Ten Years After - The Making of Dartanbeck.com

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  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,848

    In the video, Rosie has four layers of dynamic hair - the main layer (widest, uppermost) has four hair groups (each of a different length and different scalp coverage) within, the other three have three.

    Not that long ago, I've changed that to eight layers with only one group in each. It simulates much quicker, even though there are twice as many to simulate.

    The most recent (yesterday) version now has seven layers instead of eight, but in most other respects they're still the same as they were except that I made the hair itself use a larger scale again, like I had quite a while ago. The major upsides to this is that light doesn't pour through it so easily (rim lights), it looks more the way I want it to - thick and curly (thinner scaling makes it look more frizzy than curlyat a distance - more invisible up close) and it just renders nicely.

    The downside is that I have to scale it back down if I do any close-ups. So for that, I've saved the previous version of hair in the same browser location as where I keep her, so I can keep developing a better close-up solution.

    In the video we can see her hair flicker once in a while. I should have explained in the video that this can be fixed - but now I think I might have figure out where it comes from - I think! The version of the Hair Shader I was using in the video has the thickness of the hair turned down from the default of 100. I forgot that I had done that - too thick of roots with too many hairs coming from the scalp can create dark blotches on the top of the head. I think I may have that resolved now to. 

    In any case, the renders I'm seeing now (albeit only one frame at a time as it renders) are looking great!

     

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,848

    While on the subject of Rosie's hair and that video, I also should have mentioned that it is extremely rare for me to make such long animation renders. Six seconds is usually a super long render for me - I usually stick closer to three. Some of those in the video were well over ten, and the one was over sixteen. 

     also failed to mention her quasi-subsurface scattering that I came up with. Me and the actual SSS in Carrara shaders just don't get along when it comes to people. It needs density map availability. I was extra happy when I got the DCG shader pack that includes Light Mangler, because it can pump a texture map back into the subsurface scattering results to change it. However, it must do this AFTER a successful render was already made - meaning that it's out of the question to use it on an animation unless we rendered literally one frame at a time - twice, the second pass being Light Mangler. 

    Either way, that doesn't matter. I'll be making a "Making Rosie 5" video - not so that people can make Rosie 5, but using my most-often tweaked character as an example is a great platform for me to springboard from.

    Making Rosie 5 will cover more of the actual details - tutorial form. Wait until you see Rosie's crazy freaking shaders!!! LOL

    You kinda get an idea in the Introducing Rosie, that her teeth and inner mouth surfaces also have the quasi-sss shaders I've come up with. When her gums are out of her mouth, they almost look like candy. Her teeth also pass light, which made (you wouldn't believe the difference) the inside of her mouth look SO MUCH BETTER when she opens her mouth to talk and such.

    Before you ask... yep. Eyes too - but not so much for the Sclera... but a little. The Irides do though. They collect light, reflect light, and let some pass through to the inner eye. Dynamic Hair shader does it automajically when we turn on Gamma Correction = 2.2 - so we just have to calm it way down! :)

    What? Of course some of her clothing does too! But not in the video I've shown, because that's all metal and leather. Her head band is too thick and would make much difference anyway - but her cloth clothing have varying degree of Quasi-SSS from none to quite a bit, depending on the material. 

  • mindsongmindsong Posts: 1,504

    That's a pretty big set of changes - layers and parameters both.

    I would be interested in your theory about the occasional 'flicker' you mention. I usually manually drop the flicker-pngs and blend the surrounding frames into replacements when I get that (not just Carrara).

    I assumed it was some sort of rounding error because it seems so non-deterministic, but perhaps you've learned otherwise.

    --ms

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,848
    mindsong said:

    That's a pretty big set of changes - layers and parameters both.

    I would be interested in your theory about the occasional 'flicker' you mention. I usually manually drop the flicker-pngs and blend the surrounding frames into replacements when I get that (not just Carrara).

    I assumed it was some sort of rounding error because it seems so non-deterministic, but perhaps you've learned otherwise.

    --ms

    Ooops... forgot to finish that part!

    Yeah, you're probably right. I've found a solution that might just blow your mind!

