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Mucilagogenesis by AppleAtti Mucilagogenesis by AppleAtti
Some concept art for a project I'm doing with my friends over at :iconfruity-club:... This is also a tribute to/master study of the work of :iconllliquel:, specifically his "Melty Clay" works, like this one (probably my favourite?):


Here I am imagining a sort of "origin form" of the Melty Clay. In my head, the... forms in his drawings might start their lives in this state, from which many strands would split off to become their own entities. Think of it as a sort of melty star nursery, floating in the aesthetic void.

I thought of a bunch of names for this, but settled on Mucilagogenesis—which I guess is sort of my fake cobbled together Latin word meaning roughly "Origin of Musty Juice".

Apologies and heartfelt thanks to :iconllliquel: for letting me play with the emulation of his style. Give me a critique if you have the time, and let me know how I did in my latest attempt at emulating Melty Clay!

The paper texture I used is this one by :iconstressedjenny: : [link]

Artwork©2011 by Atticus Waller
Pencil, Adobe Photoshop CS4
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:iconhipsterpat:
HipsterPat Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2011  Student General Artist
I know I only do Fakemon, but whatever. I love this. :)
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:iconappleatti:
AppleAtti Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2011  Professional
Hey, it's totally normal to appreciate stuff that's not like the stuff you do yourself! Thanks for the interest! I'm glad you like :)
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:iconhipsterpat:
HipsterPat Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2011  Student General Artist
Hehe. I'm an Fine Arts major actually. Fakemon's just sort a sideline thing for me. :D
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:iconappleatti:
AppleAtti Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2011  Professional
I know where you're coming from... I went to college for graphic design, but I still draw a disproportionate amount of Pokémon-related stuff...
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:iconhipsterpat:
HipsterPat Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2011  Student General Artist
True this. ._.
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:iconstressedjenny:
StressedJenny Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Wow I really like this, It's look fantastic on a t shirt. Chuffed you used the texture for this! Thanks for sharing!!
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:iconappleatti:
AppleAtti Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011  Professional
A t-shirt, hm? I kinda like that idea... glad you like the drawing! And I'm glad you used the word 'chuffed'... I like when people say that, but I don't hear it too often, living in Seattle and all... ^_^
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:iconbutter-bean-bride:
butter-bean-bride Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Dude I would totally buy this tshirt.
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:iconllliquel:
llliquel Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Man, you are so on top of this. That is why you are even allowed to do this, and why I spend time helping you, because you are truly thinking about it, and really getting it. And I know you are naturally a very defensive guy about art crits -- the more offensive they are the more defensive you become. I know this, and I expected it, so I don't take it the wrong way.

1. First off, I did go back and look at mine, and I so see where some parts get pretty ribbon-like, and thin. But still, what I see here in that strand is super flat, like 2 dimensional, and I just haven't seen that in mine, I can't even if I try. I hear what you are saying, about interpretations, but one thing that I want to make clear to you is that when I do Melty Clay I am never really trying to get the shapes to look a certain way, they just happen. When I make them it doesn't really feel like other art I make, and when I look at them I have nothing in mind for what I wanted them to look like. I tell you this so that you know when I look at your Melty Clay, or Guinness', compared to mine, I am not thinking about who did what or what anything was supposed to look like. I view them all as trying to be one thing, and it is very obvious to me when something deviates from that thing/look, and I do not think this has to do with interpretation. Even if you are interpreting my shapes as paper flat strands, you didn't do it the same way here. So that strand, even if it supposed to be flat, doesn't look right. I am now questioning what it is that makes it look wrong -- I realize now that it is not just due to its flatness, it is something else extremely subtle.

2. Even with your explanation, I still cannot make sense of that shine which I pointed out at all. As for the shines that stretch over multiple colors -- YES, that is exactly what I wanted to hear. Man.. you get this.

3. YES, again, what I wanted to hear. 1 of 2 justifications for a Perpendicular Intersection. Still though... be careful with it. For that sort of view, it is a very specific angle, and it shouldn't be happening all over the place.

As already kind of said above, I do understand what you are saying about interpretations but I still don't think it changes most of what I said and I don't think it is really a discovery. No matter how you were interpreting my shapes, you did not follow your own interpretations. Or, you followed your interpretation but forgot principle. Or a sort of combination of both.

