Thread: Mix and match Log3G10 LUTs in Resolve (Primers, philmColor, IPP2, etc)

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  1. #1 Mix and match Log3G10 LUTs in Resolve (Primers, philmColor, IPP2, etc) 
    I am finding that my clients really love the Omeno Primers, which is wonderful! But color is very subjective, and strangely I prefer RED's IPP2 LUTs as a starting point. I also really like philmColor for getting looks going. All this to say: I've tried to make it as easy as possible to swap out one group of LUTs for another with the least amount of disruption to my overall workflow and projects. And I think I've discovered a few things that might be helpful to others along the way. These findings are not authoritative, just what I've learned thus far; I'm also always happy to receive correction and/or constructive feedback.

    BACKGROUND

    Davinci Resolve qualifiers are really made to work with REC709. Wider gamuts (especially RWG) and flatter profiles (especially Log3G10) cause the qualifier to wildly over-shoot intended selections. And it doesn't appear to be on the roadmap of Davinci Resolve 16 to change that fact. Which itself is not really a problem: Resolve's 32bit floating-point color is more than capable of mathematically inverting the transformation from RWG/Log3G10 to REC709 and back again with essentially no generational loss. For this reason, REC709 is not only a perfectly fine colorspace and gamma for timelines, but it may well be the best setting for general Resolve use.

    MIXING and MATCHING PROBLEM

    The LUTs I use all take RWG/Log3G10 as input. The Omeno Primers appear to produce P3-D65/Gamma 2.6 output. Resolve has a mathematical transform that can convert that to REC709 in a lossless fashion. The IPP2 v1.13 LUTs target a wide range of color spaces and gammas, including P3-D65/Gamma 2.6 (matching Omeno Primers) and REC709. But there's a twist.

    The Base primer yields a significantly darker image than the IPP2 LUTs. I don't know why something middle-gray-ish to IPP2 gets mapped 25 IRE less when going through Base, but it does. Which makes the mix-and-match exercise much more than a simple A/B color choice. Grouping together two identical clips of a CDM color chart and Using Resolve's Multiviewer to view the two clips side-by-side, I used the waveform monitor to analyze the difference between the two.

    EQUALIZING LUT GAIN

    It may be obvious to many who have spent a lot of time color grading, but using Gain on a gamma-corrected source has the effect of increasing contrast (because higher IRE values are gained up proportionally more than lower IRE values). Applying gain to make the peak brightness match, then applying (negative) lift to make the black tones agree tends to increase contrast even more. Changing the ISO on a per-clip basis does correct the discrepancy of luminance response, but it's a total nightmare to have to manually change the ISO on all the clips when you want to swap between one LUT and another. The solution I have found to this problem is to create an ISO Gain node before the Primer LUT node and to set the ISO Gain's Gamma setting to Linear (not Use Timeline). When using Gain in Linear space, the effect back in Gamma space is precisely that of increasing/decreasing exposure. All contrast values remain in the same relationship to one another.

    EQUALIZING LUT CONTRAST

    The Omeno Primers come in four video responses (Base, NTR, Vivid, and Punch). The IPP2 LUTs used to come in four video responses with 4-5 highlight rolloffs, which is 20 choices per colorspace/gamma output. With some trial and error, and finding the right gain correction above, I found overall good matches as follows:

    Base: ISO Gain 1.45 matches IPP2 LOW CONTRAST, SOFT HIGHLIGHTS
    NTR: ISO Gain 1.36 matches IPP2 MED CONTRAST, MED HIGHLIGHTS
    Vivid: ISO Gain 1.27 matches IPP2 HIGH CONTRAST, SOFT HIGHLIGHTS

    Punch gives even more contrast than IPP2 HIGH CONTRAST

    MIXING AND MATCHING MORE LUTS

    Phil Holland makes a big deal that most of his LUTs are luminance-preserving. Omeno makes a big deal that Primers should be the first thing in the chain after ISO and White Balance. But philmColor GHOST stocks are designed to be very light treatments, more like filters over the lenses than treatments to be applied in the chemistry/timing. They can take RWG/Log3G10 RAW output and pass it along. The philmColor BASE stocks are probably better to use after Primers, which means that Primer outputs must be converted from P3-D65/Gamma 2.6 to RWG/Log3G10, and then back again after the BASE stock is applied. Again, Resolve's 32bit floating-point math in the OpenFX color conversion nodes makes this a snap.

