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Drawing the skybox

This chapter, we’ll do something about the solid background color surrounding our city. Using the methods we’ve created thus far, this will be very easy, as a skybox is nothing more than a mesh. We load this mesh from a file, and have our LoadMesh automatically load the corresponding texture files. You can download the mesh file itself (link), as well as the texure files (link). I’ve put the texture files in a zip file, if you’ve got problems opening it, you can also find the files here (link). The meshfile itself used to be supplied with the DirectX SDK. You can find lots of skybox texturefile on the internet.

We’ll again need 3 variables: 1 to store the mesh itself, 1 array to store the materials, and another array to store the materials. So put these lines at the top of your code:

 private Mesh skyboxmesh;
 private Material[] skyboxmaterials;
 private Texture[] skyboxtextures;

Now we’ll use the LoadMesh method we’ve constructed earlier in this second Series of DirectX Tutorials. So go find your LoadMeshes method and have a look at the line that loads the airplane mesh. You’ll notice the LoadMesh method also needs a float that is used to store the radius of mesh. As this is absolutely not important, we’ll pass a dummy variable that we’ll throw away afterwards:

 private void LoadMeshes()
 {
  float dummy = 0;
  LoadMesh("xwing.x", ref spacemesh, ref spacemeshmaterials, ref spacemeshtextures, ref spacemeshradius);
  LoadMesh("skybox2.x", ref skyboxmesh, ref skyboxmaterials, ref skyboxtextures, ref dummy);
 }

This will load the skybox. All we have to do now, is draw it. What makes a skybox special? When your plane is moving, the city has to move relative to it. Not so for your skybox, which has always to be at a constant distance from your airplane. This makes drawing the skybox very easy.

So go to your OnPaint method, and put these lines before your call to the EndScene method:

 device.RenderState.Ambient = Color.White;
 device.Transform.World = Matrix.RotationX((float)Math.PI/2) *Matrix.RotationYawPitchRoll((float)spacemeshangles.X, (float)spacemeshangles.Y, (float)spacemeshangles.Z);
 DrawMesh(skyboxmesh, skyboxmaterials, skyboxtextures);

As you see, there’s no translation of the skybox, it’s only rotated corresponding to the rotation of your airplane. It’s also rotated 90° so the top of the mesh is pointing upward. We also switch on the ambient lights to full power, because our skybox doesn’t need any shadows.

That’s it for this chapter! Running the code should give you an image as displayed below:




DirectX Tutorial 10 - Skybox

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Or click on one of the topics on this chapter to go there:
  • Error in the application
          On completion of the skybox tut, when trying to ru...
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          I am getting some errors loading mesh. The errors ...
  • putting textures on meshes
          Hi, I've been having some trouble putting a te...



    You’ll notice immediately the blocked nature of our skybox. Read the next chapter to solve this.

     using System;
     using System.Drawing;
     using System.Collections;
     using System.ComponentModel;
     using System.Windows.Forms;
     using System.Data;
     using Microsoft.DirectX;
     using Microsoft.DirectX.Direct3D;
     using D3D = Microsoft.DirectX.Direct3D;
     using Microsoft.DirectX.DirectInput;
     using DI = Microsoft.DirectX.DirectInput;
     
     namespace DirectX_Tutorial
     {
         public class WinForm : System.Windows.Forms.Form
         {
             private int[,] int_Floorplan;
             private int WIDTH;
             private int HEIGHT;
             private int differentbuildings = 5;
             private float gamespeed = 0.04f;
             private int[] buildingheights = new int[] { 0, 10, 1, 3, 2, 5 };
     
             private System.ComponentModel.Container components = null;
             private D3D.Device device;
             private Texture scenerytexture;
             private Material material;
             private CustomVertex.PositionNormalTextured[] verticesarray;
             ArrayList verticeslist = new ArrayList();
             private Mesh spacemesh;
             private Material[] spacemeshmaterials;
             private Texture[] spacemeshtextures;
             private float spacemeshradius;
             private float scaling = 0.0005f;
             private Vector3 spacemeshposition = new Vector3(5, 5, 1);
             private Vector3 spacemeshangles = new Vector3(0, -0.5f, (float)Math.PI/4);
             private DI.Device keyb;
             private double score = 0;
             private Mesh skyboxmesh;
             private Material[] skyboxmaterials;
             private Texture[] skyboxtextures;
     
