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Switching to Blender, what should I expect?

Discussion in 'External Tools' started by FlyingRobot, Apr 2, 2014.

  1. nipoco

    nipoco

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    Usually your posts are more constructive than that.
     
  2. shaderop

    shaderop

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    Your passing your opinion as fact. What someone thinks of the UI is subjective and not something that can be "proved" one way or the other.

    Again, your opinion presented as fact. I agree with you that Blender is good (or at least good enough), but that is still just your (and my) subjective opinion.

    You're coming to this thread with the mindset of "let me show you how wrong you are about Blender", which is neither helpful nor would it win over any users of other apps who are on the fence. I think we would all rather return to the mindset that we had at the start of this thread, which is "let me help you address your concerns about Blender."
     
  3. MaxieQ

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    My personal experience with Blender is that it's a damn good modeller, and the work-flow of creating models is quick and efficient. Once you learn the keyboard shortcuts, it's quick work to do anything. That said, I don't like Cycles, the renderer, so I usually render in something else. I have a student license for Maya, so I import it there and do texturing and materials there.

    That said, while I don't have a lot of experience in modelling in Maya and what I say could be wrong, I just find that the menu based system is less efficient in Maya. You have 'action menus' that appear when you click the mouse. I just don't feel it's as efficient, but that's just my personal taste.
     
  4. Deleted User

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    LOL I was just poking fun, I don't know what it is about Blender that I can't get along with whatsoever. In some ways I found the tools better than Modo, but I just find it a nightmare to do anything in it. Plus the tutorials always seem outdated, it's cool and if you're on a budget then I'm sure you wouldn't complain suck it up and get used to it.
     
  5. Beardbotnik

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    I actually used other software for a bit. I've worked with Maya, 3ds max using their 3 year educational license. I worked with a lot of the tools for texturing, animation, etc. CAT rigging animation tools in max were great for fast rigs, Maya always required lots of setup with a similar workflow as Blender for rigging and animation and while it wasn't in Maya until after I stopped using it, I did use the Shader node editor it has as a plugin in 3ds max beforehand and it was great.

    I liked 3DS Max's newer viewport canvas tools and I'm not saying Blender is better in any way. I also use Zbrush a lot, the poly painting works well but it still can be a bit awkward.

    For stylized work I think Blender works fine, which is what I use it for and I was going to do some tests with using it for a workflow using normal maps and spec maps soon. I guess I could post a write up in this thread for my findings.

    One thing I will say though is I would never use Blender for sculpting. But I use Zbrush for that and it has free updates so it still works on an indie budget.

    For more realistic next-gen texture I probably would just use the Quixel stuff like ndo and ddo. The current versions are going to go free once the new Quixel suite releasing, though the price for that doesn't seem that bad either which AAA studios will most likely use as well.

    I don't advocate for just using Blender as the only tool in a 3d workflow by any means, but I do think that its texture painting tools are fantastic and are only getting better with the Google Summer of Code paint update.
     
  6. goat

    goat

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    These comments that try and change fact into opinion are like trolls on the Unity forums. It doesn't change facts. I gave the OP factual information trolls to the contrary not withstanding. Those troll posts only influence those that choose out of spite and not utility.

    The new indie Maya license is now less $1000 because, well, Blender is worserer like Unity is worsererer than UE4...it's like catching lightningning in a bottle.
     
  7. shaderop

    shaderop

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    Let's go over your facts then:


    Trials seem like a valid way. If you're hinting at something else then I don't think that's a good start for a first post on this thread.


    Non sequitur. An accomplished artist presenting a tutorial on Blender does not prove your conclusion that its UI is superior to the alternatives. If anything, it's an argument for the opposite conclusion. If Blender's UI was that superior then tutorials won't even be necessary.


    I'd like to know where you get the money to buy a slate and a second monitor.


    Here's your logic:
    1. All those who use Unity are indie game developers.
    2. No "indy making any type game in Unity" should "produce the complex geometry models" that require Max or Maya to make.
    3. Therefore, Blender is enough for anyone using Unity.
    #1 is not true. And even if it was, then #2 does not follow from #1. If someone wants to set the quality bar as high as the big studios then that is up to them.

    Therefore, you conclusion doesn't follow. Another Non sequitur.


    Your next fact was already suitably addressed.