    I've bundled up a project that includes the test chart and Resolve node trees. You need to have your own LUT files. The CDM chart was shot with tungsten light balanced closer to daylight (plus some ambient daylight) on a DSMC2 Helium S35 camera. You can access the DRP file and media here:

    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/4qsb9wvtj...aa1wDU5Da?dl=0

    Have fun, and please send me corrections to any errors I may have made. Thanks!
    Michael Tiemann, Chapel Hill NC

    "Dream so big you can share!"
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  2. #2  
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    I casually know Hrvoje Simic over at Omeno Design, and I think the LUTs are OK (and usable), but as with all this stuff you can duplicate it all if you have a good colorist who knows what they're doing. You can get these same looks in Baselight and Lustre and Nucoda and Resolve and everything out there. It's not necessary to use a LUT to get reasonable images from well-exposed Red material. I do like using IPP2, RWG and 3G10, but the rest I just dial in. It's not rocket science, and once you have that look, you can keep it going throughout the whole project. I don't have a problem with anybody who wants to use them as temp looks, but trust me, a good colorist can do the exact same thing.

    The advantage of doing it manually is you can customize it on a shot-by-shot basis and compensate if and when the exposure goes off the rails, or if the director & DP want a vastly different look. LUTs are not always the answer. I do agree that there are very tweaky, complex custom LUTs created for a specific project that can work in certain situations, but I generally avoid using them as "normalizing" LUTs early on. (The one exception for me is SLog-3, which is a total pain in the ass.)
    marc wielage, csi • colorist/post consultant • daVinci Resolve Certified Trainer
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  3. #3  
    Whoa. More workflow info was planned but now Michael made me do it sooner. :)

    LUT is body which associates to known usages, logic and outcome.

    Primers go beyond those.
    They are based on image philosophy, defining the whole pipeline from camera analysis to signal shaping.



    I'll add more info here when the time allows it.
    http://i68.tinypic.com/drcb4y.jpg


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  4. #4  
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    The science behind what Hrvoje does is sound, and I appreciate the fact that he's using real charts and good real-world conditions. But I'm always skeptical of a LUT being any more than a reasonable temporary look on set. I do know DPs who make custom LUTs for different applications, but it's a case-by-case basis. And even then, one LUT is not always going to work for every shot in the show. A colorist can make vast adjustments when necessary to get all the material in the same visual place, simply because the knobs move.

    Bear in mind that a big part of it often involves adjust level or color differently in different parts of the frame, and you'd be surprised how often that happens. A LUT can't do that, and a LUT also is going to have issues the moment you jump into ACES or a radically different color space. That's a natural limitation of LUTs for very real mathematical reasons. I do think LUTs (especially technical LUTs) have their uses, and I'd always rather the people on set and the editor look at the footage with some reasonable kind of look that compensates for Log space. And I still encounter newcomers who try to edit in Log and wind up getting used to that uncorrected look, which leads to lots of stress in post.
    marc wielage, csi • colorist/post consultant • daVinci Resolve Certified Trainer
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  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Wielage View Post
    But I'm always skeptical of a LUT being any more than a reasonable temporary look on set.
    Understandable, from your current perspective I'd be also.

    I'll go through the logic which helps to understand this philosophy and reaching different conclusions. Based on years of interdisciplinary research from acquisition to post and repeatable results from the developments.
    Formulating that into a meaningful form takes a significant chunk of time I don't momentarily have, but soon enough...


    Also, Michael - I do not recommend mixing/stacking tools like these. They are far too specific and depend on input signal.

