Ask Me Anything #1 – with Gleb Alexandrov (10-12 December)

    gleb alexandrov

    Welcome and feel free to ask ANY questions you like in the comments. Be it Blender, composition, modelling, art, music, plans, something personal – whatever.



    1. yoyozocker

      How can I extend the rendered range of my scene?

      • Nils Hagner

        In camera settings, its the end field in the clipping section

    2. Alexander Funk

      How can I simulate particles so that they act like rigid bodys?

    3. Alexander Funk

      How can I filter one colour out of an image in the compositor?

    4. Diference of render bokeh and composior node defocus uses, pros and cons?

      • Render bokeh in Cycles have 1 notable advantage and some disadvantages.

        Looks VERY convincing, much more believable than post-pro bokeh effect.

        1. Hard to eliminate noise
        2. Hard to add something to the rendered scene. Doesn’t allows for non-destructive workflow

    5. Alexander Ilyin

      Could you please give some basic ideas or may be even create a tutorial: how to create realistic scene of the road with puddle, mud, car tracks and may be grass somewhere? Something like these ones: or,1237660274,10/stock-photo-dirt-road-with-puddles-27072982.jpg or or

        • Alexander Ilyin

          Thank you for the link! Saw it before on and really it is impressive! Good basic ideas for my task. However there was pretty simple basic structure. Just straight garden beds (and honestly even that ones are not quite photo-realistic). If you look at my sample photos you will find much more complicated structures with chaos of tracks, dissolving tracks, irregular pieces with strange forms, wet parts around the puddles.
          What I got from that making of are the layers: 1)The main soil bulk 2)The small pieces of crumbled earth 3)The big lumps of earth that have been cut off by the plough and show traces of the blade cuts 4) Roots sticking out of the opened earth(think less important in my case) 5)The grass, some of which still shows through the upturned soil 6)Leaves, branches, separate parts of the grass and rust.

          So it’s still not yet clear for me how to prepare #1 when we have so complicated basis? F.g. what is the best way to make tracks which are dissolved, mixed and embossed with other ones etc
          #2 should it be done with simple particle system, millions of very small objects and some texture to distribute it properly? How it could be aligned with #1? Looks like the density of the small pieces of crumbled ground are depended on the basic structure. There was simple basic structure(garden beds) so it seems author simply distributes it manually with planes among the rows.

          Also please note I’m still learning Blender and CG is just my hobby. So it could be nice even to know how to make some parts of the ground look wet around the puddles.

            • Alexander Ilyin

              Wow! That’s really cool idea about wetness! Never guess it myself. Thank you!

              Have you any suggestions how can I achieve the general structure of the ground? Have no sculpting experience. But how else can I create different tracks. Make it dissolve(may be somewhere), make it emboss each others and some parts are separated and mixed with other ones etc?

              Could you please just hint me the way how you do that task if you do?

              Thank you!

            • I would research these things first and see, what works for me:
              1. Displacement modifier (to create tracks)
              2. Layered materials, mixed by procedural noises or black-and-white masks
              3. Normal maps (I use it heavily in case of earth and dirt)
              4. Particles – to distribute chuncs of the dirt, stones and other stuff across everything else

              Sculpting ground by hand can be very frustrating in terms of performance and workflow. Try making complex multi-layered material first, and then use displacement modifier.

              One more technique: we can separate ground model in 2 parts – far and close. Then we use displacement modifier on what lies close to the camera, and handle background with the texture only.

            • Alexander Ilyin

              Thank you very much!

    6. I have been doing blender as a hobby for a while now. I want to improve my skills as an artist, so could you please give your honest feedback on this image. Don’t worry about hurting my feelings 🙂

      • Oliver, thanks for sharing your work! I think you’re on the right track with your image: pleasant color, interesting subject – very cool. I would add 3 things to enhance it:

        1. strong point of interest
        2. details
        3. aerial perspective.

        The point of interest (or the focal point) can be something that draws attention like nothing else. The main subject. For example, big red sun that is half-hidden from view by the mountains. And volumetric streaks of light, of course :)))

        Speaking about details, it can be anything: clouds, patches of the grass, pebbles, stones, houses, boats, whatever else, that provides additional interest to the image.

        Stronger aerial perspective would enhance the depth and the scale impression.

        Attaching the quick sketch to demonstrate aerial perspective and focal point. Thanks again for sharing your render 🙂

        • Thank you for such a thought out response, it means a lot to me. I still have a huge amount to learn and I will definitely take your points into consideration.

