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 Post subject: Modelling with Blender
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:58 pm 
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*** I've reserved a few posts so the other tuts can be added later and will be above posted comments/questions ***

Tut 1 Making an outtershell or decorative building
Tut 2 Making an innershell
Tut 3 The 'Alternative' way
Tut 4 UV mapping
Tut 5 Lightmapping for UDK
Tut 6 Special shapes



TUTORIAL 1 Making an outter shell or decorative building

This tutorial is meant for beginners and people who never worked with Blender, so I'm modelling in the simplest way possible. Might not be the 100% correct way, but people have to start somewhere, don't they ? To download Blender, go to Blender.org and download the latest version, it's free.

Prepping in GTKradiant
Let's take this building on the SpecOps side of the Northport map for example, I chose this one because it has 2 different rims on the roof, making it perfect to demonstrate modelling in different ways. :::
Image

Let's go into GTKRadiant and single that building out. Oops, what's that doing there ?
Image

Let's clean it a bit first and then export it.
Select the building and export it with plugins->Brushexport2->Collapse mesh-> be sure not to forget to add .obj to the name ;-)
Image

Now we're done in GTK, let's hop over to Blender.
Import obj and from the Object tools at the left side menu, select 'Geometry to Origin', which is the first option.
Image

Then press S0.01 <enter> RX270 <enter>
This scales it to 1% and Rotates it 270 degrees on the X-axis.
Image

If everything is alright you will have the following things in your scene : Camera, Cube, Lamp and all(which is our imported building model). In the following picture you'll see that the object ALL doesn't have an eye behind it, this means the object is hidden. We don't need it to be hidden for now. Let's begin by selecting the cube.

Image


Some useful things you should know
<ALT>+<left mouse> to pan
<ALT>+<shift>+<left mouse> to move around
<ALT>+<CTRL>+<left mouse>+<move mouse up/down> to zoom in or out
I have these settings because I have a trackball mouse, we'll go over Blender's settings in a seperate post if anyone is running into problems.

At the bottom of the screen you'll find some important icons we're gonna use a lot.
At the left side you'll see the edit mode, on the picture it's set to edit mode.
There's also an icon with a Red,green and blue icon, the 3D manipulator widget, use this if your manipulator widget is invisible.
Circled in red are Vertice, edge and face select throughout the tutorial we'll be using those a lot and will be marked in Blue
Image

Now we've got that down, let's start
Grab the cube, place it in a corner of the building and go into Edit mode
Image

Now we're going to select the left face, select the Face select icon (right one)
To be sure we're selecting the right thing, first press <A> to unselect, now your cube should be grey. If it's yellowish push <A> again.
Now press <C> for the round selector and click on the left side of the cube. If you selected more than that face, use <ALT>+<Leftmouse click> to deselect.
Image

Press right mouse to get rid of the round selector (which can be sized with the + and -) Then use the widget to move the face to the left side of the building. If your face is not really aligned, look which axis we're moving in (this case the Y axis) and press Y on your keyboard. When moving a face or edge I tend to move the mouse up and down to see if it's locked on the axis I want to move it in. If it's not locked then we might get a crooked thingy like on this pic
Image

This is how it's supposed to look
Image

Press <A> to deselect, <C> to bring up the round selector and select the back face, then right click so we can work with the translation widget again. Now bring the face to the back.
Press <A> to deselect, <C> to bring up the round selector and select the top face, then right click to bring up the maipulation widget again. Now pull the face upwards. If you did this correct, it should look like this
Image

Now, we're going to make the roof.
Go into the right top menu and hide our original building by clicking on the eye behind the ALL object.
Set your mouse on either the bottom or top and press <CTRL>+<R> and a purple line will appear.
Press left mouse button, turning the line to yellow, then press right mouse to move on.
Image

In the case of this building, we're adding a line at each side with <CTRL>+<R>
Image

Bring back the original building with the scene menu at the top right.
Only click the eye icon, else it's going back into object mode.
Position your mouse at the side of the cube and then use <CTRL>+<R> to add a line
Click left mouse button and move the mouse to position the line at the same position as shown on the picture.
Now click left mouse button again to finalize.
Image

Let's hide our original building with the scene menu at the top right.
Now click the edge selector, which is the middle icon
Then press <C> for the round selector and left click on the two top edges
Image

Bring back the original building with the scene menu at the top right, only click the eye !
Now, with the two edges still selected, pull it up to under the roof.
Image

