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Best Animation Software For Kids – Top Picks For Kids, Teens and Beginners

 
clapperSo you’ve just returned from watching the latest Disney animated movie with your kids or catching one on Netflix and, apart from being in the grip of an intense sugar rush and driving you crazy, the kids have also shown an interest in doing a little animation themselves.

 
 
But, surely, animation is really complicated and requires a lot of space and extensive high-end equipment, right?
 

WRONG!

With modern technology it has never been easier and cheaper for children and teenagers to try their hand at making their first animation, and if they’re anything like I was they’ll be hooked the first time they see their work in action.

When I was a kid, the only way to do animation at home was to make your own flip book or spend a lot of money on a film camera, and then spend even more money on getting the film developed…not easy.

I remember the day when I first tried a 2d animation program on a computer…it was the “Disney Animation Program” on the Amiga 500…I must have been 10 or 11 years old. I remember making a simple bouncing ball and was totally hooked after that.

Check out this blast from the past:

 

How To Choose The Right
Animation Software For Your Child

 
As the well-known saying goes,

 

“quod ali cibus est aliis fuat acre venenum”

 

and for those of you who were sleeping at the back in your Latin classes and not paying attention:

 

“one man’s meat is another man’s poison”

 

And so it goes when choosing a software. Deciding which software is “best” is partly down to what your (or your child’s) needs currently are and how to best serve them. Every child is different so you’ll need to think about how they learn and the kind of things they enjoy doing.

 
You’ll need to consider the following:
 

  • Your Child’s Age and Ability
  • Are They Proficient On A Computer?
  • How Much Patience Do They Have? (yes, I know, silly question right?)

 
From here you need to consider the style of animation that they want to do.
 

Is it Wallace and Gromit-style stop motion animation or Peppa Pig-style cut-out 2d animation?

Maybe they’re excellent at drawing and want to tackle something a little more challenging, like classical animation or manga.

 
 

The Different Styles Of Animation – A Quick Overview

 

Quick note:

If you’re a little confused by some of the terminology associated with the software on this page or animation in general, feel free to use the handy glossary on this page where I give most of the main terms and associated jargon that you might come across.

 

They are really 5 different styles of animation that are possible:
 

  • Stop Motion Animation – this is moving any physical object and taking a photo every frame. It covers everything from Wallace and Gromit to animated sand.
  •  

  • 2D Traditional Frame-by-Frame Drawn Animation – this is where each frame is drawn individually by hand. It covers everything from classic Disney to Manga.
  •  

  • 2D Rigged Animation – this is a newer development that uses software to create a “rig” or “skeleton” for a 2-dimensional character that you can animate over time, and the computer does the inbetweens. It has been popularised by things like Peppa Pig and South Park.
  •  

  • 3D CG Animation – this is like a digital version of stop motion animation but with a lot more power and tools. It covers everything from Disney’s “Frozen” to the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park.
  •  

  • Whiteboard / Presentation style – this is a newer style of animation that has become very popular over the last few years with online marketing videos, but has really taken off in schools and companies as a great way to show information for a school project or idea, and has been proven to keep people engaged – helping them to improve their learning by as much as 15%.

 

Here’s a great video from BloopAnimation.com that does a good job of explaining visually if you’re not familiar with them (note that he mentions 5 types, but I’ve switched motion graphics for whiteboard / presentation software in this case).
 

 
For young children I don’t really recommend 3D CG animation as the software is often very complicated and can be a stumbling block for absolute beginners.

My personal choice would be stop-motion as they can make their own plasticine characters or even just use their favourite toy, and won’t get frustrated if they struggle with drawing. But that’s up to you.

Whichever style they prefer, complicated software programs requiring a steep learning curve just won’t cut it with young kids so any software they use needs to be quick, responsive and simple to use from the get-go. A sure-fire way to absolutely kill any creative spark they have is to throw them into a program that requires a number of long in-depth tutorials to figure out how to use it, so best to avoid that.

On this basis the following animation programs are what I consider the best ones for any young budding animator out there to get stuck in and have fun just making things move.

Who knows, they may just become the next Walt Disney or Nick Park!

 
 

The Best Animation Software For Younger Children or Complete Beginners

 
 

  • Hue Animation Studio

    click here button

    This is my top pick as the best animation software for kids. It really is a whole little studio in one package, and comes with the camera, software and even a green-screen set on which you can place your characters to get started animating and making movies right away.

    Don’t forget it’s not just for animating plasticine characters…you can also make individual drawings on paper and simply capture each frame using the camera and then play it back – meaning you can use it to do traditional animation too. It’s also really easy to export your movies and upload them to the web.

    You can read my full Hue Animation Studio review here.

    There are other similar that are also very popular, so take a look at them here as your child may prefer one of these instead.

  •  



     

  • Digicel Flipbook

    digicel-flipbook-interface

    Very clean and intuitive interface, with X-sheet on the right and solid drawing tools

     

    click here button

    This is a great way to start doing traditional frame-by-frame drawn animation either directly on the computer itself, or alternatively on paper and then scanning the drawings in individually and then colouring them in the software.

    I would choose the “Studio” version as it has all the features necessary for a beginner without being too limited either. Read my Digicel Flipbook review here

    Flipbook is so easy to learn to use that your child should have no trouble getting used to it. Although bear in mind that if they’re going to be drawing directly in the software itself they will need a graphics tablet if you haven’t got one already.

    Don’t worry though, they are reasonably priced. Here are 5 of the best graphics tablets for less than $100

  •  

  • Moho Debut

    This is the beginner version of Smith Micro’s flagship Moho Pro software (mentioned below), and has some tremendous features at a very good price. It is ideal for any child looking to do 2d rigged cut-out animation in the style of Peppa Pig etc.

    It has a slightly steeper learning curve than Hue Animation Studio or Digicel Flipbook above, but it can do things like automatic inbetweening and rigs and skeletons that those two software programs can’t. You can read my Moho Debut review here.

    Note that earlier versions of Moho used to be called Anime Studio, and some of these are still available at a lower price if you don’t mind purchasing a slightly older version.

  •  

  • Videoscribe

    videoscribe whiteboard animation software example image

     

    click here button

    This is really a great whiteboard / doodle / presentation and animation software. It’s really easy to use and is a great way for kids and beginners to get to grips with timing, while also presenting their work or school project in a different way.