    1. Find the frame in the sequence that cuts out(which is what's happening - the hair doesn'r render properly)
    2. Figure out where along the timeline that frame is in the sequencer, and render it again and replace the old one.
    3. Repeat for any other problematic frames

    Step 2 is easy for me. I almost always begin at the 1 second mark on the timeline, which allows me to keep the figure in my own default pose at frame 0 (zero). It's incredibly amazing how handy that has been - I've been doing that for years now. 

    Also, I render at 30 fps. So if it's image RT5WlkCrnrClsBw01a166, for example, I know that it'll be frame (in Carrara time language) 00:06:16  (166 would normally land on 00:05:16, but I start at 00:01:00)

    So I open the scene (I always save my animations to the browser before rendering - and I name them that funky stuff you see above: "RT5WlkCrnrClsBw01a" for example)

    in the render room I go to the output tab and make sure to take it off of Movie and put it on Current Frame, and choose the same output folder I used originally. I used to make a backup of the image I was writing over, but since I'm setting the name to overwrite that particular file, and the file is bad anyway, it simply occurred to me that a mistake wouldn't be horrific at all! LOL

    So making sure that I'm only rendering one frame, and that my sequence naming is correct, I make sure I get the sequencer set to the correct frame. 

    Now I click render. 

    What? Holy Cow! It's fixed!!!!

  • mindsongmindsong Posts: 1,504
    edited May 2020

    kind of odd that internally, the sequenced frame isn't identical to the manually selected frame. I saw this in the IRAY 'interactive' rendered sequences (faster renders, lower q)  in DS too. Arbitrary frames would black-out shaders on seemingly random surfaces. As you do, I'd go back, render that frame, and ... it would be fine. That's why I was guessing rounding errors or the-like.

    How many frames per-second do you find yourself fixing on average? - rough estimate - and does it matter what FPS you choose?

    odd, but really good to know that a manual render can fix it. the remove/blend mode is way more time-consuming and degrades the series - rather than actually getting the frame right.

    tnx,

    --ms

    Post edited by mindsong on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,848

    I like to make quick cuts - as opposed to what I did for "Introducing Rosie 5", so many times I can just cut there - unless it's in a bad spot. I don't have to do it very often at all - usually. I think it might have to do with the fact that I was rendering such long sequences. It's pretty rare that I have to fix my three second or so render sessions. 

    But I really don't think that FPS plays a role in my situation. Have you even gone to render something in Carrara and it coughs up "An Error Has Occurred"?

    That's the exact same thing that's happening. It might be that Windows Update (just an arbitrary example) is trying to check just the wrong little something at just the wrong freaking time? Something. 

    The author of 3dXtract e-zine asks us to be forgiving when such a thing happens, because in 3D anything, there's so much going on that the programers had to take into account that someone might just move their mouse pointer 'right here' when 'this' is doing something, otherwise we'd experience a crash.

    Okay... LOL... he didn't say that - I was paraphrasing - oddly! LOL

    Still, it does take genius minds to create 3D software. I'm never that surprised when something goes wrong. You would be amazed at how many backups I have for my Rosie figures! GBs of Rosie 4 are lingering, even on my new machine where  haven't used her!

  • mindsongmindsong Posts: 1,504
    edited May 2020

    I like to make quick cuts - as opposed to what I did for "Introducing Rosie 5", so many times I can just cut there - unless it's in a bad spot. I don't have to do it very often at all - usually. I think it might have to do with the fact that I was rendering such long sequences. It's pretty rare that I have to fix my three second or so render sessions. 

    But I really don't think that FPS plays a role in my situation. Have you even gone to render something in Carrara and it coughs up "An Error Has Occurred"?

    That's the exact same thing that's happening. It might be that Windows Update (just an arbitrary example) is trying to check just the wrong little something at just the wrong freaking time? Something. 

    The author of 3dXtract e-zine asks us to be forgiving when such a thing happens, because in 3D anything, there's so much going on that the programers had to take into account that someone might just move their mouse pointer 'right here' when 'this' is doing something, otherwise we'd experience a crash.

