Blog - relax and back up
Basically I bend the spine. This is harder then it sounds.
(Obviously do all your scanning of the covers of the book before bending it.)

Usually book's spine stiff and brittle. Bending it by force would break it. Sometimes literally crack it in the middle.
Solution is obvious. To bend the spine very little from several places multiple times. Here's my method.

I place the book to my hands so that my thumbs are on the spine pressing it (I recommend to keep your thumb's nail short), and the spine is facing me. Then I use rest of the fingers to open the book or press just the middle finger to spine to wedge it more open. Then repeat that process on that book hundreds of times.
I usually make one bend in 5-10 seconds and making book's spine bendy takes from me from 15 minutes to an hour or longer. So we are indeed speaking about hundreds of bends here. The way this is possible is by keeping my hands relaxed and doing it from muscle memory.
Hardest part is to keep spine from breaking. If you use too much force at once, spine breaks and makes further bending far more difficult. But if you don't use enough force, you just waste your time without really effecting spine.


First let's set the terminology.

This book is bendy:





And this book is stiff:


Let's run stiff book trough the first round of bending.


Second round.


Third.


Fourth


Fifth


Sixth



Technic.
Stages 1-4 can be done by pressing spine with your thumb. (Use both hands)


But after that different method is needed to be able to bend spine more.  Turn the book inside out and press and proceed as previously.


Each of the steps can take from 5 minutes to half an hour. It varies hugely between books.
In the latter case, it perhaps makes more sense for you to take the book only to stage 4 or close to it and then just break the spine from as many places as possible. (usually 2 or 3 breaks)


So what the damage to spine from all of this? If done properly, very small.

Sadly that is rather redundant since the damage from scanning will be far more noticeable due having to press the book from it's spine hard against the scanner 100 times (or 200 if you scan single page at the time.) 


Views: 305 | Added by: Kickthekitty | Date: 2013-08-11

Forewords:
Get photoshop. Either buy or pirate. Easiest way to get it is to google "portable photoshop". Download and install.


Actions:
Learn to use photoshop's actions. (it's easy.) Just go through this short article to learn basics of it.
http://kickthekitty.ucoz.com/blog/lazy_scanlator_guide_action_and_automating/2010-08-06-22


Crop:

If you want to release LQ then use "File>Automate>Crop and Straighten Photos".
If you want better quality then crop manually. pic
If you need to crop a problematic double page then read this: http://www.kickthekitty.ucoz.com/blog/lazy_scanlator_guide_cropping_and_editing_a_douple_page_draft_2/2010-04-19-9


Levels:
First make sure your pc monitor isn't set for extra brightness or contrast.
Here's the way I do leveling:
image before leveling
 pic1 First I view image at it's full size. (CTRL+1) And start Levels tool. (CTRL+L)
 pic2 Then I move black arrow all the way to right to better see gray dirt in image.
 pic3 Move white arrow to left to remove dirt.
 pic4 Now move black arrow back to left.
 pic5 And move gray arrow to left next to black arrow
 pic6 Move black arrow to right to remove dirt.
 pic7 Then take full view (CTRL+0)
 pic8 By moving gray arrow to right you can darken image.
 pic9 And by moving it to left image lightens.
image after leveling
Don't bother to remove all the dirt. As some of it is just very near black or near white tones which has  no real effect to what image looks.


Resize:
Photoshop can not resize properly if mode (Image>Mode) is set as "indexed color". (and PNG's are indexed color.) Set mode as something else, like RGB color, if it's set such.

Change image size by changing value of height or width or by setting a percent value.
http://kickthekitty.ucoz.com/action06.jpg


Denoise:

Do not use Photoshop's denoise. Use plug-in. I recommend Topaz vivacity denoise and Topaz Labs denoise.
If your image is LQ or resizing left interpolation artifacts then denoise will improve it significally.


