character might hit the trash heap or some “fix me” pile.

You really can’t revisit everything on your back log. That’s why, ultimately, you just try to avoid having one. Take on manageable projects, stuff that can be finished in short order or between paying work. It doesn’t always work out like that, but knowing what your schedule is and what you’re capable of doing in “x” time certainly helps.


That’s really interesting. I’m not at a point yet of recieving paid work. Instead my backlog is stuff I took on that was posing to much of a challenge and therefore the work arounds I devised are usually clunky and ugly.

I like the idea of reusing parts. Perhaps that’s a better way of looking at it!