    They have a library of images, text and sound effects that you can use, and you can also make your own ones and import them. Read my VideoScribe review here.

 
 
 

Best Software Programs For Older Children and Teens

 

For older children and teens, particularly those are thinking seriously about pursuing animation further as a career choice, I recommend the following:
 

  • Toon Boom Harmony

    Toon Boom Harmony v12 boxclick here button

    This really is the best 2d animation software program out there on the market today, and it’s probably also the most widely used. Proficiency in this software program can really open up job opportunities further down the road. Read my Toon Boom Harmony review here

  •  

  • Moho Pro

     

    Moho Pro is the big-boy version of Moho Debut with more features and tools. While it may not have all the bells and whistles of Toon Boom Harmony, it’s significantly cheaper and one of the most popular and widely used professional 2d animation programs.

  •  

  • Dragon Frame

     

    I’ve included this one on the list because if your child or teenager is really serious about stop frame animation then they might want to use this program as it is THE standard for stop frame animation software and is used by companies like Aardman among others.

 
 

The 5 Best Wacom Cintiq Alternatives – Top Graphics Tablets With Screen

 

While Wacom is widely acknowledged as the world leader in graphics tablets, and their Wacom Cintiq series redefining the way we produce digital art (read our Wacom Cintiq review here), they are not the only company out there changing the way we draw.

A bit like the way Apple are not the only folks making swanky smart phones, there are a number of great brands producing amazing graphics tablet monitors and touch screens, for a fraction of the price of a Wacom. And they’ll often throw in a bunch of extras for you too, which would normally cost you a heck of a lot more.

If you can’t afford a Wacom Cintiq or just want to try something different, don’t worry…here are our 5 best affordable Wacom Cintiq alternatives

 


The 5 Best Wacom Alternatives
At A Glance


 


1. XP-Pen Artist 22E IPS Drawing Monitor

 
click here button

The XP-Pen Artist 22E IPS Drawing Monitor is designed to seamlessly integrate with Windows and Mac, so you’ll be able to run all of your favourite design and 2d animation programs like Paint Tool SAI, Toon Boom, Moho Pro, Adobe Photoshop, Manga Studio and Corel Painter efficiently and effectively. This sets it aside from a lot of other systems and makes it a very popular choice for people who don’t want to have to deal with integration headaches or buying the wrong product for their computer.

It’s crafted from tempered glass and has the end user in mind with its simple interface and easy to edit screen. The XP-Pen Artist 22E IPS Drawing Monitor is simple and intuitive, making it a great choice for novices and professionals alike.

Whether you’re just dipping your toe in the graphic design world, or working on a major client project, this will definitely fit the bill.

 

More Colour Choice, Design Options, and Ease of Use

 
The XP-Pen Artist 22E IPS Drawing Monitor makes all of your artistic endeavours easy with its tempered glass, smooth surface and new, comprehensive palette of colours. You do not need to settle for “close enough” colours any longer. Draw, paint, design, and sketch in the exact colour of your choice.

Some users say that the interface, screen size and ease of use make this product a preferred choice even above industry heavyweights that charge almost twice as much like the Wacom Cintiq 22HD! The XP-Pen tablet wants you to branch out and really explore your artistic side, and it gives you the option with really cool new editing and design tools that will challenge and excite you. You can additionally broaden your horizons with interesting new artistic applications like 3D animation. The sky is the limit! The XP-Pen 22E seems singularly aimed at making your creative vision a reality.

 

ExpressKey Shortcuts to Accommodate Both Left and Right-handed People

 
Most graphic design tools have ExpressKey shortcuts. They allow you to authorize standard commands without interrupting your workflow. The XP-Pen 22E takes it a step further by putting these keys on both sides of the monitor. Left-handed? Right-handed? Ambidextrous? You’ll be able to utilize these ExpressKeys easily. In putting keys on both sides of the monitor the XP-Pen drawing tablet really emphasizes its commitment to ease of use for its customers. It’s clear that their singular focus is making the best, easiest and most user-friendly customer experience possible.

 

Extra Widescreen High-Resolution Display

 
The XP-Pen Artist graphics monitor boasts a 22” screen that has an impressive 1920×1080 HD resolution for vibrant colours and ease of editing. You’ll be able to drill in on minute details with total clarity and precision so you can fine-tune your masterpiece. This is especially helpful when editing photographs for high-end work. You can zero in on each individual pixel, if you’d like, editing bit by bit until it looks the way that you’d like.

With an extra-large screen, you’ll also avoid the headaches that come from running application and programs with huge menus. This is a common complaint amongst graphic designers and the XP-Pen tablet has eliminated it. Say goodbye to excess scrolling!

 

Ergonomically Designed for Maximum Comfort

 
Work your favourite and best way with the XP-Pen Artist 22E IPS Drawing Monitor’s ergonomically designed stand. This stand allows you to pivot and tilt the screen to fit your exact workstation needs. The stand is totally slide-proof, so your screen won’t slip or jolt while you’re in the middle of a big project!

 

State-of-the-Art Stylus Pen

 
The beauty of this stylus pen is in its simplicity. One click will allow you to alter from pen to eraser mode. It’s so easy that within a couple uses it will become muscle memory. The pen is also rechargeable and will sleep when not in use, so you’ll conserve precious battery life.

 

Pricing

 
The XP-Pen Artist 22E IPS Drawing Monitor has an RRP around the $900 dollar mark. As it comes in at about half the price of some of the higher-end products on the market like the Wacom Cintiq 22HD, it’s really worth some serious consideration. The compatibility and ease of use alone is well worth the price tag!

The XP-Pen Artist 22E IPS Drawing Monitor comes with a few extra goodies in its package, like an extra, rechargeable Stylus Pen. This extra pen will save the day if you’re on a deadline with a pen that seriously needs some extra battery. Just keep the second pen plugged in for backup and swap out when necessary.

You’ll also get a pen stand/holder with 8 extra pen nibs. These will also come in handy as backups.

To keep your big beautiful screen gorgeous and pristine, the XP-Pen Artist 22E IPS Drawing Monitor comes with a cleaning cloth and screen protector for when it’s not in use.