Save:
-Save color images as jpg. (ProJPEG plug-in recommended)
-Save grayscale images as PNG-8.  File>Save for Web & Devices  Use settings:"PNG-8" "adaptive" "no dither" "interlace=off"  (PIC)
Number of colors depends what is being saved. Keep increasing the number until preview looks as good as original image.
As a thumb rule:
 For >2000px height between 8-16 colors. Pic
 For <2000px between 16-32 colors. Pic
 For image with smooth tones atleast 128 colors.
Pic

Views: 257 | Added by: Kickthekitty | Date: 2010-11-09

Photoshop tool Action will record how image is edited in photoshop. You can then play that action to make photoshop perform that editing to other images.

Best way to learn is to see it done! So in here I'm giving a basic editing for a scan and recording it to action. Then I will show how actions are used.


Here's a unedited scan:
http://kickthekitty.ucoz.com/Sorcerer_Hunters_v5_p030.jpg


Let's open it in photoshop and open Actions menu.


Create a new set.


Then create a new action. Action will start recording automaticly.


Now let's do some basic editing.
Autocrop:


Leveling:


Resize to 2000px height:


Save to PNG by "save for Web and Devices":

Here's the result:
http://kickthekitty.ucoz.com/Sorcerer-Hunters-v5-p030-ae1-copy.png

Remember to add "close" to action. Since autocrop puts cropped pic into new image, this action will need to 2 "close" commands.


Action is ready. Stop recording.


Douple click action to set it a function key. I gave it F2.


Now let's open another scan in Photoshop.
http://kickthekitty.ucoz.com/Sorcerer_Hunters_v5_p031.jpg

By pressing function key you chose, you can now give this scan the same editing and saving as to previous one.
Here's result:
http://kickthekitty.ucoz.com/Sorcerer-Hunters-v5-p031-copy.png

Now let's try cropping a page manually instead.


By clicking off autocrop and unneeded close, you can use same action to edit and save this image as well.

Result:
http://kickthekitty.ucoz.com/Sorcerer-Hunters-v5-p031.png

Of cource if you do plan to do page by page cropping it would be better to have two actions.
Top one is for the first page. After page is cropped it edits, saves and then returns image to uncropped stage. And then second page can be cropped.
Make sure that actions export images to separate folders or they will get overwritten by each other.


As for renaming those edited images, I myself would use XnView's batch rename tool.



But there's more! Batch.


By selecting an action in Batch, you can make photoshop to edit large amount images at one go.
Just choose folder with images you wish to have edited.

Views: 543 | Added by: Kickthekitty | Date: 2010-08-06



Contents: 
(bold ones are finished)
-Forewords

-actions
-crop

-levels & burn tool
-resize
-
denoise
-save


Forewords:

There are a LOT of guides for editing manga scans. And most of those guides, while good, are complicated.
http://www.ruinevil.com/rawr/editguide/index.html
http://www.franky-house.com/forums/archive/index.php/f-113.html
So I think there's need for someone telling the basics. Something very simple and clear.

Purpose of this guide is to be able to teach those who have never edited any image before to be able to do basic image editing for scans.


NOTE: In this guide used program is Photoshop. For this guide to be any use for you will need to have a Photoshop as well. Luckily Photoshop is very easy to pirate. (PS CS3 is easiest to crack. And portables don't need cracking) You can get it by torrent or DC++ or from websites.
Just google: portable photoshop.  (Make sure that version you download supports plug-ins. On other words program has "plug-ins" folder in it's directory.)


First let's talk about scans. There are good scans and there are bad scans.
BAD
GOOD
GREAT

Definition:
-Great scan doesn't need any other cleaning but crop and levels.
-Good scan will be readable with just crop and levels. Though it would look better with further cleaning.
-Bad scan look like crap with just crop and levels. It should be cleaned in rather time taking way.




¤ACTIONS¤

Learning how to use actions is important. In fact it's so important that you should learn it before anything else. This is because using actions can save you from enormous amount of repetitive and boring parts of editing work, as Photoshop can be automated to do most of basic editing for you.
One way to learn is to read Photoshop's help file.
Better way to learn it is to read my illustrated article: Actions, step by step.


¤CROP¤

So what is a good crop?
Better question is "What is a bad crop?"
Photoshop's most amazing function is autocrop. It's in: "File>Automate>Crop and Straighten Photos". As the name says it crops and rotates image.
Result of autocrop can be considered as "bad". As there's no point to crop manually to a quality which is worse then what you get from automatic function.

