Ask Me Anything #2 – with Gleb Alexandrov (February 12-15)


    Hi everybody, glad to see you there! Ask your questions about art, composition, CG, 3d, coffee, lighting book (of course!), something personal and anything else in the comments.

    Also, I will be glad to see your pictures and give you a feedback.

    Q&A session will last for 3 days – February 12-15.


    1. Hamza Artist

      hi gleb what is you hard ware setup

      • Nvidia GTX 780; Core i7 4770; 16 GB ram; SSD-OCZ Vertex 3 128GB; WD Black 2 TB; Wacom Intuos tablet.

        • Hamza Artist

          thank you gleb

    2. Michel Rochette

      Why did you chose the name Creative Shrimp?

      • Shrimps have super advanced visual system, we are almost blind compared to them.
        … but speaking about my motivation: this name just sounds right in terms of stupidity and fun.

        • Michel Rochette

          Very clever. Thanks Gleb.

    3. Hi i have 3 yrs exp in Web & graphic Designing… i want to take my next level into CG(Combine Design+creativity+storytelling+feel) is good for my career with Blender….?

      • Blender is fine, and its community is great! Though, check that other software has to offer too 🙂 Maybe Zbrush, or After Effects, or something else will fit your workflow even better, who knows?

    4. How did you start your website (theme, hosting, plan you have, whether you manage and maintain it by yourself or have someone do it for you…?) 🙂

      • Sebastián, thanks for a great question!

        First, I had a blog on… Blogger. But then I migrated it to self-hosted WordPress.

        1. Theme – Litemag by Bluthemes. Slightly modified it by changing CSS.
        2. Can’t tell much about hosting, as my friend is maintaining it for me. 🙂 All I know that it’s VPS and a pretty cheap one (around 10$ a month?). Honestly, in creating and maintaining website the hosting is the hardest part for me, as I have very little knowledge of it.

        • And why did you choose bluthemes? are you satisfied with them?

    5. Leon Pilarczyk

      Did you plan other courses ? Like your open light book. 😀

      • At the moment, I’m spending my efforts on Lighting project. Let’s do it first, heh 🙂

    6. fan-of-fan

      What’s art?

      • It would be more productive to rephrase the question: WHEN is art? Because the same object in different contexts change its meaning. In the other words, the porcelain urinal (which was signed “R.Mutt” by the way) is art, while it is presented in museum. But if it stays in your toilet, is it art?

    7. Lcq92

      Do you think going into 3D as a career is risky, for young people like me ? I mean the ends possible are either to work at a game or animation studio ; but if I want to create more freely (like you and the other cool Blender guys on the web), and live of it, is the only possibility working for a blender tutorial/products maker (Mr.Price like people)
      I know I can go freelancing and create animations and ads for clients.. (but I fear that client requests will be frustrating and will restrain me from doing what I want… – on the other hand having strict constraints could be good for getting skill fast, and brings good (and stressy) challenge ! …)

      (but aren’t these small 3D freelancing companies completely saturated ? I feel like there probably isn’t much of a chance to create one and succeed..)

      In other words, after finishing high school in a year, where should I go from there, if I want to be creating stuff like you guys?? 3D schools ? (isn’t it money and time wasting ? I’m not into animating characters that much…)

      Thanks Gleb ! 🙂

      • Buddy, your question is more like an answer 🙂 You just get it right in terms of possible directions:
        1. self employed artist, producing (and selling) your own stuff
        2. artist, employed by a studio
        3. freelancer
        4. artist on an outsource, working online
        5. some other crazy option (recommend it)

        Some options will restrain you more than others, but indeed provide a good motivation for problem solving and artistic growth. The key point here is that you don’t need to choose ONLY ONE option.

        Create your blog and start posting some content. Try freelancing and see if you like it. Working for Andrew Price – try it too, why not? 🙂 All in all, stay true to yourself and follow your passion, but don’t be afraid to check different routes. You are free to change a direction anytime.

    8. despicable me

      what kind of post production was used on the “painting robots” image?

      • Color grading in Blender: film emulation and some ‘look’ applied.
        After that, continued tweaking everything else in photoshop. Vignette, faked volume lights, glow, motion blur, further color grading using LUT. And some other minor changes like added paint splashes.

