Integrating 3D models with photography
Interested in integrating your 3D work with the real world? This might help
# 16 16-05-2005 , 05:11 AM
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thank you!

# 17 16-05-2005 , 09:41 AM
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i dont want to ask in which parties yu fool around danny user added image
Usefull informations especially for noobs...instead of only writing RTFM or STFW we could also give am the link to that information

# 18 19-07-2005 , 05:43 PM
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Ask away

As a manager, I get my staff into the attitude that " question is a stupid question...". :hug:

If you dont know ask, I feel its that simple. Yes sometime people should RTFM (Read The F*****g Manual), but some developers/production houses or companies manuals dont explain things as clear as they thought they had.

So how can a community build when they make newer members feel stupid, turning them away to other sites.


Chris (formerly R@nSiD)
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# 19 19-07-2005 , 06:33 PM
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Wow, I can't believe people are still responding to this thread. Guess the sticky is working, and people are reading this. user added image

Just to clarify why I posted a link to that article...

I have no problem with people asking questions if they don't understand something. I understand that sometimes the help files aren't clear enough. Asking for clarification is fine. I was a noob once, and I understand how hard it can be to learn all this stuff.

However, as the title of this thread suggests, there are smart and not-so-smart ways to ask questions. How you post a question often determines how people will respond.

Before you even post a question, do a search through the forums to see if it's already been asked before. If people give you slack about asking a common question, that's because it's been asked many times before and answered. A forum search will turn it up for you.

If you ask a question that is obviously answered by manuals and help files, a RTFM or something similar should clue you into that. It's not meant to be rude or anything, just a bit of a nudge.

If you ask something very broad, such as "how do I model X object" or "how do I texture something", then you have shown that you didn't even bother researching the topic. There are so many tutorials and forums out there, that it really shouldn't be too hard to do a quick Google or forum search.

If at all possible, be specific with your thread topics. "I NEED HELP!!!111!!1" is not an appropriate topic. That means absolutely nothing to people reading it. I know that I personally skip threads titled in a such a manner, because I don't want to waste time and effort reading about a problem that I may not be able to answer.

"Need help with converting between polys and subds" is a good thread topic. It tells readers what the thread is about, and they can decide if they are able to help out. "Looking for tips on modeling cartoon characters" is another good topic. Be specific with the topics, and chances are you'll get better responses, or in some cases, you get responses period.

I'm not trying to pull any attitude or be a hard-a$$ about this. I just want to give some advice on better ways to get answers efficiently (and politely, sometimes) from the community.

Danny Ngan
Animator | Amaze Entertainment
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# 20 19-07-2005 , 06:37 PM
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No arguments with that m8...

Its just certain ppl can take that attitude and its unfair. Being a WinTel Senior Analyst I still feeling RTFM works...

Searching the forums is always the logical course of action (or should be). And your not being a hard ass user added image

Chris (formerly R@nSiD)
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# 21 08-08-2005 , 10:22 PM
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# 22 28-08-2005 , 12:57 AM
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I understand us the newbies get into the pro's nerves sometimes asking dumb questions because of our lack of patience to look for the answer on the site, But frankly there are a few exceptions that we can't help it out of desperation to find an answer.

Although this forum doesn't seem t obe as bad as many, i understand bandwidth must be saved and ,in addition it helps keep the website clean from useless stuff. There will be a day that everyone can easily find the right answer for their troubles and everyone will be happy.

in the meantime, Maybe deleting posts with anything irrelevant that has already been answered could be the best solution, but also make sure that the remainder post with the same topic is search engine friendly. Let's say i am looking for a tutorial about dynamics and the answer is located on a thread that talks about rendering, it would be imposible for me to find that onepost with the answers i am looking for.

So organization is one thing to keep in mind.

"It is Difficult to understand the universe if you only study one planet"
-Miyamoto Musashi-
# 23 03-09-2005 , 08:59 PM
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Re: How To Ask Questions the Smart Way

Originally posted by dannyngan
Here is some good advice for how to post more productive questions on these forums:

I highly recomend that people read this. Although the article is talking specifically about hacker communities, the information there applies to this community as well. That information can also be used as good guidelines for anyone asking questions in the IRC channel.

