Top 10 Lumion Features Every Architecture Student Should Know

February 27, 2024
Brandon Bates
Brandon Bates
Brandon Bates is a passionate architect currently working at Cornell University. With a keen interest in the intersection of technology and design, Brandon has hands-on experience using Lumion to elevate his architectural projects.

In the ever-evolving realm of architecture, where artistic expression converges with technical precision, the ability to effectively communicate design concepts has become paramount. Within this context, the advent of cutting-edge technologies has birthed a transformative tool for architecture students – Lumion. This dynamic 3D rendering software stands as a beacon, bridging the chasm between conceptualization and realization. In the following exploration, we delve into the nuanced tapestry of Lumion, unraveling its top 10 features that stand as a cornerstone for every architecture student seeking not only to meet assignment requirements but to transcend them through a synthesis of innovation and proficiency.

As the architectural landscape continues to embrace the digital frontier, Lumion emerges as a powerful ally, empowering students to transcend the limitations of traditional methods and venture into the realm of immersive, realistic visualizations. The following discourse aims not just to enumerate Lumion's features but to unravel their significance in shaping the academic journey of architecture students, providing them with a compass to navigate the intricate nexus of creativity, technology, and academic excellence.

Lumion Features Unveiled

Embarking on an odyssey through the multifaceted facets of Lumion, we unravel a tapestry where the mundane transforms into the extraordinary. Each feature within Lumion is not merely a tool but a brushstroke on the canvas of architectural exploration, allowing students to craft narratives that transcend the confines of two-dimensional sketches. So, let us embark on this journey, where the fusion of technological prowess and architectural ingenuity converges in the digital realm of Lumion, reshaping the way assignments are conceptualized, visualized, and ultimately presented. Whether you are seeking to solve your Lumion assignment or simply delve into the endless possibilities it offers, this platform serves as a gateway to unlocking your creativity in the realm of architectural design.

Realistic Rendering Engine:

At the core of Lumion's transformative capabilities lies its unparalleled realistic rendering engine, a feature that stands as a beacon for architecture students striving to breathe life into their designs. In the realm of architectural visualization, realism is not merely an aesthetic pursuit but a crucial aspect that fosters a deeper understanding of spatial relationships and design nuances.

Lumion's rendering engine is a technological marvel, meticulously crafted to simulate light, shadow, and reflections with a level of precision that mirrors the subtleties of the physical world. For architecture students, this means transcending the limitations of conventional drawings and entering a realm where their designs take on a tangible, lifelike quality.

The software's ability to emulate natural lighting conditions, such as the gentle glow of sunrise or the dramatic shadows cast by a setting sun, enables students to showcase their designs in different contexts and times of the day. This dynamic interplay of light not only adds a layer of realism but also allows for a comprehensive exploration of how a structure interacts with its environment.

Furthermore, Lumion's rendering engine excels in capturing intricate details, from the texture of materials to the play of light on reflective surfaces. This attention to detail is not merely cosmetic; it is a tool for communication. Architecture students can convey the tactile qualities of their designs, ensuring that viewers can almost feel the warmth of sunlight streaming through a window or the coolness of a polished marble floor.

Moreover, Lumion's real-time rendering capabilities provide instant feedback, allowing students to iterate and refine their designs on the fly. This iterative process is invaluable in the creative journey, enabling students to experiment with different design choices and instantly witness the impact on the overall aesthetic.

In essence, the realistic rendering engine in Lumion is not just a feature; it's a gateway to a realm where the boundaries between imagination and reality blur. It empowers architecture students to present their designs with a level of fidelity that transcends traditional mediums, laying the foundation for a deeper appreciation and understanding of architectural concepts. As students harness the capabilities of Lumion's rendering engine, they embark on a transformative journey, where their visions materialize in pixels and polygons, setting new standards for the intersection of technology and architectural expression.

User-Friendly Interface:

In the intricate tapestry of architectural design, where precision and creativity converge, Lumion's user-friendly interface stands as a beacon of accessibility. Recognizing the diverse skill levels and time constraints of architecture students, Lumion's interface is not merely a portal but a collaborator, simplifying the complexities of 3D rendering and empowering users to navigate the digital landscape with intuitive ease.

