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MikeJamesMedia
05-10-2008, 07:42 PM
Hello,

I'm expecting to transition from my current software to LightWave in the coming months, so I downloaded and successfully installed the trial version of LightWave 9.

There is no documentation! When you click the help menu, it says that the online help files can be downloaded from the "Registration" area. Yet, when I click that link, there is no place to download the documentation. Without that, the software is essentially useless to a guy like me, who is not familiar with LightWave.

So...
From my software ("Carrara Studio") I exported both a .3DS and .DFX version of one of my models. LightWave imported the .3DS file, but crashed when I tried to import a (3D) DXF. Image 01 is the model imported successfully. Image 02 is the same model, imported into "Layout". Yet, when I do a "Render Frame", I get a blank rendering. (image 03)

Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance.

Chilton
05-10-2008, 08:45 PM
Hi,


Hello,
...
There is no documentation! When you click the help menu, it says that the online help files can be downloaded from the "Registration" area. Yet, when I click that link, there is no place to download the documentation. Without that, the software is essentially useless to a guy like me, who is not familiar with LightWave.


That's odd. I'll take a look.



So...
From my software ("Carrara Studio") I exported both a .3DS and .DFX version of one of my models. LightWave imported the .3DS file, but crashed when I tried to import a (3D) DXF. Image 01 is the model imported successfully. Image 02 is the same model, imported into "Layout". Yet, when I do a "Render Frame", I get a blank rendering. (image 03)


It looks (from your screenshot) like your camera is not looking at the target. Try switching to camera mode in the popup menu for one of your viewports (it's the menu that says, 'Perspective' in the first one) and see if you can see the model there.

If not, rotate the camera so it's looking at the plane. If it can see the plane, you might play with the lights to see if it's a lighting issue.

HTH,
-Chilton

MikeJamesMedia
05-10-2008, 08:52 PM
Here's an image which shows the "camera view", with the (again, blank) rendering over it.

Really frustrating.

Surrealist.
05-10-2008, 08:54 PM
I think that that link has been broken over the last version or so.

Have you scrolled down on your registration page?

There should be something that looks like this:

LightWave v9.2 WebHelp - Mac Platform

This will download an application that will install it in the right place so you can access the documentation from LW - the way I like to do it. :) If you don't have that link let me know.

I can include that with my other offer. :)

PS: I have no idea about the blank camera view.

Surrealist.
05-10-2008, 08:59 PM
Really frustrating.

Dude, really sorry to hear about your woes on this. I hope we can get you rolling with :lwicon:.

MikeJamesMedia
05-10-2008, 09:14 PM
It took some poking around, but the documentation links were found on the "My Downloads" page, and I've got them now. Thanks for urging me to have a look again. The "Registration" page wasn't very clear to me, but I see how it works now. Much appreciated!

Now, I'll do some reading and see if I can figure out why I can't render anything.

Thanks again.

Chilton
05-10-2008, 10:06 PM
Hi,

If you can email me the object, I'd be happy to take a look at it and see if it's a geometry import issue, or something else.

-Chilton

MikeJamesMedia
05-10-2008, 10:11 PM
Thanks, but I know that's not it.

The model imports properly into both Modeler and Layout. I can move it around, rotate all the elements, etc..

It's just that I cannot make the program produce a render, after verifying that the light is on the object (light view) and that the camera is pointed at the object. (camera view)

In each case, the rendering is a blank, checkerboard background.
I've browsed the documentation for every instance of the word "render", and find no help there. It should be working, but simply is not.

Surrealist.
05-11-2008, 06:41 AM
Good, glad you got the doc.

Did you try something simple like create a ball, save it, and try to render it?

Just gotta ask. Break it down to a simple test.

MikeJamesMedia
05-11-2008, 10:32 AM
Yes.

I'm not new to 3D, just new to LightWave. So... I thought about that right off the bat, and tried some of the built-in primitives, which Modeler did let me save. I then loaded them into Layout and did a render with the same results... a black checkerboard box with no object in it.

archijam
05-11-2008, 10:44 AM
Can you open the light and camera panels and make screen shots? Also the scene editor would help. Make sure all objects have a 'tick' next to them (visible by camera). Hit p when the object is selected, and make sure that it is seen by camera etc.