A rebuttal to How To Ask Questions The Smart Way by Eric S. Raymond

Greetings to all,

With regard to posting on any forum or newsgroup, there are often many more “realistic” variables that arise with the current state of the World Wide Web as compared to five, ten, or twenty five years ago.

There will always be those with the status of Newbie (sometimes spelled NOOB) among us; those individuals just embarking on a new direction in their academic pursuits.

I was a newbie in 1970 when I first gazed on an IBM 360 Computer complete with card punching machines and a whopping 10K of core storage.

I was a newbie in 1979 when I embarked on my first in depth usage of Computers from Digital Equipment Corp.

I was a newbie a year later when I started to learn UNIX and VAX/VMS simultaneously.

I later became an expert in Unix System Internals, C Language, ADA, Database Design & Administration, Systems Engineering, and System Administration, 12 other languages and on and on. I taught Computer Science at the Collegiate Level for 11 Semesters in the evenings. I’ve worked in Research Centers, and I’ve worked on projects that had multi-disciplined hardware, software and networking with over thirteen million lines of code. I have also programmed the Commodore PET using simple Basic.

In this entire experience I have worn many hats. Both asking the questions and answering the questions.

I can relate to Mr. Raymond when he states… “What we are, unapologetically, is hostile to people who seem to be unwilling to think or do their own homework before asking questions. People like that are time sinks -- they take without giving back, they waste time we could have spent on another question more interesting and another person more worthy of an answer. We call people like this "losers" (and for historical reasons we sometimes spell it "lusers").

I can remember having that attitude about 20 years ago in the Usenet News Groups. “Don’t waste my precious time with your silly no-challenge-newbie questions.

I think a lot differently now. I don’t think of anyone as a ‘loser’ anymore.

Development was much simpler then. If you were developing an application in C you would be more than likely using a Unix Box, using ATT’s Operating System with the native C Compiler. Perhaps a RDMS from Unify or Sybase and you were coding for TTY terminals. You didn’t have to stray very far to find answers. And with answers being easy to find you were considered lazy if you didn't try to look.

My last little project had a remote MySQL database, a PHP driven (producing HTML) Web Site that does database lookups and allows users to interact and input data. There is a local stand alone MS Access database with MS Visual Basic using Sockets to communicate with the remote database using XML to transfer data. Add to that a little Flash Animation and a little bit of pretty graphics and you have a system in today’s world. That is eight disciplines you have to be competent in to achieve the desired goal.

Everything changed with the invention of WWW in 1991 by Tim Berners-Lee.

Prior to that, those of us who were on the ‘net’ so to speak had Telnet, FTP, Gopher, Archie, Usenet and other limited searching tools to scour the TCP/IP network.

When you wanted to look up something you typically only had to wade through several hundred to several thousand listings of documents to research in finding your answer. Most of the contributors to Usenet at that time circa 1985-86 were Professionals or CS Students at Universities. (Besides myself, I couldn’t think of anyone that I knew that had a home computer running UNIX at that time. My first modem was a 300 baud acoustical modem.) There was not a lot of fluff and there were far more “in-the-know” than there were Newbies. Answers were fairly easy to find.

In 1991, the first year of its existence, WWW was exclusive to those who had access to the NeXT Machines. (That is what Tim used to develop HTML and HTTP.) How I miss those days to some degree. Not too much clutter back then.

Within that year there were millions of web pages in existence. No huge Search Engines and blissfully reminiscing, no Pop Ups either! Simple Hyper Text pages were the main feature of the day.

Shortly after UNIX browsers came into being and in mid-1994, Silicon Graphics founder Jim Clark collaborated with Marc Andreessen to found Mosaic Communications (later renamed to Netscape Communications.) and the rest is history. Access to the World Wide Web was now in the hands of Amateurs.

So what is my point? Today it is actually harder to find answers than it used to be. Most of the time, my questions (depending upon the forum) are way beyond the normal expertise. I get a lot of responses similar to “If you figure it out let me know how you did it because I had a similar problem… “ or I get no response because no one else has an answer either. Usually, with enough digging I eventually find the answer, but it is not always timely.