HOW TO CROP.
My previous post already guided for using Photoshop's Crop Tool:
Cropping and cleaning double page
Reading it will teach you basics of rotating and stretching crop area and perspective crop.

To crop to a spread or to single page?
This depends on your artistic preference. And how much you wish to work for it. Obviously cropping to single pages requires twice as much cropping then to spreads. But quite often you will run into scans with misaligned pages and if you wish to release in HQ then in such cases cropping to single page would be a lot less work then cleaning a spread.
Example of misalignment:
misaligned pages




 Single page
Rectangular crop should work nicely. Just rotate and stretch the crop area.

before
Normal rectangular crop works almost always. After all, pages are rectangles.
rectangular crop

 Spread
before
Doing to spread is fast. But in the end it's about whether you crop too little...
after too little cropping
...or too much. Great thing as long as spread is straight.
after too much cropping

If pages are strongly misaligned, you can rotate pages with selection (make selection and press CTRL+T) or with crop tool.
Remember that cropping to single page is usually a lot faster way then doing any cleaning.

 Autocrop to spread
I already mentioned this photoshop tool: "Crop and Straighten Photos". Do not ignore it as sometimes it gives simply wonderful results. For example, our two first Di Gi Charat doujinshi releases were almost completely cropped by this tool. So was Cyborg009 v1.
before
Ahh. Sometimes autocrop just works so nicely it would be waste not to use it.
after
Do little quick snip with rectangular crop if you want to add extra quality.
snipped

 Perspective crop
This is tricky one. But it is very useful when scanning itself has failed and page shows up as twisted. Exaggerated example: Before>After cropping.
First set crop area imprecisely. PIC  Then view page in full size (CTRL+1) and go to it's corner. PIC Now drag corner of crop area to corner of a page. PIC Do the same to other corners. PIC Double click to crop as normally.

 Cropping a spread when there's overlapping artwork
In a case of overlap you of course want to crop it to spread.
But if pages are misaligned or there's bad spine, then here's a fast way for: Cropping and cleaning a double page.
(BUT notice that described there is the lazy way! To actually clean and redraw a spread I recommend reading one of the guides linked at the top of this page.)



¤LEVELS & burn tool¤

FIRST MAKE SURE YOUR COMPUTER MONITOR ISN'T SET FOR EXTRA BRIGHTNESS AND CONTRAST. Otherwise you cannot level properly as you do not see image really looks like.

Levels
Leveling is the most important part of scanlating. It's located in "Image>Adjustments>Levels"
To read how it actually works from here: LINK

Levels tool can be used many types of editing but in here I will only speak about using it for grayscale images.
Example:
 pic before leveling (What should be black, is gray noise.)
 Same pic after leveling blacks.

Here's the way I use it:
 before leveling
 pic1 First I view image at it's full size. (CTRL+1) And start Levels tool. (CTRL+L)
 pic2 Then I move black arrow all the way to right to better see gray dirt in image.
 pic3 Move white arrow to left to remove dirt.
 pic4 Now move black arrow back to left.
 pic5 And move gray arrow to left next to black arrow
 pic6 Move black arrow to right to remove dirt.
 pic7 Then take full view (CTRL+0)
 pic8 By moving gray arrow to right you can darken image.
 pic9 And by moving it to left image lightens.
 after leveling

-Don't try to remove all dirt. As some of it is just very near black or near white tones which has  no real effect to what image looks.
-Sometimes you can't (or don't want to) level all the way as that would destroy too much gray. Just level as much as you can and leave it there, or edit it manually (Burn tool).

Another example:
 Before
 Checking white
 I set white to 245
 Checking black
 I set it to 40
 And for gray I chose 1,21. Finished
Between first and last image some of the gray tones were wiped out. To avoid such it's best to be moderate when leveling.
If you wish for better blacks and whites while preserving grays, you need to edit manually.


Burn Tool
With Dodge and Burn Tool you can lighten or darken areas of the image with brush.
You can use Dodge Tool (set to highlights) to wipe out light tones from white areas, and Burn Tool (set to shadows) to turn dark tones to black. Set the exposure low.
(Press SHIFT+O to switch between Dodge-Burn-Smudge Tools.)

