Where to study Animation in the UK? Cartoon Network?? Please help!

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GreenSpy
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First of all i'd like to say Hi, since this is my first post asking for advice on this subject! I'm sorry for any mistakes as i'm writing this in quite the hurry!
I am desperately looking for advice on where the best place to study Animation is (preferably) in the UK.

My LIFELONG dream is to get a job at Cartoon Network and eventually get to pitch a cartoon of my own.
Since the main CN studio is situated in Burbank, California (studying in the US is waaayyy out of my league in terms of expenses and so forth) I was hoping to get a job at the European Studio situated in London! I heard animators there also get a chance to pitch a cartoon - The Amazing World of Gumball is from there, too!

However, I'm from the very obscure and not-so-rich eastern European country of Bulgaria. The animation industry here is... terribly undeveloped, to say the least. Hence why I NEED to study Animation in a foreign country, as to avoid being left jobless after my degree (study-wise we only have like... 2 animation courses with not so good reviews).

For the longest time I thought my dream was impossible given my situation, it just didn't register as something that could actually happen. But last year I met a Bulgarian Animation alumni from The University of Westminster who got to spend about 5 years working at Cartoon Network Europe after getting an internship!

Suddenly the dream was real, but now i'm so so scared because I have no idea what Universities are worth it and which of them actually give internships for Cartoon Network (i want to get there as soon as possible)!

I just finished 11th grade and am about to start my last year of high school, but I have to decide where I want to study FAST. My grades are excellent and I recently got a grade A CPE. I'm doing everything I can in terms of going to drawing courses and catching up - I think I have a good chance! My parents even joke about how my grades are far too good for something like "Animation" (i come from a family of engineers, and even study Computer Science extensively in high school).
I realise this might sound immature or naive, but I just really want to follow my biggest dream and see if I can achieve it! If not, I can always go back to programming video games for the rest of my life as was my initial plan...

TL;DR: My question is: Which are the best Undergraduate Animation courses in the EU? Which of them offer internships for Cartoon Network, or are known to have alumni who work there?!?
Is my dream even possible or am I completely going insane after spending 4 years wanting to die from writing programs in C++?

The Universities i'm eyeing right now are:
- University of South Wales
- Coventry University
- Falmouth University
- University of Westminster
- University for the Creative Arts
- The Arts University Bournemouth
- The Animation Workshop (in Denmark)

I've considered many others but the above are the ones I've looked at the most extensively.
Any thoughts? Ideas? Opinions? Suggestions?
(sorry for the long post)
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Ravensbourne
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(Original post by GreenSpy)
First of all i'd like to say Hi, since this is my first post asking for advice on this subject! I'm sorry for any mistakes as i'm writing this in quite the hurry!
I am desperately looking for advice on where the best place to study Animation is (preferably) in the UK.

My LIFELONG dream is to get a job at Cartoon Network and eventually get to pitch a cartoon of my own.
Since the main CN studio is situated in Burbank, California (studying in the US is waaayyy out of my league in terms of expenses and so forth) I was hoping to get a job at the European Studio situated in London! I heard animators there also get a chance to pitch a cartoon - The Amazing World of Gumball is from there, too!

However, I'm from the very obscure and not-so-rich eastern European country of Bulgaria. The animation industry here is... terribly undeveloped, to say the least. Hence why I NEED to study Animation in a foreign country, as to avoid being left jobless after my degree (study-wise we only have like... 2 animation courses with not so good reviews).

For the longest time I thought my dream was impossible given my situation, it just didn't register as something that could actually happen. But last year I met a Bulgarian Animation alumni from The University of Westminster who got to spend about 5 years working at Cartoon Network Europe after getting an internship!

Suddenly the dream was real, but now i'm so so scared because I have no idea what Universities are worth it and which of them actually give internships for Cartoon Network (i want to get there as soon as possible)!