    Phil likely designed his tools based on specific workflow logic and predictable signal input from base Red colour science as well, and although I understand and respect the exploratory nature behind the notion, this route leads to unpredictable results. They will not do the same thing if the input differs. In any case I don't recommend mixing LUTs, too much variables which can mess up the signal.
    Whether it is specific stock/look design as with Phil's tools or neutral normalized image basis with Primers,
    past that point it is best having specific manual control over the image.
    http://i68.tinypic.com/drcb4y.jpg


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    Digital > Camera performance optimization http://omeneo.com/primers

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  6. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hrvoje Simic View Post
    Also, Michael - I do not recommend mixing/stacking tools like these. They are far too specific and depend on input signal.
    Yes, very true. A couple of months ago, I got a panicked call from a client who had a DP who tried to color-correct his own feature, and it went right off a cliff. I was pulled in to try to salvage it, and discovered that his first two nodes were both different LUTs in a row (!!!), and of course one clipped images and the second tried to compensate for that. Eliminating both LUTs gave me the room to fix it quite a bit.

    I've seen Phil's LUTs as well and I think they can be useful in terms of giving filmmakers and DPs inspiration for new and different looks, but I'm as suspicious as any of this stuff in that a great colorist on Baselight or Lustre or Mistika or Resolve is going to be able to match that look and not cause as much damage. And it's especially hard when you get a project that has to deliver in 1000 & 4000-nit Dolby Vision, P3 XYZ theatrical, and 100-nit Rec709 home video.
    marc wielage, csi • colorist/post consultant • daVinci Resolve Certified Trainer
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  7. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Wielage View Post
    I've seen Phil's LUTs as well and I think they can be useful in terms of giving filmmakers and DPs inspiration for new and different looks, but I'm as suspicious as any of this stuff in that a great colorist on Baselight or Lustre or Mistika or Resolve is going to be able to match that look and not cause as much damage. And it's especially hard when you get a project that has to deliver in 1000 & 4000-nit Dolby Vision, P3 XYZ theatrical, and 100-nit Rec709 home video.
    It's not really about replacing a colorist or anything like that. I just ran into about two dozen folks here at NAB and it's good to listen how and where my Creative Cube LUTs come into their workflow. For the studios, commercials, and filmmakers they get used in a variety of ways and they certainly put things into a specific zone for those jobs that don't have the budget for a week or month of color work. A good number of people out there find a handful of useful ones to toss into their camera just for monitoring purposes even to bring a smile to the puckered lips of a grumpy director.

    A good colorist can do anything, I'm mostly giving some options on where to start and consistently providing a look across the board if desired. As mentioned, the ghostStocks indeed operate more like Color Science and they feature subtle transforms that moderately operate like the evolution of various film stocks in creating a unique look. As these cameras are getting better and providing more color informatio from Dragon onwards to Monstro, Helium, Gemini, and Dragon-X it's about guiding a sensible pleasing look and directing a simplified and refined palette as well as tones.

    Remember, philmColor adheres to the RED IPP2 workflow and goes into the Grading Zone of the pipeline. As always a little graphical help:
    http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthr...2-Introduction

    philmColor is always designed to be used as such: REDCODE RAW (or ProRes) > Grading Zone (curves, CDL, etc, philmColor) > Output Transform (Output Tone Map/Highlight Roll-Off and your Output Color and Gamma Space (like Rec.709/Bt.1886).

    I've done my best for a long time to keep the vast majority of the Creative Cubes as tonally neutral as possible to respect individual filmmakers ways of exposing and working. There's a few in there, like the Bleach Bypass related looks, that will obviously do things related to tonal pushing related to the core of what inspired the LUT in terms of the process. These have been tested with all of the different Output Tone Map and Highlight Roll-Off variations and literally with thousands of shots from many RED owners, productions, and even from RED.