PIC1 Let's have a somewhat more difficult image.
PIC2 Here's what normal leveling would result to. Lot of grays would be wiped out.
So I will use Burn Tool instead.
PS1 First I will make Adjustment Layer Levels to change the way image shows. It makes easier to check if you have missed any spot. (Change mode first. Image>Mode>RBG) Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Levels
PS2 Douple click layer to change settings.
PS3 Now let's burn.
PS4 Burned.
PS5 Now I will use adjustment layer to check result. Looks like I missed a spot.
PS6 Here we go.
PS7 I personally prefer to use Burn Tool for removing white dirt too. Simply invert image (CTRL+I) and white is now black. When finished invert again. Put that's just my personal taste. Use Dodge Tool if you prefer.
PS8 Done but there are still those mistones on grays.
PS9 You can use Burn and Dodge for that as well.
PIC3 Here we are. Cleaned with burn tool. Compare to the pic2.





¤RESIZE¤

Notice: Photoshop can not resize properly if mode (Image>Mode) is set as "indexed color". And PNG images are usually indexed color. So if you are resizing PNG image then make sure that mode is set as something else, like RGB color.

Keep "Resample Image" as bicubic. (I have tested other choices and they do not give better results.)
Make sure "Constrain Proportions" is selected. PIC
Change image size by changing value of height or widht or by setting a percent value. (that's in drop menu under word "pixel")

Resize marks.
Those are easy to get rid off with denoise.
<>


¤denoise¤

Do not use Photoshop's denoise. Ever. It has to be the worst denoiser in existence. Use plug-ins instead.
As for plug-in denoisers, I'm only familiar with topaz vivacity and topaz labs. (good and easy to crack.) There are other good ones but as I haven't tested them I can't give any recommendation.


Using denoise filters.
LQ picture improving:  Before > after dejpeg > after denoise
Removing resize marks: Before > After.    (topaz vivacity denoise)
Enlarging and enchance: Before > After. (topaz enlarge and topaz enhance)



¤SAVE¤

Reason to save with PNG:
When image is in PNG, it can be opened, edited and saved multiple times without loss of quality (Unlike JPG image which suffers inevitable loss quality each time.). This is essential in scanlating as there's always a chance of release will be re-edited later.
Nevertheless, saving in PNG-24 (color) causes so large filesizes that it's practically never used.
So, color images are saved to JPG, with as little saves between scan and final save as possible.
Grayscale images are usually saved with PNG-8 (grayscale).

How to save to JPG format:
Save with jpg plug-in. (For example ProJPEG) That way you can see preview of compressed image as well as it's estimated filesize.

How to save to PNG-8 format:
Go to File>Save for Web & Devices
Select from settings "PNG-8" "adaptive" "no dither" "interlace=off"  (PIC)
Number of colors depends what is being saved.

For example this picture:
http://kickthekitty.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/20100925c26extrajaaldarya4.png
has to be saved with at least 128 colors.
Where as this one:
http://kickthekitty.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/busou-renkin-v5-p097.png
can be saved with just 8 colors.

Difference is continuous-tone. First image has such and needs lot of colors to keep grays smooth.
The second image is composed from lines and dots. And therefore only 8 colors are enough to preserve artwork. (8 colors seems to be lower limit as any less would result for jagged lines.)

Here's Berserk as example.
With 2400px size grays are composed from dots so using just 8 color is possible.
http://kickthekitty.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/berserk-v31-p072.png
When resized to 1200px size (and topaz vivacity denoise) grays are now continuous. So at least 16 color are needed. 32 colors recommended.
http://kickthekitty.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/berserk-v31-p072small.png

(writing will continue...)

Views: 457 | Added by: Kickthekitty | Date: 2010-07-29

Damn right I'm pissed.  This R+V is taking too long.  But I can't really blame you for being slow.

Put I guess the main problem is my computer. Main problem for me, I mean.  It takes ages to do what I should be able to do in minutes...





(Raaaaaaarh!)