Also, what material is applied to your object? Changing the view from wireframe to shaded or textured would let us see if it is transparent etc.

It must be something simple, or related to your object, because I have never had such a problem (also running os x).

Surrealist.
05-11-2008, 10:46 AM
Yes.

I'm not new to 3D, just new to LightWave. So... I thought about that right off the bat, and tried some of the built-in primitives, which Modeler did let me save. I then loaded them into Layout and did a render with the same results... a black checkerboard box with no object in it.

LOL , sorry man, did not mean to insult your intelligence. :D

Just had to ask. OK so that sucks.

Other than light levels I am sure you checked, I have no ideas.

MikeJamesMedia
05-11-2008, 11:25 AM
No problem, Richard. It was worth a try!

Well, I now know there's nothing wrong with my model, since I have the same results with one of LightWave's own primitives.

I didn't include screenshots, but trust me...

The ball is a simple LightWave primitive, with the default (flat white) texture applied. I've checked the scene editor, (which I hadn't before) and by default, all objects I create are already set to "visible by camera", which is the way I'd expect those defaults to work. The light is on to it's default 100%, and pointing at the object, (checked in light view) and the camera is pointed at the object too. (camera view)

Under no circumstances can I produce a render of anything. The "preview" render, Viper, and the actual LightWave renderer all produce the same results... a black scene with nothing visible.

Surrealist.
05-11-2008, 11:48 AM
Yeah the defaults changing would have been strange.

On the other thread I think you said you had deleted the LW9 config. Did you try that again for this issue? When things go FUBAR that is the direction I usually head.

Also I have no idea about display adapters for the Mac so that could be something.

Other than that, suppose you just have a bad download? It won't run in anything other than discovery and then this. Just another thought. Maybe download it again? Then clean fresh install? Worth a shot.

MikeJamesMedia
05-11-2008, 11:53 AM
The preferences I deleted had no effect at the time, and they were replaced when I re-downloaded the trial version and installed it again. (So, it wasn't a bad download, since I got identical results both times.)

I wouldn't suspect a display adapter, because every other aspect of LightWave and Modeler seem to be working. (as is the rest of my software) - My display is 1280 x 854 and uses the ATI Mobility Radeon 9700.

Chilton
05-11-2008, 11:55 AM
Hi,


Hello,
From my software ("Carrara Studio") I exported both a .3DS and .DFX version of one of my models. LightWave imported the .3DS file, but crashed when I tried to import a (3D) DXF.


Any chance you could email me the model that crashed LW?

Rendering is one of the most basic things we test continuously here, so the fact that it's not working here is quite odd.

Thanks!
-Chilton

[email protected]
or
[email protected]

Giacomo99
05-11-2008, 12:38 PM
Mike-

Have you tried loading another scene (from a tutorial or whatever) to see if it's your default settings for the scene that are not right?

sean hargreaves
05-11-2008, 03:08 PM
Mike, just send Chilton the model! :thumbsup:

MikeJamesMedia
05-11-2008, 07:25 PM
It's not the model.

I'm involved in two threads now, discussing this problem, which also works with any of LightWave's built-in primitives, such a simple ball. No need to send the original model I imported, because it's not the issue.

Thanks, though.

Chilton
05-11-2008, 08:23 PM
Hi,

If it's not the model, it's something ;-)

Please try this scene and see if...
1) You can see the model
2) You can render a picture of the model. It should be a grey box.

The checkerboard is a Discovery Mode limitation.

-Chilton

MikeJamesMedia
05-12-2008, 07:02 AM
Hi, and thank you for the continued efforts.

Yes! Attached is a screenshot that shows the object scene in Layout, the Viper render (which didn't work) and the "Render Scene" render, which did work.

So... I wonder why one of LightWave's own primitives, (the ball I tried) wouldn't work?

Anyway, I've verified that I can load objects and scenes, and import them (via 3DS or DXF) from my other software, that the light is on and pointing at these objects, that the camera is working and pointed at the objects. I haven't changed any of LightWave's defaults, so I wonder what is preventing my items from rendering?

I've been reading the documentation, trying to find something like "How to make your first render", and can't find an answer for whatever I'm doing wrong. It's probably a settings box that is (or isn't) checked somewhere, but being unfamiliar with LightWave, it's not "intuitive" for me to know where to look.