I Google a question and I am inundated by millions of results
Google -> Results 1 - 10 of about 5,760,000 for can't create object. (0.16 seconds) Most of the results are not relevant. Even refining the search down to greater detail still yielded hundreds of thousands of pages. Very few of them relevant and providing any solutions.

A great percentage of web page results that were returned were advertising some products.

You would think that you could often find answers in the local help of a development environment. I was fiddling with .NET not too long ago, just trying a proof of concept with some XML parsing and I wanted to create a quick little routine that just wrote to a file. It had been to many years ago that I had the method for doing that in my head so I went to the help and typed on Open File. To my astonishment I was inundated with 500 listings NONE of the first 100 returned were relevant to my search criteria. It was an endless sea of non essential information. I don’t use .NET for that very reason. It is far too bloated.

So, I come and participate in forums.

The rebuttal to Mr. Raymond and anyone who thinks like the hard nosed Usenet folks from long ago is basically to just simply chill and get off your high horse. (this is coming from someone who is well beyond 50 years old and one who has been around the block more than once in this industry.)

Mr. Raymond you forget (like many others, including myself at one time) that you were a newbie and asked stupid questions and you felt bad when you were rejected so now you want to do the same to others. Or maybe you feel that you invested all your sweat equity in “learning” what you learned that you feel others must also tow the line.

I am going to make an assumption that Mr. Raymond is a professional and has spent his life becoming one. In today’s heterogeneous computer user society many folks are not in it to become ‘experts’ in a given situation. They may be hobbyists or enthusiasts for any given discipline that are just looking for a way to get from point (A) to point (B). Have a little fun. “How do I …” is their main focus is getting whatever project they are working on completed. For others, the interest may be in learning the details.

Mr. Raymond it is NOT being lazy for someone to ask how do I do something if your answer speeds up the process and the end result is a happy client that is pleased with a graphical rendition, or some software achievement that goes beyond the preconceived expectations that were in place.

I have had many projects in the 30+ years that I have been developing systems where I just needed one small piece of a “technology” that was foreign to me in order to “make it happen”. UNIX had the worst of all manuals for writing C code. Show me some code, perhaps two or three ways of doing the same thing and you have in effect, written 2,000 pages of explanation for me. I am an expert creating solutions. I don’t have to be a full on expert in all of the facets of PHP to query a database and generate an HTML page.

I am a concept person. Show me the how in terms of a concept and I can run with it forever. In other words, don’t give me just a fish to eat, teach me to fish. But, teach me in simple terms and leave out the physics of the tensile strength of the fishing line, the design specs of the reel and the fish psychology that addresses the attraction of lures. If I want to I can learn all of that extra stuff I can do that later.

One of the forums that I frequent has more than 23,000 members. Some forums have several thousand members. Given the fact that anyone from just about anywhere can access the web, there are constantly people who are at all levels of expertise simultaneously in any given subject on any given forum today.

Often when you do a search for a subject in a large forum you may get over 1,500 threads that have some bearing on the search criteria. 1,498 of them close, but different enough to be of no help. I can't even remember how many times that has happened.

If the question is too simple, or beneath the status for a person like Mr. Raymond then Mr. Raymond should indeed skip the question.

There are plenty of people who are well below that status of an expert like Mr. Raymond that can answer the question. Someone who is just slightly above newbie status would feel very good and gain confidence in answering a simple question. Anytime you answer a question you reinforce your understanding of the subject you are responding to.

Mr. Raymond forgets (just as I did for many years) that a lot of the time a newbie does not even know what a truly good question is. They often do not even know enough about the subject to ask an intelligent question. Should we chastise someone is just now coming aboard the train, expecting them to catch up with those of us who have had decades of experience?

Another reason is that there is SOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH information out there now that the person who is new is often on information overload and can’t process or distinguish what is really relevant to their situation.

I’ve been involved with Graphics since the early 80’s but only on a very limited scale. I worked for a company that was developing a 2D CAD program for the Apple Lisa Computer and I programmed some nifty C routines for that project, but I am not an artist, more of a hobbyist. I don’t ever intend, nor will I ever possess the talent that some of the folks here have with regard to what is done in this extremely complex 3D environment. There is so much depth to this very complex 3D graphics that I scarcely know where to begin or how to process the work flow. But I do enjoy it.