The amount of critique, and rebuttal, here is really making the problems feel a lot more serious than they are! Because this is really good. I know that you want perfection though, and I know you will reach perfection eventually -- but only through ridiculous critique like this. Well... the critique really isn't necessary. I trust that you could figure out the laws and philosophy on your own, with time, and no guidance, as I did, but critique will definitely speed things up. I mean, you (and Guiness) got to this level wayyyyy faster than I did.
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:iconllliquel:
llliquel Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
I just realized that I did not explain something about "interpretation" very clearly. So if you don't get what I am saying, I will explain it later, in person, from scratch. Because it would be really hard to explain it from what I said now, here. I take back saying your discovery was not a discovery -- your discovery is somewhat of a discovery, but not exactly as you explain it. In any case, what we discover and realize means little compared to what we actually make. So, show me some more!

By the way, are you practicing? I hope so. And when you do, do not think about mine tooooo much, or what you make of them, try to figure it out in your own shapes, with whatever you do. I think you can find the rules on your own. With enough practice you will be able to do it all, every time.

OH, that texture is from the internet? Not bad.
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:iconappleatti:
AppleAtti Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Professional
Yeah, the texture used is here: [link]

I practice drawing melty clay pretty much every day. My notepad it worked is covered in it. But I HAVE been focusing on your art while doing it. I'm not really trying to be able to emulate Melty Clay in my personal art—I'm trying to learn to copy you perfectly for the purpose of the animation. Do you really think I should loosen up about it?
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:iconguinnesswaller:
GuinnessWaller Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011
I think copying is really really important. However, being loose is part of copying, and might be something you should work on. Kind of like when you did the pokemonathon, you were obviously influenced by Muura, but you still had a hard time not drawing each pokemon a ton of times, if I remember correctly. I think this looks just perfect, but I could imagine it move a lot of different ways, I look forward to you explaining how you picture it. I picture it moving pretty slow, and rotating obviously, but are the colours moving about like... snakes sorta, or more just bulging around... you can wait and try to describe in person if ya want. I like it A LOT.

I actually could picture it moving pretty cool really fast too, even more like a star, with the colours moving about violently and rotating like a top, parts of it snapping off, I'm guessing this isn't what you had in mind, but it's cool too.

I imagine sort of bulging and snake... or maybe more cell like movement. I'm a bit obsessed with cell like movement though, I might be projecting.
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:iconappleatti:
AppleAtti Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011  Professional
Your first idea of how it moves sounds pretty close to mine. The colours should move like mixing paint, but also a little snaky, yes, and bulging, a bit like neck muscles/veins in some sort of big anime snake monster.

I'm having trouble imagining it moving fast, though... and also I think of stars as moving pretty slowly. Are you thinking like... solar flares or something?
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:iconguinnesswaller:
GuinnessWaller Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011
I don't know!
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:iconllliquel:
llliquel Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Woah, I think that is the exact same paper I use. How on earth did you find that?... Chance or a lot of time?

That is a lot of practice -- awesome. Hm, I guess for the time being you should focus on my art a lot. Soon though, I think you should loosen up, because you should eventually be able to while still looking just like my art.

Also, I know you aren't try to emulate Melty Clay in your personal art, but I have a feeling that it will inevitably influence you to some extent. I mean, I have already seen it influencing Guinness! Not to mention, I know there are various aspects of Melty Clay that you already wanted in your art before it even existed.
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:iconappleatti:
AppleAtti Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011  Professional
You're right, a lot of Melty Clay attributes are things I've long wished I had in my stuff. Partially, perhaps, because Melty Clay was influenced by some of the stuff I've shown you, right?

The paper was just chance, I guess... I searched for "recycled paper" on dA, and it came up on the first, maybe second page. I'm a good searcher. But it's usually just a matter of knowing the right words.
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:iconllliquel:
llliquel Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Yes, you are exactly right -- Melty Clay was hugely inspired by not only things that you showed to me but just things you said/explained. And as with some of those things which you shared, some of it I had already wanted in my art, and some of it was a totally new desire.

