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Old 2003-11-09, 04:48   Link #1
Sakaki-
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Timing Guide

Timing
"The Art of putting subtitles
On a video and audio stream
"



Apprehending Tool's

First of all you will need a program called "Sub Station Alpha" (Referred to as SSA)
This program is used to apply times to lines in a text file, using a mono wave stream.
http://www.backupdvd.info/Editing/SSAinstall.exe

Second you will need VirtualDubMod (Referred to as VDub)
This is a program that you can encode video in, mux or demux audio.
This program also has a thing that is useful to timers; it can be used to apply filters to your video stream.
And preview it in real-time, this is where the third tool you need comes in.
http://virtualdubmod.sourceforge.net/

Third thing you will need is VobSub
This is a directx filter, used to be able to view soft subs with your video files.
But what’s more important for you as a timer, is the subtitle filter that comes with vobsub.
This subtitle filter can be used as an AVS (Avisynth) or VDub filter.
http://www.doom9.org/software2.htm#subs

So to get started.
Basically you now have all the tools on your computer needed to subtitle an anime.
I will assume the following.
1. You have a Video file.
2. You have a script with the subtitles that needs timing.
3. You have an obtained the above tool's.
The first step. "Getting material to work with."
Start VDub.
Then go to "File" ---> Open video file, and select your video file.
(Note: If you get a warning that the video stream uses vbr audio redo this step selecting "Nandub VBR MP3 compatibility mode”)
Now you opened your video file,
Go to "AVI" ---> Save WAV...
Save your wav files as something like this: (<series><episode>mp3.wav). Eg: PMK02mp3.wav
Now that you have saved the audio stream in a separate file, you can close down VDub.

The second step. "Conversion"
Go to Start ---> Run, and enter sndrec32.
Then go to "File" ---> open, and select the (<series><episode>mp3.wav).
Then go to "File" ---> Save As,
And click the change button next to Format: and for "Select Format PCM”, use 8,000 KHz Mono 8 bit.
(Note: you can select whatever here, as long as it is 8 bit Mono)
Then save the files as (<series><episode>mono.wav)

The Third Step. "First step of Actual Timing"
Now we are all done with preparations. ~^_^~ phew...
Open SSA.
Then go to "File" ---> Open, and in the format box select: (Plain Text), then select the script you're going to time.
If your translator already has an .ssa file ready for you, just open that instead.
Then click "Timing" ---> Time from WAV file 0
Click the new Open button, and Select the (<series><episode>mono.wav) file.
Use Play to play the audio, and Stop for when you get to the dialogue that matches the text that is selected.
Select the area where the dialogue is on the wave track and click Grab Times.
You can use the Play Selected and! Buttons to test out the selection; play around and find what works best for you.
(Note: You can use the zoom and y-scale bars to make it easier for you to see where the dialogue starts and ends)
You continue like this until all the lines are timed.
(Tip: When doing this, adding an amount of time after every line that you timed is good; that will make it easier to read later.)
(Tip: Save often and/or use the Auto-Save option under “File”)

The Fourth Step "Polishing your timing."
Now you have a timed script.
But there’s one step left if you want your subtitles to look nicely timed and tidy.
This step is referred to as "Scene Timing".
This step is basically just checking so that your timing doesn’t overstep scene changes if the talking doesn’t.
This is done by looking at your video in VDub using the TextSub filter that came with VobSub.
Start VDub
Go to "Video" ---> Filters.
Click the Add button.
Select TextSub
Click the Open button and select SSA file you saved.
Exit the filtering area and make sure the TextSub filter is loaded.
Now open the SSA file with notepad or any good text editors.
Now watch through your video and look for places where the text goes over a scene change.
When you find a spot like this, stop the video, and copy the time of the frame directly after the scene change.
Dialogue: Marked=0,0:03:14.97,0:03:17.94,*Default,,0000,0000 ,0000,,Next door's welcoming is amazing, right Aione-kun?
Let’s say this is the line that oversteps a scene change, and the time directly after that scene change is 0:03:17.23
Dialogue: Marked=0,0:03:14.97,0:03:17.23,*Default,,0000,0000,0000,,Next door's welcoming is amazing, right Aione-kun?
This is how you change that line then; this will make the text end exactly before that scene change.