I just finished 11th grade and am about to start my last year of high school, but I have to decide where I want to study FAST. My grades are excellent and I recently got a grade A CPE. I'm doing everything I can in terms of going to drawing courses and catching up - I think I have a good chance! My parents even joke about how my grades are far too good for something like "Animation" (i come from a family of engineers, and even study Computer Science extensively in high school).
I realise this might sound immature or naive, but I just really want to follow my biggest dream and see if I can achieve it! If not, I can always go back to programming video games for the rest of my life as was my initial plan...

TL;DR: My question is: Which are the best Undergraduate Animation courses in the EU? Which of them offer internships for Cartoon Network, or are known to have alumni who work there?!?
Is my dream even possible or am I completely going insane after spending 4 years wanting to die from writing programs in C++?

The Universities i'm eyeing right now are:
- University of South Wales
- Coventry University
- Falmouth University
- University of Westminster
- University for the Creative Arts
- The Arts University Bournemouth
- The Animation Workshop (in Denmark)

I've considered many others but the above are the ones I've looked at the most extensively.
Any thoughts? Ideas? Opinions? Suggestions?
(sorry for the long post)
Hello GreenSpy,

Ravensbourne has an animation course you might want to consider Image We are ranked one of the Top 100 international animation schools by Animation Career Review!

In the past year our animation students have collaborated with the BBC on a series of films about the weather. You can check that out if you click here! As well as that we also collaborated with ITV, Sky, Disney, Nickelodeon and others!

We also have a short piece entered into the BFX competition by a year 2 student on our BA (Hons) animation! Throughout the year we enter many other competitions as you study here as well as live briefs from companies! You can also check out our student's work here on our Vimeo! Click me!

Our lectures comes from the industry so you can have insight on what it is like and they can teach you what you need to know! You can catch them at one of our open days! If you're in London, come and visit! You can talk to our student as well and see what lessons are like! Image

I'm not to sure about our links with the Cartoon Network, but we have an agency group dedicated at Ravensbourne to help students such as yourself find the jobs they are looking for once they graduate.

If you have any more question feel free to ask.

Here's our website! Click for Ravensbourne! Image

Hopes this helps,
Michail & Kayy
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Otta
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Ok, so I currently go to Arts University of Bournemouth and do animation production; I cannot say much about the other universities so I’ll only talk about my University.

If you want to work with 2D animation, Arts university of Bournemouth is a very good pick. The first year is all hand drawn animation and about learning the 12 fundamentals of animation where by the end of it you will get the basics down. 2nd year you will be left to develop your specialisation in whatever you pick (animation, concept art etc). In 3rd year you will get to make your final year film in a team. Again, most of the films will be in 2D animation so more opportunities there for 2D animators.

In terms of industry connections, every year with Bournemouth university, we get a free ticket to BFX which is a VFX and Animation festival. There we had talks from people from Disney, Pixar, Blue sky and The Mill for example. Students get the chance afterwards to talk to them afterwards.

For Internships, you must be proactive yourself and look out for opportunities online for specific companies at AUB. One way for cartoon network would be applying directly to their website at: https://www.cartoonnetworkstudios.com/internships

Also making an online art blog on a website like tumblr, Instagram or artstation, and getting a bit of a following on them will help your career a lot.

Also consider online courses which are cheaper and you can do at home like: http://www.animationmentor.com/, or schoolism. For me I didn’t do this because I really needed the university environment and peers to help me work, as I am not very self-motivated so I am willing to pay the extra, however everyone is different. You can also check out youtube channels such as Bobby Chiu for great industry advice.

Grades in general don’t matter in this field, your portfolio and being able to work well in a team is what gets you hired and chosen for university.

Keep a savvy head with what the industry is doing, and keep drawing! The more the better, remember if you want to do it as a job in the future you need treat your education in art the same. This means getting into the habit of drawing or animating whenever you get the chance for long periods, preferably every day.