That is crazy! Just chance, wow. Maybe it is a lot more common than I thought. When I bought the book, it was the first time I had really seen paper like it. And yes, you are the best searcher I have ever known.
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:iconappleatti:
AppleAtti Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Professional
Well, we only got to this level quickly because you did it first... and I think that although we could figure out laws and philosophy on our own, whether they'd be the right laws or philosophy is questionable... the point here is not just to look good, but to look like you. Which is really tough, and obviously impossible without your input ^_^ SO critique is very necessary.

I love how my first reaction to you saying I'm defensive is to say "I'm not defensive!!" ...oh. Oops. I have sort of a bad past with the word defensive. We should work through it sometime, so that I don't feel terrible about it.

1. Perhaps it's the amount/type of shading I did that screwed this up?

2. Yeah, that one shine is at a bad angle kind of. Or rather, it's at an angle at all...

3. I'll try to keep an eye on it... it's just that it keeps happening without me noticing it!! I draw while picturing it all in motion, so I rarely notice how it looks when still (which is of course how others will see it). I need to take a look at your work again to prove to myself that you don't have the same problem I have concerning this...

Something you haven't talked about is the fact that this isn't a melty clay... it's meant to be an origin form of melty clay. Does it seem like I represented that concept accurately? You're critiqueing it largely as a melty clay... how does it do as an origin of melty clay?
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:iconllliquel:
llliquel Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Yeah -- finding out my laws and philosophy on your own would be almost impossible without guidance. I keep forgetting how much of me is actually in the style, because it really feels like I found the style, rather than creating it. So, critique, yes, necessary.

Ahahaha, yeah that would have kind of proved the point even more. Well, we should talk about it sometime then. I had no idea you had any sort of problem with the word "defensive".

1. I am thinking now that it has to do with the lines, well, just one of the lines, in one very specific place. It is SO minor.

3. That is really good that you are thinking of it all in motion. I haven't been doing that at all. I mean, I started thinking about the motion but not until a lot of it is already on the paper. I wonder if that will be a problem... well, with you and Guinness it should be fine.

RIGHT. Good point. This is ORIGIN FORM, and I haven't talked about that, sorry. I was already thinking about it though, because it feels far more massive and motherly than any other Melty Clay. I think you represented your concept extremely well -- sorry I didn't say that sooner, I was thinking it the whole time though.

And wait, this isn't Melty Clay? Isn't it though? Just Origin Form. Like Melty Clay (Origin Form). Or "Melty Clay: Origin Form". Or something like that. I actually don't like the way any of that sounds, but I just mean, how are you thinking of it? I feel like I might be missing something, conceptually.
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:iconappleatti:
AppleAtti Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011  Professional
I think of it like this: This thing is to Melty Clay what a stellar nursery is to a star. I mean, it's made of the same stuff, yes, but... its form and nature is different*. Eternally younger, ironically. Probably a little more liquid; hotter, yet less violent/active. And definitely more massive, and a bit more internally unstable. I dunno. they seem like important differences to me.

*DAMMIT why do all these Pokémon terms keep slipping in? Origin Forme indeed...
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:iconllliquel:
llliquel Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
That is an amazing explanation. And it does line up with what I was thinking.

I wasn't thinking about it, but it really does feel like more liquid, and hotter, more melted. And definitely less violent/active (those are the perfect words). And even though it seems to contradict what you and I just said, it really does seem more internally unstable. Because even though the normal clay is a lot more active, it is also graceful, and seems stable in its own movement. Whereas this is far less active, but really does feel like it is up to something, on the inside, churning like a sun.

With your explanation, you have really made it clear to me that this thing is perfect, at least conceptually. And I really like referring to it as a "nursery".

(Sorry for sounding weird, and possibly like an essay, if I do. I am busy with a lot of academic stuff which includes papers and emails to instructors so I am kind of in that mode. Don't be freaked out... or fall asleep.)
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:iconappleatti:
AppleAtti Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011  Professional
Oh, don't worry—I read so many microbiology texts when I was twelve that I think my writing style may have permanently stuck in pseudo-academic mode, so it's a relief when someone else sounds the same.