You can check out all the goodies that come with your new XP-Pen Artist 22E at http://www.xp-pen.com/goods/show/id/132.html#tab4

 

Pros

 

  • Ergonomically designed with a no-slip stand so you can work the way you want to work
  • Compatible with both Windows Vista and Mac
  • State of the art pen that toggles between pen and eraser functions
  • Large screen that can accommodate applications and allows for ease of editing
  • ExpressKey Shortcuts that work with both left and right-handed people

 

Cons

 

  • Some users report that the system doesn’t work well with Photoshop CS5 or CS6 but it appears to be compatible with newer versions of Photoshop.
  • No monthly billing option for people who can’t afford to pay upfront.
  • Some users have reported issues with the stylus breaking.

 

Summary

 
The XP-Pen Artist 22E IPS graphics tablet is a great tool for experts and novices alike. The tempered glass screen makes it easy to create innovative art and really stretch the boundaries of creativity. The price point is mid-range and affordable for almost anyone. The XP-Pen 22E is a great buy and seems like a very solid piece of graphic design equipment.

>>> Check the best prices for the XP-Pen 22E IPS on Amazon<<<

 

 

 


2. Yiynova MVP22U (V3)

 
click here button

The Yiynova MVP22U (V3) might not be the sexiest model on the block, but it sure seems to be the most reliable. Many long-time users say that they’ve had their Yiynovas for years without complaint.

The Yiynova MVP22U is also extremely user-friendly and has an easy setup and installation, and incorporates seamlessly with all the major animation and paint programs. Overall, the Yiynova MVP22U (V3) seems to be hardy and resilient, with no annoying dead pixel issues or scratching, keeping it a cut above other, more expensive pieces of equipment that can be finicky.

 

Very Innovative Usage of Stylus Pen

 
With most graphic design applications and machines, you’re unable to place the tip of the pen directly onto the monitor to draw or illustrate. When forced to hover, you might wind up with less accurate work or a product that you’re not exactly happy with. The Yiynova MVP22U (V3) has innovative technology that allows you to put the stylus pen directly onto the screen. Not only does that increase your precision dramatically, it also simulates the actual traditional drawing experience in a way that most other products don’t.

Most users really appreciate this feature, but it is somewhat polarizing. There are people who have tried the Yiynova MVP22U (V3) and found that putting the stylus directly on the screen was extremely off-putting and felt alien to them. Some complained that they needed to press unreasonably hard to create images. They had to redo their work several times, which was very frustrating and time consuming.

Those who fall into the former category say that you get a much more authentic experience, have more control over your work and you don’t have to worry about scratches! When drawing with the stylus pen make sure you wear the artistic glove (included) in order to minimize friction between your hand and the screen, and eliminate smudges.

 

Very Reasonable Price Point

 
As the Yiynova MVP22U (V3) clocks in at about half the price of some of the higher-end graphic design brands, some sceptics and pessimists might pause for a second and wonder if the product is sub-par. It’s not. It has been widely accepted by the professional design community as a favourite tool for their work. It’s low price point and highly rated system makes the Yiynova MVP22U (V3) hugely popular on places like Amazon, so if you decide this brand is for you, make sure you scoop one up right away! It is more convenient than buying directly from their website as well.

 

Large LCD Screen to Work Effectively

 
The Yiynova MVP22U (V3) has a 21.5 inch LCD Screen so you can use applications with large menus, like Manga Studios or Corel, without having to scroll around on your screen. This eliminates the frustration that users report from working with smaller screens and also allows you a larger canvas to edit your work. You’ll be able to see the big picture (literally) and make edits and adjustments accordingly.

Colours are displayed beautifully on the LCD, so you’ll get a realistic idea of what adjustments you need to make to your work. Aside from its resilient screen, users commented on the colour display on The Yiynova MVP22U (V3) more than any other aspect.

 

One-Year Warranty

 
You can rest easy when you buy the Yiynova MVP22U (V3) because it comes with a one-year comprehensive warranty on the system. This makes buying it online much less of a gamble. You don’t have to worry about a defective system whatsoever. You can return it within 30 days if there are any problems with the system and you’ll enjoy a full year of technical support. Note that this warranty is only valid if the Yiynova MVP22U (V3) is used within the United States.

 

Pricing

 
Pick up your Yiynova MVP22U (V3) for only $799. It’s an incredible deal for what users claim is a powerful, user-friendly, effective graphic design product. You’ll use what the pros use, for a fraction of what other systems cost. Since it’s so reliable and sturdy you won’t have to worry about replacing it anytime soon either.

 

Add-ons

 
 

Yiynova Heavy Duty Desk Top Mount Arm

 
For $99 you can pick up the Yiynova Heavy Duty Desk Top Mount Arm, which bolts to your workspace and can hold your Yiynova MVP22U (V3) at the appropriate eye level and angle for you. It’s lightweight, easily adjustable and comes with a one-year warranty.

 

Huion Artist Glove for Drawing Tablet

 
The Yiynova MVP22U (V3) already comes with one free-sized artist glove, but if you’d like a back-up to keep your screen smudge free, you can pick up the Huion Artist Glove for Drawing Tablet for about 10 bucks. The glove reduces skin to screen friction, keeping you more comfortable and your screen glowing.

 

Pros

 

  • Very cost-effective so it’s accessible to everyone
  • Strong and reliable
  • You can put the pen directly on the screen for ease of drawing and editing
  • Large LCD screen for easy editing and accessing application menus
  • One-year warranty
  • Very easy to install and use

 

Cons

 

  • There is some debate about the reliability of the stylus; apparently it is not as robust and doesn’t have the longevity of other styluses.
  • Some users have noted that you must press really hard on the screen to draw. This can create a situation where there is inaccuracy and difficulty drawing.

 

Summary

 
The Yiynova MVP22U (V3) is a great choice for budget conscious graphic designers who are looking for a solid piece of equipment. Used by professionals, novices and anyone in between, it is reliable and well worth the investment. With its one-year warranty, you’ll be assured of getting a good product.

The only downside is the stylus. If you’re used to hovering over your tablet to create work, you’re going to have a learning curve and there will be an adjustment with having to press on the screen. Overall though, the Yiynova MVP22U (V3) is a very solid choice.

>>> Check the best prices for the XP-Pen 22E IPS on Amazon<<<

 

 

 


3. Ugee 1910B Interactive Pen Display Drawing Monitor
BEST VALUE!

 
click here button

The biggest draw of the Ugee 1910B Interactive Pen Display Drawing Monitor is its extremely attractive price tag. Unlike many models on the market, it won’t set you back several paychecks. You don’t need to save up for many months to be able to purchase this tablet, like you do for many of its competitors.