The journey begins with Lumion's welcoming interface, a seamless amalgamation of form and function. For the architecture student, often juggling myriad tasks and deadlines, the ability to swiftly and intuitively navigate a software platform is a game-changer. Lumion's design philosophy prioritizes user experience, employing a clean and well-organized layout that minimizes learning curves, allowing students to focus on the creative process rather than grappling with the intricacies of the software.

The drag-and-drop functionality within Lumion is a testament to its commitment to user-centric design. As architects conceptualize their designs, Lumion provides a palette of tools and assets that can be effortlessly incorporated into the digital canvas. This simplicity in execution does not compromise on depth; rather, it liberates students from the technical minutiae, encouraging a fluid and intuitive exploration of their architectural visions.

The menu system within Lumion further enhances its user-friendliness, offering a logical and straightforward hierarchy that mirrors the thought process of architects. From materials to lighting effects, every essential tool is strategically placed, allowing students to seamlessly transition between different aspects of their designs. This organizational elegance is not just a matter of convenience; it is a catalyst for uninhibited creativity.

Importantly, Lumion's user-friendly interface doesn't segregate users based on expertise. Whether a novice architecture student or an adept designer, the software's accessibility levels the playing field, ensuring that the transformative power of 3D rendering is accessible to all. This inclusivity is a hallmark of Lumion's commitment to nurturing the creative potential within every student, fostering an environment where ideas can flow freely without being impeded by technical barriers.

As architecture students embark on their digital journey with Lumion, they find themselves not in a labyrinth of complexities but in an open expanse where their visions can take flight. The user-friendly interface serves as a guiding companion, empowering students to channel their creativity with precision, ensuring that the translation of ideas into digital reality is a seamless and gratifying experience. In the ever-evolving landscape of architectural tools, Lumion's user-friendly interface emerges as a beacon, inviting students to navigate the realms of design with intuitive precision and boundless creativity.

Extensive Material Library:

In the intricate dance of architectural expression, materiality is not just a facet; it's the very fabric that weaves the narrative of a design. Lumion, understanding the profound impact of materials on the visual language of architecture, unveils a treasure trove for students in the form of an extensive material library. This feature transcends mere convenience; it is a gateway to a realm where creativity fuses seamlessly with the tangible qualities of surfaces and finishes.

The material library within Lumion is a meticulously curated collection of textures, surfaces, and finishes that spans the spectrum of architectural possibilities. For architecture students, grappling with the challenge of articulating their design visions with precision, this library is a boon, offering a rich palette from which to draw inspiration and authenticity.

From the grain of wood to the reflective sheen of glass, Lumion's material library is a testament to the software's commitment to capturing the nuances of the physical world. Every material is not just a static image but a dynamic representation that responds to light and environmental conditions. This dynamicity ensures that students can simulate and observe how materials behave in different scenarios, a crucial aspect of architectural visualization that extends beyond static representations.

Moreover, the library caters to the diverse stylistic preferences and project requirements of architecture students. Whether it's the sleek modernity of glass and steel or the timeless charm of weathered stone, Lumion's material library provides a versatile toolkit for students to articulate their design language with finesse. This versatility is a catalyst for exploration, encouraging students to experiment with different materials to achieve the desired aesthetic and convey the essence of their designs.

The time-saving aspect of Lumion's material library cannot be overstated. In a discipline where time is often a scarce resource, having access to a comprehensive collection of materials expedites the design process. Instead of creating materials from scratch, students can efficiently browse and apply pre-existing materials, allowing them to focus more on the conceptual and creative aspects of their projects.

Furthermore, Lumion's material editor empowers students to customize and fine-tune materials, adding a layer of personalization to their designs. This adaptability is crucial, as it enables students to tailor materials to specific project requirements, ensuring that their designs align with both aesthetic aspirations and functional considerations.

In essence, Lumion's extensive material library is more than a feature; it's a conduit through which architecture students can infuse their designs with authenticity and visual richness. It is a palette of possibilities that transcends the digital realm, allowing students to articulate the tactile and sensory qualities of their architectural visions. As students navigate Lumion's material library, they embark on a journey where the language of materials becomes a vibrant dialogue, shaping designs that resonate with authenticity and elevate the visual storytelling capabilities of architectural assignments.