Press <A> to deselect
Select the Face selector then <C> to bring up our round selector.
Now select the four faces of the roof, then press <E> to extrude and pull it out a bit
Image

Now, let's move to the left side of the building.
Press <A> to deselect
Edge select, middle icon
Press <C> for the round selector and select the top edge
Image

First pull it a bit to the left, then down
Image

Go to the right side of the building
Press <A> to deselect
Face select, right icon
Press <C> for round selector
Select the face like shown on the picture
Image

Press <E> to extrude
Image

Press <A> to deselect
Press <C> for round selector
Select the faces like shown on the picture
Image

Press <DEL> and select faces
Image

Press <A> to deselect
Press the Edge select icon (Middle icon)
Press <C> for round selector and select the two edges
Image

Press <F> to create a face
Image

Do this for the back side too by repeating the last 2 steps.
Now we're gonna fill up the gap
Press <A> to deselect
<C> to bring up the round selector
Select the edges like this on the front and back
Image

Then press <F> to create a face
Image

Now that gap is filled, we're making the roof stick out a bit on the front(facade) of the building.
<A> to deselect
<C> for the round selector
now select the faces of the rim
Image

Press <E> to extrude
Image

Now that's done, press <A> to deselect and let's start making some windows.
Set your mouse at the left or right side of the facade of the building
Press <CTRL>+<R>, then Click left mouse button and move the line into position where the top of your windows wll come and press left mouse again to finalize. Repeat this for the bottom of your windows
Image

<A> to deselect
Set your mouse at the top or bottom side of the facade
Press <CTRL>+<R>, then Click left mouse button and move the line into position, press left mouse again to finalize. Repeat this for all of your windows
Image

<A> to deselect
<C> for the round selector tool
Left click on all the windows
Image

Press <E> to extrude and push it inwards a bit
Image

<A> to deselect
Press <CTRL>+<R>, then Click left mouse button and move the line into position, click left mouse again to finalize.
Repeat this step for the other side of the door.
Note ::: If you are converting a map, be sure to position the lines IN the middle of the metal door frame
Image

With <CTRL>+<R> we add another line at the bottom to mark to bottom of the door/top of the door step.
Image

We use a model for the door step, door frame and door itself(all is one model), so instead of this step where I extruded the door inwards and the door step outwards, we delete these faces.
Image

Add two lines with <CTRL>+<R> for the rim and to seperate the top from the bottom, because they have different textures.
Image

We don't need this floor, delete it.
<A> to deselect
<C> for the round selector
<DEL> to bring up the delete menu and select faces
Image

The inside of our building, a neat little 'shell'. As you can see, the endresult is very different than modelling it in GTKRadiant. If the building is not meant as a prefab, delete everything the user won't see, in that case the whole back can be deleted.
Image

Tutorial 2 will be about making an inner shell, so the building will be accessible to players.
BUT since you want to test your building asap and probably don't want to wait testing it on the Unreal Engine or any other engine of your choice,
I will post the chapter on how to UV map your building next. Note that this model is not nearly ready to be put into UDK yet in it's current state,
it will need a few more steps.

End of Tutorial 1
Have fun w/ Blender
Caesar77


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 Post subject: Re: Modelling with Blender
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 1:00 pm 
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Post reserved for Tutorial 2 Making an innershell


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 Post subject: Re: Modelling with Blender
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 1:00 pm 
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Post reserved for Tutorial 3 The 'Alternative' way


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 Post subject: Re: Modelling with Blender
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 1:01 pm 
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Post reserved for Tutorial 4 UV mapping


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 Post subject: Re: Modelling with Blender
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 1:02 pm 
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Post reserved for Tutorial 5 Lightmapping for UDK


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 Post subject: Re: Modelling with Blender
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 1:03 pm 
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Post reserved for Tutorial 6 Special shapes


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 Post subject: Re: Modelling with Blender
PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 10:58 am 
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There is a faster way, you know.