Hope this helps and good luck! But it’s still early, you have plenty of time so don’t rush important decisions! Really, Best of luck! xxx
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GreenSpy
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(Original post by Ravensbourne)
Hello GreenSpy,

Ravensbourne has an animation course you might want to consider Image We are ranked one of the Top 100 international animation schools by Animation Career Review!

In the past year our animation students have collaborated with the BBC on a series of films about the weather. You can check that out if you click here! As well as that we also collaborated with ITV, Sky, Disney, Nickelodeon and others!

We also have a short piece entered into the BFX competition by a year 2 student on our BA (Hons) animation! Throughout the year we enter many other competitions as you study here as well as live briefs from companies! You can also check out our student's work here on our Vimeo! Click me!

Our lectures comes from the industry so you can have insight on what it is like and they can teach you what you need to know! You can catch them at one of our open days! If you're in London, come and visit! You can talk to our student as well and see what lessons are like! Image

I'm not to sure about our links with the Cartoon Network, but we have an agency group dedicated at Ravensbourne to help students such as yourself find the jobs they are looking for once they graduate.

If you have any more question feel free to ask.

Here's our website! Click for Ravensbourne! Image

Hopes this helps,
Michail & Kayy
Thank you for the reply and for bringing Ravensbourne to my attention!
I will definitely take a good look at it and take it into consideration!
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GreenSpy
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(Original post by Otta)
Ok, so I currently go to Arts University of Bournemouth and do animation production; I cannot say much about the other universities so I’ll only talk about my University.

If you want to work with 2D animation, Arts university of Bournemouth is a very good pick. The first year is all hand drawn animation and about learning the 12 fundamentals of animation where by the end of it you will get the basics down. 2nd year you will be left to develop your specialisation in whatever you pick (animation, concept art etc). In 3rd year you will get to make your final year film in a team. Again, most of the films will be in 2D animation so more opportunities there for 2D animators.

In terms of industry connections, every year with Bournemouth university, we get a free ticket to BFX which is a VFX and Animation festival. There we had talks from people from Disney, Pixar, Blue sky and The Mill for example. Students get the chance afterwards to talk to them afterwards.

For Internships, you must be proactive yourself and look out for opportunities online for specific companies at AUB. One way for cartoon network would be applying directly to their website at: https://www.cartoonnetworkstudios.com/internships

Also making an online art blog on a website like tumblr, Instagram or artstation, and getting a bit of a following on them will help your career a lot.

Also consider online courses which are cheaper and you can do at home like: http://www.animationmentor.com/, or schoolism. For me I didn’t do this because I really needed the university environment and peers to help me work, as I am not very self-motivated so I am willing to pay the extra, however everyone is different. You can also check out youtube channels such as Bobby Chiu for great industry advice.

Grades in general don’t matter in this field, your portfolio and being able to work well in a team is what gets you hired and chosen for university.

Keep a savvy head with what the industry is doing, and keep drawing! The more the better, remember if you want to do it as a job in the future you need treat your education in art the same. This means getting into the habit of drawing or animating whenever you get the chance for long periods, preferably every day.



Hope this helps and good luck! But it’s still early, you have plenty of time so don’t rush important decisions! Really, Best of luck! xxx
Thank you so much for the reply!
Arts University of Bournemouth really does sound like a good pick if I get accepted there. Could you tell me more about what it's like to study there?
Would you say you learned a lot, were taught well, etc.? What are your teachers or peers like? Are industry connections easier to make there than if you don't go to an animation uni? How often do students actually get hired to work for those big name companies?
Very sorry for the barrage of questions and feel free to ignore some of them if you want to! Again thanks a lot for the help! ^^
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Otta
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(Original post by GreenSpy)
Thank you so much for the reply!
Arts University of Bournemouth really does sound like a good pick if I get accepted there. Could you tell me more about what it's like to study there?
Would you say you learned a lot, were taught well, etc.? What are your teachers or peers like? Are industry connections easier to make there than if you don't go to an animation uni? How often do students actually get hired to work for those big name companies?
Very sorry for the barrage of questions and feel free to ignore some of them if you want to! Again thanks a lot for the help! ^^