    An honest and innocent expression of opinion using colorful language with no further aims? You're clinging to that single phrase, quoting out of context, and using it to ignore the rest of Ricks's post.


    Pots calling kettles.


    And yet, you're still debating it:

    Faulty generalization fallacy. Just because your own models had crap topology doesn't mean that that is the same problem that the poster faced. Your own experience is not a generalized fact.


    Faulty generalization. Just because you think it's easy does not make it a fact. It's still an opinion.


    Oxymoron.


    Appeal to pity. Your'e also misrepresenting criticism as persecution of poor, defenseless blender.


    The saddest thing is that it's totally lost on you that I and most people on this thread actually agree with you that Blender is good.


    Ad Hominem. And you have a very peculiar understanding of the word "fact."
     
  8. c-Row

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    If so many people point out the UI as a downside of Blender they might have a point, though.
     
  9. BrainMelter

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    Deconstructed!
     
  10. Ricks

    Ricks

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    Then why does the topic exist?

    I see many people in here not only talking about the UI but sharing their experiences in other regards with blender - even if they mention the UI. But if you stop reading the line you see the word "UI" it's no wonder you are possessed with it. But it's wrong to claim people just say "it sucks" or say it's completely offtopic.

    And let's be honest: any 3D modelling application is mostly a matter of preferences. It doesn't help to try it out yourself. This costs time and patience, but there is no way around that. There will always people bringing arguments and the same amount of people bringing arguments against - in the end you don't know nothing until you experienced it yourself.

    You can basically close any thread like this immediately by saying:
    "try the different applications out for a week by doing similar tasks you are used to, then decide for yourself"
     
  11. Dantus

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    What I meant is that this was already answered. There was no new information since ~page 3.

    You are absolutely right that 3d modelling applications are a matter of preference and as such it is pointless to discuss it on a subjective basis in my opinion. Especially as the original poster explicitly asked about Blender there is no need to compare it to any other 3d application with the exception of XSI which was also mentioned. If you have a look at the first pages, you find valuable input by a surprising amount of people. It was pretty interesting to read how actual things can be made in Blender in various ways.
    After that it is not anymore helpful, because it is mostly about preferences.
     
  12. Hoegbo

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    why not use both? , exploit the strengths and weaknesses of both applications , I use blender for light modeling and animations.
    and Modo for a main modeler.(and 3d-coat for textures)

    You already have Modo which has in my opinion the best work flow of the two. I think the foundry will keep the current pricing for a long while.
    they did the price increase at 701 launch. and from what I hear there is no big price bump comming.
    as for vertex normals did you try Farfarer's vertex normal script ?

    as for blender , you will have to think a bit differently compared to Modo.
    blender requires you to remember more shortcuts. and you cant build tools the same way as you do in modo.
    the one thing that bugs me about blender though is I don't feel I can do accurate models. as the measurement tools are severely lacking.
    this was the main reason I got modo.
     
  13. FlyingRobot

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    Modo and XSI will remain in my pipeline for a while.
    Yes, I use farfar's script. But the fbx workflow in general is somewhat freaky in Modo. And, i'm paying for this PITA.

    From the suggestions gathered so far... Blender is workable. Not without its share of 'oops' and 'ahhs' , but worth a try. UI is a learning curve that comes with every software.

    Once again, i dont expect luxury from blender. Its like moving from a 5 star ADSK hotel to a youth hostel. I just wanted to investigate if habitable or will i have to run to my old 5 star in the mid of the night.
    The old hotel is big, at a price. Even if can pay for it, i just dont like the sight of the hotel owner running around with chainsaw.
    And, for a indie backpacker, youth hostels can be great. Crossing my fingers.
     
  14. Hoegbo

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    Sounds about right. Blender is a decent app. cant beat the price :)
    One of the heads up I want to give is measurement and accuracy.
    This also include the mirror modifier, when making mid-High poly organic models.(in my experience)


    love the analogies.
    you can do awesome stuff with blender when you got the keyboard navigation/shortcuts in your fingertips.
    Best wishes in your new environment.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2014
  15. Dantus

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    Could you share a few more details about that? I didn't have that issue at all, though I am not an artist and don't work extensively in Blender.
     
  16. shaderop

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    Here's another tip that kept me sane: Back when I first started, I found a post on the Luxology forums that suggested changing Blender's settings so that the navigation is more like Modo. It has helped me tremendously.