Yeah, to me the fact that it's less active yet more unstable can be explained by pointing out that this thing is sort of... contemplating. So it's somewhat meditational, but unstable do to its not having decided what to be yet—whereas your Melty Clays have set out on their adventure, and can be active, and they can do so because they've stabilized, and decided their final form and purpose, which gives them direction.
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:iconllliquel:
llliquel Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
I didn't know you were going to be doing something like this already! You should have told me, so I could have given you the texture! But it seems that you got it from Guinness, yeah? I am just saying this so you don't feel like I didn't want you to have the texture or something.

Overall, its really good. But I do have some critique for it, and I know you want it:

1. On the left side (our left) where the strand bends around the back of the mass -- it looks too flat there. I don't know if you wanted it to look this flat, perhaps you did, and in that case it isn't "wrong". But, I don't find the clay ever going that thin, it has never had a sharp edge, and there it does. I think there are rare cases where it could have that flat edge, from being flattened by something else, but there I think it should look less flat, and less sharp -- more like a strand of dough and less like a slip of paper.

2. In some places the shines are good, but in other places they really don't follow the form, which misses out on one of the main functions of the shines. The one which really bothers me the most, that I would change first, is near the top, on the left, on the orange. It is a thin, straight, triangular shape, and not only does this shape not communicate the form that it is on, but the angle seems off. I think you need to put some more thought into the shines. BUT, I do know that having the brush I use for those shines would help A LOT too. The brush I have naturally drips and is extremely liquid like, and I know it would make the task far easier for you....ugh, I wish I could somehow give you that brush, you really need it now. One last thing about your shines -- there are places where the shine stretches across two colors. I think this is a pretty good idea, but I think the shine needs to bend where the colors meet, or change in some way at that meeting of colors. I don't think I am explaining this well... AND WHATS WITH THAT SHINE THAT FADES OUT? Reasoning. Now.

3. A lot of the laws from the lines still apply to the color, and one that you seem to forgetting is NO PERPENDICULAR INTERSECTIONS. You barely broke this law, but I still gotta mention it. Look at that yellow piece on the right, at the fattest part of the mass, which comes into the green and meets with the orange. Notice how the yellow meets with the line of the edge at a perpendicular angle? Watch out for that! It is an easy fix, just make them greet each other more gently, I know you can do it, you figured it out just fine with the lines -- just do it with the color now too.

I want you to pay attention to all the things I just mentioned, and perhaps make some changes, if not here then surely in the next attempt. BUT, I have to end this by reminding you that overall I think this is really good. The massive shape with the strand spinning off is wonderful, and its nib at the top and squish at the bottom is admirable. It also feels pretty big to me, is it supposed to? If so, good job.

Woah WOAH woah, wait a second. What happened to Mr. SharpShadows? That shadow, on the strand where it bends, is blurry. I am not saying it looks bad but that is really unlike you. Please do tell me what you were thinking there, with that shadow. Reasoning. Now.

Okay, hit the showers.
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:iconappleatti:
AppleAtti Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Professional
I sort of replied to this already in another sentence, but I wanted to single out your question about the size; yes, it is supposed to be rather large—I imagine the size to be hippopotamus-esque, and the weight to be about that of the amount of water that might fit in a large bathtub.
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:iconappleatti:
AppleAtti Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Professional
Thanks for the feedback! So... I really hope I don't sound super defensive now or anything, because I do understand all the things you're saying, but since the only way I can really respond to your critique is to make more artwork, for now I'm just going to provide explanations for the things I did that you commented on. So it might sound defensive. But it's not meant to be. Okay!

1. The strand going back was supposed to be paper thin. I think perhaps the lack of full shading on your shapes has been communicating the wrong thing to me—because your forms aren't entirely shaded, a lot of parts of them are probably even more open to interpretation than you realize. I see tons of paper-thin strands in your blobs, so that's why I added this.

2. I agree that some of the shines got out of hand—it was really hard to make them look like yours with the brush I was using. Some of the ones that don't make sense to you, however, are probably another case of lack of shadows=misunderstanding of depth, because I added a lot of shines to seemingly random spots in an attempt to make them "bump out"; and in contrast, I splashed shines over multiple colours in places where I wanted to communicate that those colours were all completely flatly mixed with each other, rather than being separate bumpy blobs. I assure you that the shines communicate the form as I imagine it; the problem is that without shading, other people see different forms, which the shines don't match.