Advanced Lighting Effects:

In the realm of architectural design, lighting is the maestro that orchestrates the symphony of spatial experience. Lumion, cognizant of the pivotal role played by light in shaping perceptions and evoking emotions, introduces a transformative feature – Advanced Lighting Effects. This facet of Lumion is not merely a tool; it's an illuminating force that empowers architecture students to transcend the ordinary and infuse their designs with a luminous brilliance that captivates the senses.

Lumion's Advanced Lighting Effects are akin to wielding a digital palette of light, allowing students to paint their designs with the subtleties and nuances of various lighting scenarios. From the soft embrace of dawn to the dramatic interplay of shadows during sunset, architecture students can harness the power of light to articulate the temporal and spatial dimensions of their creations.

One of Lumion's standout features in the realm of lighting is its Global Illumination (GI) effect. This advanced lighting algorithm simulates the indirect bounce of light, creating a realistic interplay of illumination and shadows. For architecture students, this translates into designs that not only look visually stunning but also authentically respond to the nuances of natural and artificial light sources.

Furthermore, Lumion's volumetric lighting effects add a layer of depth and atmosphere to designs. Whether it's the ethereal glow of sunlight streaming through a window or the captivating interplay of light and mist, these effects enable students to craft environments that transcend the boundaries of mere representation and enter the realm of experiential storytelling.

Lumion's ability to simulate real-time changes in lighting conditions is a game-changer for architecture students. The dynamic nature of Advanced Lighting Effects means that students can witness the evolution of their designs under different lighting scenarios instantly. This real-time feedback loop is not just a time-saving feature; it's a catalyst for exploration, encouraging students to experiment with the transformative power of light as they refine their designs.

Moreover, Lumion's integration of High Dynamic Range (HDR) lighting further amplifies the realism of rendered scenes. HDR lighting mimics the wide range of luminance levels present in the real world, allowing students to achieve visuals that mirror the brilliance and contrast found in actual architectural settings.

As students delve into Lumion's Advanced Lighting Effects, they embark on a journey where light becomes a sculptor of space and a storyteller of ambiance. The interplay of shadows and highlights ceases to be a technicality; it becomes a language through which architectural narratives are articulated. The mastery of this feature within Lumion is not just a skill; it's a transformative tool that empowers architecture students to imbue their designs with a luminous vitality, transcending the digital canvas and beckoning viewers into a realm where architectural excellence is not just seen but felt.

Time-Saving Landscape Tools:

In the grand tapestry of architectural design, the environment in which a structure resides is not a mere backdrop; it is an integral part of the narrative, influencing the aesthetic and functional aspects of a project. Lumion, attuned to the holistic nature of architectural storytelling, introduces a game-changing feature – Time-Saving Landscape Tools. Beyond mere convenience, these tools act as a dynamic palette, allowing architecture students to sculpt terrains, incorporate greenery, and blend the built environment seamlessly with the natural landscape.

The landscape tools within Lumion are a testament to the software's commitment to efficiency without compromising on the depth of design possibilities. For architecture students, pressed for time and often navigating tight deadlines, these tools become indispensable, facilitating the swift creation of environments that complement and enhance their architectural visions.

One of Lumion's standout landscape features is its ability to generate terrains with remarkable ease. In a few clicks, students can craft undulating landscapes, rolling hills, or flat plains, providing the foundational canvas upon which their architectural creations can unfold. This time-saving capability liberates students from the intricacies of manual terrain modeling, allowing them to focus on the creative aspects of their designs.

The inclusion of diverse and realistic vegetation assets further elevates Lumion's landscape tools. Students can seamlessly populate their environments with trees, shrubs, and plants, each contributing to the overall ambiance of the scene. The variety in vegetation types ensures that students can tailor the landscape to suit the specific context of their designs, whether it's an urban courtyard adorned with ornamental plants or a rural setting surrounded by lush greenery.

Moreover, Lumion's water features add a dynamic element to landscapes. From tranquil ponds to meandering rivers, students can introduce water bodies into their designs with remarkable ease. The real-time rendering capabilities of Lumion mean that students can witness the reflective play of light on water surfaces, adding an extra layer of realism to their visualizations.

The significance of Lumion's Time-Saving Landscape Tools extends beyond mere efficiency; it lies in their role as facilitators of comprehensive storytelling. Architecture is not confined to buildings alone; it extends to the spaces around them. Lumion's landscape tools empower students to shape these spaces intuitively, ensuring that the relationship between the built and natural environment is harmonious and visually compelling.