For an investment of just $409.99, you can pick yourself up a fairly reliable, solid piece of graphic design equipment that is compatible with most popular design programs. 3D Max, Corel Painter, Adobe Photoshop, SAI, Illustrator, Autodesk MAYA, Zbrush, Photoshop CC and Pixologic all work with this tablet.

Most users found the easy integration of their favorite software to be a huge plus with this Ugee product. It also works well with the latest versions of Mac, Windows and Linux, so incorporation with your computer is very easy and painless. This tablet is a smart and economical choice.

 

Low Cost Makes this Ugee Tablet Extra-Attractive

 
With a price tag just over $400, the Ugee 1910B Interactive Pen Display Drawing Monitor is a painless purchase. It costs far less than a lower-end laptop and about half to a third of the cost of its higher-end competitors and at least $300 cheaper than its closest competitor in the graphic design sphere! With the exception of a few noted bugs and equipment issues, it delivers similar quality and reliability as other tablets. Perfect for novices and people pursuing graphic design as a hobby, you’ll get a professional product at a fraction of the cost! Plus, it comes with a one-year warranty so you can return any defective tablets and call tech support with questions.

 

Stylus Pen Toggles Between Pen and Eraser

 
Don’t be interrupted mid-task! This system comes with a stylus pen that toggles easily between pen and eraser so you don’t have to fool around with commands or additional shortcut keys. You can switch between the two and edit and work simultaneously, saving you time. The pen stylus is designed with ergonomics in mind and is deliberately streamlined to be as user-friendly as possible. Users report that they’ve used the pen for hours without any painful hand cramping or slippage. Your productivity will increase exponentially because you can stay singularly focused on one task.

 

Screen Large Enough to View Most Applications

 
The Ugee 1910B Interactive Pen Display Drawing Monitor’s screen is 19-inches wide, large enough to view the extensive menus of most applications, like Corel Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. You won’t need to scroll to view certain menu items, saving you time and alleviating frustration. The resolution is excellent so you can edit your work easily and effectively. The screen also recognizes many different colors and is able to differentiate between minor variations in hue, so you can make minute adjustments without any guessing or inaccuracies. Edit easily, painlessly and quickly!

 

Adjustable Stand to Create the Perfect Workstation

 
A big selling point for the Ugee 1910B Interactive Pen Display Drawing Monitor is its adjustable stand so you can position the monitor at the best angle for you. Many tablets come with mounts and stands, but what sets this one apart is that it comes with a rubber cover to prevent shaking and slippage. You won’t ever have to worry about your screen jolting during the middle of a particularly intense drawing or editing session. Never settle for a less than optimal workstation again with this Ugee tablet and accompanying stand! You can set the stand however you’d like with the perfect height and angle to work your way.

 

Pricing

 
As we mentioned, the Ugee 1910B Interactive Pen Display Drawing Monitor costs only $409.99. It’s an unbelievable price for a tablet that can go toe to toe with the giants of the graphic design industry in most aspects of its design and functionality. The only thing that keeps this product from being a top-line tablet are worrying reports of stylus error and calibration issues. Those complaints aside, this Ugee product is a popular and viable tablet for your graphic design needs. Most users will find it suitable.

 

Add-ons and Extras

 
The Ugee 1910B Interactive Pen Display Drawing Monitor comes with a one-year warranty, complete with tech support and troubleshooting. You’ll also get two rechargeable styluses each with toggle functionality so you can pivot easily between pen and eraser functions, ten additional nibs for usage with your stylus pen and a one-size-fits-all drawing glove.

Also included is a screen protector to keep your tablet scratch free and functioning at an optimal level. The drawing glove works with your ergonomically designed stylus to prevent cramps and allow you to work uninterrupted for hours on end. Your package also comes complete with a rubber coated stand to further assist in creating the perfect work station for your maximum productivity and comfort.
 
You’ll get:
 

  • One UG-1910 Tablet Monitor
  • One USB Cable
  • One VGA Cable
  • Two Pen Charging Cables
  • One Power Adapter
  • One Barrel Holder with eight tips and one remove ring
  • One user manual
  • One Drive CD

 

Pros

 

  • Most cost-effective product on the market
  • User-friendly stylus that toggles between pen and eraser
  • Adjustable, rubber coated stand to position the tablet at the best height and angle for you
  • One-year warranty with tech support
  • Works with the latest versions of Windows, Mac and Linux

 

Cons

 

  • Users have reported calibration issues
  • No ExpressKeys like other graphic design tablets
  • Some users have found the styluses to be ineffective or buggy

 

Summary

 
The Ugee 1910B Interactive Pen Display Drawing Monitor is a very attractive choice for novices and graphic design enthusiasts but may not be powerful enough for professionals. The calibration issues and stylus problems are troubling enough that most pros should look elsewhere. For laypeople, this is a decent graphic design system that will be effective and useful for most needs. If you’re just starting out, want to try your hand at the graphic design world or need a tablet for your hobby, give the Ugee a try.

>>> Check the best prices for the XP-Pen 22E IPS on Amazon<<<

 

 

 


4. Huion GT-220 v2 21.5 Inch Pen Display IPS Interactive

 
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The Huion GT-220 v2 21.5 Inch Pen Display IPS Interactive has solved the many technical problems that plagued its predecessors, making this version highly superior and a welcome new version for users. The issue of cursor positioning has been solved, so users won’t experience the dreaded cursor offset. The sleeping mode complaint has also been addressed.

It is quite evident that the company took customer grievances very seriously and has done what it can to make the latest version as bug-free as possible. There was an update to the firmware that enhances the drawing experience, improving the efficiency of the tablet.

At around $800, this innovative writing tablet has everything you could possibly want.

 

Extremely Sensitive Stylus Pen for Precise Illustration

 
The Huion GT-220 v2 21.5 Inch Pen Display IPS Interactive’s rechargeable pen can detect 2048 different levels of pressure and sensitivity, so you can draw with extreme precision every time. The stylus is specifically engineered to be as sensitive as possible in order to make sure your vision translates seamlessly and accurately to the tablet. Plus, the screen has a 16:9 aspect viewing ratio making your illustrations and artwork clear from all directions.