That’s ok! I’m also still trying to figure out stuff D’: So I’m only talking about stuff I’ve learnt so far about the industry

Arts University of Bournemouth really does sound like a good pick if I get accepted there. Could you tell me more about what it's like to study there? [img]file:///C:/Users/MYPC~1/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image001.png[/img]

AUB is an arts university so its relatively small and quite tight nit, you have the bigger Bournemouth University next door. In the Animation Production class it’s around 80-90 students for 1st year, so it’s a lot bigger than in places like UCA Farnham. This means sometimes it can be difficult to get to talk to teachers 1 on 1. A lot of feedback you will get from fellow students.

Would you say you learned a lot, were taught well, etc.?

The course also has a very large emphasis on studio work, so working in groups is a big part of it. As you want to work for cartoon network in a studio setting, group work exercises will help. If you wanted to go into freelancing, again this might not be a course for you

You will also do A LOT of life drawing which is really important for 2D animation. In general, I learnt a lot of animation (I had never animated before the course) but they went over the basics thoroughly.

https://aub.ac.uk/courses/ba/ba-anim...ourse-journey/

AUB doesn’t have as much emphasis on CG animation as other courses such as at BU or UCA Rochester which is one thing to bear in mind.

What are your teachers or peers like?

Teachers are really great and will give honest and critical feedback. They will also make time for you if you need help so long as you ask! Peers are also amazing, as you are in a class of people all interested in the same thing. My classmates really motivate me to do more work, when I see how beautiful their work is, and feel disgustingly insignificant lol.



Are industry connections easier to make there than if you don't go to an animation uni?

I would say it is easier at a University to get industry connections. A lot of connections will be your classmates after you graduate.

I don’t think it’s impossible to make industry connections without a degree because everything is becoming increasingly online. Websites like Linkedin and Art station help with this.



How often do students actually get hired to work for those big name companies?

I can’t say how often students get picked by big name studios, there is one alumni who worked on Guardians of the Galaxy as a character animator, and another who got an internship at Disney for character design a few years ago. Several stop motion alumni have worked Aardman as well. There will be others as well but I don’t know of them. AUB offers placements in second year: https://aub.ac.uk/courses/ba/ba-anim...rk-placements/



I think the main thing is that pick a university that suits you best and what you want to have a career in. Watch their show reels to see the quality of student work, and also make sure that they are from the previous year. I went to one university which showed a show reel from 5 years ago when the course had clearly had a different tutor then, as the current tutors were very young (aka not much industry experience). Also check how many students worked on a film.



SORRY if I wrote too much lol, again hope this helps!
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GreenSpy
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(Original post by Otta)
That’s ok! I’m also still trying to figure out stuff D’: So I’m only talking about stuff I’ve learnt so far about the industry

Arts University of Bournemouth really does sound like a good pick if I get accepted there. Could you tell me more about what it's like to study there? [img]file:///C:/Users/MYPC~1/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image001.png[/img]

AUB is an arts university so its relatively small and quite tight nit, you have the bigger Bournemouth University next door. In the Animation Production class it’s around 80-90 students for 1st year, so it’s a lot bigger than in places like UCA Farnham. This means sometimes it can be difficult to get to talk to teachers 1 on 1. A lot of feedback you will get from fellow students.

Would you say you learned a lot, were taught well, etc.?

The course also has a very large emphasis on studio work, so working in groups is a big part of it. As you want to work for cartoon network in a studio setting, group work exercises will help. If you wanted to go into freelancing, again this might not be a course for you

You will also do A LOT of life drawing which is really important for 2D animation. In general, I learnt a lot of animation (I had never animated before the course) but they went over the basics thoroughly.

https://aub.ac.uk/courses/ba/ba-anim...ourse-journey/

AUB doesn’t have as much emphasis on CG animation as other courses such as at BU or UCA Rochester which is one thing to bear in mind.