Views: 225 | Added by: Kickthekitty | Date: 2010-07-13

And down goes the computer. The main computer.
It's still alive, it can be used, but very slowly. What used to take 15min now takes 1 hour.

Luckily the project "Acquire a now more powerful computer for free" is working out a lot better then expected.

Second (probably related) problem is that main storage hard drive has quitted. And therefore editor is running out of free drive space very fast.
Perhaps you could help. Do you know what would be extra reliable, cheap and at least 1TB size (internal or external) hard drive model?
Views: 211 | Added by: Kickthekitty | Date: 2010-07-05

A letter limit?!

If you look at "back up" section, you see that I had to cut "Random Scans" part in two. That's because I came across letter limit of this site. ANNNOYING!!!!

Blaaah.
Views: 229 | Added by: Kickthekitty | Date: 2010-06-16

...reading EGS archives!

Views: 217 | Added by: Kickthekitty | Date: 2010-05-17

Girls are for losers anyway. Real man masturbate. LWB 4 ever.

cage!

---

Nice gg. But keep it PG in my blog will you. You CAN change username, you know.

Counter pic:



Views: 229 | Added by: temp2 | Date: 2010-05-08

I have fine tuned actions I used for typesetting. (When I did Busou Renkin ch57.) I also used batch edit.

Actual editing took 80 minutes. About 4 and half minutes per page. Longer then before but I think I was also doing better job this time.

I used these actions:
http://www.mediafire.com/?jwmeomeg3ym

-Busou (F5)
I used this one for batch editing. I first opened raw pages in reverse order in Photoshop. Then did batch to the folder with scan pages on it with this action. It saves a PSD file.

Notice that in PSD there's 4 layers.
First has raw. It's transparent so that you can see layers under it.
Then is adjustment layer which makes lower layers look green. That is to help to distinguish raw layer from scan.
Then comes first scan layer. This is edited so that text looks good.
Then comes second scan layer. This is edited so that art looks good.

-Busou Look (F6)
This deletes adjustment layer and flattens image. Idea is that you take a final look before saving.

-Busou Save (F7)
Saves in PNG. I know I should use better PNG settings, but I didn't feel like it.
Views: 271 | Added by: Kickthekitty | Date: 2010-04-27

To crop and clean a douple page. 

There are of course multiple ways to use for cropping and cleaning a difficult page as this. All with their own advantages. What's here is the fastest way I know. Doing like this twists artwork a little bit if perspective crop is involved so I would call result of this example as medium quality.
If you want HQ, do copy&paste to new layers by transformed selections (Make selection. Then "Select>Transform Selection") or with rectangular crop.




I'm using "Demon Hunter Eton v4 p008" as example.
-http://kickthekitty.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/step-00.jpg

First make draw a crop area about right size.
-http://kickthekitty.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/step-01.jpg

Then rotate and stretch crop area to more or less cover the page.
-http://kickthekitty.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/step-02.jpg

If  just rotating didn't work, you need to use perspective. Enable perspective cropping.
-http://kickthekitty.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/step-03.jpg

You can now reshape crop area by moving it's corners.
-http://kickthekitty.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/step-04.jpg

Then crop. Perspective crop usually performs well. (If it doesn't and artwork get's twisted, you will just have to crop the hard way. Read from the hard way at the bottom of the page.)
-http://kickthekitty.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/step-05.jpg

Now copy cropped image. Do "step backward" twice (ctrl+alt+z) so that you get back to uncropped image. And paste (ctrl+v). You now have cropped page in a new layer.
-http://kickthekitty.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/step-06.jpg

Move cropped page aside and proceed to crop and paste other page same way.
-http://kickthekitty.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/step-07.jpg

Then turn background invisible so that it won't distract you. Or turn it to white or black if you prefer. As long as I can see edges of the cropped pages clearly.
-http://kickthekitty.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/step-08.jpg

Ups. They don't match! Perspective is a bit stupid so prepare to scale the pages to same size.
-http://kickthekitty.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/step-09.jpg

Make sure you have aspect ratio on!
-http://kickthekitty.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/step-10.jpg

Hmm. It seem we are missing some artwork.
-http://kickthekitty.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/step-11.jpg

We need a background. In this case black background is best.
-http://kickthekitty.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/step-12.jpg

Crop it.
-http://kickthekitty.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/step-13.jpg
Tadaa! Cropped like a pro.