 

Wide Screen to Access All Programs and Applications Easily

 
The 21.5-inch screen allows you to view all programs and applications easily and in their full forms. Some programs, like Adobe Photoshop and Corel Illustrator, have rather extensive menus and if you’re working on a smaller screen you’ll find yourself scrolling unnecessarily to access the whole menu. Here you can save yourself the trouble with a large, wide screen that will increase your productivity and decrease your frustration.

 

Integrates With Your Operating System and Favorite Applications

 
The Huion GT-220 v2 is compatible with Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, as well as Mac 10.8.0 or higher. It also works with your favorite art programs and applications like Illustrator CC, Paint Tool SAI, GIMP, CLIP Studio, Corel Painter and Adobe Photoshop.

 

Excellent Resolution for Editing and Colour Adjustment

 
This Huion tablet can display close to 17 million colour variations, so you can make minute edits very easily and accurately. You don’t have to settle for the “almost right” colour like you do on many other tablets on the market today as you can select the exact, perfect hue or variation for your artwork.

 

Pricing

 
The Huion will set you back around $800, a reasonable cost for a solid piece of technology and a reliable graphic design system that can easily be used by people on all different levels of the professional spectrum. You can pick up a six-month warranty for an additional $85 or one-year warranty for an additional $170, well worth the additional cost in our opinion. You can also get an extra stylus pen for $45, which will definitely come in handy.

 

Free Gifts and Extras

 
The Huion GT-220 v2 21.5 Inch Pen Display IPS Interactive comes with some free gifts, including a graphic glove in a size that fits everyone, so you can reduce hand cramping and muscle fatigue when you’re illustrating, drawing, creating and editing. You’ll also get ten extra pen nibs for your stylus and a screen protector to keep your tablet clean and scratch-free.
 
You’ll get:
 

  • One Huion GT-220 V2 tablet monitor
  • One pen chargeable cable
  • One rechargeable pen
  • One CD driver
  • One user manual
  • One VGA cable
  • One power cable
  • One power adapter
  • One USB cable
  • One HDMI cable
  • One free size drawing glove
  • One screen protector
  • Ten additional pen nibs for your stylus pen
  • One pen holder with eight pen tips and one pen tip removal tool

 

Pros

 

  • Optional six month or one-year warranty available at the time of purchase
  • Stylus nibs have long life and seem to last forever
  • Pressure sensitive stylus allows the user to make fluid strokes and detail oriented creations
  • Works perfectly in Clip Studio and Blender
  • Thousands of colors to choose from so creating unique work is easy
  • Wide screen to access the menu in any application easily

 

Cons

 

  • Some users have indicated that the functionality of this system is very low and it makes it difficult to use
  • Some users have complained of problems with GIMP
  • There have been reports of Driver Issues

 

Summary

 
The Huion GT-220 v2 is a definite upgrade from previous versions, something that you will definitely notice as soon as you start using it. While there seems to still be some room for improvement, most of the major functionality and hardware issues have been resolved with the new version. It’s clear that Huion listened to customers’ complaints and has endeavoured to make a good, reliable product that delivers on all fronts.

You’ll definitely love how many colours you can choose from and how easy the stylus is to use. The pressure points on the stylus pen are a huge bonus too, because it makes drawing and illustrating more natural and very much like the ‘real thing’.

The price is right too. At $800, Huion makes a very affordable and very capable product. Most novices and professionals will be more than satisfied with the Huion GT-220 v2 21.5 Inch Pen Display IPS Interactive.

The only really troublesome aspects are complaints of functionality and issues with applications like GIMP. It is possible however that these are isolated incidents because there were comparably fewer complaints. Overall, the user experience seems to be very positive. It’s suggested that you purchase either the six-month or one-year warranty so if you do encounter any problems down the road, you can address them immediately.
 

 

 


5. Parblo Coast 22 21.5 Inch Digital Graphics Tablet Pen Display Drawing Monitor

 
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The Parblo Coast 22 21.5 Inch Digital Graphics Tablet Pen Display Drawing Monitor is a favorite among novice and professional graphic designers alike. Its price tag of $500 puts it smack in the middle of the tablet cost spectrum and it has been lauded as being very easy to use and a great value for the money.

This Parblo version addresses user comfort with its adjustable stand. It comes with a large monitor so you can view extensive application menus, see your full project at any given time and edit everything with ease.

There have been some complaints and some users have indicated that the stylus is somewhat dysfunctional and buggy, but positive reviews far outweigh the negative ones. Overall this Parblo Coast product seems to deliver with reliability, functionality and cost and most users are quite happy with their purchase.

 

Innovative Battery-free Cordless Pen

 
The Parblo Coast 22 21.5 Inch Digital Graphics Tablet Pen Display Drawing Monitor comes with a battery-free, cordless pen, the only one of its kind on the market currently. Its state-of-the-art technology and design means that you’ll never again have to worry about running out of battery halfway through an important project.

You can draw, illustrate and edit to your heart’s content for as long as you need to without stopping to recharge or change pens as you do with other products on the market. Many users cited the battery-free cordless pen as being a huge selling point for them. It seems as if Parblo really had the end-user’s productivity in mind when creating this particular facet of its product and it has definitely not gone unnoticed.

 

Adjustable Stand for a Customizable Workspace

 
The Parblo Coast 22 21.5 Inch Digital Graphics Tablet Pen Display Drawing Monitor comes with a 10-degree to 85-degree adjustable stand so you can completely customize your workspace to suit your specific needs. Change the height or angle to best match your comfort level for unparalleled productivity. When you customize your workplace you can work for longer and with fewer interruptions, which is key for most users.

 

Fully Compatible with your OS and Favorite Applications

 
This Parblo Coast product will work with virtually all modern operating systems including Windows 7, Windows XP, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Vista, Windows 10 and Mac OS X 10.6.8 or higher. You can seamlessly incorporate all of your favorite applications including Multimedia Teaching, QQ/MSN Chatting, Painting, Handwriting Annotation, Painting, and Surfing. Most users indicated that they had absolutely no problem working with any application, a definite plus over some of its competitors.