    7. Java

      Will you ever do a tutorial on any really complex models? I like modeling a lot and it would be cool if you showed how to add lots of detail. 😀 By the way, I love where the blog is going! It looks very impressive, keep it up! 😀

      • Tnx! I have some ideas regarding hi-poly modelling. We’ll see, when it translate into tutorial.

    8. Nick

      What GPU do you have?

        • Nick

          I hate you, in a good way xD but hey you do very impressive renders so you deserve it.

    9. ¿Which option/slot in the Branched Path Tracing Integrator controls the samples for the hair particles?

      • I guess it depends on the material. For example, if hair material is mainly diffuse, you may check for ‘diffuse’ samples.

    10. Steve

      you have highly detailed projects. do you always have a complete idea of the final result when you start new project? or do you add and change things as you go?

      • Great question, Steve! I try hard to generate strong idea first, but almost always it changes along the way.

        Sometimes, the change is very radical. Feel your project and be open-minded about where it leads you – that’s what I think.

    11. LABAI Grieztas

      Hi, Gleb, what is your next language, or may primary?

      • I speak russian, belarusian, english. Understand polish. In university, studied lithuanian – but haven’t practiced it a lot 🙂

        • LABAI Grieztas

          nice, next time, I’m will ask in russian language. Because, for me, hard explain difficult things in english… 🙂

          • I stick to English in my blog and social media, as we have international audience here 🙂

    12. Simon

      Hello, Gleb 🙂 I have a question about an enviroment-texture “problem” I’ve had for a while, I can only view the texture when im looking through the camera, But! when im orbiting in rendered mode in the viewport it only shows the different colors of the image. While Im orbiting its shifiting colors but the actual image is only visible in the camera view. Is it something i pressed or is it a bug? I dont know 😛 Can you help ?

      An image for illustrating the issue down below 🙂

      Thanks in advance


      • TARDIS Maker

        I’m pretty sure that your problem is because your orbiting the view in ortho. Try switching to perspective and see if it keeps doing that.

      • Hi Simon. It seems to me that in the right image we have orthographic view enabled. Try switching to perspective (5 on the numpad). Maybe that’s the case.
        p.s. TARDIS Maker already replied 🙂 Heh, the same thoughts.

        • Simon

          Oh, it was that easy 😛 Thanks! 😀

    13. Nils Hagner

      What are the most important things in modeling? And a tutorial in general stuff in the node editor would be great:)

      • My answer is: hands 🙂 And some patience while solving problems. And a good reference, of course!

    14. Scortanu Ramon

      Hello, Gleb. Could you please give me some honest feedback on my work. I’m just getting started in the industry and I hope to get a lot better. And I have two questions. How much did it take to make Her majesty’s fleet? and will you be making more advanced level tutorials, like the grass and teddy-bear ones?

      • Scortanu, Her Majesty’s Fleet took a bit more than a month to finish, going from idea to final compose.

        Your second question: I’ll definitely make more complex tutorials, that’s for sure. Moreover, I’ve started to write a series of tutorials about lighting. So, some of them will contain pretty advanced stuff, that maybe even included in the book later on.

        Feedback: I see a very nice start! In particular, architectural scene is impressive. Keep going 🙂

        • Scortanu Ramon

          Thank you for responding, definitely made my day.

    15. Hey Gleb, what’s more important to you in becoming proficient with art, formal education or personal effort? Also, where are you from, man 😀 ?

      • Hi Philip!
        2. I’m from Belarus.
        1. In my point of view, it’s impossible to make anything without personal effort, even make coffee. So it comes first. Lots of effort.

        Though, formal education can be very important – even if it’s not the art school. At least, it helps to develop usefyl habits like finishing stuff before deadline 🙂 Having some cultural background never hurts, too.

        But effort – first. Bam.

    16. Mason Menzies

      Gleb, your awesome man! loved your pumpkin tutorial, also how does one make their own matcap if at all possible, thanks 😀

      • Thanks, Mason. Honestly, I don’t know how to make a custom matcap. But I would like to be able to import custom matcap in Blender, at least. For now I don’t see the possibility.

    17. Daniel Campos Guevara

      hi gleb! do you know how the math nodes work?ive seen some crazy things people use this for, but i dont understand how this nodes affect, do you got any tutorial on these or you know where can i find one? thanks

      • Daniel, I’m curious about math nodes too 🙂 Occasionally, I use simple ones like add and multiple, but haven’t managed to go deeper. That said, I’d like to read/watch some interesting article on math nodes.

    18. Ivan

      Hi Gleb, I actually use a laptop for blender but when I start modelling complicated things, the render time is really high and it is relly slow when I move in the scene. I want to start animating too. I’d like to buy a post computer, which configuration would you advise to me, which price?