Furthermore, the seamless integration of landscape tools with other features within Lumion enhances the overall efficiency of the design process. As students sculpt terrains and introduce greenery, they can concurrently visualize the impact of different lighting scenarios, materials, and even camera angles, fostering a holistic and iterative approach to design exploration.

In conclusion, Lumion's Time-Saving Landscape Tools are more than a pragmatic feature; they are a gateway to a realm where the creation of environments is a fluid and intuitive process. As architecture students navigate these tools, they embark on a journey of efficiency and creativity, where the landscapes they sculpt become integral chapters in the narrative of their architectural assignments. Lumion not only saves time but enriches the design process, enabling students to craft environments that resonate with the ethos of their architectural visions.

Seamless Integration with 3D Modeling Software:

In the intricate dance of architectural creation, the journey from conception to visualization involves traversing diverse realms. Lumion, recognizing the diverse array of 3D modeling tools architects employ, presents a transformative feature – Seamless Integration with 3D Modeling Software. This seamless bridge between Lumion and popular modeling programs such as SketchUp, Rhino, and Revit is more than a technological alliance; it's a conduit that propels architecture students seamlessly from the initial design phase to the immersive world of realistic rendering.

The synergy between Lumion and various 3D modeling software empowers architecture students with a dynamic workflow. It acknowledges the reality that architects often prefer specific modeling tools based on their individual preferences, project requirements, or institutional standards. Lumion's commitment to interoperability ensures that this diversity becomes a strength rather than a hurdle in the creative process.

The workflow begins with architecture students creating their 3D models in software like SketchUp, Rhino, or Revit. These models serve as the digital blueprints, embodying the conceptual essence of their designs. Here, Lumion steps in seamlessly. The integration is designed with user convenience in mind, allowing students to effortlessly import their models into Lumion without the loss of critical design data.

Once inside Lumion, the 3D models become the canvas upon which students can unleash the full potential of the software's rendering capabilities. The transition is not just about preserving the fidelity of the original models; it's about elevating them to new heights through realistic materials, lighting effects, and dynamic environments.

This integration is a time-saving boon for architecture students. Instead of recreating entire models or dealing with complex export-import processes, they can seamlessly transition between the modeling and rendering stages. This time efficiency becomes a critical asset, especially in the context of academic assignments where deadlines loom large, and the iterative nature of the design process demands agility.

Moreover, the integration fosters a sense of design continuity. Changes made to the 3D model in the native software are effortlessly reflected in Lumion. This dynamic relationship between modeling and rendering allows students to iterate on their designs with real-time feedback, ensuring a fluid and responsive design evolution.

The seamlessness of integration extends to the collaborative aspects of architectural projects. As teams collaborate on projects, each member can contribute to the design using their preferred modeling software, knowing that Lumion can seamlessly assimilate these diverse contributions into a cohesive and visually stunning presentation.

Dynamic Weather Effects:

In the vibrant realm of architectural storytelling, the environment is not a static backdrop but a dynamic participant, evolving and responding to the whims of weather and climate. Lumion, recognizing the profound impact of atmospheric conditions on architectural experiences, introduces a game-changing feature – Dynamic Weather Effects. Beyond mere visual aesthetics, this feature is a portal through which architecture students can infuse their designs with the transformative power of weather, creating immersive narratives that resonate with authenticity.

Lumion's Dynamic Weather Effects transcend the conventional boundaries of architectural representation by introducing a dynamic layer of meteorological elements. This feature allows architecture students to simulate and visualize their designs under a spectrum of weather conditions, from the gentle caress of a sunny day to the dramatic ambiance of a stormy night.

The significance of Dynamic Weather Effects lies not only in their visual impact but in their role as storytellers. Weather is a narrative thread that weaves through the built environment, influencing the mood, function, and perception of architectural spaces. For architecture students, having the ability to manipulate weather conditions within Lumion becomes a means of articulating the temporal dimension of their designs.

Consider a scenario where a student is tasked with designing a public plaza. Through Lumion's Dynamic Weather Effects, they can transport viewers to different seasons – a sunlit summer day where people gather under the shade of trees, or a winter evening where the plaza transforms into a serene snow-covered landscape. This dynamic storytelling capability transcends traditional static renderings, allowing students to convey the versatility and adaptability of their designs.