1) separate the building you want as a new .map file

2) clean the building up, create it as you want it to be in your game:
-the Radiant's xyz origin will be your model's origin, keep that in mind if you need to reposition your building
-no broken shapes which have to be edited in Blender
-textures applied as you want them to be
-all non-visible faces textured with the caulk brush

3) create 6 walls around your building, to remove the compile leaks, add a player_deathmatch (or whatever it's called) entity

4) Build the map (i like to call it export.map), meta only, you don't need lighting

4) now use the following string to convert the map to .ase
Code:
C:\Radiant1.5\q3map2.exe" -game et -fs_basepath "C:\WET" -fs_game tcedev -convert ase "C:\WET\tcedev\maps\export.bsp"


5) copy the newly created export.ase from the "maps" folder to where you want it

6) import the .ase in Blender and:
-join all objects in a single one
-remove double vertices
-select the faces which should have different materials and select vertex>separate so they're different objects within a model and can have different materials
-apply materials to each separated objects (brick, concrete, etc.)
-export as yourmodelname.ase

7) import the new model in UE and apply the textures you need on each material


So, what you get is a finished model with proper UV's working with standard tiling textures. No invisible textures, no problems with normals facing the wrong way, no unwanted geometry as straightforward as it can get from Radiant to UE.


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 Post subject: Re: Modelling with Blender
PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 1:47 pm 
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You are forgetting a whole lot of important things, your way won't work.

What about the lightmap layer ? no mention of that

You don't need to set vertex groups, applying materials in Blender works just fine

Nowhere do you even mention unwrapping UV maps, which is one of the most
important aspects to correctly size textures on a model. When you unwrap in the
method you desribed, you'll see why your method doesn't work....

Blender imports chaulked faces.... which we don't need (might be an error, we use a
customized version of GTK, although I don't this is the case).
FYI 'missing' geometry is a 'flaw' in smoothing groups

Damien, it's nice that you want to contribute, but this is not the way it's done in the UE.
It's also a very valuable thing to redo each building for another reason, it makes the
'converter' more skilled while graduately becoming faster in modelling.

Btw the most time consuming thing isn't even the modelling part, it's the lightmap layer that takes up most of the time.

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 Post subject: Re: Modelling with Blender
PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 2:15 pm 
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Caesar77 wrote:
What about the lightmap layer ? no mention of that
Lightmaps are set-up from within UDK, obviously what I wrote is not a tutorial just a quick run through the steps.

Quote:
Nowhere do you even mention unwrapping UV maps, which is one of the most
important aspects to correctly size textures on a model. When you unwrap in the
method you desribed, you'll see why your method doesn't work....
Actually, no. If you use my method, the faces are unwrapped as they are in GTK radiant. This means you can actually simply apply tiled textures in UDK as you would in Radiant and they get repeated (tiled) as they were initially set-up.

Quote:
Blender imports chaulked faces.... which we don't need (might be an error, we use a
customized version of GTK, although I don't this is the case).
FYI 'missing' geometry is a 'flaw' in smoothing groups
Wrong again, if you use q3map2 to convert the map into an .ase model, caulked faces get ignored and you're left with a clean model. What you're talking about is exporting models straight from Radiant using a plugin.
Quote:
Damien, it's nice that you want to contribute, but this is not the way it's done in the UE.
Maybe what I forgot to stress is I used this method for exporting a piece of the map into UDK and I can confirm it works. Lightmaps included.

Quote:
It's also a very valuable thing to redo each building for another reason,
Then why do you brush data from TC maps in the first place? Shouldn't you recreate them from scratch for your game?

Quote:
it makes the 'converter' more skilled while graduately becoming faster in modelling.
I agree but since you're remaking TC, you'll probably want support from TC's community. Since Radiant is quite different from Unreal's editor, I posted the method which would allow a mapper to convert his levels as easily as possible - using Radiant for the most part.

Quote:
Btw the most time consuming thing isn't even the modelling part, it's the lightmap layer that takes up most of the time.
What about UDK's static mesh editor? You could generate unique lightmap UV's in seconds for models of this kind.


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 Post subject: Re: Modelling with Blender
PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:08 pm 
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Quote:
What about UDK's static mesh editor? You could generate unique lightmap UV's in seconds for models of this kind.

Quote:
Lightmaps are set-up from within UDK, obviously what I wrote is not a tutorial just a quick run through the steps.


Lightmaps are setup within a 3D application like Blender and Maya, not within UDK/UE, it's
bad practice and should never be recommended. Don't use the lightmap generator in UDK, it
works crappy and that's the general opinion/fact. UE4 even gave me a nice lightmap error on
things it unwrapped internally.

Tried your method and after a fresh install of GTKradiant it worked, but I have some remarks
about it

- The ASE generation by Q3map2 gives an traingulated mess, you can't really work with the
geometry in Blender if you want to change anything. Applying triangle to quads messed up
the mesh when imported into UE4 each time I applied it.