    Okay... LOL... he didn't say that - I was paraphrasing - oddly! LOL

    Still, it does take genius minds to create 3D software. I'm never that surprised when something goes wrong. You would be amazed at how many backups I have for my Rosie figures! GBs of Rosie 4 are lingering, even on my new machine where  haven't used her!

    the comment is interesting, but I had to laugh at the "gigibytes of Rosies" comment :)

    look out, they're EVERYWHERE! (partially completed zombie Rosie's crawling out of your harddrives), there's a contest theme in here somewhere...

    I have the same issue - even with numbered folders and file-naming schemas to manage the progressions of each 'take'. If any of you use DS, this product:

       https://www.daz3d.com/super-save

    by 3Vdigitimes is simply a godsend. It easily handles scene-save auto-incrementing, commenting, and thumbnailing of project scene progressions - again it's a DS tool for those that use that plugin :)

    ya, 3D is amazingly complex, and it's rather impressive that it works at all.

    --ms

    Post edited by mindsong on
  • DesertDudeDesertDude Posts: 1,099

    OMG awesome Dartanbeck!

    I just started perusing your site. Looks pretty clean and easy to navigate. Wow, lots of work to explore again.

    Looking great! yes

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,848
    mindsong said:

    I like to make quick cuts - as opposed to what I did for "Introducing Rosie 5", so many times I can just cut there - unless it's in a bad spot. I don't have to do it very often at all - usually. I think it might have to do with the fact that I was rendering such long sequences. It's pretty rare that I have to fix my three second or so render sessions. 

    But I really don't think that FPS plays a role in my situation. Have you even gone to render something in Carrara and it coughs up "An Error Has Occurred"?

    That's the exact same thing that's happening. It might be that Windows Update (just an arbitrary example) is trying to check just the wrong little something at just the wrong freaking time? Something. 

    The author of 3dXtract e-zine asks us to be forgiving when such a thing happens, because in 3D anything, there's so much going on that the programers had to take into account that someone might just move their mouse pointer 'right here' when 'this' is doing something, otherwise we'd experience a crash.

    Okay... LOL... he didn't say that - I was paraphrasing - oddly! LOL

    Still, it does take genius minds to create 3D software. I'm never that surprised when something goes wrong. You would be amazed at how many backups I have for my Rosie figures! GBs of Rosie 4 are lingering, even on my new machine where  haven't used her!

    the comment is interesting, but I had to laugh at the "gigibytes of Rosies" comment :)

    look out, they're EVERYWHERE! (partially completed zombie Rosie's crawling out of your harddrives), there's a contest theme in here somewhere...

    I have the same issue - even with numbered folders and file-naming schemas to manage the progressions of each 'take'. If any of you use DS, this product:

       https://www.daz3d.com/super-save

    by 3Vdigitimes is simply a godsend. It easily handles scene-save auto-incrementing, commenting, and thumbnailing of project scene progressions - again it's a DS tool for those that use that plugin :)

    ya, 3D is amazingly complex, and it's rather impressive that it works at all.

    --ms

    Very cool! Thanks for the tip!

    OMG awesome Dartanbeck!

    I just started perusing your site. Looks pretty clean and easy to navigate. Wow, lots of work to explore again.

    Looking great! yes

    Thanks! I really appreciate the feedback! Good or bad, I'd like to know.

    Yeah... I still have a LOT of work ahead of me!

  • 0oseven0oseven Posts: 618

    primivol - I missed out buying it but have the demo however this post is about awesome Band TYA.

    Ten Years after ! One of the first  bands I ever saw live in a London pub early seventies. Lee was an amazing guitarist  I recall him using his teeth to pluck strings  [ ouch !]. Did Hendrix do that ? I love their first album "TYA" which I still play.  -"Spoonful " one of my favourite tracks. Good jazz musicians who turned rock stars !

     

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,848
    edited June 2020

    I love Alvin Lee's voice too! I am so jealous that you got to see them!