Aghhh.

archijam
05-12-2008, 07:21 AM
Forget viper for the moment, it will not be useful until later. It will not show anything until you get a render done, in any case. You also have to enable it in render options.

Can you post your camera, light, and globals settings? Without these it's very hard to offer any assistance.

Surrealist.
05-12-2008, 08:27 AM
Hi, and thank you for the continued efforts.

Yes! Attached is a screenshot that shows the object scene in Layout, the Viper render (which didn't work) and the "Render Scene" render, which did work.

So... I wonder why one of LightWave's own primitives, (the ball I tried) wouldn't work?

Anyway, I've verified that I can load objects and scenes, and import them (via 3DS or DXF) from my other software, that the light is on and pointing at these objects, that the camera is working and pointed at the objects. I haven't changed any of LightWave's defaults, so I wonder what is preventing my items from rendering?

I've been reading the documentation, trying to find something like "How to make your first render", and can't find an answer for whatever I'm doing wrong. It's probably a settings box that is (or isn't) checked somewhere, but being unfamiliar with LightWave, it's not "intuitive" for me to know where to look.

Aghhh.

Perfect. I think that explains it. At least I think it does. Let me ask. When you then imported your objects, did you import them into the test scene that you were given? Or did you import them into a fresh scene in LW?

Well actually either way it still might explain what is happening. But first the answer to this burning question. :)

Oh, and to your question about the manual. The reason there is nothing in there is perhaps because by default, to render something, you don't have to do anything. Just load an object and press F9. The lighting and everything is set to render at least so you can see it.

MikeJamesMedia
05-12-2008, 08:56 AM
Okiedokiethen...

When I imported my model from a 3Ds file, I imported into the existing scene in Modeler. When I later went to Layout, I did the same thing.

Here are three images of the settings, as they came in the download.

Surrealist.
05-12-2008, 12:09 PM
OK well to narrow this down, you feel up to trying some more tests?

If so, try this:

Start completely fresh - reboot.

Open Modeler.

Import the Airplane object into Modeler.

Save it as a LightWave object by first breaking it up into no more than 400 points per layer.

Close Modeler.

Open the test scene you downloaded here. Verify that the box renders.

Use the replace object command in Layout to replace the box with the Airplane object you saved as a LWO.

Test it and see if it renders.

If it does not you have your problem right here. The Model. Then start fresh again and repeat but this time replace with one of the primitives you saved and see if it renders.

If it does not, I am baffled.

If it does close everything down. Reboot.

Load Lightwave

load a primitive object and test it to see if it renders.

If not, you have your culprit. Your copy of LW is not generating a good default scene.

If it does render the next step is your culprit.

Clear scene.

Import the 3DS object into Layout.

If it does not render...

clear all objects

load a primitive

If it does not render you have your problem. Something is happening in the import process that is corrupting your scene. It could be as simple as trying to import an object with more than 400 points but I am just grasping at straws there.

From these tests you should be able to narrow down where the problem is.

MikeJamesMedia
05-12-2008, 08:05 PM
First of all, thanks to all for trying to help me.

But...

Remember - The registered version of the trial software will not run AT ALL. It hangs during startup. With that being the case, I can only run this software in "Discovery Mode". That means that I can't save ANYTHING.

I wrote to NewTek technical support, and they responded with directions that don't even apply... (How to use the dongle, etc..) I wrote them back, pointing that out, and am hoping for an answer that will let me register and use the software in "full" mode for the 30 day trial period.

My reason for wanting to evaluate LightWave, aside from it's great reputation and known capabilities, is that I want to see how it imports and renders my existing models. In "Discovery Mode", I can't do any of that.

So, most of the solutions offered here can't even be tried. Thanks to all of you, regardless, as I'm sure you have better things to do.

Take care.

sean hargreaves
05-12-2008, 08:55 PM
Mike, you got a gun.............

or.........

maybe a hammer is safer...........:D

Chilton
05-12-2008, 08:56 PM
Hi,

Let's see if we can figure out why your trial version isn't working. Open Activity Monitor, double-click the Layout app, and click the Sample button. Email me that and I'm pretty sure I can tell you what is happening.

-Chilton

[email protected] or [email protected]

Surrealist.
05-12-2008, 08:57 PM
I can only run this software in "Discovery Mode". That means that I can't save ANYTHING.