- Even after I subdivided the mesh a few times, applying vertex shaders in UE4 gave some
unwanted results that it's remake didn't have.

Depending on the function of the building and to what extend it needs to be detailed (vertex
shaders), the method you described could work. I wouldn't recommend it.

Quote:
Then why do you brush data from TC maps in the first place? Shouldn't you recreate them from scratch for your game?
Aren't you answering the first part in your own reply on the next thing ? 'Since you're remaking TC'.
If you meant creating maps from scratch then tell me if you know of a TC map called Westport
(If you read my thread you can also name another one) ?

Thing with recreating a TC map from scratch aka from screenshots/memory is that something
might get sized differently, deminishing the advantages of certain strategical points on the
map or even the look.

Btw How is this question even relevant to a tutorial, this is a Tango Down related question,
stay on topic, concentrate ;p

Quote:
I agree but since you're remaking TC, you'll probably want support from TC's community. Since Radiant is quite different from Unreal's editor, I posted the method which would allow a mapper to convert his levels as easily as possible - using Radiant for the most part.

Here's the thing
- A lot of people in the TC community know how to use the UE and Blender already
- New maps mostly are done by Dimstar. Sadly, he also doesnt know how to work with
Blender. In itself it isn't a problem, we can port his maps.
- If there are people from this community who want to contribute work then it's not that
hard to help them, teach them and work with them as a team to achieve a beautiful map.
- New users/mappers/people with no experience at mapping, are simply encouraged to map
in Blender and UE4 and to stay away from old tools like Radiant.

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 Post subject: Re: Modelling with Blender
PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 8:41 pm 
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Caesar77 wrote:
- The ASE generation by Q3map2 gives an traingulated mess, you can't really work with the
geometry in Blender if you want to change anything. Applying triangle to quads messed up
the mesh when imported into UE4 each time I applied it.

- Even after I subdivided the mesh a few times, applying vertex shaders in UE4 gave some
unwanted results that it's remake didn't have.

Depending on the function of the building and to what extend it needs to be detailed (vertex
shaders), the method you described could work. I wouldn't recommend it.
Bad practice and bad understanding of bsp yield bad results wether the map is meant for ET engine or ase exporting.

Quote:
Quote:
Then why do you brush data from TC maps in the first place? Shouldn't you recreate them from scratch for your game?
Aren't you answering the first part in your own reply on the next thing ? 'Since you're remaking TC'.
If you meant creating maps from scratch then tell me if you know of a TC map called Westport
(If you read my thread you can also name another one) ?

Thing with recreating a TC map from scratch aka from screenshots/memory is that something
might get sized differently, deminishing the advantages of certain strategical points on the
map or even the look.
You're ripping parts of northport. That's the bottom line. May as well call the map airport, doesn't make a difference.

Quote:
Btw How is this question even relevant to a tutorial, this is a Tango Down related question,
stay on topic, concentrate ;p
True combat community>Third party development, the only relation is the fact your tutorial covers ripping TC's brushwork and I provided a different method simpler for the UDK newcomer.


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 Post subject: Re: Modelling with Blender
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 9:05 pm 
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Fact is fact ::::
It's GENERAL KNOWLEDGE that lightmaps are NOT made with the Unreal Engine, you are
describing a flawed method and regardless how hard you try to defend yourself and try to
insult people, it's bad practice. Just like the method your described as it has too many
downsides for usage in Unreal Engine.

Fact #2 ::: This crap is what your method produces and what REAL experts who used ASE
export all complain about. (Maybe you never heard of Katsbits or the Q3 forum).
Image
Anyone who has experience in engines that use vertex shading know that the result above is not the way to do it.

Quote:
Bad practice and bad understanding of bsp yield bad results wether the map is meant for ET engine or ase exporting.

Obviously describing yourself here
Projection, much ?


Quote:
You're ripping parts of northport. That's the bottom line. May as well call the map airport, doesn't make a difference.

Oh, really ? Northport is a 1 to 1 conversion, screens attest to that.
Have you seen Westport ? No, you haven't. So, your remark is nothing but a slander attack
based on your utter ignorance.

Quote:
Your tutorial covers ripping TC's brushwork and I provided a different method simpler for the UDK newcomer.

Again, there you go accusing people of ripping....
My tutorial is about converting IDtech based maps to geometry just about any other engine
can read. AKA it teaches how to model in Blender, simple enough so everybody can understand.