What are your teachers or peers like?

Teachers are really great and will give honest and critical feedback. They will also make time for you if you need help so long as you ask! Peers are also amazing, as you are in a class of people all interested in the same thing. My classmates really motivate me to do more work, when I see how beautiful their work is, and feel disgustingly insignificant lol.



Are industry connections easier to make there than if you don't go to an animation uni?

I would say it is easier at a University to get industry connections. A lot of connections will be your classmates after you graduate.

I don’t think it’s impossible to make industry connections without a degree because everything is becoming increasingly online. Websites like Linkedin and Art station help with this.



How often do students actually get hired to work for those big name companies?

I can’t say how often students get picked by big name studios, there is one alumni who worked on Guardians of the Galaxy as a character animator, and another who got an internship at Disney for character design a few years ago. Several stop motion alumni have worked Aardman as well. There will be others as well but I don’t know of them. AUB offers placements in second year: https://aub.ac.uk/courses/ba/ba-anim...rk-placements/



I think the main thing is that pick a university that suits you best and what you want to have a career in. Watch their show reels to see the quality of student work, and also make sure that they are from the previous year. I went to one university which showed a show reel from 5 years ago when the course had clearly had a different tutor then, as the current tutors were very young (aka not much industry experience). Also check how many students worked on a film.



SORRY if I wrote too much lol, again hope this helps!
Thank you so so much for all the help!
One last thing because I forgot to ask, (so so sorry for the constant bothering, I swear this is final >.< but how hard is it to get into AUB? I saw the portfolio requirements written on the site but I can't find any example portfolios or other examples of entry-level work. Are they really strict? Which parts of the portfolio are the MOST MOST important? I suppose there's a lot of competition for the spots? Is there an exam/interview or would just an online portfolio suffice? In what format can a portfolio be sent (only physical / online with some parts physical / just online)?
Again thank you so much you've been an amazing help and sorry!
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That’s ok! no need to apologise!

If you check out this page you can see what they want:

https://aub.ac.uk/courses/ba/ba-anim...ews-portfolio/

You will need a bit of life drawing in your portfolio and/or anatomy sketches, which I’d say is the most important part of the portfolio. You will also need some observational sketches, not drawings from photographs, as these show how you analyse the world and simplify it into sketches. They aren’t expecting these drawings to be perfect as they will teach some of the skills on the course if you get in.

Then have a variety of other stuff to do with what you want to specialise in. I had a lot of digital paintings and character designs as I want to specialise in Visual Development. Also try not to include Fan art if you can.

I don’t know about competition but if you have a pretty solid portfolio and interview well then you will get in.

If your international you may not need to have an interview, I know one of my friends only had to show her portfolio. However, I know others needed a to do a skype interview. If you can’t be there in person just use an online portfolio.

Don’t worry about asking questions I’m happy to help! When I was preparing for the interviews last year I asked a girl who was on an animation course for advice and it helped me out a lot! Just PM me anything else 😊
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It's worth noting that the US animation industry has a great bias towards the CalArts programmes - some senior animators are rather dismissive of anything else, although it's mainly just a financial block and the actual quality or lack thereof isn't much different from any other programme.

Regarding the UK specifically, I know that at least one Animation graduate from ARU went on to work at Aardman. In general, in animation where you studied (barring the specific reference above to CalArts for major US children's animation networks) doesn't matter much compared to your portfolio and interview skills - it's a pretty competitive sector though, so be prepared to look for and undertake other work while applying to animation positions after graduation.
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Hey, I’m kind of in the same position as you😅, since it’s been 2 years I just wanted to know what u ended up picking and how animation is going for u?
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GreenSpy
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(Original post by 11London11)
Hey, I’m kind of in the same position as you😅, since it’s been 2 years I just wanted to know what u ended up picking and how animation is going for u?
Haha, my original post was a real mouthful huh 😅