    I tweaked it a little as I went along, and now I use the following settings:
    • Emulate 3 Button Mouse: On
    • Continuous Grab: On
    • Select With: Right
    • Orbit Style: Turntable
    • Invert Mouse Zoom Direction: On
    • Rotate Around Selection: On
    I feel much more at home using the above. Might be worth testing for someone who's just starting out with Blender.
     
  17. Teila

    Teila

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    Great idea, Shaderop! I am going to try this. I am a beginner but those make sense and would make the controls more like common editing software.

    As for the rest of the discussion, as a newbie to modeling, I watched numerous quality videos and have not had any more trouble with Blender than with any other 3d modeling software. I think much of the issue is that people get used to their own software and then have difficulty transferring to another. My teen daughter is already flying with blender and she has never used any other similar software. She also flies with Gimp.

    In my opinion, other than Silo which I tried briefly, everything else looks ultra complicated, like the cockpit of an airplane to me. Only after watching lots of videos can I unscramble any of these complicated programs. Once I do, it is like "Ahhhhh" and I slowly figure it out.
     
  18. Dantus

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    I used that one as well, but struggled when it came to weight painting.

    Edit: I striggled with "Left" actually. Right is the default, did you mean that?
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2014
  19. Venged

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    After spending a few days on cgcookie.com I was using Blender with ease. I was new 3D modeling up until last year. Now I would say Blender is easier to use than many other paid tools. It just gets a bad rap. You just have to get used to holding the shift key for operations that in most other programs require you to hold ALT. There are also scripts you can run to emulate Maya and 3Ds Max keys but recommend just learning the blender keys.

    Pick a project like modeling and rigging a Character and follow some youtube video or cgcookie video. after you do that Blender will feel like second nature.

    2.7 made the UI better.

    The UV tools are outstanding as are many of the other tools.

    Enjoy!
     
  20. FlyingRobot

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  21. shaderop

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    Yes, I actually meant "Right," i.e. the default. I put it in there because one might think that changing it to "Left" would be more familiar and thus more usable. But like it did with you, it gave me a lot of grief. So I kept it at the default.

    It's pretty usable that way. Not too bad at all.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2014
  22. BrainMelter

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    "Right" selection is better because sometimes it's ambiguous whether clicking should perform an action or a selection. Putting them on separate buttons resolves that ambiguity.

    Max / Maya and others don't have this problem because their tool actions have modes. They have a selection tool mode, cut tool mode etc. Move / rotate / scale have a selection mode built in.

    Blender doesn't have modes for tool actions, so they gave selection its own button. It's probably on the right because action was deemed as having higher priority, so it remains on the left.

    It's unconventional, but there is reasoning behind it. Though it comes down to the question: is not having tool action modes better or not?
     
  23. jmatthews

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  24. Dantus

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    I understand the logic behind it and have no problem working with it in Blender. But it is one of the most annoying things for me in Blender when I am prototyping and have to switch frequently between Unity and Blender. It feels as if a have to make a mental headstand each time when switching and takes a lot of focus and concentration away from the actual topic I am working on. For that reason I tried to used "Left" which felt a lot more comfortable in that situation. But as I already wrote it doesn't seem to be though through in all areas like weight painting.
     
  25. shaderop

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    I agree with you there. Blender probably has the highest context switching cost of all the apps I use. It's unfortunate, but there's little that can be done about it.

    Anyways, look at the bright side. You can take a break to peek at the forums every time you need to switch from Blender to another app to give your muscle memory a chance to reset :)
     
  26. FlyingRobot

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    Lol!

    It's not that bad. Even Max users have to cope up with this key setting weirdness.

    More I discover Blender, one thing i'm finding over and over again...this program is hugely underrated.
     
  27. nipoco

    nipoco

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    Always nice to see someone coming from a Autodesk DCC, discovers that Blender is actually not as bad as it's reputation :D
     
  28. goat

    goat

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    http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?203172-Blender-2-5-Shortcuts-Keymap

    I use the png on this page as a back ground on the screen that doesn't have Blender on in (my ext monitor has Blender, my tablet has the keyboard shortcut png I have as background)
     
  29. NERVAGON

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    Modo has great vertex normal editing once you install Farfarer's Vertex Normal Toolkit. And yeah, MeshFusion is pretty sweet... but it is also pretty expensive, and brings the cost of Modo closer to $2K for new users.