I also, because of my current circumstances, don’t have access to the internet 24/7 I live on a Farm and they don’t offer broadband anywhere near the area by any method except satellite. I come into the city for a couple of days a week and I try to get as much ‘internet’ related activities done with the precious time that I have.

I realize that there are probably others that are like me, so I will, if I have the time, answer any question that I am able to answer regardless of the simplicity or perceived notion for a quick answer. I don’t have the luxury of spending hours and hours researching an answer to a problem on the internet, so I use forums. Sure I spend a little bit of time searching for answers, but forums are not without problems either. In many cases there are thousands of threads many with no relevant content.

I appreciate it more than I can express in words when someone will answer a question that I posed that saves me endless of hours of wading through gobbledygook.

So, Mr. Raymond, and those who think like you, I appreciate your stance and, I encourage you to do what it is that makes you happy. I, on the other hand, will not hesitate to answer the simple question that has been posed for the umpteenth time.

Those who administer forums have a great opportunity to put together a very succinct and clear FAQ. This is often not done. Another possibility is they can create a non posting forum that has only relevant threads for newbies like what this forum has done. But newbie questions should never have that ominous tone of being rejected or feared because of some technicality in posting to the wrong forum. If it gets posted incorrectly simply move it with an explanation to the correct place.

No one is forcing anyone to answer or do anything on a forum. You either participate by providing content with questions, or answers, or opinions, or tutorials, or encouragement. People do this because they like doing it. It is normal to want to pass on knowledge and normal to have a community of sharing.

100 years from now computers may achieve AI status and there won’t be a need for forums or news groups per se … one would simply ask an initial question of the computer and then proceed from there.

There are literally thousands of people that are completely new to all of this and they should be encouraged and enlightened. An answer that states a solution to the question that was asked with links to additional information is even better than just providing a link.

Simply providing a link is the lazy way out. Why? Because, for the newest of the newbies the information provided in the link may be more confusing than a clear response to their specific question could have been. You have essentially turned away a potential contributor because what they see is they were shuffled to some location with information whose intended audience may have been way above the newbies level of expertise and they could feel let down.

Don't let pride get in your way. If you have the time and want to answer a simple question then do it because you want to, not out of obligation or anything else.

Thanks for letting me say this. I hope that I have not offended anyone.

Many regards,


PS … Okay, I have this polygon sphere and a tourus how do you get these two objects to … in Maya?

# 24 09-09-2005 , 05:21 PM
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I am just a student of animation and not an advanced computer user like yourself, But i agree that cramming the internet of useless information and asking dumb questions contributes to making it difficult for everyone to find appropriate answers.
But there will always be people in the world that know very little abut the correct usage of browsing, searching and how to use forums. afterall we find people of all kinds, smart people, people who have never laid their hands on a computer, people are just getting started,nice people, jerks, etc.

My first experience with computers was in high school with windows 3.1, Before that, when people mentioned "dos" i thought that was refering for the spanish word for number 2 LOL .

And macs, not until i was a freshman in college. Now i am a senior and have more experience in both platforms, but not everyone has the same facilities,education and necesary resources to learn proper use of internet forums and all the things in the vast ocean of information, but those at fault are the ones who know the rules and don't apply them. I would forgive those that still don't know because they just don't know.

But It was a very nice speech and it didn't offend anyone. I am a Noob, Have been using maya for 1 year and a half now ,27 years old , probably in 10 more years i'll be at your level, heh heh.

Good luck to everyone on their searchs for answers

"It is Difficult to understand the universe if you only study one planet"
-Miyamoto Musashi-

Last edited by ryuhayabusa13; 09-09-2005 at 05:23 PM.
# 25 09-09-2005 , 09:10 PM
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Originally posted by ryuhayabusa13
I am just a student of animation and not an advanced computer user like yourself, ...


But It was a very nice speech and it didn't offend anyone. I am a Noob, Have been using maya for 1 year and a half now ,27 years old , probably in 10 more years i'll be at your level, heh heh.