    I'd Love to Change the World is the big hit from this album, but I love the whole album. When I was young and finding my Rock voice, I loved singing along with this one - Here They Come:

    Post edited by Dartanbeck on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,848
    edited June 2020

    I've been putting a lot of work into the site whenever I can get time - and at times when I should be asleep. All while also pushing forward in Carrara. I hope I'm making the navigation easier as I go. I've reorganized some of the topics to flow more naturally, I think(?)  and put some things into different categories where I thought it made more sense. I hope it doesn't mess with links to the individual pages. If it did, and I messed someone up because of it, I apologize.

     

    DaVinci Resolve (Do it in Post > Editing Zone) now has the official Blackmagic Design training videos along with links to download them along with the working files, and some of their other official videos. I wanted to get the ball rolling towards how excited I am to be using this incredible (free - yet Hollywood movie-class) software. I'm working on some of my Hybrid tutorials (videos with support articles) for the Edit and Fusion pages in Resolve, but since I wanted to host these official training videos anyway, and I didn't want to wait until mine are done, I think that I gave the page a good start..

    Other additions:

    Added Using Genesis in Carrara (with a link to Misty's awesome presets)

    Added Transferring Character Morphs via NLA

    Added Hybrid aniMation and updated Animating a bit

    Added aniMate 2, along with the awesome GoFigure tutorials and demonstrations, as well as JonnyBravo's tutorial for the aniBlock Importer for Carrara

    Added a brief article on Carrara Cafe with a link to the Carrara 3D Expo magazines

    Added a start to my new Inspiration page within the Gallery - currently featuring some video playlists I've made for my own animation/art inspiration

    Created a new Home page (more brief, with collapsible text paragraphs) and changed the original to the new The Software page

    ...and made some other changes like making my wording a bit more clear, fixed a few typos, moved Downloads in to the Gallery... it's all meant to grow at a fairly steady pace now. I'm pretty excited about it.

    Post edited by Dartanbeck on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,848

    One of you Awesome Carrara friends just bought me a copy of Visual Story Writing - from Inception to Production, by Drew Spence, from Digital Art Live (Thank You So Much!!!)

    I saw most of the first half last night and am thrilled by the content and the delivery. He's a really inspiring fellow!

    This inspired my to add a couple of pages to the filmmaker side of my website:

    along with a few little changes to my odd way of wording things. If you even see that my wording is strange or hard to read, please let me know ;)

    ...and with love, I bid you all ado as I must go and play my drums now! :)

    Dartanbeck

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,848

    I just wrote a short article on how I kitbashed this ship out of two separate products:

    Star Ship Marcoor Hunter FG

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,848

    I've just uploaded the next video in the Dartanbeck.com series: DaVinci Resolve - A Quick Look

    It is meant to be brief, so it quickly digs right in to show how easy it was to create the Introduction to Rosie 5 video using Resolve. Peel away all of the layers that went into it, however, and we'll discover that it took a great deal more effort - all of the renders!!! But I'm hoping that it helps to show people how easy it is to use Fusion to composite CG video sequences together with other sequences or even still images.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,848

    Just added a support blurb on my Home page, which also links to the new articles section launch for my Davinci Resolve Hybrid Articles and Tutorials

    DaVinci Resolve - A Quick Look (support article, which will expand)

    DaVinci Resolve Info page and Free Training Materials by Blackmagic Design

  • TorquinoxTorquinox Posts: 879

    Your work with the Marcoor looks great! Good kitbash!

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,848

    Thanks!

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,848

    Awaiting another render of animated sequences, I put together a nice starter page for Fusion

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,848

    Finally into tutorial mode!

    Working on one now that's about Volumetric Lighting - Lighting an indoor scene.

    • Free base scene for Carrara Download (that I use for starting most scenes)
    • Basic approach on illuminating interiors that will have volumetric lighting
    • Building the Volumetric Lighting
    • Making an animated fog gel in Howler with advice on taking it even further
    • Using the animated gel in our lighting in Carrara
    • Final render

    It was fun making the tutorial. Now I just need to put all of the pieces together! ;)

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,848

    ...and it's up:

  • Bunyip02Bunyip02 Posts: 4,708

    Thanks !

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,848

    My pleasure!