        • despicable me

          thanks Gleb!

    9. Nathan L.

      How do you put bread on the table? Meaning to say do you earn money with this website- I haven’t seen any products or ads.

      • Nathan, CreativeShrimp as it is now help my business in an indirect way.
        1. website gives a ‘social proof’, heh 🙂
        2. it helps my voice to be heard and my madness to be spread, either through search engines or referral traffic
        3. tutorials and other content CAN be monetized (articles in magazines, video on educational sites, etc)
        4. I love sharing things online and contribute to the community

        Though, let’s keep fingers crossed that I’ll publish a book and it will be the first product. Cheers!

        • Nathan L.

          Great! I hope that your “madness” will rub off on me 🙂 Can’t wait for your first product!

    10. Adam Król

      Are you still using 3dsmax? What was the reason you left it in favour of blender. What is better in blender?

      • Thanks for a good question, Adam!

        I still use it, when I need it, and I need it not so often by any means :). To convert between some formats, mainly, or to make something very specific.
        Blender suits my lifestyle and workflow really well: fast, light, live, ever-changing, humane, community-driven. And community is one of the main reasons.

    11. Do you have any recommendations on good places to find freelance clients?

      Also could you give me a quick critique on my portfolio, if its not to much to ask.

      • Nice portfolio! As a Blender user, I would think that the best way to find clients is to just keep working with blender and put a lot of your best experiments on your portfolio. This guy who calls himself Beeple has been creating a work every day since 2007, starting from scratch, and now he’s one of the most amazing 3d artists out there – (Gleb, you might enjoy this a lot!)

        Keep in mind I have absolutely no experience with clients 🙂

        • Wow! I visited Beeple’s blog and Facebook page – it freaking blown my mind. Insanity, bordering genius. And producing art for consecutive 2844 days is not a joke. Thank you so much for introducing me to Beeple!

      • Micah, thank so much for sharing your portfolio! Personally, I love the stylized feel it has to it. The Sheriff, the Alex Hates Trees, Liam Neson low-poly – these artworks indicate that you have a good eye for graphics and for style. The only thing I’d want to do now is to start building online presence and producing more works. Content, my friend 🙂

        And speaking about freelance – I like this site: Intuitive and well organized. But if you promote your social media accs and your blog, you won’t have problems with finding clients. Clients will find you.

    12. Charlie Ringström

      Name your top ten (or top 5, 20, 100, 1000, 1000000 etc.) investments you can make in Blender, like a subscription on Blender Cookie.

    13. Mason Menzies

      do you work full time in the blender world? or do you have a job outside of blender?

      • Mason, my relationship with work is indeed really strange. I consider myself to work on my own projects, like the lighting book, this blog, etc. Beyond that, I take part in a few projects of other people, that I find interesting and inspiring. Also I do a bunch of some random things, that fall on me.

        • Mason Menzies

          interesting! well, thanks for the answer 🙂

    14. Adam Bain

      Am I to late? ( oh poo that probably counts as my question)

        • Adam Bain

          Having followed you since begining of last year, I have learned a lot about blender & the changes I need to make in my workflow, like thinking outside the box more, being creative with my art, like when I was a kid.
          What has been your biggest influence in your work style/process?

    15. Nerijus

      1. Every art you make, it contains so many things in compositing. How you know what to use- fog, which lightning, smoke etc.
      2.Blender has so much, how you master it and how long did that take. For exapmple- only modeling or texturing by itself should take ages to learn… your complete tutorials, like andrew price, im really interested in your worklow, ideas etc, not only 5 steps in 3 min video…
      High Five o/ your da man!

      • Hi Nerijus 😉
        1. Funny thing: I find myself doing very similar set of actions every time: adding vignette, adding glow, enhancing an aerial perspective – to beautify the shot. I will make a tutorial about it.
        2. I try to learn one thing at a time, depending on the task at hand. For example, if I have an idea to make a foggy render, I learn about volumetrics. I know nothing about some parts of Blender (like camera tracking), because I never had a need to track camera in Blender 🙂 So, even if the whole thing takes very long to learn, the chunks are quite manageable.
        3. Yep!