 

Large Monitor for To View All Applications Easily

 
The Parblo Coast 22 21.5 Inch Digital Graphics Tablet Pen Display Drawing Monitor is anti-glare, made of tempered glass and large enough to view programs and applications with large menus, like Corel Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop without having to scroll unnecessarily. You’ll save time and be more productive with a screen large enough to accommodate all programs. The high-resolution screen makes editing a breeze, so you can change minute details or make tiny adjustments to colors and shades.

 

Pricing

 
At around $500, the Parblo Coast 22 21.5 Inch Digital Graphics Tablet Pen Display Drawing Monitor is a great deal. It can compete easily with industry heavyweights and higher-end tablets, is compatible with virtually every application you would want to use and comes with a screen large enough to do some serious editing without having to scroll around. It definitely justifies its price tag.

It’s a good investment for novices and professionals alike and is reliable and powerful enough to accomplish what you need to get done. Most users have had an overwhelmingly positive experience with this product and would recommend it or purchase another one in the future.

The Parblo Coast 22 21.5 Inch Digital Graphics Tablet Pen Display Drawing Monitor comes with your standard cords and cables, as well as some extra goodies to enhance your user experience and keep your system running optimally and effectively.

 
You’ll get:
 

  • One Parblo Coast22 Graphic Tablet Monitor
  • One Parblo 21.5 Inch Graphic Monitor Screen Protector
  • One Parblo 21”/22” Monitor Protector Cover
  • One state-of the-art battery free pen
  • Six replacement nibs for your stylus
  • One barrel holder
  • One Remove Ring
  • One Power Adapter
  • One Power Cord
  • One HDMI Cable
  • One VGA Cable
  • One USB Cable
  • One Mini Display Port to HDMI Adapter
  • One Parblo PR-01 Two-Finger Anti Fouling Glove
  • One Pergear Cleaning Brush
  • One Pergear Antistatic Glove
  • One Pergear Lens Cloth
  • One Installation CD

 

Pros:

 

  • Very easy to use
  • Integrates well with SAI
  • Very cost-effective and accessible to everyone
  • Adjustable stand so you can customize your own workspace
  • Wide screen for easy editing
  • Comes with extra “goodies” to keep your system working optimally
  • Very innovative stylus
  • Fully compatible with all of your favorite applications and programs

 

Cons:

 

  • Some users have reported issues with the stylus and stated that the system had reliability issues

 

Summary

 
The Parblo Coast 22 21.5 Inch Digital Graphics Tablet Pen Display Drawing Monitor seems to have more pros than cons and most users enthusiastically endorse this product because of its cost-effective price tag, compatibility with Windows and Mac operating systems and ability to work with and run favorite graphic design programs.

Its ergonomically friendly stand option means that you’re able to make your workstation perfect for your needs, which will increase productivity and ease of use.

Some users have complained that the stylus doesn’t work as well as they would have liked and that the system itself is somewhat unreliable. However, of the many users who have used and reviewed the Parblo Coast product, the number that complained are comparably small, with most users indicating that their experience was extremely positive. Overall this tablet is a good choice for novices and professionals alike, and is worth a look if you’re in the market for a powerful graphic tablet that won’t break the bank.

>>> Check the best prices for the XP-Pen 22E IPS on Amazon<<<

 



 
 

Wacom Cintiq 22HD 21-inch DTK2200 Review – The World’s Best Graphics Tablet?

 

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If someone was to ask me “what’s the best graphics tablet in the world?” I would say “I don’t know for sure…but the Wacom Cintiq 22HD comes pretty darn close!”

Technically I suppose it’s not really a graphics tablet, but more of a hybrid drawing pad, canvas, computer and art studio all rolled into one. Whatever it is, it’s stonkingly good!

The Wacom Cintiq 22HD 21-inch DTK2200 is a state-of-the-art sophisticated piece of equipment designed to maximize your productivity and make creating digital art easier. Boasting a large display, pen-tilt recognition, and proficient levels of pen-pressure sensitivity, the Cintiq 22HD is designed with the user experience in mind. With intuitive ExpressKeys and Touch Strips for easy shortcuts and multi-touch gestures to view your images from all angles, it’s a powerhouse in the industry.

 

Wait! Can’t afford a Wacom Cintiq? Then take a look at the 5 Best Wacom Cintiq Alternatives

 

Higher Price Point

 

The Wacom Cintiq 22HD 21-inch DTK2200 clocks in at the higher end of the price spectrum, but don’t let that deter you. Countless Amazon reviews have lauded the efficiency and reliability of the Cintiq 22HD and noted that while the initial sticker price shock was a little off putting, the results were fantastic. If you’re serious about your graphic art, this might be the product for you. If you’re a novice or you want a tablet to play around with, take a look at our 5 best graphics tablets under $100.

 

Exceptionally Designed Pen with Sensitive Tip for Fine Detail

 

The Wacom Grip Pen is truly an innovative piece of engineering, distinguishing between 2,048 different levels of pressure, making it among the most accurate instruments you will use for digital graphic design. The pen is specifically crafted to allow you to make subtle and minuscule changes to your work and by simply adjusting pen pressure or tilt angle, you can change line weight and brush size, as you would with a paintbrush.

The pen is so cutting-edge that you can actually program functions into it yourself, making the user experience unique and tailored to what you need to get done in your workspace.

 

Programmable Shortcuts to Streamline your Workflow

 

Does it irritate you to interrupt your flow with unnecessary commands and clicks?

Well, the Wacom Cintiq 22HD has a solution. This model has 16 ExpressKeys that you can program to direct your keyboard shortcuts and modifiers that you use most often. That way, you’ll avoid having to stop your work entirely to perform a function. ExpressKeys are a godsend for people working on strict deadlines.

You can keep the keys you use most often right on the screen for super-easy access. In addition to ExpressKeys, the Cintiq 22 comes equipped with Touch Strips and Touch Strip toggle buttons that allow you to zoom and scroll seamlessly. Both systems are specifically set up to increase productivity and enhance the end-user experience.

 

Widescreen Display to Accommodate All Your Applications

 

The Wacom Cintiq 22HD 21-inch DTK2200 comes with a widescreen 21.5-inch HD display, perfect for viewing applications and programs with extensive menus. When you’re working with applications like Photoshop, Maya or Zbrush, their huge expanding menus can be unreachable on smaller screens, a constant bugbear of mine when using them on a laptop. With the Cintiq 22HD however, you won’t miss any part of the menu or application and you won’t need to scroll constantly to access the tools you need.