    I've received some interesting requests since the last update that I have been working on that will have their own little world, which will be clearer shortly. Though I don't totally recommend some people have discovered you can indeed "stack" philmColor Creative Cubes for even more insanity and I've now seen them used on ARRI LogC material before their desired output transforms on a few shows. Sneaky guys out there breaking the rules.
    Phil Holland - Cinematographer - Los Angeles
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  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Wielage View Post
    Yes, very true. A couple of months ago, I got a panicked call from a client who had a DP who tried to color-correct his own feature, and it went right off a cliff. I was pulled in to try to salvage it, and discovered that his first two nodes were both different LUTs in a row (!!!), and of course one clipped images and the second tried to compensate for that. Eliminating both LUTs gave me the room to fix it quite a bit.
    Yup, that is a problem. Epecially when one doesn't know what the LUT does and how it can affect the signal values.
    When one knows exactly what it does and uses it properly, and when it is properly designed , there is a huge potential.

    LUT is just a lattice based container for the transformation. There is no "good" or "bad" in the container itself, it can only be in what it contains. Dismisssing a LUT is like dismissing "mp4".

    That's why I'm avoiding talking about the LUTs in the context of Primers. Too much preconceptions baggage in a domain saturated with all kinds of stuff. Forget about the LUT, and associations from past experiences, "hollywood blockbuster insta-colorist" type of stuff. It's what's inside that matters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Wielage View Post
    I've seen Phil's LUTs as well and I think they can be useful in terms of giving filmmakers and DPs inspiration for new and different looks, but I'm as suspicious as any of this stuff in that a great colorist on Baselight or Lustre or Mistika or Resolve is going to be able to match that look and not cause as much damage.
    That depends on what is acheived with this type of transformation.

    Manual work can also cause damage. That part goes both ways. LUT can be more precise, stable and consistent than manual work.
    Every operator affects the signal in multiple ways, depending not just on properties of the operator but also on properties of used colour space and gamma. There is no free lunch. You manipulate one thing, vectors for example, tonal transition smoothness will change, or microcontrast, or specific colour luminance, etc. Vectors will have one types of problems and limitations in log, another in linear, another in gamma corrected image. Or saturation, contrast, etc. It can go haywire easily and variables multiply. LUT is more specific, and can target specific tone on Wednesday, without messing up other things. It all depends.

    Phil has likely done extensive work as well on analysis, design and tests and that is not something which can be compensated just like that with a few quick moves in post. You may imagine months and months of work on a single transformation which does not lose value just because it's finally applied with one click in post. Value is relative to perception and personal system of values. There is huge work involved to get to that transformation step. If it is achieved with extensive, systematic and tested workflow it is a legitimate tool, which expands creative options.

    As far as matching the "look"...one can match the look per shot/scene, per properties which the tools can affect and per visibility of manifested results. No other reference whatsoever, no in-depth insight of the camera performance itself - the very basis of the incoming image, no in-depth insight on the full effect of the LUT in other circumstances and no guarantees whatsover the same look done manually will work on other scenes, in which case more work is required to get to the same (similar) result. There is this data-centric fantasy that matching ideal values (colour matrix for example) and rudimentary targets will do the same thing with all cameras. As if camera processing and sensor properties = their ideal mapped targets. Like it's that simple. That comes from people who have never actually used them or haven't used them long enough. Also - matching is the attempt of re-creating something already done by someone else. None of what Phil or me are doing is there to compensate or undervalue the work of a colourist, it is there to empower the workflow, with differing approach, purpose and logic. You may think of it as expansion, not replacement.

    I started making these for our post initially, so the first light is a joy instead of PITA in many cases. First started with orange people with first SGamut in 2015. Now I'm not doing any post without Primers if the material is shot on cameras I've analysed and designed Primers for, and there is no frikking way I want to shape the image from scratch now, or let someone else decide about the initial transformation, knowing exactly what these do per each camera, what they achieve, and what it took at what levels of complexity to get to this.