(Note: If you notice a line ending around 2 or 3 frames before a scene change, try to drag that one forward changing just like this one but making the line show longer instead)
Continue like this until you made sure no scene change has lines overstepping them unless the corresponding dialogue is doing it to.
(Tip: Often the frame directly after a scene change is a key frame; you can use the vdub button with a key and arrows, or the shift-<arrow key> hotkeys to jump to them.)


Brought to you by
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ky_Kiske
As does a lot of the anime airing now adays

and the leechers too, they're the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked

Last edited by Sakaki-; 2004-09-28 at 12:19.
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Old 2003-11-09, 05:43   Link #2
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brand spanking new timing guide

hurrah hurrah


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its so lonely in there, liven it up guys
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Old 2003-11-09, 13:10   Link #3
GipFace
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I'll add my two cents into the fire ...

A bad alternative
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Old 2003-11-11, 10:17   Link #4
runpsicat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GipFace
I'll add my two cents into the fire ...

A bad alternative
I have a question to ask timers regarding the following:

"Quicksubs are bad. While you're timing someone's speech, the subs change every 1-2 seconds to reflect a new line. This pitfall happens to a lot of newbie timers - don't let it happen to you. Create a soothing melody of sub changes that change less often during a long speech, ranging from 3.0-6.5 seconds."

I've heard arguments both for and against this viewpoint. Some viewers complain that the more "inclusive" subs often spoil upcoming dialogue and prevent them from relishing "moments" in the episode. Shorter subs are indeed annoying if they are accompanied by sub-blinking, but if the transition is smooth, where is the harm in having shorter subs to enable a closer approximation of the "listening" experience (i.e., information only enters the brain as the dialogue is said)? Any thoughts?

Also, do normal viewers even notice the difference between blipping/non-blipping subs and subs that "bleed" over scene changes versus those that do not? Most people tell me they don't start noticing until these factors are specifically brought to their attention, and that their viewing experience is then compromised by the fact that they start noticing all these "glitches" they were not aware of before (the fate of all QCers, apparently). Most people seem to be concerned only with whether the subs are accurate and stay on long enough for them to read. If so, are these fine-tuning processes truly worth tearing one's hair out over? I suppose the guide is but a guide and exceptions are to be expected, but I just felt like asking these questions anyway. ^^


Edit: The VBulletin tags are not working for some reason (they are enabled, but not working), so I used the time-honored quotation marks instead ^^;
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Last edited by runpsicat; 2003-11-11 at 10:29.
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Old 2003-11-11, 11:04   Link #5
GipFace
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Hrm ...

I've heard arguments both for and against this viewpoint. Some viewers complain that the more "inclusive" subs often spoil upcoming dialogue and prevent them from relishing "moments" in the episode. Shorter subs are indeed annoying if they are accompanied by sub-blinking, but if the transition is smooth, where is the harm in having shorter subs to enable a closer approximation of the "listening" experience (i.e., information only enters the brain as the dialogue is said)? Any thoughts?

The editor should be able to figure out when to quicksub a line to prevent upcoming spoilage. However, what I have mostly seen is both ends of the extreme ... too many quicksubs or too many longsubs. This is really the editor's job, though; he or she should tell the timer what to adjust.

However, the worst example is a sub change when the character doesn't even pause for a breath. You can use "..." to extend it to the next line but some people don't even do that.

Also, do normal viewers even notice the difference between blipping/non-blipping subs and subs that "bleed" over scene changes versus those that do not? Most people tell me they don't start noticing until these factors are specifically brought to their attention, and that their viewing experience is then compromised by the fact that they start noticing all these "glitches" they were not aware of before (the fate of all QCers, apparently). Most people seem to be concerned only with whether the subs are accurate and stay on long enough for them to read. If so, are these fine-tuning processes truly worth tearing one's hair out over? I suppose the guide is but a guide and exceptions are to be expected, but I just felt like asking these questions anyway. ^^

I'm anal, so I would. You don't NEED to do it, but if you're not giving 100% effort, why do it at all? ^_^
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Old 2003-11-11, 13:34   Link #6
SirCanealot
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I myself like to break up lines by only including usely at most 2 sentances on screen at once, or breaking the lines up with "...", commas and of course following the subs on with no "blink". While I have nothing against shoving more on screen at once, I think it's best to try and give the viewer what is said as it is said. Allthough my timing style is still very much in development right now, from only having put out 4 episides thus far with my timing.