Previous Cintiq models had notably smaller screens, and became a common complaint among users, namely that although the interface was excellent, the screen was just too small. Thankfully Wacom has addressed the issue and this model fixes the problem.

All popular illustration, photography, design and animation applications should be easily operative from the Cintiq 22.

The 21.5-inch HD screen is also an ideal place on which to view the evolution of your creative work. It renders 16.7 million colours and is super sharp and crisp.

 

Adjusts for a Workspace that Fits your Body

 

Ergonomic workspaces are increasingly important these days and for good reason! We’ve learned that everyone works differently and in order to be effective and productive, we must discover our best working position. The Wacom Cintiq 22HD 21-inch DTK2200 is extremely versatile in this regard in that it can move and recline as an easel would and rotate to match the way you draw – in other words, it moves, not you.

The Cintiq 22HD comes with modifying options that further customize your workspace and adapt it to your specific needs. You can purchase an articulating arm to further enhance the span of movement, or simply lay it flat on your desk if that’s your preferred method of working.

 

Pricing

 

The Wacom Cintiq 22HD 21-inch DTK2200 is priced around $1,700 with the option to make monthly payments of $70 per month (if you buy directly from Wacom). The lofty price tag might give you pause, but this is top-of-the-line technology and the perks outweigh the negatives. If you’re serious about graphic design and taking your career to the next level, the Cintiq 22HD might be the best choice for you.

 

Add-ons

 

The Cintiq graphics tablet comes with a number of different add-ons that you can use to tailor your system to your particular needs. This list is by no means comprehensive. To check out all of their offerings, visit the manufacturer’s website at http://www.wacom.com/en-us/products/pen-displays/cintiq-22-hd.

 

Pens:

 

Airbrush Pen

This pen is designed to mimic airbrushing, with systems in place to account for spray distance, angle, and application of ink.

 
Art Pen

The Art Pen is designed to work with a traditional felt marker and you can use it in conjunction with the standard Cintiq 22 marker to have a range of drawing options.

 

Professional Pen Nibs:

 

Chisel Felt Nibs

Use these with the Art Pen to create calligraphic masterpieces on your Cintiq 22.

 
Stroke Nibs

The Stroke Nib lets you customize your brush strokes further and can be alternated with standard nibs in any pen.

 
Wide Bodied Pen Grip

If you’d prefer to use a pen without a side switch or controls, the wide-bodied pen grip is for you. It comes with two in a pack.

 
Wacom Colour Manager Powered by X-Rite

Intuitively calibrates your colour for cohesion in your work and less stress for you trying to match specific colours. It’s easy to use and maximizes your productivity and workflow.

 

Recap

 
 
Pros

  • Ergonomically designed for an ideal workspace
  • Several add-ons to customize and enhance user experience
  • State of the art pen for precise and artistic drawing
  • Large screen to accommodate all applications
  • Programmable Shortcuts

 
Cons

  • The high price can be a barrier to many users

 

Bottom Line

 

If you’re serious about your graphic design work, you need to seriously consider the Wacom Cintiq 22HD 21-inch DTK2200. It’s a tool specifically created to boost your productivity, creativity and enhance the end product.

 
 

Explaindio Review – Is v3.0 The Best Video Creator Software Program?

 

explaindio boxExplaindio was introduced in 2014 as revolutionary video creation software. Now in its third iteration, it claims to be the number one selling video creation software available today.

Marketed as the video creation software that offers users the most amount of flexibility, Explaindio 3.0 has many features that make content creation very easy. Below is an in-depth review of the Explaindio program with a list of basic features as well as pros and cons of the software.

 

Basic Features

 

 

Easy to Use

 

Explaindio has a very simple user-friendly interface as well as tutorials that make the program very easy to get the hang of. Clearly defined elements and drag and drop features allow users to create professional looking videos very quickly in a plethora of styles. This is very helpful for businesses that don’t have a lot of time or manpower, but need to create eye catching content.

>>> Click here to see how you can make an animated video in 3 minutes or less… <<<

 

Not Cloud Based

 

Explaindio is one of the few video creation software applications that has no cloud software at all. It must be downloaded in order to be used. This means that users will not have to worry about being tethered to an internet connection or get bogged down by slow speeds when trying to create content. The program is a 4GB download however, so be prepared for that.

 

Varied Video Styles

 

Explaindio has a tremendous amount of flexibility regarding the type of content that users can create. It is possible to create animation, doodle sketch, whiteboard, and live motion style videos. Explaindio also has unique 3D elements that can be incorporated into any content. In addition, all of the different style elements can be combined, which means you can create a primarily whiteboard animation style video drawn by a hand, that also has 3D animation, doodles, and live video meshed into it.

 

Vast Library

 

Explaindio makes it clear that it doesn’t want users to feel pressured to have skills as an artist, graphic designer, or marketing guru to make professional looking videos. To make things easier, the software provides a vast library with all sorts of images, 2D and 3D objects, sounds, music tracks, and entire themes. This means that the users only need to upload their own content if it suits them, such as branding materials.

 

Eye Catching Transitions

 

Another great feature of Explaindio are the eye catching scene transitions that the software provides. You can easily customize these transitions and use them in any type of content, whether it is a presentation, marketing, or how-to video. Built in transitions help to make any content look more professional and flow better, making this an excellent feature.

 

Commercial Licensing

 

Explaindio has options for unlimited commercial licensing rights available. Taking advantage of this allows for complete rights and control over any content created. This is especially important for businesses that want to make branded videos that they sell to their clients.

 

Tweak Already Created Content

 

Something else that Explaindio offers to its users is the ability to easily tinker with videos that have already been created and published. This can come in handy for businesses that need to update sales, branding, or the message trying to be conveyed inside the content for themselves or their clients. Because the software makes changing elements so easy, content can be updated in minutes.

 

Very Inexpensive

 

Explaindio does not have an option to completely own the software. However, it is priced very inexpensively to compensate for that. With even the most expensive plan being less than $70 per year, it is extremely affordable on most any budget.

 

Money Back Guarantee

 

For those who are unsure about whether the software is right for them Explaindio has a 30-day money back guarantee. This means that users have an entire month to try the program risk free. While many of Explaindio’s competitors offer free trials, they typically have limited features. In contrast, Explaindio allows users to play with the full program before making their decision.