You are ripping content, I provide a different method ROFLLLLLLL
Again, Projecting much ?

I give the original mappers the converted meshes.... that's including a correct lightmap layer.
+
"feel free to convert it for whatever you like.", was signed a Team Terminator member.
=
you make yourself look like a fool with these allegations

But you know what they say
If you have to lie to get your point across,
then you didn't have a point to begin with.


Your stance against a TC on another engine is ridiculous, you are pushing your personal
opinion as fact and twist facts and lie in order to sell your point.

“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”

Taken from the thread viewtopic.php?f=45&t=2635&p=31984#p31984
Where you could have just respected the opinion of the original poster (TC should be put on
a MODERN engine, even if it takes Kickstarter to get the job done) instead of defending your
anti-Switch-to-another-engine-crowd point of view, stemming solely from your inability to
learn something else besides Radiant. Three out of 5 paragraphs is you selling your own
uneducated opinion to 'make a point' as to why TC shouldn't be remade on a modern engine.

Quote:
The way you build most of the level using brushes instead of static modular assets forces you to create unique locations. As you can imagine, this is really important for a TC game.

Solely your personal opinion instead of fact. This statement shows again how little you know
of mapping, engines and editors. Not every mapper user modular assets.
Not unique ? Here ya go, walls, floor etc all modular.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcfk_vncbfE (Reflections demo,Unreal Engine 4)
Ask yourself, is that why big studios don't use artwork made from stacked brushes ?

Quote:
Neither CryEngine, UE4 or Unity implement this as simple as it should be

You are naming engines that have hundreds, not thousands of titles running,
Stop blaming the software when it's obvious that the end user is the error ;-p

Quote:
Meaning mappers would have to learn to model before even thinking of starting a map.

Stating the obvious, captain ? Someone who doesn't know how to model isn't a mapper

Stupid is, as stupid does.
:noob:

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 Post subject: Re: Modelling with Blender
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:14 pm 
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There is something you're getting wrong Caes.

I've stated my method is a quick way to get geometry from ET to UDK. I never said it was a complete procedure but it is a good (better) start for a Radiant mapper aiming to convert his map into UDK.
The method is inconvenient for ripping as it requires optimizing the brushwork in Radiant.

This said, where was I advocating ripping exactly?
And I do get you're not making an exact copy of northport but let's be fair here, it is obvious the exact northport geometry was used just by browsing the "Tango Down" thread. I'm talking huge chunks here.

TCE is a community game. I'd say this is the most important aspect other than it's gameplay. The community development is what has driven the game for years now, even without updates.
Posting about a "TC" revival project, I would guess the existing game and community are important to you.

I never said I was against an engine change for TC:E but with how things are going, this is just not feasible at the moment, pros and cons were always mentioned.

Disagreeing is not disrespecting.

Also, the surface of CQB's gameplay is not even scratched at this moment and like I said, it would be a terrible waste to simply disregard it as a locked experiment.


Now, let's talk mapping, here is an example based on your export:

Clean optimized brushwork with BSP. It is important to plan how faces will be intersected after the build. Also, as a trick, I moved the roof a few units above the building so no unnecessary faces are split. The roof will be aligned in the last stages.
Image

The resulting export in blender, joined as a single object, faces as quads, double vertices removed.
A clean mesh straight from Radiant.
Image

Wireframe, as you can see, caulked faces are not there, just the needed geometry:
Image

Textures applied, the UV's WERE NOT edited they're as q3map2 exported them, aligned as they were in Radiant, all faces facing the right way. Roof in place:
Image



EDIT:

Did not have the time the other day though the example was good enough, this is probably the way I'd go with the brushwork:

Image

These kind of optimizations are recommended not just for .ase export but Radiant creation and editing in general. Sometimes I have to build an entire building and then plan how to fine tune these details, it all depends on the complexity of spaces.

Also, I'd suggest splitting the geometry into separate models if needed, all depending on the detail amount. For an example: floors, roofs or stairs.

I do know automatic lightmap generation isn't favorable since it doesn't give you any control but if the models are cleaned up beforehand and extracted this way, the results should be fine, for prototyping or novice mappers at least.


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 Post subject: Re: Modelling with Blender
PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 7:20 pm 
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I like the pictures they posted!


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 Post subject: Re: Modelling with Blender
PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 8:59 pm 
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Eiermann wrote:
I like the pictures they posted!

A lot of the pictures Caesar has posted are not even their original content


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