      • I was in the same kind of situation not so long ago. Actually, that’s funny how constraints of a laptop can force us to solve the problems in creative way. But that’s the pain in the ass, I agree.

        If you want to render in Cycles, then I’d suggest to buy a decent video card that supports Cuda. It will be the most expensive part (my gtx 780 cost around 500 $). Decent processor doesn’t hurt too. I prefer Intel Core i7 series.
        What else? 16 gb of ram and SSD to use as a system drive.

        But that’s just my 5 cents. All in all, it heavily depends on your budget.

    19. Abdul-mu'min .Smith

      Do you have any advice on texture creation and/or texture photography?

      • Personally, I think that it is crucial to know what lighting conditions are needed to produce shadow-less, uniformly lit textures. And how to fixate camera well, because even slight wind can ruin the photo by introducing slightest blur, which isn’t obvious when viewed on small camera screen.

        Beyond this basic stuff, there are many things to it, that all can be summarized to ‘know your camera’.

    20. Roscoe Collins

      I was wondering it you have any tips you could share on cycles…..I love cycles to death but never use due to render times. At 45 mins a frame and a animation that’s 250 frames I just can’t wait that long. Could you please share how to shorten render times using cycles.
      Roscoe Collins

      • Roscoe, here is some universal cycles tips for you 🙂
        1. Keep the scene simple. What I mean is geometry, optimized for camera view & not too complex shaders. At least, that will cut the time for ‘building bvh’ stage.
        2. Use Importance Sampling for environment and area lights
        3. In Light Paths, set Max Bounces to 1-2. In many cases, that is sufficient
        4. Set Filter Glossy to 1
        5. Disable Caustics
        6. Play with ‘Clamp Indirect’ setting and see how it affect the noise. Try using 1 as the starting point and if it doesn’t destroy the lighting, lower it even more.
        7. Disable ‘use transparent shadows’ checkbox.

        I’ve said that it’s universal tips, but obviously, it depends on the scene 🙂

    21. Hi Gleb, thanks,
      where can i found tutorials of motion graphics?

    22. whats is correct, is learn every thing in blender? rigging, texture. modeling, animating… or is better to focus on one thing?

      • Rafael, I would recommend to try everything and see what works for you. But to concentrate on your strengths. No need to be an expert in all departments – as for me, I have barely touched motion tracking in Blender.

    23. john mark putian

      Hi… Just starting to learn blender/cinema 4d.. I just want to ask if the the gtx 680 2gb can model and animate? Can you at least give me some specs/rig that will do the job? (on budget) I’m doing shortfilms but I want to add some production value by adding some 3d. I hope I’m making sense. 🙂 Thanks in advance

    24. Ромка Долгов

      Глеб,у тебя классные работы и уроки. Вопрос вот в чем: планируется ли в будущем ведение блога, подкастов и уроков на русском языке?

      • Спасибо, Роман! Веду блог на английском, так как ориентируюсь на интернациональную аудиторию.

        Tnx. This blog caters to international audience, so not yet.

    25. LABAI Grieztas

      Hi, again! My question from today: how modeling on scene with high resolution mesh, and few objects and in the same time avoid “FPS lag” in Blender. Now I’m work on Christmas scene and I have snow Ice trees and as result, Blender goes to slow and slow. How work with big resolution scene. Like your Zeppelins.
      PS, my PC is enough strong…
      Sorry my english…

      • Unfortunately, some lag is unavoidable, as Blender at the moment is using slightly outdated opengl solution + we know about dependency graph problems.

        Try these things:
        1. Enable VBO in Blender system settings
        2. Disable double-sided lighting on all objects (either by hand or using Display Tools add-on)
        3. Use layers. You may even move object, that you are editing, on empty layer
        4. Work in Solid Viewport mode, not ‘Textured’
        5. you can hide part of the model, by selecting some polygons and pressing H (then Alt+H to unhide)

        Hope it helps.

        • Daniel

          These are some of my works (hmmm I probably shouldn’t have loaded so much) and like many others here I would like to know what is wrong with my art. Could you please give some honest critique?

          Other questions, how did you get started in the cg industry? And what tips can you offer to others trying to get into the industry?

          I have a plethora of other questions, but those will do for now. 🙂

          • Speaking about the cg industry, I’ve started by doing some shit and not showing anybody. But that’s proved to be not the best strategy in the world.

            Then I started to show my stuff to friends and relatives 🙂 That was the first move. After year or so, I was picked up by game studio to work on 3d scenes for casual games (like hidden object adventures).