             public WinForm()
             {
                 InitializeComponent();
                 this.SetStyle(ControlStyles.AllPaintingInWmPaint | ControlStyles.Opaque, true);
             }
     
             public void InitializeDevice()
             {
                 PresentParameters presentParams = new PresentParameters();
                 presentParams.Windowed = true;
                 presentParams.SwapEffect = SwapEffect.Discard;
                 presentParams.AutoDepthStencilFormat = DepthFormat.D16;
                 presentParams.EnableAutoDepthStencil = true;
                 device = new D3D.Device(0, D3D.DeviceType.Hardware, this, CreateFlags.SoftwareVertexProcessing, presentParams);
     
                 device.RenderState.Lighting = true;
     
                 device.Lights[0].Type = LightType.Directional;
                 device.Lights[0].Diffuse = Color.White;
                 device.Lights[0].Direction = new Vector3(1, 1, -1);
                 device.Lights[0].Update();
                 device.Lights[0].Enabled = true;
     
                 device.Lights[1].Type = LightType.Directional;
                 device.Lights[1].Diffuse = Color.White;
                 device.Lights[1].Direction = new Vector3(-1, -1, -1);
                 device.Lights[1].Update();
                 device.Lights[1].Enabled = true;
             }
     
             protected override void OnPaint(System.Windows.Forms.PaintEventArgs e)
             {
                 ReadUserInput(gamespeed);
                 UpdatePosition(ref spacemeshposition, spacemeshangles, gamespeed);
                 if (CheckCollision(spacemeshposition, spacemeshradius) > 0)
                 {                
                     spacemeshposition = new Vector3(8, 2, 1);
                     spacemeshangles = new Vector3(0, 0, 0);
                     gamespeed /= 1.1f;
                     score /= 2;                
                 }
     
                 device.Clear(ClearFlags.Target | ClearFlags.ZBuffer, Color.DarkSlateBlue, 1.0f, 0);
                 device.BeginScene();
     
                 device.RenderState.Ambient = Color.DarkGray;
                 device.Transform.World = Matrix.Translation(-(float)spacemeshposition.X, -(float)spacemeshposition.Y, -(float)spacemeshposition.Z) * Matrix.RotationYawPitchRoll((float)spacemeshangles.X, (float)spacemeshangles.Y, (float)spacemeshangles.Z);            
                 device.VertexFormat = CustomVertex.PositionNormalTextured.Format;
                 device.SetTexture(0, scenerytexture);
                 device.DrawUserPrimitives(PrimitiveType.TriangleList, verticeslist.Count / 3, verticesarray);
     
                 device.Transform.World = Matrix.Scaling(scaling, scaling, scaling) * Matrix.RotationX((float)Math.PI / 2);
                 DrawMesh(spacemesh, spacemeshmaterials, spacemeshtextures);
     
                 device.RenderState.Ambient = Color.White;
                 device.Transform.World = Matrix.RotationX((float)Math.PI/2) *Matrix.RotationYawPitchRoll((float)spacemeshangles.X, (float)spacemeshangles.Y, (float)spacemeshangles.Z);
                 DrawMesh(skyboxmesh, skyboxmaterials, skyboxtextures);
     
                 device.EndScene();
                 device.Present();
                 this.Invalidate();            
             }
     
             private void SetUpCamera()
             {
                 device.Transform.Projection = Matrix.PerspectiveFovLH((float)Math.PI / 4, (float)this.Width / (float)this.Height, 0.3f, 500f);
                 device.Transform.View = Matrix.LookAtLH(new Vector3(0, -1f, 0.2f), new Vector3(0, 0, 0), new Vector3(0, 0, 1));
             }        
     
             private void LoadTexturesAndMaterials()
             {
                 material = new Material();
     
                 material.Diffuse = Color.White;
                 material.Ambient = Color.White;
     
                 device.Material = material;
     