- - - - -


Now let's clean this pic!
There's no need to keep pages in layers anymore. Flatten image. (It makes cutting easier.)
-http://kickthekitty.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/step-14.jpg

Level image. You could of course have leveled image before cropping too. I leveled this one with [80 1,23 225]. (If you wish to level some part of the image differently then rest, cut and paste it to new layer.)
-http://kickthekitty.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/step-15.jpg

Now get rid of the spine dirt. Switch to proper background color, select and cut (ctrl+x).
-http://kickthekitty.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/step-16.jpg

Just go wild... If it looks like trash or you feel image would be better without it then cut it away.
-http://kickthekitty.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/step-17.jpg

Time to save.
-http://kickthekitty.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/step-18.jpg

FINISHED!
-http://kickthekitty.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/demon-hunter-eton-v4-p008.png




Redraw. Do you wish to edit even further? 
Notice that what's described above is the easy and fast way.  As I said before, use of perspective crop will twist the image. So if you want to spent time and effort to redraw then you should use normal rotated rectangular crop instead of perspective or use selection to copy and rotate pages. Clean away what's not part of the page as in part 8, and then redraw (in this case) triangular spine:
http://kickthekitty.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/demon-hunter-eton-v4-p008triangle.jpg


Redrawing is basically easy. You use Photoshop clone tool to take artwork from elsewhere the page and paste it to empty place. Remember that "clone tool" can also copy artwork from different layer. So you can copy part of the page to new layer and rotate, flip or stretch it.
-http://kickthekitty.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/demon-hunter-eton-v4-p008-redraw.png
Nevertheless redrawing is usually time consuming. And requires some artist skills (which I lack as you can see from example pic).

- -

As for resize. If you wanna scanlate in the easy way, then leave picture so big that it won't need any filters for it's pixel textures. For Eton, minimum image size would therefore be around 2300px height.
-http://kickthekitty.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/demon-hunter-eton-v4-p008resize.png


Views: 546 | Added by: Kickthekitty | Date: 2010-04-19

I have been thinking about doing some typesetting from scans to raw. But without typing.


Example pics. Kazan v1.
Raw:  http://kickthekitty.ucoz.com/027.jpg
Scan: http://kickthekitty.ucoz.com/Kazan_v1_p016.jpg
This isn't too good example though. Point for doing it is when scans are LQ and raws are HQ. But principle should be clear.

Process goes like this:

First open raw page. If scans are flipped then flip the raw.
Open scan page to a new layer.
Select both layers.
Edit > Auto-Align Layers (auto) (I used Photoshop)
Turn raw layer to top.
http://kickthekitty.ucoz.com/027_A.jpg
Then crop around it. And edit opacity. As you see, scan layer is now perfectly aligned with raw layer.
http://kickthekitty.ucoz.com/027_B.jpg
Now use eraser on bubles so that english text shows throught.
Edit levels of scan layer so that text looks good.
http://kickthekitty.ucoz.com/027_C.jpg
Turn opacity of raw layer back to 100%.
Save.
http://kickthekitty.ucoz.com/027_D.jpg

Main problem is sfx which are in the artwork. Getting those to raw is possible. Simply use eraser. But it might actually require work.
http://kickthekitty.ucoz.com/027_E.jpg
Views: 538 | Added by: Kickthekitty | Date: 2010-04-15

WTF! I was just checking tutu scans and realized that those two fucking books ain't identical. They were clearly printed by a drunk or someshit. Fuck. Where the hell is quality?
 I'm gonna batch quickie and then rerescan the whole shit again.
Views: 234 | Added by: Kickthekitty | Date: 2010-04-14

My attempt to infilterate to girls' school failed.

ups..
Views: 199 | Added by: Kickthekitty | Date: 2010-04-14

Franky House forum.
http://franky-house.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8412
It was a good place to start, but it's still just a forum. I simply couldn't keep using it as a back up site.

Also a nonblog website might get handy.
Views: 277 | Added by: Kickthekitty | Date: 2010-04-14



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