            Some years later, I created a blog – and that’s where interesting things start to happen.

            The tip for starters: just do it, constantly. No matter what, just open your software of choice and create what inspires you. And share with everybody.

            p.s. Daniel, where can I see your art?

            • Daniel

              You can view my art here,
              (Some of the older stuff sucks, more than the new stuff so if you would be so kind as the ignore those, that would be grand)

              How did you come to the game studios attention? What would you say is important in a portfolio? And on a random note what do you think started the rumor that the moon is made of cheese?
              (Hey, not all question have to be technical) 🙂

    26. Hi Gleb, first of all i am a huge fan of your work.

      Could you kindly advise, if I have complicated object; lets say a House (150MB). what would be the best way of using it when creating a suburb without having to work with so much data in a different projct, new file.

      Thank you


      • Tomas, thank for the question! if I understood your question correctly, you want to merge or link 150mb house into suburb scene – and do it efficiently. It depends on how large your house will be in the scene. You can even make lowpoly model of the house – and bake textures and normal map. Or just decimate your model.

        Did I understand you correctly?

        • Great, thank You Gleb, for your answer.
          Much appreciated.

    27. Guest

      Hi Gleb, I really like your tutorials and have a question. How could I make a afterburner for my spaceship in an animation? I could´nt find any tutorials about that.

    28. Rendom

      I was watching a tutorial on how to create a city with fog. After i imported the citymap i could not select everything to extrude. It would only ever select 1 block no matter how much i tried. How do i select all?

    29. Antanas Jokubaitis

      Hi, I want ask few questions :
      As a nob in blender rendering I found problem with final rendered resolution. First time it was twice lower, OK I found where was problem (by default it have 50% of original size. I think “eureka” I find it, but no final rendered still don’t have the same size as I did in Blender.
      And second, may you can make tutorial: how to render in to layers, and prepare post processing in blender compositor, or you know already done, for others people.
      Thanks, and sorry for my terrible English.

    30. Milin Patel

      Hi, Gleb,
      I’ve been searching for a tutorial on “How to create dust particles, like we see in bright sun light coming from a hole in a dark room”, but i don’t find convincing tutorials on it can you teach me how to do that ? please !!!

    31. TARDIS Maker

      Hi, Gleb,

      Sorry if I’m a bit late, but could you give me some honest feedback on my BG christmas comp entry? Don’t worry about hurting my feelings


      • Hi Tardis, thanks for sharing your picture with me!

        First of all, pretty interesting idea and nice use of volumetrics.

        Composition-wise, I would place police station according to the rule of thirds. Also, it would be cool if we have more details in the image, and more content in general. For example, some trees, road, signs, cars.

        But once again, I like the idea. 🙂 tnx

        • TARDIS Maker

          Ok, Thanks.

          I’ll definitely look into your suggestions.

          Merry Christmas!

    32. Ali Gonzalez

      Hi, Gleb. I’m wondering if it’s worth to deal with laberintic tree of nodes to produce an specific material (I.E. wood) while you could find image textures and tweaking some nodes, to get the same, or similar, result. Appreciate your comment.

    33. khaya

      hi Gleb…I have a question for you. Im a blender user and I like your Work especially renderings.. my question is..what hardware (workstation) are you using to do some animation?, bcoz I know people always say hardware doesn’t matter… but for Cycles and high details models require good hardware..

    34. khaya

      here is some of the work that I do…render times average 3 – 4 hr depending on the resolution.

    35. Relja Trajković

      Hey Gleb, what camera are you using when recording your introductions and promos? Sorry if it has been asked before, but I can’t find a way to search this thread.

    36. Francesco Torsello


      Hi, Gleb.
      I’m Francesco, i’m only 13, and i’m Italian, i love 3d graphic, so i decided to learn something cool like Blender when i was 10, first i started with some italian tutorials but then, i find your Youtube Channel and i decided to look some of your tutorial. You are great. :-()
      Can you tell me some feedback about the image in the link below ?
      (I had to use a google-drive’s link becouse the image is bigger than 5 MB, and i didn’t want to make smaller resolution)
      What do you think of the HDR ?
      I find only this, you can tell me some great site to find good HDR ? 🙁
      If you can tell me some tricks, some way to improve the rendering, do this, i need of advice to find new ispirations,
      Keep it up, keep to do more tutorial, i like them very much.

      Excuse me for any error, as i said: I’am an italian boy.
      Thank you in advance 😉

      Francesco Torsello

    37. amr

      Hi Gelb
      I am biggest fan of your work I want to tell us about how to choose the hardware for work in blender and share with us your computer Specifications
      hardware You will made my day

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