    16. Java

      Do you ever plan on doing gaming videos,(CS GO please) I think you’d be a good commentator. Also, what is your favorite fish? Do you like coffee? And if you’d use any other software aside from Blender, what would it be?

    17. Classy Dog

      What are your goals for the long term? Do you dream of moving into such fields as film or game creation? I can see you being Art Director on a big project one day!
      Also, it’s not a single image, but would you be able to give feedback on a short film (60 seconds) of mine? I would very much love some critique on it, specifically on composition and lighting. This is it:

      • Java

        Reminds me of titan fall…

      • Thanks!
        1.Your short film looks gorgeous – that’s the first impression. As close to photo-real as it can be. Characters are integrated into backdrop seamlessly, thanks to appropriate lighting, real-world techniques like the use of reflectors and the film emulation.
        Composition works well.
        2. Game creation is one of my goals for the future. Eventually, I will expand to this field too 🙂 But tsssss….
        3. Film is also one of my undying interests.

        • Classy Dog

          Thanks for the answers, Gleb, as well as the review of the video! I was aiming for realistic look with the lighting, so that is good to hear!

    18. Java

      Will you ever do a gaming video? (CS GO please) I think you’d be a good commentator. What is your favorite fish? And if you’d have to use software aside from blender, what would it be?

      • Gaming video? Why not! Someday.

        If I were to make a gaming video, it would be something from this list of oldschool titles: Quake 3, Starcraft, Warcraft 3. Or isometric RPGs: Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale, Diablo 2. Or immersive adventures like Myst.

        Favorite fish: Oven-baked Mackerel Stuffed with Something

        Aside from Blender, I use Zbrush, 3ds Max, xNormal, After Effects, Premiere, Photoshop, Gimp, Unity, Unreal Engine 4, Libre Office, Photoscan, 123d Catch, Meshlab.

    19. Alexander Procenko

      Hello Gleb!:)
      Why You migrate from 3ds max to Blender?
      Do you use Linux in Your work or hobby, or You use Windows?
      Blender only one OpenSource product what do You use?
      Thank You.

      • Hi Alexander and tnx for your questions 🙂
        I migrated from 3ds max to Blender mainly because of community and the spirit.
        I use Windows (and I love Linux, btw).
        Besides Blender, I use Gimp, looking at Krita and Inkscape. And bunch of other opensource tools.

        • Alexander Procenko

          Thank You reply!)
          Community and spirit very important things, but how about comfort and potential of Blender?
          Do You speak russian?

          • In terms of comfort, I like how Blender feels. Sort of ‘lightweight’ and customizable. For example, it loads (and quits) almost instantly even on mediocre rigs. And on the same type of machines, 3ds max was considerably slower.
            On the other hand, in really heavy scenes 3ds max can behave better, but for my type of scenes and workflow Blender is the best option for now.
            Sure thing, I speak Russian. As well as Belarusian. Understand Polish. And in my blog and social media I speak English – with a weird accent 🙂 .

            • Alexander Procenko

              Thank You!
              Discover the secret)

              Who codingdevelop Blender?
              What motivate their develop Blender? (they do not get money from development (Blender is OpenSource)).
              From where monetization?
              What if some developers abandon Blender?

              Кто разрабатывает Блендер?
              Что их мотивирует, ведь продукт Свободный?
              От куда монетизация?
              Что будет если кто то из разработчиков покинет разработку?

              Sorry for my English)

            • Alexander Procenko

              Too hard question?)

            • Sk Firoz

              U speak pretty good English Gleb. I dont think anyone has a problem with ur accent. U r doing good.

            • Thanks for your kind & encouraging words, I appreciate it!

            • Sk Firoz

              🙂 welcome

            • Alexander Procenko

              BIG thanks for your answers and site!:)
              Success and inspiration to you!:)

    20. rigi

      How actually you start your art(like the ice rock),what’s your first step,how you find reference imgs,can you share steps you do for your artwork from beginning to final.

      in ambient tut how you did the simple green and bluey kind of cube render

      • Hi rigi.
        1. The first thing is to get inspired with something. In my childhood, I lived close to a river. And during the winter, when it was frozen, I could see such icy things every day. So, that’s the initial impulse: childhood memories.
        2. The second thing is to find a reference(s). I find that we need to feed some image to our brain to start the ball rolling. I usually go to Pixabay, Flickr, Google images and search for relevant keywords. Ice, icicle, winter, frozen, morning, fog, and other.
        3. Then I open Blender, make everything and close Blender.
        4. Usually, after this step I post-process the image in Photoshop or Gimp.