Quote:
I'm anal, so I would. You don't NEED to do it, but if you're not giving 100% effort, why do it at all? ^_^
Yup, I always do my best when timing, I don't see any point in giving it anything other than my full. Except for previews, I'm usely suffering from timing insanity (something all but the most toughest and experienced timers suffer from :P) about then, so I sub the previews in about 4 seconds....
I guess some people are more concered with getting the product out than QCing it.
I'm anal about subs bleeding into the next scene too, not really because it looks gay (allthough it can, when the next scene has NOTHING to do with the last), but because cutting subs at a scene chage looks cool. Lately I've been extending subs to scene changes if they're close to them, so the sub disapears with the scene change. I think it looks quite good...

Thing I should emphasis as more of a critique than I'll ever be a timer is, yes, blinking subs. What the hell is wrong with people who have a 0.2 second sub for "hai" or someones name? Surely you must relise I'm going to have to move my body to my keyboard, which will be next to the sofa somewhere, press the left arrow key to go bacwards 5 seconds then pause to read the sub. Just don't do it. Give us some lead out time, especially on shorter sentances. I try to atleast make sure my subs don't disapear instantly when the dialog ends. Also, with trans notes, don't have a trans note on the screen explaining something about a sub that stays on screen for 1 second. I don't want to have to again, move my body to read it. Keep the translation note on screen as long as possible!

Quote:
Also, do normal viewers even notice the difference between blipping/non-blipping subs and subs that "bleed" over scene changes versus those that do not? Most people tell me they don't start noticing until these factors are specifically brought to their attention, and that their viewing experience is then compromised by the fact that they start noticing all these "glitches" they were not aware of before (the fate of all QCers, apparently).
I've been thinking about that before and I'd say yes and no. Learning about poetry, all the subtle things the poet has (allegedly) put into the poem to convey it's meaning. Unless you learn about them you wont really notice them, but you'll still get the effect of them. I guess the same could be said about subs. The subs look a lot more tidy when you cut them at the scene, I think it's slightly more enjoyable to watch a episode that has been timed well than one that hassen't. (edit: actually, see my comment about eyes at the bottom of the screen bellow, I think this plays a factor)
And I would say my viewing experience has been compimised slightly by knowing all this, allthough saying that I feel all the more enjoyment now watching a well timed episode, knowing a fellow timer has put hours into the script and knowing I wont have to keep an eye out for funny subtitle timings (keep my eyes glued to the bottom of the screen) and can enjoy the artwork a lot more.

What really pisses me off these days is R1 DVDs... I don't watch too many of them, due to lack of money, but I haven't seen a well timed DVD yet since becoming a timer/anal about timing :P
The person that timed Card Captor Sakura seems to take peverse pleasure in making sure even the smallest of subs stay on the screen for 2 seconds and almost every subtitle bleeds over into the next scene. Really annoying...

Edit: Sorry about all the typos there probebly is in this post... just got back from college = TIRED
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Old 2003-11-11, 13:54   Link #7
Sakaki-
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Quote:
I've heard arguments both for and against this viewpoint. Some viewers complain that the more "inclusive" subs often spoil upcoming dialogue and prevent them from relishing "moments" in the episode. Shorter subs are indeed annoying if they are accompanied by sub-blinking, but if the transition is smooth, where is the harm in having shorter subs to enable a closer approximation of the "listening" experience (i.e., information only enters the brain as the dialogue is said)? Any thoughts?
Well i would say, There are times when the gap betwene the lines are to little so i don't leave a space betwene the subs, but when theres fast dialouge it gets very annoying.

"where is the harm in having shorter subs to enable a closer approximation of the "listening" experience"

Well i want kind of short subs, But there are times when you need to have loger ones too.