    Let me consider how much I care about IDTs and 45638464 steps of signal gymnastics and image variables after thousands of hours of camera analysis, signal shaping and tests for a single, scene-independent, stable and reliable transformation step normalizing the sensor-specific imagery, which I can carry with me and can apply in camera, recorder, monitor, NLE, grading app or stills app:
    ..
    ...
    ....considered.
    http://i68.tinypic.com/drcb4y.jpg


    Analog > Camera feel optimization http://omeneo.com
    Digital > Camera performance optimization http://omeneo.com/primers

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  9. #9  
    Beauty and Colour


    There is objective and subjective part of beauty and aesthetics.

    Objective part is universal and depends on principles of harmony, proportions, correspondence and stability.
    Subjective is particular and related to taste and conditioning.

    Primers are focused on the objective part.




    DIGITAL & CELLULOID



    Digital cameras are imperfect. They are imperfect in a different way to film.
    Digital quantization and signal mapping, especially into log gammas and wide gamuts introduces more specific imperfections. The deviations are neither pleasing as with film nor cannot be compensated the same way as with film. Modifying the digitally acquired image on top of digitally acquired image’s signal deviations introduces further unnatural offsets of the signal (compared to film) which is why:

    a) Digital can often look as “washed out” compared to film or "souless" or “fake” or “electric” or any other association which comes from that “digital feel”.
    Which entails complex work just to get closer to image basis which grades and finally looks closer to film.
    b) As soon as scene light or post look goes off white balance new problems emerge, weird tones pop out, often difficult to remove and image aesthetic differs more to film graded off white balance

    Great colorists can still make the digital image look fantastic but nevertheless they are forced to continuously start on a compromise as a basis.
    Compromise which wasn’t there with film and its organic and more gradual offsets.

    This is where Primers come in.



    PRIMERS PHILOSOPHY


    Primers are image shaping tools designed to optimize digitally acquired imagery.

    Their design is based on thorough camera analysis, with custom developed tools and workflow and mutiple levels of testing.
    They take the original camera input, mapped into camera maker's base colour science and transform it into an optimized image.
    Primers EQX take the unmodified log input, Primers Standard series are designed for compact cameras with limited bit depth and require in-camera settings mod before the signal get compressed.

    They allow visually referent monitoring and top quality first light. They remove chances for underexposure, reduce needs for NR and complex compromises in post.

    1) They are designed for those DoPs who had “ I wish I could capture this the way I see it” moment in their lives.
    The only main difference to that intuitive notion is the technical limitation of mapping bright high saturated values, which are designed more subtle to allow natural and filmic offset to signal extremes, and healthy signal which grades well. Camera sensor and processing limitations are minimal problem these days.

    2) They are designed for DITs to make their lives easier and more fun, and to make DoP, director and clients happy, without wasting time on unneccessary signal gymnastics and fiddling while cards are coming, just to get an accurate quality image.

    3) The are designed for colourists who want to focus on creative look with stable image basis and don’t want to waste time, focus and energy every single time to fix something already fixed.

    The term “optimization” refers to:

    1) Adaptation - achieving optimal signal mapping for sensor performance based on original camera maker’s colour science (affecting density, contrast, micro contrast, richness, separation, DR utilization, lattittude utilization, noise and texture properties etc)
    2) Stabilization - achieving tonal and texture consistency across the exposure range and shooting scenarios
    3) Harmonization - achieving optimal tonal relations
    4) Normalization - achieving technically correct and reliable signal for post production
    5) Naturalization - achieving visual reference and organicity and removing the “digital” feel from digitally acquired image

    These five categories are formulated just for clarification, they are not consecutive nor separated in the process but inter-related, with enormous amount of variables to juggle and exceptionally complex to meet all goals in the same time, which is why this process takes months and r&d to get there took years with multiple revisions of the whole workflow and final outcomes.

    No color bias. Colour neutral.
    Since cameras vary in spectrum coverage and dynamics, judgement calls are made to keep the prioritized values consistent while assuring image’s overall visual neutrality and organicity.