Hi there,

That was quite a statement. I'm older and grayer and I've seen a lot, but I have to say that truthfully there are 13 year olds that could program circles around me in their sleep. When I was thirteen we still had B/W TV in my family (didn't get one till I was 15 or so). Kids today are writing killer game apps. I was playing Cops and Robbers, or Cowboys and Indians.

You have no idea how much of a head start that you have. In the 70's most of the computers had access with tiny small green monitors or a system console that was a continuous print out (that is unless you were at X-PARC) so computers were in a sense boring and primarily work related. Zork, fairly sophisticated text game for its day came along in the late 70's and was refined in the early 80's

Back then when you wrote a program you had to wait 24 hours on some occasions for a response because there were other jobs ahead of you. And computer time was expensive, so you had to be diligent in trying to get your code correct. Today, when I program I let the computer find the syntax errors (far quicker than desk checking) and I'm done within minutes. RAD, or Rapid Application Development was a concept that was just not feasible.

You grew up with color, graphics, moving animations (sprites or others) and that was the norm. When I look at the astounding work that some people have done I can only wonder and marvel at the level of the complexity of the animiations that I see. Toy story, Mr. Incredible, and a movie trailer for "The Da Vinci Code" very cool stuff.

I struggle with a few polygons or nurbs and there are people creating worlds and cities (Star Wars) with thousands of elements. I can't even concieve how long that must take to put together.

So, when you say I am advanced, it's true, I have lots of experience in many fields of study in this giant world of Computer Science, but in the new 3D world of Graphics and Animations I am but an underling a non entity. To put it into perspective...

In the physical world I can probably cut a few trees, tie them together and make a fairly decent wooden raft. Perhaps with time it would have small seat, maybae a canopy and even a rudder.

There are people that design floating cities called Aircraft Carriers that hold 5,000 or more people plus an enormous amount of extras like planes, weapons, electronics, food prep, sanitation, fire prevention, and on and on.

I sometimes wish I had been born about 20 years from now. Then while I was young and had that sponge brain that sucks everything in instead of cells dying off at a rate that is scary, I would have had, I think much more fun.

With respect to Maya, I have about 34 hours total experience with it.

Maya is a programming marvel and the level of complexity is far beyond what I "grew" up with. I used to think that MS - Paint was kinda cool.

I, like yourself went through the many iterations of Microsoft's attempt at an operating system. PC DOS v1.1 that was on the original IBM PC and then with MS-DOS and on to Windows 3.1 ... Whew! I am glad those days are gone. I wrote a 76,000 line C program in 6 months on that terrible platform. (coming from a UNIX dev environment ..) I had never heard of Near and Far variables and procedures. I spent 80% of my time wrangling memory managemnt instead of writing code. I had data structures that were well beyond the 380K limitations... what a mess.

One day I hope to learn how to put a wood texture on a Nurbs Sphere. I Truespace all you had to do was select a material and then select the funnel or global paint button and it was painted.
Between the brush settings, brush selection, and 10 windows I never even heard of before I haven't a clue how to do it nor could I take an image and apply it to anything either. Yeeeeeesh.

Well there you have it.

Keep up the good work, and happy hunting for answers everyone


# 26 10-09-2005 , 04:32 AM
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You've got a few years on me, as I'm 38, but I can relate too much of what you've written. As an Illustrator in the Navy, I've been working computers since 1987 and most of what I know is self-taught. I too envy the youth of today in their opportunities and accessibility to technology, thinking "if only I'd been born ten years later, maybe I'd be working with Brad Bird and taking character lead on the Incredibles. But I guess that just wasn't meant to be for me.

I will say that you and I had something many of today's youth don't, and that is regular face-to-face interaction with our fellow human beings. Play cowboys and Indians, riding bikes, and the like, may have been just play at the time, but it was ultimately experience in social interaction which is directly transferable to any communication. Just looking at the length of your posts shows some of that. In today's world of instant messaging, e-mails and phone calls, few people are used to long discourse with written text. Sentences tend to sort, paragraphs few, and even in these cases we feel the need to short things: @, brb, wth, etc.