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,848

    Wow. I just realized how much I've got done in this site since it's been up. A Lot of hours spent when I should be sleeping. Here's a list of articles and such I have so far. Some of them have only been started so that I don't lose sight on what I want to do next, but then I've been filling in more blanks than I seem to recall. It's growing!

    Home Page has tidbits in collapsible text - I might do away with collapsible though. Too easy to breeze right on past... but that was the point at first. That and to see what Collapsible Text is! LOL

    Carrara Zone

    Carrara Info (when the title is a link, it has it's own article(s))

    Carrara CG Workshop (when the title is a link, it has it's own article(s))

    Daz Zone (when the title is a link, it has it's own article(s))

    Do It In Post

    Gallery

    The Software

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,848
    edited July 2020

    I felt the need to express my feeling on this whole COVID-19 thing, since I'm working with a LOT of people everyday and see all kinds of beliefs and disbelief about it.

    https://www.dartanbeck.com/covid-19-awareness

    Not sure if this will work or not, but this is a link to my FaceBook page (I think?) that shows the first concert in a series of new Social Distancing concerts that was made possible largely due to the efforts of my Singer. My band will be playing this in August.

    Harmony by the Bay Concert #1

    EDIT: it looks like it works on my end ;)

    Post edited by Dartanbeck on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,848

    My current lineup of aritcle and tutorials is pretty much deemed a priority, but with one exception:

    Is there anything any of you would like to see me demonstrate or teach?

    The current set I'm working on (titles not locked in yet - nor is the number of videos/articles for each) is:

    Creating Custom Characters for Carrara (Likely one video/article,  each might springboard into more)

    Hybrid aniMation in Carrara (Likely one video/article,  each will springboard into more)

    • Dynamic Hair Tips and Ideas
    • VWD
    • Daz Studio and aniMate 2 as a Carrara Plugin (for aniMation)

    In the initial start of the Hybrid aniMation page on the site, I already explain that I'll not be teaching traditional animation, since Phil Wilkes already did such a great job in his course. While some things are bound to overlap a little, my viewers/readers will never get out of my courses what one can obtain from his amazing series - nor do I want them to. They'll learn to use his course and my courses together to expedite their workflow and to be able to handle virtually any motion they can dream up.

    So I've dabbled a bit with the Hybrid aniMation and aniMate 2 pages to keep them rolling as I work on the video content, to eventually become support pages that work with the videos. The intent here is to create Hybrid Articles/Videos that work together to help explain one another in better detail than either could do on their own. I've already been trying to tie this stuff together like that, but to make it work the way I intend, I need to get more articles and videos completed - this will help me to complete the support pages for what's already up there now as well.

    I have a few more on the workbench that already have good starts to them, but I'd be happy to interrupt the process for other ideas/needs from my Carrara brethren.

    I'll be exploring more in regards to making elements to combine/composite with character and scenic animations to add polish to the final output, including the art of melding them together. The site isn't intended to be Just About Carrara, but definitely centered around it. So in this realm of topics, we'll explore making things like Stock Footage in Carrara, in Howler, in Particle Illusion Standalone as well as in HitFilm and Fusion. Like I did with Introducing Rosie 5, I'll likely begin with a demonstration video like that more or less showing what we'd be making and how it looks when applied along with how it looks to be applying it within software, etc., and then branch into the individual software, where we make something shown in the initial demo. If that makes any sense! LOL   I better read that later!

  • ProPoseProPose Posts: 376

    I love Alvin Lee's voice too! I am so jealous that you got to see them!

    I'd Love to Change the World is the big hit from this album, but I love the whole album. When I was young and finding my Rock voice, I loved singing along with this one - Here They Come:

    Just had to dig out the album and give it a spin,  what memories,  what emotions, what a time.  Thanks for reminding me

  • HeadwaxHeadwax Posts: 8,428

    My current lineup of aritcle and tutorials is pretty much deemed a priority, but with one exception:

    Is there anything any of you would like to see me demonstrate or teach?