    PRIMERS SET



    Primers EQX sets consists of 5 Primers

    01 Base
    02 NTR
    03 Vivid
    04 Punch
    05 DMax


    - Base and NTR are designed primarily for colourists and allow most creative shaping range. Base is most flat.
    - NTR is the golden middle for usability in monitoring and post. Not as flat as Base but still having most texture visibility over the exposure range with more shaping room in shadows and highlights than the following 3. If one wants to see most of usable DR on set - Base and NTR are advised.
    - Vivid and Punch are designed mostly for clients, directors and set due to most contrast. Also, make up, hair, art dept. and wardrobe can benefit with more popping out. Punch has highest advisable contrast for overall DR utilization, healthy exposure decisions and colourist having nice thoughts of you after reviewing the material.
    - DMax is most dense, a bit darker as a result and has lowest noise floor per contrast. Highlights are close to NTR. Naming is hommage to film, not exact analogy. If you are shooting low light and unsure, use DMax for monitoring.

    All are coloristically the same and designed in subtle yet practical increments with special contrast response design in each for optimal density, filmic midtone contrast, best noise floor and texture per DR utilization, and harmonious tonal distribution, while having graceful transition to signal extremes.

    For the DoPs additional importance:

    For the best image quality:
    - Do NOT expect some miraculous detail popping out of highlights which you don't see with Primers
    - Do NOT expect for the guy in post to dig more juice out of the shadows which you don't see with Primers on set
    It is either not there or pushing it to get it will cost you.




    PRIMERS WORFKLOW



    Primers are sensor-referred signal shaping tools.

    That approach makes them scene-independent.

    They work in EVERY situation and optimize the image regardless of the light type, exposure, ND tint or scene colour bias.
    In the context of post production they are designed to be first light tools, which make first light process a) practical, b) intuitive, c) consistent and d) high quality
    For the best result one has to white balance the image pre-LUT, while Primer is applied, and Primers will optimize the result.


    Signal chain

    1) RAW settings - temp/tint (tonal signal positioning), ISO equivalent (luminance signal positioning)
    2) Primer - in Resolve it goes on the first node
    3) Creative look shaping goes after the signal is optimized


    - NO other transforms prior or on top of Primers. They have “falloffs” and a whole bunch of other things all implemented inside.
    - NO saturation, “exposure”, contrast of any type, “shadows/highlights” or qualifiers pre-LUT
    - NO auto chart matching or "auto anything" for that matter - because
    a) that is fundamentally flawed,
    b) original colour relations have to be intact as coming from the sensor
    c) you will get superior results with manual temp/tint teamed with vectorscope insight and Primers
    d) Primers already know what the sensor and base colour science do EXACTLY and what to correct EXACTLY, MORE SPECIFICALLY and MORE PRECISELY than eyeballing, so anyone color correcting has to compensate the light variable, Primers do the their stuff on camera induced variables.

    In most cases temp/tint sliders are sufficient to get a proper tonal balance. The need for trackballs for basic CC is more rare. Subtle WB adjustments make the world of difference in base image quality and further cumulative image manipulation.

    Trackball creative toning and similar creative approach segmented over luminance range should be done after the image is optimized by the Primer, after which creative tonal offsets become more stable and organic looking. The same logic applies on other tonal particulars. First the technical normalization, then the creative work on stabilized material. That way the chromatic circus of digital is gone and the image starts to behave more naturally for look design.
    http://i68.tinypic.com/drcb4y.jpg


    Analog > Camera feel optimization http://omeneo.com
    Digital > Camera performance optimization http://omeneo.com/primers

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  10. #10  
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    I like the approach to start with a sensor specific Primer and adding all creative decisions in the grade to a perfectly repeatable, neutral starting point.
    The examples on your website are great, I like the skin to be a bit less yellow than the standard Ipp2. But examples are all Dragon, can we see somewhere
    your what primers do to Gemini?
    I also have a Davinci question, are multiple nodes pulling the grade in opposite directions degrading the image (assuming everything is done in RAW)?
    If I were to apply a Node adding contrast and a warmer whitebalence (via gamma) and at the end I add another node loosing a bit of contrast is the image
    quality less than going back to the original node and adjust? Hope I make sense...
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