    I will agree that the Modo developers simply do not understand the needs of game developers. I love those guys, they are great, but they just don't get game dev.

    That said, Modo is still a fantastic modeler. I have tried modeling several times in blender, and I hate the experience. I really want to use and support blender, but I just never really warm up to it.

    But, blender combined with Nvil or silo for the modeling duties is something I could probably deal with. Blender + 3D-Coat + silo and/or Nvil is a very powerful, very affordable tool set. You just have to be cool with the reality that both silo and Nvil have very uncertain futures. The Nvil dev could burn-out and give up, just like the silo devs did... but hopefully by then the modeling experience in blender will be much improved, so you can just fall back to blender for that duty.
     
  30. MaxieQ

    MaxieQ

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  31. Dantus

    Dantus

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    I am criticizing on a high level. It is really a minor issue, that's for sure.
     
  32. authentic

    authentic

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    I was the same way at first. Once you realize how maya works though its very intuitive and vast in its power. Actually, Though completely dazed in the first 10-15 minutes of using it, I picked up Maya quicker and more efficiently than any other software to date. I recently switched over to MayaLT from max, lightwave before that. Ive used blender but dont like it. Though it does have some advantages (every package does), when if comes to conversion work, detail work, tweaking and of course baking, i prefer mayaLT/Maya over all. Its like you can get to the 90% mark quicker with Blender (if you know the interface and are good with it) but that last 10% kills me.. With MayaLT / Maya I get the 90% just a little behind it in blender but the last 10% are a breeze comparatively. No wonky workflows, no wonky setup procedure, no nothing. For example baking a high poly to a low poly object is a 10 minute process in MayaLT and most of that process is waiting for the bake. Select you models click turtle select the ooptions and hit go. No muss no fuss. For a game developer looking to make about 40-50 assets for an upcomming game there is no way I would choose blender. I dont have that kind of time to wast on the baking process alone.

    Especially for game dev (my main focus lately) I wouldn't trade Maya LT for the world. Fast powerful clean and easy from start to finish. Also I think the fact that you can model in LT with only a few tools makes it very appreciable. I use basically the extrude, ring cut and connect tool for about 80% of my modeling. Selection (faces, points, rings, partial rings, loops and partial loops) are also about as close as it gets to "natural" in MayaLT... they are effortless. Also the little bs stuff really matters and works in Maya/LT. You can so easily get to burried objects, faces and points with the various view-port options. Lastly I dont know how anyone survives in game dev without viewport 2.0 I mean how the hell do people work blind? Its feels so 1990's to not have it once you have gotten comfy with it. Never mind how productive it is to see what your game asset will appear like in realtime. Im so glad to not require a dedicated viewer like Marmoset, a dedicated baking solution like xNormal, and countless other little dedicated tools. Now I start and finish in MayaLT and simply send my assets. My production folders are now basically my textures in final form and working form and a folder for my baking solution. Outside of that my folder is clean and easilymanaged. My project folders used to be a nightmare of all sorts of files for all sorts of secondary apps. So confusing and difficult and time consuming when trying to merge them to a game project... ait..which ones do i "really" need again... oh no, thats the one from xnormal and that one is for marmoset and that one might be my final... is it? im not sure anymore its been a week since i looked.

    The tool that encapsulates my needs is the one im going with, right now, its maya lt.
     
  33. Beardbotnik

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    Honestly for baking textures I wouldn't use Maya or Blender for stuff like normal maps and whatnot. Xnormal tends to work much faster and it's settings make it easier to bake normals using the correct set up for the game engine you will use. Each 3d modeling app uses a different standard, and generally you will have to flip the green channel on normal maps coming from a Maya bake.

    I believe there is an add on to send models straight from Blender to Xnormal to save time, but for being organized and baking things fast, I would look into Aiborn Studios tools that work with Xnormal. Seems like in a new update they will even add features to combine textures together after they bake streamlining it more.

    http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=125244

    It sets up presets of sorts meaning you can use certain bake settings for multiple objects quick and easy. In a sense I guess you could say it can batch edit models making it so you can have presets for a single project and get a consistency with the settings and whatnot, could be useful although it's a more advanced workflow, sacrificing simplicity for speed/utility.