 

Pricing

 

Explaindio has a personal plan for $59 per year and a commercial plan for $69 per year. For this price, the software can be downloaded onto two computers. Explaindio has extra licensing options available for businesses that need the software on many different computers. Both the personal and commercial plan have the same features, but the commercial plan gives users a full commercial license in order to sell any content they create. The features of both plans are as follows:

  • Explaindio 3.0 Software Download
  • 200 Pre-Done Animated Scenes
  • 800 Doodle Sketch Images
  • 100 Full HD Background Videos
  • 6 Animated Characters
  • 300+ Fonts
  • Background Audio Tracks

 

Competitors

 

Explaindio has several competitors on the market including GoAnimate, Powtoon, Moovly, and VideoScribe. Some of these competitors have a few extra DIY features as well as more audio and visual elements, but Explaindio has much more flexibility in regards to the type of content that users can create. Explaindio also has 3D features that are much more powerful than their competitors. More importantly, the software is less expensive each year than many of its competitors charge in a month or two for the best version of their respective software applications.

 

Recap

 

 

Pros

 

  • Software is easy to use
  • Does not require an internet connection
  • 3D options
  • Combinable video styles
  • Very affordable

 

Cons

 

  • Large download and no cloud based access make program less portable
  • Not as many DIY or advanced features as some competitors

Overall, if you are looking for an inexpensive but powerful video creation software that gives you lots of flexibility in regards to the type of videos you produce, then Explaindio is a solid choice.

>>> Click here to see how you can make an animated video in 3 minutes or less… <<<

 
 

PowToon Review – How To Make Animated Presentations Without Animation Skills

 

powtoon imagePowToon is a powerful video animation software application that can be used for making animated presentations, promos, or infographics. With a strong emphasis on animation, this software allows users to make each finished product more visually appealing.

If your business has a need for marketing, training, or how-to videos, PowToon makes the creation process easy and user friendly by allowing the manipulation of images and objects. Combined with music and sound effects, you can build fluid and eye catching videos instead of stagnant slide decks from presentation software like Power Point. In the PowToon review below I will take an in-depth look at its features and how it compares to other similar programs on the market.

 

Features

 

 

Lots of Premade Objects

 

PowToon comes with all sorts of objects, pictures, sounds, and music that you can utilize in your videos. This makes it easy to make great looking content whether you are artistic and creative or not. Since you can still manipulate objects the way you want and add elements of your own branding, it is easy to make every video your own.

 

DIY Options

 

In addition to the already available options in the program, you can also add any of your own audio and visual elements that you want. Pictures, drawings, sounds, narration, and music can all be added to any video. This allows you to create videos as customized as you want them to be.

 

Pre-Configured Options

 

While PowToon allows for custom videos, the software also comes with numerous preconfigured options that are ready to go. All you need to do is input your own text and branding. While customization is one of the most sought out features of this type of software, the option to be able to put together a full finished video in a few clicks can be a great time saving aspect for some.

 

Is It Cloud Based Or A Download?

 

PowToon is based in the cloud, so no downloading is necessary. Simply work from anywhere an Internet connection can be found and you will have full use of the software. This means that once you subscribe, you can begin using it immediately.

 

Are There Any Tutorials?

 

Learning PowToon is very easy thanks to its smart interface and powerful tutorials. The developers have made it easy for anyone to learn the software by integrating these measures, as they walk you through every function. The tutorials explain the program in a way that even people who are not tech savvy will get, making it very user friendly.

 

Is There A Free Trial Or Demo?

 

PowToon has a limited free option available. This allows for creation of watermarked videos with certain features being blocked. It’s a great way to try the software before purchasing.

 

PowToon Pricing Tiers – How Much Does It Cost?

 

PowToon has four different tiers all priced differently and offering different features. These include the free tier as well as one meant for teams. Each tier has the following features:

 
Free
 

  • No cost
  • All videos are watermarked with the PowToon logo
  • 100MB available per seat
  • Basic quality and resolution
  • 46 royalty free tunes
  • 16 royalty free styles
  • Max length of 5 minutes per video
  • No availability to export PDFs or PPTs or download as MP4
  • No access to animated charts and graphs
  • No commercial rights
  • No support

 
Pro
 

  • $19 per month
  • Watermark removed
  • 2GB per seat
  • HD quality and resolution
  • Download as MP4
  • Collaborate with other users
  • Export to PDF and PPT
  • Animated charts and graphs
  • 88 royalty free tunes
  • 24 royalty free styles
  • Max length up to 15 minutes
  • 24/7 support
  • No commercial rights

 
Business
 

  • $59 per month
  • Watermark removed
  • 10 GB per seat
  • Full HD quality and resolution
  • Download as MP4
  • Collaborate with other users
  • Export to PDF and PPT
  • Animated charts and graphs
  • Unlimited royalty free tunes
  • Unlimited royalty free styles
  • Max length HD 60 min/Full HD 8 min
  • Full commercial rights
  • 24/7 support

 
Team
 

This plan has all the same features as the business plan but at a discounted $46 per month because multiple licenses would be purchased.

 

PowToon vs It’s Competitors – How Does It Compare?

 

PowToon has been around for several years, but has many competitors as the market for animated videos for business continues to grow. While PowToon focuses mostly on cartoon style videos and has more elements that can be used for this type of video than most of their competitors, other software companies such as GoAnimate and Moovly provide options to create different styles of videos more easily.
Other companies are hyper-focused on different kinds of videos, such as VideoScribe that mainly produces classic whiteboard style videos drawn by a hand. PowToon is also not the cheapest company to purchase full software usage rights from, but with plans as low as $19 per month, they are not the most expensive either.

While PowToon has collaborative capability, this is also somewhat limited compared to companies like GoAnimate that has a flawless integration system that lets different people work on videos simultaneously.

 

Recap

 

 

Pros

 

  • Variety of prices
  • Free limited version
  • Easy to use interface with good tutorials
  • Team capability
  • 24/7 support for paying members
  • Lots of available objects to make cartoon style videos

 

Cons

 

  • Cloud interface can be slow depending on internet speed
  • No downloadable option means an internet connection is required
  • No option to purchase the program outright
  • Collaborative features somewhat limited
  • Focused more on one type of video

 
The bottom line is if you want easy to use software application that does not require a lot of artistic skill to make cartoon style videos for your business, then PowToon is perfect for you.
 
 


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