Quote:
Also, do normal viewers even notice the difference between blipping/non-blipping subs and subs that "bleed" over scene changes versus those that do not? Most people tell me they don't start noticing until these factors are specifically brought to their attention, and that their viewing experience is then compromised by the fact that they start noticing all these "glitches" they were not aware of before (the fate of all QCers, apparently). Most people seem to be concerned only with whether the subs are accurate and stay on long enough for them to read. If so, are these fine-tuning processes truly worth tearing one's hair out over? I suppose the guide is but a guide and exceptions are to be expected, but I just felt like asking these questions anyway. ^^
Quote:
I've been thinking about that before and I'd say yes and no. Learning about poetry, all the subtle things the poet has (allegedly) put into the poem to convey it's meaning. Unless you learn about them you wont really notice them, but you'll still get the effect of them. I guess the same could be said about subs. The subs look a lot more tidy when you cut them at the scene, I think it's slightly more enjoyable to watch a episode that has been timed well than one that hassen't. (edit: actually, see my comment about eyes at the bottom of the screen bellow, I think this plays a factor)
And I would say my viewing experience has been compimised slightly by knowing all this, allthough saying that I feel all the more enjoyment now watching a well timed episode, knowing a fellow timer has put hours into the script and knowing I wont have to keep an eye out for funny subtitle timings (keep my eyes glued to the bottom of the screen) and can enjoy the artwork a lot more.
I get slightly annoyed after watching a non scene timed sub.
And i got annoyed even before becoming a timer of that, It feels like getting the sub out was rushed and gives a bad feeling.
As you say i feel more relaxed when it scene timed, I don't notice the subtitles as much then.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ky_Kiske
As does a lot of the anime airing now adays

and the leechers too, they're the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked
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Old 2003-11-11, 15:35   Link #8
Shii
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SSA is ancient; its features reflect that it was made for the era of VHS fansubs. I like XombieSub, which has the nice feature of being able to see the video you're editing as well as hear the audio.
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Old 2003-11-11, 16:43   Link #9
Enragin_Angel
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ashibaka: what are you talking about? xombie never even finished developing it.

Blipping subs? I thought blipping subs were subs that ended like .05 seconds before another line started. .5 seconds is more than enough time to read a "Hai"

To illustrate what I mean...

...Hello world.It's a new day...<--non-blip

...Hello world...It's a new day...<--blip

Its when the first line "Hello world" disappears for a brief moment and the new line "It's a new day" appears. Whereas the in the non-blip version, the new line appears right on the next frame so you can continue to read without losing a thought.

Personally, I think that doing it in that method can certainly help readability for sentences that are too long to fit on two lines and the thought continues on the following subtitle. However, there are drawbacks to this method...you have to check for scene changes...which is even more annoying when you switch raws and have to check them all again. Also, chaining together different character's dialogue can be thought of as one character's thought...It also annoys me sometimes when there are dialogue subtitles on the screen and no one is talking. But of course sometimes it is necessary for the shorter lines.

I'm ranting too long...maybe I'll finish this reply later...or someone will finish it for me.
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Old 2003-11-11, 23:04   Link #10
Shii
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enragin_Angel
ashibaka: what are you talking about? xombie never even finished developing it.
So? [shrug] It still beats SSA for positioning subtitles, etc.
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Old 2003-11-12, 00:33   Link #11
Sakaki-
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ashibaka

VdubMod + SSA + Notepad beats that in efficency easy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ky_Kiske
As does a lot of the anime airing now adays

and the leechers too, they're the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked
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Old 2003-11-12, 00:43   Link #12
Kasshin
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I personally like notepad or any text editor for positioning / typesetting stuff. Xombie also lags too much on my kind-of-slow computer for timing.