                 scenerytexture = TextureLoader.FromFile(device, "texturemap.jpg");
             }
     
             private void LoadFloorplan()
             {
                 WIDTH = 20;
                 HEIGHT = 15;
     
                 int_Floorplan = new int[,]
                 {
                     {1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1},
                     {1,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,1},
                     {1,0,0,1,1,0,0,0,1,1,0,0,1,0,1},
                     {1,0,0,1,1,0,0,0,1,0,0,0,1,0,1},
                     {1,0,0,0,1,1,0,1,1,0,0,0,0,0,1},
                     {1,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,1,0,0,1},
                     {1,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,1},
                     {1,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,1},
                     {1,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,1},
                     {1,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,1},
                     {1,0,1,1,0,0,0,1,0,0,0,0,0,0,1},
                     {1,0,1,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,1},
                     {1,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,1},
                     {1,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,1},
                     {1,0,0,0,0,1,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,1},
                     {1,0,0,0,0,1,0,0,0,1,0,0,0,0,1},
                     {1,0,1,0,0,0,0,0,0,1,0,0,0,0,1},
                     {1,0,1,1,0,0,0,0,1,1,0,0,0,1,1},
                     {1,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,1,1,0,0,0,1,1},
                     {1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1},
                 };        
     
                 Random random = new Random();
                 for (int x = 0; x < WIDTH; x++)
                 {
                     for (int y = 0; y < HEIGHT; y++)
                     {
                         if (int_Floorplan[x, y] == 1)
                         {
                             int_Floorplan[x, y] = random.Next(differentbuildings) + 1;
                         }
                     }
                 }
             }
     
             private void LoadMesh(string filename, ref Mesh mesh, ref Material[] meshmaterials, ref Texture[] meshtextures, ref float meshradius)
             {
                 ExtendedMaterial[] materialarray;
                 mesh = Mesh.FromFile(filename, MeshFlags.Managed, device, out materialarray);
     
                 if ((materialarray != null) && (materialarray.Length > 0))
                 {
                     meshmaterials = new Material[materialarray.Length];
                     meshtextures = new Texture[materialarray.Length];
     
                     for (int i = 0; i < materialarray.Length; i++)
                     {
                         meshmaterials[i] = materialarray[i].Material3D;
                         meshmaterials[i].Ambient = meshmaterials[i].Diffuse;
     
                         if ((materialarray[i].TextureFilename != null) && (materialarray[i].TextureFilename != string.Empty))
                         {
                             meshtextures[i] = TextureLoader.FromFile(device, materialarray[i].TextureFilename);
                         }
                     }                
                 }
     
                 mesh = mesh.Clone(mesh.Options.Value, CustomVertex.PositionNormalTextured.Format, device);
                 mesh.ComputeNormals();
     
                 VertexBuffer vertices = mesh.VertexBuffer;
                 GraphicsStream stream = vertices.Lock(0, 0, LockFlags.None);
                 Vector3 meshcenter;
                 meshradius = Geometry.ComputeBoundingSphere(stream, mesh.NumberVertices, mesh.VertexFormat, out meshcenter) * scaling;
             }
     
             private void LoadMeshes()
             {
                 float dummy = 0;
                 LoadMesh("xwing.x", ref spacemesh, ref spacemeshmaterials, ref spacemeshtextures, ref spacemeshradius);
                 LoadMesh("skybox2.x", ref skyboxmesh, ref skyboxmaterials, ref skyboxtextures, ref dummy);
             }        
             private void DrawMesh(Mesh mesh, Material[] meshmaterials, Texture[] meshtextures)
             {
                 for (int i = 0; i < meshmaterials.Length; i++)
                 {
                     device.Material = meshmaterials[i];
                     device.SetTexture(0, meshtextures[i]);
                     mesh.DrawSubset(i);
                 }
             }
     
             private void UpdatePosition(ref Vector3 position, Vector3 angles, float speed)
             {
                 Vector3 addvector = new Vector3();
                 addvector.X += (float)(Math.Sin(angles.Z));
                 addvector.Y += (float)(Math.Cos(angles.Z));
                 addvector.Z -= (float)(Math.Tan(angles.Y));
                 addvector.Normalize();
     