Oh, OK. So we need to clear up a basic confusion. All a trial version is, or should be, is a copy of LightWave that has no dongle. I am not sure what they have to do to the code to make it work without the dongle. But it is also tied in with the 30 day trial activation code. Beyond that, it should operate just as it does for me or anyone else in discovery mode - without the activation code.

If it does not, maybe I am missing some data about the trial version. But my understanding is that you can save up to 400 points in discovery and in the full activated version of the trial you can save larger files.

So you either have a bad copy of the software or you have a hardware or software conflict that is preventing even the activated version to load. You might want to try it out on another Mac if you can get your hands on one near you.

PS: and I feel your pain. Shawn, you are on the money. I have been there. And a hammer is my choice.

Surrealist.
05-12-2008, 09:01 PM
Hi,

Let's see if we can figure out why your trial version isn't working. Open Activity Monitor, double-click the Layout app, and click the Sample button. Email me that and I'm pretty sure I can tell you what is happening.

-Chilton

[email protected] or [email protected]

Oh I just realized you are at Newtek!

So what is the dealio on the Trial version, am I right on that?

sean hargreaves
05-12-2008, 09:02 PM
Wait, you know what?

Mike, you're in Alaska right? Its all to do with the Magnetic North Pole, which as we all know, is'nt the true north pole.

First of all, close the friggin' windows, its cold and the equipments frozen......again!
Next, see all the wires and dangly bits? Unplug them, then re-plug them (keeping the power on, mind you).
Then, get some salt and throw it all over the place, it helps in the cold for some reason (ice road truckers love the stuff).
Then, brew a cup of coffee and wait..................

ps if nothing happens, repeat above steps, MINUS the first one 'cos you already closed the windows and if you tried to close the windows when they're already closed it would look silly! GOOD LUCK!!:thumbsup:

MikeJamesMedia
05-12-2008, 09:57 PM
Chilton, I've emailed you the Activity Monitor sample.
Maybe that will help.

In the meantime, I'm coping with the frustration as best I can. (see attachment)

Thanks!

archijam
05-13-2008, 02:27 AM
Re: the trial version:

Layout will not save, but modeler will. As long as you have no more than 400 points per layer.

Re: the screenshots - no obvious problems there, but the problem may be material based. I will post some screens of a 'typical' setup, you can turn a lot of things off.

BeeVee
05-13-2008, 02:15 PM
James, that's the Discovery Edition. The Trial Edition will save models and scenes just fine (and render without a watermark for the 30 days). Mike seems to be having problems running that though.

B

archijam
05-13-2008, 02:24 PM
Ahhhhhhh. Never did run that :)

Chilton
05-13-2008, 02:51 PM
Mike,

Try turning off your network connections and run Trial mode again.

-Chilton

MikeJamesMedia
05-14-2008, 01:36 AM
Ok, I disconnected my newtork (ethernet) connection, then launched Layout, and entered my Trial license key. A popup then says, "Restart LightWave to exit Discovery Mode." When I do that, the program will no longer run, and hangs during the launch process.

Folks at NewTek...

I've written to Tech Support at NewTek twice, describing this issue. I only got one response, which had nothing whatsoever to do with my question. ...dongle instructions that I didn't ask for, since this is the trial version. (!)

No offense, but this is hugely tedious. I'm excessively Mac-savvy, and have been using other ("Carrara Studio") for over 10 years. My computer isn't brand new, (G4 Mac Aluminum "Powerbook", with 1.25GB ram and plenty of free hard drive space) but it's perfectly capable of running other modern software. I'm getting really frustrated here, now on my 4th re-install, and after having tried the variety of solutions suggested above, why can I not simply load an object, and do a render?

I'm using LightWave's own defaults, so I know I haven't screwed up any settings.

I'm using LightWave's own objects (simple cube or sphere), so I know it's not "my model".

I know my computer meets the system requirements, that the light and camera are pointed at the object, and so on. Still... No render.

I know I didn't have some kind of "glitch" during download, since I'm now on my fourth re-install.

Since the software won't launch at all, once registered, the lack of "full" or "trial" mode is major. Even if I can get this trial version to run in Discovery mode, that's not enough for me to evaluate this software.

I hope we can find an answer to this. Geez...
To those who have tried to help, thank you very much for your time.