As for bleeds and blips, as a timer I would feel that I didn't give it my all when timing the episode if it had bleeds and blips in it. The main reason I check for them is so that I will be happy with my own work; so I can watch something I worked on and be satisfied. It really doesn't matter whether the viewers notice it or not, I'm doing it so I won't get annoyed at it when watching.
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Old 2003-11-12, 09:49   Link #13
Shii
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasshin
I personally like notepad or any text editor for positioning / typesetting stuff.
That's probably more accurate
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Old 2003-11-12, 10:26   Link #14
runpsicat
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I guess I was not specific enough in my post about what I meant. I fully agree that one should not do a sloppy job (QCing your own timings is a must to pick up stutters and bleeds), but how much time one should sink into one's part in fansubbing always seems to be a matter of debate. The ideal of making something "as perfect as you could possibly can" is always tempered by practical concerns, and people tend to label such pursuits "obsessive" once it crosses a certain line. The issue is that individuals have differences in opinion regarding what they consider to be the threshold, and that was essentially what I was trying to point out (aside from trying to ask for possible exceptions to the stated guidelines). Now that I think about it, bringing up an issue without a real solution was not a good idea . Still, staff frequently criticize whether fellow staff (and staff in other groups) spend too much/little time on his/her step, and subbing angst can consequently ensue... In that sense, I always find it interesting what other people find "acceptable" and such. Eh, my apologies for asking ambiguously worded questions in my previous post and for making this post rather general.
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Old 2003-11-12, 15:45   Link #15
Sakaki-
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runpsicat
I guess I was not specific enough in my post about what I meant. I fully agree that one should not do a sloppy job (QCing your own timings is a must to pick up stutters and bleeds), but how much time one should sink into one's part in fansubbing always seems to be a matter of debate. The ideal of making something "as perfect as you could possibly can" is always tempered by practical concerns, and people tend to label such pursuits "obsessive" once it crosses a certain line. The issue is that individuals have differences in opinion regarding what they consider to be the threshold, and that was essentially what I was trying to point out (aside from trying to ask for possible exceptions to the stated guidelines). Now that I think about it, bringing up an issue without a real solution was not a good idea . Still, staff frequently criticize whether fellow staff (and staff in other groups) spend too much/little time on his/her step, and subbing angst can consequently ensue... In that sense, I always find it interesting what other people find "acceptable" and such. Eh, my apologies for asking ambiguously worded questions in my previous post and for making this post rather general.
Well theres a limit to what time i would put down on what i do, And i must say i always find something i could have touched up a bit.
Theres always a expectation to the rule or the guidlines.
Fast Blips sux, easy to avoid
Blips with a medium space i think is good depending on how long the line before is.

I give it my best whatever i do i cant live with doing a half ...ed job.
Even if it's kind of a hobby.

" Still, staff frequently criticize whether fellow staff (and staff in other groups) spend too much/little time on his/her step, and subbing angst can consequently ensue... "

Well i admit i have got alot more sensitive to how stuff looks now then before i started timing, That includes every step.

Take Care
Sakaki-
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Originally Posted by Ky_Kiske
As does a lot of the anime airing now adays

and the leechers too, they're the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked
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Old 2003-11-13, 04:19   Link #16
Sakuya
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I have a problem. In Vdub, after I select the SSA subs and click Ok, it won't play my subtitles on the video! When I press play, only the raw plays in the input video display and the output display doesn't move. When I click stop, the output display image suddenly changes to the frame where I clicked stop. And the subtitles are there in the output display. How do I get it to play along with the subs?
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Old 2003-11-13, 04:31   Link #17
Enragin_Angel
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Encode it. But when you preview in vdub you're only supposed to press right or left (or shift+right or shift+left to snap to keyframes). that is the only way to get the output without having to waste time encoding it.
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Old 2003-11-13, 04:38   Link #18
TaMz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sakuya
I have a problem. In Vdub, after I select the SSA subs and click Ok, it won't play my subtitles on the video! When I press play, only the raw plays in the input video display and the output display doesn't move. When I click stop, the output display image suddenly changes to the frame where I clicked stop. And the subtitles are there in the output display. How do I get it to play along with the subs?
right click on the 1st screen (RAW screen) and choose 1/4 size...
then (or before that) put VDub Maximized...
then push the second play button at the bottom (the second play button is "play output video" or something like that)...
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Old 2003-11-13, 04:41   Link #19
Videric
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Old 2003-11-13, 04:48   Link #20
TaMz
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Oh ya... and a better way for previewing subs than VDub is using MPC (Media Player Classic)...
I use it...
Works like this:
1 get MPC and VobSub
2 put the video and subs in the same folder
3 give them the same name (example: video.avi & video.ssa)
4 open MPC
5 load the video file
6 watch the video
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