Furthermore, Lumion's weather effects extend beyond mere aesthetics; they impact the very essence of architectural spaces. The play of light and shadow under different weather conditions influences the perceived scale and texture of structures. For instance, the warm hues of sunlight filtering through clouds can evoke a sense of coziness, while raindrops on surfaces add a layer of tactile realism.

Camera Effects and Animation:

In the realm of architectural presentation, the ability to tell a compelling story goes beyond static images. Recognizing the importance of dynamic visual storytelling, Lumion introduces a transformative feature – Camera Effects and Animation. This dynamic duo is not merely a set of tools; it's a gateway for architecture students to elevate their presentations into immersive cinematic experiences, where designs unfold with fluidity and narrative finesse.

Camera Effects:

Lumion's Camera Effects are akin to a cinematographer's toolkit, offering a diverse array of options to manipulate perspectives, focus, and depth of field. For architecture students, this feature is a key to unlocking the expressive potential of their designs.

  • Depth of Field: Lumion allows students to mimic the depth of field found in professional photography and cinematography. This means they can selectively focus on specific elements of their design while blurring others, directing the viewer's attention and creating a sense of visual hierarchy.
  • Lens Flare and Bloom: Adding a touch of realism and cinematic flair, Lumion's lens flare and bloom effects simulate the way light interacts with a camera lens. These effects can be strategically employed to convey the warmth of sunlight streaming through a window or the dramatic ambiance of artificial lighting.
  • Perspective Correction: Architectural designs often involve intricate details, and capturing them without distortion is crucial. Lumion's perspective correction tools ensure that vertical and horizontal lines remain straight and true, eliminating the distortion that can occur in wide-angle views.
  • Field of View (FOV) Control: Architecture students can manipulate the field of view to achieve different visual effects. Whether it's a wide-angle view to capture the entirety of a space or a narrow focus to highlight specific details, Lumion's FOV control is a versatile tool in crafting impactful visual narratives.


While Camera Effects set the stage, Lumion's Animation features enable students to breathe life into their designs. The ability to create dynamic, moving presentations is a game-changer for architectural storytelling.

  • Path Animation: Students can define a path through which the camera navigates, providing a guided tour of their designs. This is particularly valuable when showcasing the flow and spatial relationships within a building or a complex architectural composition.
  • Object Animation: Lumion allows for the animation of not just the camera but also objects within the scene. Doors can open, curtains can sway, and elements of the landscape can evolve – creating a narrative that extends beyond static architectural representation.
  • Time-Lapse Animation: Architecture is not just about space; it's about the passage of time. Lumion's time-lapse animation feature enables students to showcase the temporal aspects of their designs, from the construction phase to the dynamic transformations of landscapes over different seasons.
  • Cinematic Effects: Lumion provides cinematic effects like motion blur and camera shake, adding a layer of realism and dynamism to animations. These effects emulate the imperfections and nuances found in real-world camera work, contributing to a more immersive and cinematic experience.

Virtual Reality (VR) Capability:

In the ever-evolving landscape of architectural technology, the advent of Virtual Reality (VR) has ushered in a paradigm shift, and Lumion, as a trailblazer in architectural visualization, embraces this transformation with its groundbreaking VR Capability. This feature is not merely an extension of the digital toolkit; it's a portal through which architecture students can transcend traditional presentations, immersing themselves and their audiences in a virtual realm where designs come to life in three dimensions.

The significance of Lumion's VR Capability lies in its ability to bridge the gap between the digital and physical realms of architectural experience. For architecture students, this means moving beyond static renderings and animations into a realm where designs are not observed but experienced. Lumion's VR Capability transforms architectural assignments into immersive journeys, allowing students to explore and interact with their creations as if they were physically present within them.

Key Aspects of Lumion's VR Capability

Immersive Exploration: With Lumion's VR Capability, architecture students can step into their designs and navigate through spaces in a natural and intuitive manner. This immersive exploration allows for a firsthand experience of scale, proportion, and spatial relationships, providing insights that go beyond what traditional presentations can convey.