As far as noobie etiquette and people asking questions vice looking things up on their own, I have reluctantly agree with you. I say reluctantly, because I often feel that I've seen questions too many times, or that a question is very basic. But I am forced to remind myself that although I may have seen a question scores of times, the person asking obviously hasn't. I am also forced to remind myself that the reason a question seems very basic is that I now have some experience with and exposure to the program. There are people floating around this forum infinitely more experience than I am and I hope that they to remind them selves that it wasn't always so.

To the new people (and some of the older folks too), ask the questions, just don't get impatient for a response. This, like most forums, is a place where users help fellow users. It is not Alias' tech support site and no one is obligated to answer any of the questions. To the older/more experience folks if it's beneath you move on, no one will know.

Wizzie, thanks for the post, the reminder to be civil to each other, and for letting me reminisce about playing cowboys and Indians.


AIM: mhcannonDMC

"If you love your job, you'll never work another day in your life."
# 27 13-09-2005 , 10:04 PM
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Originally posted by mhcannon

Wizzie, thanks for the post, the reminder to be civil to each other, and for letting me reminisce about playing cowboys and Indians.


Yeah... Cowboys and Indians was lots of fun eh?

Have a good one user added image

# 28 14-09-2005 , 01:26 PM
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About growing up with the graphics and games stuff, I am not like most of the kids out there who had their hands on an atari 2600 when they were like 4.

I did also play games of cowboys and indians like yourselves even if you are years ahead of me. Although I did get the chance to play with complex toys like transformers,Gi-joe action figures, and he-man toys ;I didn't get a chance to play an actual video game system until the age of 14 (1992) that was pretty sad when every kid in the neighborhood had a super nintendo. I started with an 8-bit nes.

Not much computer experience either. I touched some dos , word processing and then windows 3.1 in 1993. And when i was atempting to learn that stuff all the kids would just tell me . What? you didn't know that?

A man's level of knowledge and skill depends on his experiences and exposure to a given task.

If you want to learn something, Don't be awed by other's ability . i learned that quote the hard way. I was really frustrated on my first 3-d class with all of these 3-d game experienced kids were in my class. They knew and felt so famililiar with all that stuff. It was all new to me a totally alien world, I was very afraid to ask questions becuase i didn't want to be perceived as an idiot. I finished the course without asking questions to end a really frustrated course of maya.

Then last summer, I took an intensive maya class and this time I swarmed my instructor with questions, and i didn't care if the other kids were giving me the weird look " Is this guy in the right class?" In the end, thanks to asking all those questions, I finally understood the program and now have a satisfactory level of understanding of it. Thanks to asking questions, now i can download all of these tutorials and know what those tutorials are talking about.

If anyone gets a chance, Take a maya class at a school. ASk your instructor ,Ask And Ask some more.(afterall, you are also paying for it) Screw what others think!!!! Personal contact is the best way to learn, Even if you ask questions on the internet, read and have many books, "a thousand travel books aren't worth a real trip"

Social interaction is still the best way to learn any skill. I use simply maya forum ,still find it a good place to find some answers, but now i have a foundation and am able to apply those answers I acquired.

"It is Difficult to understand the universe if you only study one planet"
-Miyamoto Musashi-

Last edited by ryuhayabusa13; 14-09-2005 at 01:33 PM.
# 29 21-09-2005 , 02:07 AM
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hahhahha, thanks Dan, this is the only link that i read a very informative way to ask question like that....

I have rather lost my job and career than i lost my God...
# 30 21-09-2005 , 01:21 PM
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Hey man

Don't be afraid to ask anything. Everyone's life is different and we aren't born knowing everything, so that's why we share what we know. I am pretty sure that there tons of things that you are good at, as well as other people are more knowledgeable than us at other things and so on. that's why we share our skills and double up.

you are one of us now ^_^ And if there's anything that you need help with and any of us know, we'll be more than happy to help.

Also remember looking in the search engine just in case anyone asked that before, and the answer is already there. but otherwise, we are all here to help each other man, so that someday all of us (at least those who still aren't like me ) become pro artists in the world of 3-d and beyond.

Good luck on everything, I wish you the best, and we'll all be more than happy to hear from you.

"It is Difficult to understand the universe if you only study one planet"
-Miyamoto Musashi-
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