                 position += addvector * speed;
             }
     
             private void InitializeInputDevices()
             {
                 keyb = new DI.Device(SystemGuid.Keyboard);
                 keyb.SetCooperativeLevel(this, CooperativeLevelFlags.Background | CooperativeLevelFlags.NonExclusive);
                 keyb.Acquire();
             }
     
             private void ReadUserInput(float speed)
             {
                 KeyboardState keys = keyb.GetCurrentKeyboardState();
     
                 if (keys[Key.Right])
                 {
                     spacemeshangles.X += 2.5f * speed;
                 }
                 if (keys[Key.Left])
                 {
                     spacemeshangles.X -= 2.5f * speed;
                 }
     
                 if (keys[Key.Down])
                 {
                     spacemeshangles.Z -= (float)(speed * Math.Sin(spacemeshangles.X));
                     spacemeshangles.Y -= (float)(speed * Math.Cos(spacemeshangles.X));
                 }
                 if (keys[Key.Up])
                 {
                     spacemeshangles.Z += (float)(speed * Math.Sin(spacemeshangles.X));
                     spacemeshangles.Y += (float)(speed * Math.Cos(spacemeshangles.X));
                 }            
             }
     
             private int CheckCollision(Vector3 position, float radius)
             {            
                 if (position.Z - radius < 0) return 1;
                 if (position.Z + radius > 15) return 2;
     
                 if ((position.X < -10) || (position.X > WIDTH+10)) return 2;
                 if ((position.Y < -10) || (position.Y > HEIGHT+10)) return 2;
                 
                 if ((position.X - radius > 0) && (position.X + radius < WIDTH) && (position.Y - radius> 0) && (position.Y + radius < HEIGHT))
                 {
                     if (position.Z - radius < buildingheights[int_Floorplan[(int)position.X, (int)position.Y]]) return 1;
                 }
                 
                 return 0;
             }
     
             private void VertexDeclaration()
             {
                 float imagesintexture = 1 + differentbuildings * 2;
     
                 for (int x = 0; x < WIDTH; x++)
                 {
                     for (int y = 0; y < HEIGHT; y++)
                     {
                         int currentbuilding = int_Floorplan[x, y];
                         verticeslist.Add(new CustomVertex.PositionNormalTextured(new Vector3(x, y, buildingheights[currentbuilding]), new Vector3(0, 0, 1), (currentbuilding * 2 + 1) / imagesintexture, 1));
                         verticeslist.Add(new CustomVertex.PositionNormalTextured(new Vector3(x + 1, y, buildingheights[currentbuilding]), new Vector3(0, 0, 1), currentbuilding * 2 / imagesintexture, 1));
                         verticeslist.Add(new CustomVertex.PositionNormalTextured(new Vector3(x + 1, y + 1, buildingheights[currentbuilding]), new Vector3(0, 0, 1), currentbuilding * 2 / imagesintexture, 0));
     
                         verticeslist.Add(new CustomVertex.PositionNormalTextured(new Vector3(x + 1, y + 1, buildingheights[currentbuilding]), new Vector3(0, 0, 1), currentbuilding * 2 / imagesintexture, 0));
                         verticeslist.Add(new CustomVertex.PositionNormalTextured(new Vector3(x, y + 1, buildingheights[currentbuilding]), new Vector3(0, 0, 1), (currentbuilding * 2 + 1) / imagesintexture, 0));
                         verticeslist.Add(new CustomVertex.PositionNormalTextured(new Vector3(x, y, buildingheights[currentbuilding]), new Vector3(0, 0, 1), (currentbuilding * 2 + 1) / imagesintexture, 1));
     