        Hope it helps!

        • rigi

          hey thnx for rply 🙂
          oh and one more Q

          what about shaders and material(s) and texture.How do you find these as a relevant to thing! or whatever you working on. what exact first-aid steps you took for setuping LIGHTing , shaders and materials.

          I’m about to switch to 3Ds MAX and VRAY…..with blender i don’t see any progress i can make and it sucks working with CYCLES.

          H E L P ME!

        • Lcq92

          I have a question for this : do you keep your reference images opened ? And do bring them to Blender, in a UV/Image side panel, or as blueprints ?
          Because, again, modeling on top of an image can be reassuring, but I feel it can kill the creativity of 3D. I’m curious on what’s you’re limit with reference images !

    21. Nerijus

      why don’t you stream your day so we can follow 🙂 i mean

      • Nice idea, I will think about it. But honestly, I’m a bit afraid to stream my day, because half of the day I’m procrastinating.

    22. Marcus Leese

      How did you get so good at modeling? did you do a course, or taught yourself?

      • Hi Marcus. I taught myself + was watching dozens of tutorials.

    23. Miguel Roque

      Hi gleb. How much time you spend in each tutorial?

      • Research of a subject takes a pretty long time – in some cases around a week or even longer. Then I write an article (1-2 days) and create imagery (each image takes 30-90 minutes). The main image that often serves as a thumbnail can take much longer. Then, I spend a day or two preparing a video tutorial – editing, recording voice, tweaking audio, finding music and so on. All in all, I try hard to produce a tutorial each weak. 🙂

    24. Milin Patel

      Hi, Gleb
      My question is bout the rim/edge lighting,
      when we have only one or two lights in the scene it is easy to give the rim light effect but,
      when we have ambient or hdri lighting every thing gets evenly lit just as in real world, and in that case it gets too hard to get a noticeable Rim light so i want to know that how to do it.
      Just increasing the power of rim light effects whole look of render and noise level of the scene and some times it ruins the whole scene.
      so i want to know efficient way to do it.

      • Milin, what an interesting question! In cases like you described, I prefer faking rim-light using Geometry->Normal node in Material Editor.
        Attaching the picture so you can see it better. Hope it helps.

        • Milin Patel

          I think i got the perfect solution !!!
          Thanks Gleb for being so supportive.
          Keep doing this kinda sessions in future.

        • Sk Firoz

          Thank u for this tip. its really helpful. but im not getting how to rotate light direction.mine is coming like this. Can u help me.

          • Now try rotating the sphere preview in the normal node. 🙂

            • Sk Firoz

              Yaa!! Thanks man. its happening…:)

    25. Guest

      Hi, Gleb! =) As a beginner in CG want to ask: what tutors really helped you to become such a great artist? Just can you recommend something to me? =) would be grateful!)

      • Hi! Want I find interesting is that to make a better CG we should know many things outside of CG realm. To name a few: composition in arts; color harmonies; anatomy; architecture; visual culture; photography; film. Think outside the box and try learning from different sources.

        Also, check the ‘resources’ section on my blog, it contains some useful links:

    26. Daedalus

      Hi Gleb! My name is Diego and I am a aspiring CG artist + scientist (I am studying insects for my PhD). I am applying 3D art to design the anatomy of flies and at the moment I achieved something like this image (self taught in Blender thanks to guys like you!). It’s a WIP and I still have a lot to improve on the surface textures and wing colours (iridescence). I would really appreciate your feedback. Wanted to share this in some CG website such as Blender Artists or CGSociety, not so sure yet. I am considering producing some “tutorials” on animal anatomy for CG artists, to help the artists community to improve the realism of their animal models or inspire in the creation of fantasy creatures.

      • Diego, don’t hesitate a second! It is a brilliant idea to share your knowledge of animal anatomy with CG artists, to contribute to our artistic library of animal shapes. I think that would be very helpful. And in the process, you will be getting useful feedback too.