I ended up getting accepted by 4 unis:
Falmouth University
Arts University Bournemouth
University for the Creative Arts
Westminster University

My memories of the process are blurry at best but I'll give it my best shot haha
Westminster never asked for my portfolio, no interview
AUB and UCA asked for my portfolio, no interview
Falmouth was the only uni that asked for my portfolio, had a Skype interview with the course leader himself, and their application site wasn't absolute **** HAHA

So in the end it was clear which uni seemed to care more. (Obviously it's different for every applicant, I've heard varying stories but i have NO idea why the rest didn't bother with interviewing me but still accepting)
Falmouth also has a good mix of 3D, VFX and stop-motion along with the 2D in the first year, so you really sink your hands in everything first so you can make an informed choise as to what to specialise in in the 2nd year. I'm still in the middle of 2nd year so I can't give an overall review, but its been good so far. We get plenty of guest lectures (the director of Kung Fu Panda came last year because he's buddies with one of our main teachers). There's plenty of support, the teachers are all super nice and lovely, and the uni gives job finding help even after graduation (i havent tried those services yet tho haha)

I had absolutely no living alone experience prior to coming here or any social skills (aka absolute baby) but the transition process was so smooth I was making friends on the second day of coming here. I'm getting more and more confident in my abilities and all is going well I guess?

Obviously the experience for everyone is completely different and I have NO idea if any other unis would've been better choices. If you're worried about your portfolio, don't: any half-decent one is gonna get accepted in most unis as far as I've seen haha (so do your best and don't stress)

If you have any other questions I don't mind answering haha, I hope this has been atleast vaguely helpful? 😅 Keep going and good luck!
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(Original post by GreenSpy)
Haha, my original post was a real mouthful huh 😅

I ended up getting accepted by 4 unis:
Falmouth University
Arts University Bournemouth
University for the Creative Arts
Westminster University

My memories of the process are blurry at best but I'll give it my best shot haha
Westminster never asked for my portfolio, no interview
AUB and UCA asked for my portfolio, no interview
Falmouth was the only uni that asked for my portfolio, had a Skype interview with the course leader himself, and their application site wasn't absolute **** HAHA

So in the end it was clear which uni seemed to care more. (Obviously it's different for every applicant, I've heard varying stories but i have NO idea why the rest didn't bother with interviewing me but still accepting)
Falmouth also has a good mix of 3D, VFX and stop-motion along with the 2D in the first year, so you really sink your hands in everything first so you can make an informed choise as to what to specialise in in the 2nd year. I'm still in the middle of 2nd year so I can't give an overall review, but its been good so far. We get plenty of guest lectures (the director of Kung Fu Panda came last year because he's buddies with one of our main teachers). There's plenty of support, the teachers are all super nice and lovely, and the uni gives job finding help even after graduation (i havent tried those services yet tho haha)

I had absolutely no living alone experience prior to coming here or any social skills (aka absolute baby) but the transition process was so smooth I was making friends on the second day of coming here. I'm getting more and more confident in my abilities and all is going well I guess?

Obviously the experience for everyone is completely different and I have NO idea if any other unis would've been better choices. If you're worried about your portfolio, don't: any half-decent one is gonna get accepted in most unis as far as I've seen haha (so do your best and don't stress)

If you have any other questions I don't mind answering haha, I hope this has been atleast vaguely helpful? 😅 Keep going and good luck!
Hi there

Just reading your thread here and wanted to mention that Westminster did indeed not interview or ask for a portfolio in the year you applied to university. It was one off year never to be repeated! We now interview all students and they need to show a portfolio of work.

I'm glad you're having a great time at university.

Best wishes

Kim
Course Enquiries Team
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sanasaleem69
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There some names of institute:

1- Bournemouth University.
2- Bucks New University.
3- De Montfort University.
4- Falmouth University.
5- Middlesex University.

I prefer Bucks new University. Its overall good institute with good environment.
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