                         if (y > 0)
                         {
                             if (int_Floorplan[x, y - 1] != int_Floorplan[x, y])
                             {
                                 if (int_Floorplan[x, y - 1] > 0)
                                 {
                                     currentbuilding = int_Floorplan[x, y - 1];
                                     verticeslist.Add(new CustomVertex.PositionNormalTextured(new Vector3(x, y, 0f), new Vector3(0, 1, 0), (currentbuilding * 2 - 1) / imagesintexture, 1));
                                     verticeslist.Add(new CustomVertex.PositionNormalTextured(new Vector3(x + 1, y, buildingheights[currentbuilding]), new Vector3(0, 1, 0), currentbuilding * 2 / imagesintexture, 0));
                                     verticeslist.Add(new CustomVertex.PositionNormalTextured(new Vector3(x + 1, y, 0f), new Vector3(0, 1, 0), currentbuilding * 2 / imagesintexture, 1));
     
                                     verticeslist.Add(new CustomVertex.PositionNormalTextured(new Vector3(x + 1, y, buildingheights[currentbuilding]), new Vector3(0, 1, 0), currentbuilding * 2 / imagesintexture, 0));
                                     verticeslist.Add(new CustomVertex.PositionNormalTextured(new Vector3(x, y, 0f), new Vector3(0, 1, 0), (currentbuilding * 2 - 1) / imagesintexture, 1));
                                     verticeslist.Add(new CustomVertex.PositionNormalTextured(new Vector3(x, y, buildingheights[currentbuilding]), new Vector3(0, 1, 0), (currentbuilding * 2 - 1) / imagesintexture, 0));
     
                                 }
                                 if (int_Floorplan[x, y] > 0)
                                 {
                                     currentbuilding = int_Floorplan[x, y];
                                     verticeslist.Add(new CustomVertex.PositionNormalTextured(new Vector3(x, y, 0f), new Vector3(0, -1, 0), currentbuilding * 2 / imagesintexture, 1));
                                     verticeslist.Add(new CustomVertex.PositionNormalTextured(new Vector3(x + 1, y, 0f), new Vector3(0, -1, 0), (currentbuilding * 2 - 1) / imagesintexture, 1));
                                     verticeslist.Add(new CustomVertex.PositionNormalTextured(new Vector3(x + 1, y, buildingheights[currentbuilding]), new Vector3(0, -1, 0), (currentbuilding * 2 - 1) / imagesintexture, 0));
     
                                     verticeslist.Add(new CustomVertex.PositionNormalTextured(new Vector3(x, y, 0f), new Vector3(0, -1, 0), currentbuilding * 2 / imagesintexture, 1));
                                     verticeslist.Add(new CustomVertex.PositionNormalTextured(new Vector3(x + 1, y, buildingheights[currentbuilding]), new Vector3(0, -1, 0), (currentbuilding * 2 - 1) / imagesintexture, 0));
                                     verticeslist.Add(new CustomVertex.PositionNormalTextured(new Vector3(x, y, buildingheights[currentbuilding]), new Vector3(0, -1, 0), currentbuilding * 2 / imagesintexture, 0));
                                 }
     
                             }
                         }
     
                         if (x > 0)
                         {
                             if (int_Floorplan[x - 1, y] != int_Floorplan[x, y])
                             {
                                 if (int_Floorplan[x - 1, y] > 0)
                                 {
                                     currentbuilding = int_Floorplan[x - 1, y];
                                     verticeslist.Add(new CustomVertex.PositionNormalTextured(new Vector3(x, y, 0f), new Vector3(1, 0, 0), currentbuilding * 2 / imagesintexture, 1));
                                     verticeslist.Add(new CustomVertex.PositionNormalTextured(new Vector3(x, y + 1, 0f), new Vector3(1, 0, 0), (currentbuilding * 2 - 1) / imagesintexture, 1));
                                     verticeslist.Add(new CustomVertex.PositionNormalTextured(new Vector3(x, y + 1, buildingheights[currentbuilding]), new Vector3(1, 0, 0), (currentbuilding * 2 - 1) / imagesintexture, 0));
     