BeeVee
05-14-2008, 07:28 AM
Hi Mike,

No offence taken, but your explanations are a bit skimpy on detail, which is why we keep asking questions. Which version of OS X are you running? Are the objects inside out? The reason I ask is that the box rendered okay, whereas the plane didn't (hard to tell if it's inside out because your screenshots show it in wireframe) and when you made the box and sphere did they look "odd" in Modeler's Perspective window? If so, you can just hit the f key on your keyboard (make sure you don't have the Caps Lock key on) to flip the polygons the right way around.

Hope this helps,

B

MikeJamesMedia
05-14-2008, 07:40 AM
I'm running the latest OS X. (Version 10.5.2)

I believe I've disclosed everything else about my system that's relevant, including the model, display size, amount of RAM, and even the kind of video card. I've sent screenshots of the LightWave settings and the results. I've written to NewTek support. I've tried every persons' suggestions, and sent back both the results and screen shots.

What else would help solve this problem? Since I'm not familiar with the intricacies of LightWave, I have no idea what would be important to you, but will happily provide it, when asked.

Thanks again for bothering to try!

BeeVee
05-14-2008, 07:44 AM
Did you try to flip the polygons?

B

frankenwave
05-14-2008, 07:52 AM
its probably just a bug in their software...:twak:

MikeJamesMedia
05-14-2008, 08:11 AM
Interesting.

I loaded a simple "ball" primitive in Modeler, which appeared in wireframe, but only as a (2D) circle, not a "ball". I switched to a shaded view, but, it only changed color. Next, I tried your suggestion of flipping the polygons (the polygon "normals", I assume?) and it did change the appearance on the Modeler screen slightly, but still just a 2D circle. (screenshot #1)

I then loaded it into Layout and did a render, which produced screenshot #2.

So, does this mean that, by default, all LightWave objects are created with reversed normals? Surely not... ?

Anyway, I tried it.

I hope everyone reading these understands that I have not touched any of the settings. The problems I'm having are using the defaults, so my thinking is that at least LightWave's own built-in models should work, untouched. Right?

The "Flip polygons" test is not useable on my own models, (irrelevant, at this point anyway) since I can't save them, after flipping the polygons.

Surrealist.
05-14-2008, 08:55 AM
OK.

What is happening with your disc is you most likely created it in the back view. By default the disc - not ball by the way - I am not being pedantic it is just that every time you called it a ball or sphere before. A ball is 3 dimensions which means that by default of course all the polygons are going to be facing out and even it it was inside out the part of it would have rendered. It would be impossible to not render it unless something was wrong.

But a disc on the other hand is flat. And back to my point. A disc created in the back view by default faces the polygon away from the camera. Because well, it is the back view. So you are seeing the back side of it.

Good thing to get the hang of this now. Because for many reasons, just get used to the idea of things facing away from the camera by default unless you create them in the front view. It has to do with targeting and other things. No need to go into it now. But that is why your disc did not render and that is all there is to that.

So I take it you can save a disc. Can you save up to 400 points per layer? If so you can break up your model and test them as a saved LW model.

MikeJamesMedia
05-14-2008, 09:01 AM
No.

I used the primitive labeled "ball", not "disk". (and besides, we have the same rendering problem no matter what object is used)

And, I created it in "Perspective View".

Saving is not an issue for me, at this point, nor is worrying about breaking up any model into layers.

I simply want to see the simplest, perspective view render of ANY object, for a start.

BeeVee
05-14-2008, 09:20 AM
You need to draw a ball out in two views. The view representations are 2D and this is a 3D shape.

B

Surrealist.
05-14-2008, 10:03 AM
No.

I used the primitive labeled "ball", not "disk". (and besides, we have the same rendering problem no matter what object is used)

And, I created it in "Perspective View".

Saving is not an issue for me, at this point, nor is worrying about breaking up any model into layers.

I simply want to see the simplest, perspective view render of ANY object, for a start.

LOL! Man I do feel your pain. I really do. Trust me when I say I have been there. I sincerely want you to get rolling with this. I know you are frustrated now but hear me out.

Yes. If you create a disc with the ball tool it is a disc unless you do it in 3 dimensions. It is a disc. I was not being pedantic. I mean it is a 2 dimensional flat shape. Only one polygon facing in one direction and only will render from one side.