    The current set I'm working on (titles not locked in yet - nor is the number of videos/articles for each) is:

    Creating Custom Characters for Carrara (Likely one video/article,  each might springboard into more)

    Hybrid aniMation in Carrara (Likely one video/article,  each will springboard into more)

    • Dynamic Hair Tips and Ideas
    • VWD
    • Daz Studio and aniMate 2 as a Carrara Plugin (for aniMation)

    In the initial start of the Hybrid aniMation page on the site, I already explain that I'll not be teaching traditional animation, since Phil Wilkes already did such a great job in his course. While some things are bound to overlap a little, my viewers/readers will never get out of my courses what one can obtain from his amazing series - nor do I want them to. They'll learn to use his course and my courses together to expedite their workflow and to be able to handle virtually any motion they can dream up.

    So I've dabbled a bit with the Hybrid aniMation and aniMate 2 pages to keep them rolling as I work on the video content, to eventually become support pages that work with the videos. The intent here is to create Hybrid Articles/Videos that work together to help explain one another in better detail than either could do on their own. I've already been trying to tie this stuff together like that, but to make it work the way I intend, I need to get more articles and videos completed - this will help me to complete the support pages for what's already up there now as well.

    I have a few more on the workbench that already have good starts to them, but I'd be happy to interrupt the process for other ideas/needs from my Carrara brethren.

    I'll be exploring more in regards to making elements to combine/composite with character and scenic animations to add polish to the final output, including the art of melding them together. The site isn't intended to be Just About Carrara, but definitely centered around it. So in this realm of topics, we'll explore making things like Stock Footage in Carrara, in Howler, in Particle Illusion Standalone as well as in HitFilm and Fusion. Like I did with Introducing Rosie 5, I'll likely begin with a demonstration video like that more or less showing what we'd be making and how it looks when applied along with how it looks to be applying it within software, etc., and then branch into the individual software, where we make something shown in the initial demo. If that makes any sense! LOL   I better read that later!

     

    Hya Dart, a tut on VWD would be awesome thank you!

     

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,848
    Headwax said:

    My current lineup of aritcle and tutorials is pretty much deemed a priority, but with one exception:

    Is there anything any of you would like to see me demonstrate or teach?

    The current set I'm working on (titles not locked in yet - nor is the number of videos/articles for each) is:

    Creating Custom Characters for Carrara (Likely one video/article,  each might springboard into more)

    Hybrid aniMation in Carrara (Likely one video/article,  each will springboard into more)

    • Dynamic Hair Tips and Ideas
    • VWD
    • Daz Studio and aniMate 2 as a Carrara Plugin (for aniMation)

    In the initial start of the Hybrid aniMation page on the site, I already explain that I'll not be teaching traditional animation, since Phil Wilkes already did such a great job in his course. While some things are bound to overlap a little, my viewers/readers will never get out of my courses what one can obtain from his amazing series - nor do I want them to. They'll learn to use his course and my courses together to expedite their workflow and to be able to handle virtually any motion they can dream up.

    So I've dabbled a bit with the Hybrid aniMation and aniMate 2 pages to keep them rolling as I work on the video content, to eventually become support pages that work with the videos. The intent here is to create Hybrid Articles/Videos that work together to help explain one another in better detail than either could do on their own. I've already been trying to tie this stuff together like that, but to make it work the way I intend, I need to get more articles and videos completed - this will help me to complete the support pages for what's already up there now as well.

    I have a few more on the workbench that already have good starts to them, but I'd be happy to interrupt the process for other ideas/needs from my Carrara brethren.

    I'll be exploring more in regards to making elements to combine/composite with character and scenic animations to add polish to the final output, including the art of melding them together. The site isn't intended to be Just About Carrara, but definitely centered around it. So in this realm of topics, we'll explore making things like Stock Footage in Carrara, in Howler, in Particle Illusion Standalone as well as in HitFilm and Fusion. Like I did with Introducing Rosie 5, I'll likely begin with a demonstration video like that more or less showing what we'd be making and how it looks when applied along with how it looks to be applying it within software, etc., and then branch into the individual software, where we make something shown in the initial demo. If that makes any sense! LOL   I better read that later!

     

    Hya Dart, a tut on VWD would be awesome thank you!

     

    Cool. ALready in the works ;)

  • HeadwaxHeadwax Posts: 8,428

    thanks!!

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