        • Daedalus

          Thanks for encouraging, Gleb! Yes, I will post this in other places and I am preparing some material (including macrophotographs and models that I’ve been creating) to share!

      • Sandra D

        I would love to learn more about the correct anatomy of insects! That sounds very cool!

        • Daedalus

          Hi, Sandra! Cool that you are interested in it. Although, insect anatomy is a very complex and rich topic to briefly discuss here. I can direct you to some websites if you want, or broaden this discussion in another media (lets not flood this blog with it). For instance, I checked, and wikipedia has already a very basic and good introduction to insects morphology. You can take a look at it:

          Also, if you really want to discuss more, let me know which media you would prefer. I would recommend facebook or deviantart (I have an account there).

    27. Lcq92

      Hey Gleb,

      Do you think concentrating on topology when modeling is THAT important ? Because, really, I kind of find that it can block pure creativity.

      I know it’s crucial for characters or stuff that will be deformed through time.
      But when modeling a building, for example, can’t I just create all the main shapes using ngons ? (if I’m not using subsurf) Or Shift-A ‘ing a lot of cubes that i just manipulate how I want and intersect, etc…

      I really feel I’m unnecessarily wasting my time, when modeling my street buildings (or other stuff) making sure it’s just quads and QUADS EVERYWHERE !

      I mean of course if I then share the wireframe on forums people are going to be groaning, but who cares ! 🙂

      • Lcq92, in many cases it’s completely fine to not give a crap about topology. For example, if you are making a static geometry for offline rendering, and will texture it procedurally.
        And even in cases when topology IS important you can still create the basic model using whatever techniques you like, and AFTER you created it, do retopology and baking. So, the creative process comes first, and boring but necessary retopology comes later. That’s the second variant.

        • Lcq92

          Thanks for the answer !

          And do ngons and tris are a problem when texturing a (static) mesh ?

          • Ngons are not necessarily a problem, but Shift-A ‘ing a lot of cubes can potentially lead to problems with texturing 🙂

    28. Sk Firoz

      Can u plz tell me how to use tiling size effectively to reduce the render time.

    29. Armīns Seņkāns

      Hi Gleb! Your tutorial for the City creation with Blender and OpenCityMap is fantastic ( !!! I’m amateur in Blender and I would like to understand how to install the “Open StreetMap” Addon for my Blender, because not installation file in web, I can’t go to Blender File → User Preferences… → Addons → Install from File…, I find that in the web only release version (script) of the plugin. What can I do.

      This is the release version of the plugin file. I already check my Blender’s preferences, but can’t find any map addon… Can You give me advice for it?
      I have ZBrush 4R7, excellent 3D modelling software for various ideas. You may try it too! Good luck!

    30. nugget in a biscuit

      Hi gleb, I have blender, after effects, element 3d, and renderman. Will this be enough to create industry standard vfx?

      • blender alone would be enough. it depends on how you use it.

    31. Sasha Bot

      Здравствуй,Глеб.Должен сказать,я в восторге от твоих работ и профессионализма,это что-то невероятное!Смотрю твои уроки,но,к сожалению,не настолько хорошо владею английским.Вопрос,который хочу задать-планируешь ли ты делать туториалы на русском?

      • Саша, спасибо за вопрос. Нет, пока не планирую делать туториалы на русском. Может быть стоит подумать что-то с субтитрами. Посмотрим 🙂

        Thanks for your question. Don’t have any plans on making tutorials in Russian. I’ll think about subtitles though. We’ll see.

        • Sasha Bot

          Понял,спасибо за ответ,буду надеяться.8)

    32. Hi Gleb! When working with complex scenes, is there any handy method we can use to keep individual elements of the scene sepearately rendered so that the final render of the scene would be so efficient in terms of render time?

    33. Morteza

      Hi Gleb
      I am making a short animation film with Blender and i have a problem 🙁 i search a lot about it and i found nothing.i hope you give me some good advise 🙂
      in my scene i have grass field and a rock that is going to move and rotate around itself . I want the grass to bend and look natural when the rock is moving.
      i now it is possible with soft body and physics in blender but do not know how ?!
      please help me the master

      • Morteza

        No advise ? 🙁

    Comments are closed.