3. The perpendicular line you're talking about is where the yellow hits the outer edge of the shape, right? This is another case of my imagination providing an extra dimension for me that most don't see. In my mind, that is not a perpendicular edge, because this is an enormous "egg" shape, constantly rotating in space—thus in my minds eye, that yellow blob continues around to the back side of the 3D shape, and features no perpendicular edges—the perpendicular edge is merely an effect of perspective, and if you could walk around the shape, you would see it doesn't actually exist. I thought it would be okay to do that on the edge, because of this idea of it wrapping around. It's interesting that you pointed out only the yellow blob on the right—I assume you saw all the other perpendicular edges that I allowed myself due to this concept? Like the blue edge right below the broken-off strand? And the orange edge right above it?

As for the soft shadows and the shine that fades out—they are part of the same thing. They are my attempt to communicate the flat ribbon shape of the broken-off strand. The shine fading out into the normal colour, then the normal colour fading into the strand, was the best way I found to communicate the gradation of undulation occuring in the shape. I tried it with sharp lines first, believe me—and it looked awful.

This is an interesting discovery—most of your critiques seem to be based on a misunderstanding of the shapes I was attempting to convey—which is not to say that your critiques aren't valid; in fact, the shapes I attempted to convey were themselves misunderstandings of the shapes you were trying to convey in your own work! Because I misunderstood your shapes, my shapes were wrong, and because you were looking at it while understanding your original shapes, my shapes looked less "wrong" to you than they looked "badly executed".

Perhaps we should attempt a 3D model some time...

Oh and also, I didn't get the texture from Guinness; I just found my own texture elsewhere on the internet ^_^
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:iconguinnesswaller:
GuinnessWaller Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011
Although you may not be thinking about motion, I think the motion comes naturally, almost accidentally, because of the thought behind melty clay. More, the lack of thought, the way it's more like doodling, and you don't always know where it's going. I think often when people are really thinking about there work, it appears more stagnant, almost like we're trying to pin down an image. When it's more mind wonder-y, it naturally looks like it has motion. Just a thought... I don't really know!!!
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:iconllliquel:
llliquel Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Woah, I never did see this. You should have let me known it was aimed at me!

I think you are very correct. When I do Melty Clay, I have no idea where it is going when I start, and every line begins very quickly and fluidly. The motion is all because of that naturalness in the movement when I draw. If I slow down, and think about it, the forms don't have the same kind of motion, and I don't like them nearly as much. But I do slow down once I have laid down some good lines of motion and have naturally come up with enough planning for cleaner lines. Well, you know how it works, I have explained this process to you, and shown you. Anyways, yes, you are very right about the motion. You do know.
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:iconappleatti:
AppleAtti Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011  Professional
Is this intended for Miguel? I was thinking about motion, for sure, but he claims he hasn't been as much...
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:iconguinnesswaller:
GuinnessWaller Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011
That was intended for Miguel.
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:iconappleatti:
AppleAtti Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011  Professional
Well, just so you know, you said it in reply to one of my comments, so Miguel was probably not notified.
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:iconguinnesswaller:
GuinnessWaller Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011
Whatever. That was a mistake.
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:iconsharkspecial:
sharkspecial Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011
Great, more pictures that make me want Laffy Taffy SOOOO BAD. This is like, visiting the candy factory, where they MAKE the Laffy Taffy, and you see the huge motherlode of taffy goodness all mushed together in one big pre-cut and pre-packaged conglomerate, and you're just like, MMMM and gnaw on it for a few hours.

Maybe that's just my own desire peeking through.

Anyways, I can't speak for the Spoink, but this definitely looks like a big fat gooey success to me.
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:iconappleatti:
AppleAtti Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Professional
^_^ Your satisfaction pleases me greatly...

Have you ever actually been to a laffy taffy factory? I've never had laffy taffy...
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:iconsharkspecial:
sharkspecial Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011
I haven't. And Laffy Taffy is just an overly sugary, obnoxiously artificial-fruit-flavory (BLUE RASPBERRY WOOOO) version of regular taffy, made by that poser company that calls itself "Wonka".

STILL I love crappy candy, I am guilty of this.
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