You have one polygon selected in your modeler screenshot. It is a disc. But that does not even matter. What does matter is the fact that you flipped the polygon and it rendered. For the reasons I stated. If you create a 3 dimensional box, it will render. Same with a sphere. But if you create a flat box in the back view same problem. You'll have to flip it. Also you can create something in the perspective view and still have it face the wrong way. It can happen depending on which way it is faced when you create the object. And when you create it in perspective view you can create just a disc with the ball tool. You have to pull it out from the middle to get it 3D.

Your test of the flipped polygon proved that LW is rendering primitives. If you actually do the test on any 3 Dimension shapes and they don't render in a perspective view you do have some issues. But that can not be the case, or the disc would not render.

Surrealist.
05-14-2008, 09:11 PM
Also want to clarify about the perspective view. When you open modeler it is set to the default. The perspective view starts on in sort of an ortho view until you rotate it. In that default view you can create a flat disk or flat box that is not 3D.

Lami
05-17-2008, 03:56 AM
Hello, I may have similar problem, hanging during launch. I use freshly downloaded and installed trial edition of LightWave 3D for Mac OS, but I did not have success launching it at all. I did several reboots and reinstalls.

I am able to launch Hub application, but neither Layout nor Modeler works. After launching it, the process grows in memory until 40MB, then crashes with SIGSEGV (KERN_PROTECTION_FAILURE). I get application menu just a while before crash. From the crash log I see possible ifinite recursive loop, backtrace shows about 500 lines of:

libtools.dylib 0x00e26eaa FSysScan_AddPlugins(st_FSysItem*) + 666

I have MacBookPro 15", Intel Core2 Duo 2.4GHz, Mac OS X 10.5.2

Chilton
05-17-2008, 07:23 AM
Hi guys,

LightWave has a communication system that allows its multiple applications to talk to each other, and we moved that to a cross-platform, network based protocol recently. However, we've had some problems with this in 10.5.2, which we're actively trying to track down at this time. I suspect that is the problem with the trial version that both of you are seeing, as the trial version does fire up the Hub and attempt to talk to it. You might try renaming Hub.app, or move it to a different folder, and see if it works better then. Otherwise, we'll have a fix for this issue soon.

-Chilton

MikeJamesMedia
05-17-2008, 09:49 AM
Thank you, Chilton!

I'll just keep watching for an update, and try again then.
Nice to know I don't have (severe) brain damage.

Take care.

Chilton
05-17-2008, 12:05 PM
Hi Mike,


Thank you, Chilton!

I'll just keep watching for an update, and try again then.
Nice to know I don't have (severe) brain damage.

Take care.

It's not a bug, it's a (security) feature ;-)

I'll let you know when we (or Apple) have a solution for this. I'm not a fan of waiting for the mother ship to come save us every time something like this breaks, so we're actively looking into it.

-Chilton

Lami
05-17-2008, 05:12 PM
I suspect that is the problem with the trial version that both of you are seeing, as the trial version does fire up the Hub and attempt to talk to it. You might try renaming Hub.app, or move it to a different folder, and see if it works better then.

Thank you for the advice, Chilton. Unfortunatelly it did not help. Also, it makes no difference when I run Hub in advance.

So let's wait for the fix. Thank you for your time :-)

Surrealist.
05-17-2008, 10:07 PM
Thank you, Chilton!

I'll just keep watching for an update, and try again then.
Nice to know I don't have (severe) brain damage.

Take care.


No body ever said you had brain damage! :D

What did happen with discovery mode by the way? You went MIA. Clearly you can render a polygon, clearly you can save it or you could not have it render. And if you can save it you can save 400 points per layer and if you can do that then you can break apart your model and do some more testing.

If not, perhaps you are willing to upload a zip file of some objects you want converted and I or someone can do it. Then we can at least get you going toward knowing about that. You can up load it into Layout and have a look. :)

MikeJamesMedia
05-17-2008, 10:10 PM
Thanks, but I'll just wait.

I want to be able to run this thing in "full" mode, when it's possible. Besides, that will give me time to review the documentation, which will be a big help.

LightWave's "lingo" is a little different from my software, so I need to get up to speed with it.

Thanks again.

Surrealist.
05-18-2008, 12:14 AM
Cool man. :)