    It's not really Blender related, but can still be useful since the subject was brought up. For me when I used Maya coming from 3ds max I absolutely hated it and it seemed slow. I started to enjoy it a lot more once I added different scripts and tools made with python/MEL to speed up my workflow. For anybody using Maya I would highly suggesting looking around for useful add-ons and customizing the interface, otherwise I think you may be doing yourself a disservice using it. At least it requires more setup than 3ds max. But blender works a same way, you get more mileage by using addons and custom settings to better match your workflow.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2014
  34. jc_lvngstn

    jc_lvngstn

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    I'm not well versed in many other modelling packages besides blender, but based on my experience with ZBrush and Blender...I don't know who DOES understand the needs of game developers. Over and over again, in my learning process I found UV wrapping/unwrapping, painting, modelling (less so), baking normals and everything else...to all be so confusing and non-intuitive. It's like all of these were designed for some other purpose (like high end rendering or whatever) and they allow you to also create stuff you may use for games. If you can figure out the weird workflows.
     
  35. Photon-Blasting-Service

    Photon-Blasting-Service

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    Tools are constantly improving. Tools to make LODs are already better than most of the artist hand-made LODs I've seen. Automatic re-topology tools are available and let you sculpt at hi-rez and worry about your low-rez later. Ptex lets you texture without UVs.
     
  36. goat

    goat

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    Are you talking about this: http://ptex.us/index.html

    Seems very complex. The output wouldn't be a FBX mesh that Unity could use or no? Looks like Autodesk would need to at ptex to the FBX specs though I'm far from expert on these things.
     
  37. FlyingRobot

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    @authentic : Maya/Max/XSI (Late :( ). Absolutely nothing can be said regarding these softwares. They are simply the best of the lot. Like Photoshop in 2D world. If you are ready to pay as much ADSK or Adobe want, and when they want and how they want. Irrespective of the service or support they provide, go for it. If you have ample money in you pocket and ready to switch to Maya from MayaLT at one month's notice from ADSK, you have absolutely nothing to worry about. Don't take my word for it.... If these people can buy and kill competent software, they can do anything to keep Modo or any other player away from small game developers. If nothing works, they can give MayaLT for free until Modo goes out of business.

    Anyway, I'm not learning Blender because I'm pissed at ADSK. They are as bad as any big corporation. Can't really blame them for being profit oriented. I'm learning Blender because 'they said Blender is bad' and 'Maya is good'. Hosting up placards like 'Dont Blend In'. And as they are very good liers.. I thought they are trying to keep us away from it for some reason. So, I started investgating.

    So far Blender is coming with little hiccups sometimes, but not something like a deal breaker. I'm finding them one by one.,..

    1. For example I found if you export a model from Blender it comes -90 rotated at X axis to match the Unity orientation. The workaround is simply to export via fbx (should be the practice) and set (-Z forward) as forward and Y Up as Up and scale the model to 100. That's it. I had to use config like this in XSI too. So, what's the big deal?

    2. Another thing is to pose the guide bones appropriately before running rigify. And you have to take care of their orientation. Hey, this is the same procedure of XSI rigging tools. Really not a problem for me.

    I guess there would be more hiccups ahead. I really wish it has a viewport like Maya. But for me what I see in Unity and Platform specific is the real thing. What I see in Blender or Maya or Modo is just a fake preview of what's going to be in actual. I like to do shaders in Unity itself. But a good viewport in Blender should be cool.

    These are the cons. Apart from these, I'm finding some Blender modeling tools and workflows far superior than that of the big three. Haven't started with animation yet.
     
  38. NERVAGON

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    OK, reporting back after having another go in blender 2.70. It's awesome. I'm really digging it. And I'm a modo user, so it's kind of surprising.
     
  39. Deleted User

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    I had my grumpy moments when I first installed Blender, but after streamlining it for my needs I quite like it. By streamlining I mean rearanging interface, changing a hotkey or two and hacking together little workflow scripts such as batch exporters and little buttons to center pivots, toggle wireframes etc.

    I enjoy playing around with it's mesh modifiers as well. Recently I had quite a high number of rocks, ice shards and stones to retopo. Just decimate-detriangulate was not giving poly distribution I needed, so I came up with this method. Maybe it is common among blender users, certainly was new to me :D Maybe some of you will find it helpful as well.
     

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