                                     verticeslist.Add(new CustomVertex.PositionNormalTextured(new Vector3(x, y + 1, buildingheights[currentbuilding]), new Vector3(1, 0, 0), (currentbuilding * 2 - 1) / imagesintexture, 0));
                                     verticeslist.Add(new CustomVertex.PositionNormalTextured(new Vector3(x, y, buildingheights[currentbuilding]), new Vector3(1, 0, 0), currentbuilding * 2 / imagesintexture, 0));
                                     verticeslist.Add(new CustomVertex.PositionNormalTextured(new Vector3(x, y, 0f), new Vector3(1, 0, 0), currentbuilding * 2 / imagesintexture, 1));
                                 }
                                 if (int_Floorplan[x, y] > 0)
                                 {
                                     currentbuilding = int_Floorplan[x, y];
                                     verticeslist.Add(new CustomVertex.PositionNormalTextured(new Vector3(x, y, 0f), new Vector3(-1, 0, 0), (currentbuilding * 2 - 1) / imagesintexture, 1));
                                     verticeslist.Add(new CustomVertex.PositionNormalTextured(new Vector3(x, y, buildingheights[currentbuilding]), new Vector3(-1, 0, 0), (currentbuilding * 2 - 1) / imagesintexture, 0));
                                     verticeslist.Add(new CustomVertex.PositionNormalTextured(new Vector3(x, y + 1, 0f), new Vector3(-1, 0, 0), currentbuilding * 2 / imagesintexture, 1));
     
                                     verticeslist.Add(new CustomVertex.PositionNormalTextured(new Vector3(x, y, buildingheights[currentbuilding]), new Vector3(-1, 0, 0), (currentbuilding * 2 - 1) / imagesintexture, 0));
                                     verticeslist.Add(new CustomVertex.PositionNormalTextured(new Vector3(x, y + 1, buildingheights[currentbuilding]), new Vector3(-1, 0, 0), currentbuilding * 2 / imagesintexture, 0));
                                     verticeslist.Add(new CustomVertex.PositionNormalTextured(new Vector3(x, y + 1, 0f), new Vector3(-1, 0, 0), currentbuilding * 2 / imagesintexture, 1));
                                 }
                             }
                         }
                     }
                 }
                 verticesarray = (CustomVertex.PositionNormalTextured[])verticeslist.ToArray(typeof(CustomVertex.PositionNormalTextured));
             }
     
             protected override void Dispose(bool disposing)
             {
                 if (disposing)
                 {
                     if (components != null)
                     {
                         components.Dispose();
                     }
                 }
                 base.Dispose(disposing);
             }
     
             private void InitializeComponent()
             {
                 this.components = new System.ComponentModel.Container();
                 this.Size = new System.Drawing.Size(500, 500);
                 this.Text = "Riemer's DirectX Tutorial using C# -- Season 2";
             }
     
             static void Main()
             {
                 using (WinForm our_directx_form = new WinForm())
                 {
                     our_directx_form.InitializeDevice();
                     our_directx_form.SetUpCamera();
                     our_directx_form.LoadFloorplan();
                     our_directx_form.VertexDeclaration();
                     our_directx_form.LoadTexturesAndMaterials();
                     our_directx_form.LoadMeshes();
                     our_directx_form.InitializeInputDevices();
                     Application.Run(our_directx_form);
                 }
             }
         }
     }


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    ©2003 - 2011 Riemer Grootjans
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    Microsoft MVP Award



    2007 - 2011 MVP Award
    DirectX - XNA

    Contents

    News
    Home
    Forum
    XNA 2.0 Recipes Book (8)
    XNA 3.0 Recipes Book (8)
    Downloads
    Extra Reading (3)
    Matrices: geometrical
    Matrix Mathematics
    Homogenous matrices
    Community Projects (1)
    Tutorials (160)
    XNA 4.0 using C# (89)
    DirectX using C# (54)
    Series 1:Terrain (14)
    Series 2: Flightsim (19)
    Starting code
    Textures
    The floorplan
    Creating the 3D City
    Meshloading from file
    Ambient light
    Action
    Flight kinematics
    Collision detection
    Skybox
    Texture filtering
    Adding targets
    Point sprites
    Alpha blending
    DirectSound
    Sounds in 3D
    Playing MP3 files
    Displaying text
    Going fullscreen
    Series 3: HLSL (19)
    Short Tuts (2)
    DirectX using C++ (15)
    DirectX using VB (2)
    -- Expand all --


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