  • Real-Time Interaction: Lumion's VR Capability goes beyond passive observation. Students can interact with elements within their designs in real time. This means opening doors, manipulating objects, or even altering aspects of the environment – fostering an active engagement that transcends the boundaries of conventional architectural representation.
  • Client and Stakeholder Engagement: Virtual Reality becomes a powerful tool for client presentations and stakeholder engagement. Architecture students can invite clients and collaborators to step into the virtual realm of their designs, facilitating a shared experience that enhances communication and understanding. This interactive approach is particularly valuable in conveying design intentions and receiving real-time feedback.
  • Design Iteration in VR: Lumion's VR Capability supports the iterative design process. As students navigate their designs in VR, they can identify areas for improvement or refinement. This immediate and immersive feedback loop accelerates the design iteration process, ensuring that the final presentation reflects the optimal realization of the envisioned architectural concept.
  • Educational Tool: Beyond the realm of presentations, Lumion's VR Capability becomes an educational tool for architecture students. It provides a platform for experiential learning, allowing students to dissect and analyze their designs from within, gaining a deeper understanding of the impact of design choices on user experience.
  • Adaptability with VR Hardware: Lumion's VR Capability seamlessly integrates with popular VR hardware, ensuring compatibility and accessibility. Whether using VR headsets or other immersive devices, architecture students can leverage this feature with ease, making it a versatile tool in various educational and professional settings.

Support and Community:

In the intricate world of architectural visualization, the journey from conception to execution is often filled with challenges, questions, and a continual quest for mastery. Recognizing the importance of guidance and collaboration, Lumion doesn't just offer a software solution; it fosters a supportive ecosystem through its exemplary Support and Community features. These aspects are not mere add-ons; they form the backbone of Lumion's commitment to nurturing the growth, learning, and success of architecture students and professionals alike.

Dedicated Support

Lumion's commitment to user support is not a passive endeavor; it's an ongoing relationship. The dedicated support channels, including forums, documentation, and direct assistance, ensure that users have a reliable lifeline when navigating the intricacies of the software.

  • Extensive Documentation: The comprehensive documentation provided by Lumion serves as a knowledge repository, offering detailed insights into the software's features, functionalities, and best practices. Architecture students, whether new to Lumion or seasoned users, can delve into this resource to find answers to their queries and enhance their proficiency.
  • Responsive Support Forums: Lumion's support forums act as dynamic hubs where users converge to share experiences, seek advice, and troubleshoot challenges. The responsive community ensures that questions are met with a wealth of perspectives, fostering collaborative problem-solving and collective learning.
  • Direct Customer Support: In addition to community-driven support, Lumion provides direct customer support channels. Whether through emails, live chats, or support tickets, users can reach out to Lumion's support team for personalized assistance, ensuring that queries are addressed promptly and effectively.

Vibrant Community

Beyond the technical support, Lumion's community is a vibrant ecosystem that amplifies the learning and collaborative potential of the software.

  • Peer Learning and Collaboration: The Lumion community is a diverse collective of users, ranging from students to seasoned architects. This diversity enriches the learning experience as users share insights, tips, and innovative approaches. Architecture students, in particular, benefit from this collaborative environment, gaining perspectives that go beyond the confines of traditional educational settings.
  • Showcase of Work: Lumion's community platforms often serve as virtual galleries where users showcase their work. For architecture students, this serves as not just a source of inspiration but also a platform to receive constructive feedback, encouraging a culture of continuous improvement and refinement of design skills.
  • Webinars and Tutorials: Lumion frequently organizes webinars and tutorials, providing users with opportunities to deepen their understanding of the software's features. For architecture students, these resources serve as invaluable educational supplements, offering insights into advanced techniques and approaches to architectural visualization.
  • Product Updates and Roadmaps: Lumion's community is kept informed about product updates and future roadmaps. This transparency ensures that users, including architecture students, stay abreast of the latest advancements, empowering them to leverage new features and capabilities in their academic and professional pursuits.


In the dynamic field of architecture, where visual communication is paramount, mastering tools like Lumion can be a game-changer for students. The top 10 features discussed in this blog post offer a comprehensive overview of Lumion's capabilities, empowering architecture students to elevate the quality of their assignments and presentations. As technology continues to evolve, incorporating advanced rendering tools into the educational journey becomes not only beneficial but essential for shaping the architects of tomorrow. So, dive into the world of Lumion, unleash your creativity, and transform your architectural visions into captivating visual masterpieces.

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