26 February 2014 South Africa will carry vital momentum into the third test against Australia in Cape Town starting this weekend, Proteas batsman Hashim Amla said in an interview on Tuesday. After being thrashed by 281 runs in the first test in Centurion, Graeme Smith and company bounced back with a 231-run victory in only four days in Port Elizabeth in the second test that ended last weekend. The Proteas’ victory over Australia at St George’s Park was one of the most memorable fight-backs he had been a part of, said Amla.Fight-backs “Over the last few years we’ve had quite a few fight-backs,” he explained. “I say fight-backs to win the test, as well as fight-backs to hold on to the draw, like the matches at The Wanderers and Adelaide. Over the last few years there have been some really memorable test matches, and this last one is one of them because we came out on top.” The win in Port Elizabeth was all the more remarkable because Wayne Parnell was lost to the bowling attack after only 8.3 overs due to an injury. Now the Proteas head to Newlands, which has traditionally been a happy hunting ground for them.Newlands The last time South Africa lost at the Cape Town ground was way back in March 2006, when they went down to Australia. Since then they have won eight and drawn three at Newlands. Those results include victory by an innings and 20 runs over the Aussies in 2009 and a remarkable eight-wicket win in late 2011 after being skittled for only 96 in their first innings. That was followed by Australia being bowled out for just 47, which included 5 for 15 from Vernon Philander on his debut.‘We have momentum’ “Newlands has been a happy ground for the Proteas over the last few years, but Australia is a good team,” Amla said. “There is a lot riding on the last game, and fortunately we have momentum and that is what we are going to try and take carefully into the match. Going into the last test, it will be important to assess the conditions as soon as we can. Looking back, he added: “Players got hundreds and the bowlers bowled well, it’s a better situation to be in going in one-all, having won the second test.” Test batting rankings Amla is back to second in the test batting rankings, trailing only AB de Villiers, whose mark of 935 points is tied for the tenth best of all time and equal highest with Jacques Kallis for the best by a South African. Amla’s unbeaten 127 in Port Elizabeth was his 21st test century, which equalled the number of centuries scored by Gary Kirsten and left Amla third on the all-time South African list of century makers, behind only Jacques Kallis (45) and Graeme Smith (27).‘I play every game like it’s my last’ “I play every game like it’s my last,” Amla said of his latest century. “I’m grateful to have reached 21 hundreds, it feels like just the other day that I started playing International cricket. It’s also great to contribute towards a winning cause, it’s the best thing when you score runs and your team wins.” The third test at Newlands starts on Saturday, 1 March. SAinfo reporter and Cricket South Africa
Learn how you can master post-production techniques by reworking older movies in this detailed, shot-by-shot video tutorial.If you’re a fan of the original Star Wars films, you probably aren’t a fan of the later releases of episodes 4, 5 and 6 — the ones that included additional CGI effects.If so, you might want to throw your support behind people like Petr “Harmy” Harmacek, a visual effects artist who is restoring his own version of the original trilogy from scratch (for the third time!).After getting noticed for his work online, Harmy recently landed a job at Prague-based VFX house UPP and has worked on films like Blade Runner 2049 and Wonder Woman. (So internet dreams can come true!)In this post, I wanted to break down a few of the techniques that Harmy uses in the following tutorial to restore a single shot from his Despecialised v3.0. He’s working on version three of each film because his skill-set has improved dramatically over the last eight years, when he began the project with no post-production experience.In this recent tutorial over at Harmy’s YouTube channel, you can see just how much work goes into each shot he restores, which demonstrates that this project is truly a labor of love.Problems Harmy had to fix:Scratched and grainy footage.Shot stabilization.Re-compositing matte paintings.Rotoscoping moving elements.Color Correction.The best thing to do first is to sit back and enjoy the 24-minute tutorial (above) and then work your way through the resources to learn some of these techniques for yourself.The tutorial embedded above is part 2 and you can watch part 1 here, which details his workflow for fixing certain shots from The Empire Strikes Back version 2.0 to bring them up to version 2.5 standards.This offers an interesting and highly detailed look at a VFX workflow when preparing assets, tracking progress, directory and file naming conventions, and staying organized across a long project.It’s also an interesting opportunity to compare and contrast the quality of the various sources Harmy is working from, such as the Blu-ray release and some very dirty 35mm scans.Harmy uses the assets that he prepares in part 1 for the shot restoration in part 2.Harmy is working in VFX and compositing software Nuke; you can download a non-commercial version of to try out for yourself, from The Foundry’s website here. There are a few limitations, such as no third-party plugins and an HD-limited output, but the intent is that “With Nuke Non-commercial, you get access to free, non-watermarked versions of Nuke, NukeX and even top-of-the-line Nuke Studio for as long as you like, so you can learn, explore and have fun on your own schedule.”Shot Clean Up and Dirt RemovalHarmy uses Neat Video’s noise reduction plugin to clean up his 35mm scans in preparation for compositing them in Nuke. He goes into more detail on this in part 1 of his tutorial, but it’s worth noting that he applies the sharpen filter in Premiere Pro before applying Neat Video v4 to compensate for the softening effect of the de-noising.This version of Neat Video can also do dust-busting, but because that can also introduce artifacts very easily, we will be careful with it, for this pass.He then layers different plates of the same shot to benefit from the de-noise pass in the right places, to produce a clean plate for his final composite.In the official Neat Video tutorial above, you can get a quick lesson on how to use the Neat Video v4 plugin to effectively remove dirt and scratches.You can learn more about using Neat Video in After Effects.For a deeper look into noise reduction specifically, you can watch this half-hour tutorial from colorist David Torcivia who does a great job of explaining the following:How noise reduction works in DaVinci Resolve Studio.How that compares to Neat Video.An interesting technique for “passable” noise reduction without using any plugins at all. Shot StabilizationHarmy uses shot stabilization in a couple of different ways: one is to stabilize the shot and remove any “gate-weave” from the original 35mm scans.As part of his process, he chooses to leave in some of the shake that was in the original composite between the matte painting layer and the live action plates to maintain the authenticity of the original composite.So he really is trying to restore the film to its original condition, rather than spruce it up for 2018.If you want to learn how to stabilize footage for yourself, then both DaVinci Resolve and Premiere Pro have built-in stabilization tools, which you can pretty much drag and drop onto your clip.This tutorial from Joshua Noel walks you through how to do it, and you can also get some tips on what Warp Stabilizer is doing under the hood.RotoscopingOne of the challenges that Harmy faced was that de-noising the shot reduced some of the frames of the “birds” that fly through the shot to ghosts of their former selves.The solution to this was to rotoscope each one and animate those masks by hand to bring back the birds from the original plate. This obviously introduces noise back into the parts of the frame where the birds were scratched or dirty, which Harmy then had to paint out by hand.Another technique that Harmy demonstrates while “dust-busting” this shot is using the Clone Brush tool to fill in gaps — as well as painting in parts of some frames with clean plates from other frames.It’s worth noting that Harmy doesn’t have just one mask that is the outline of the bird; rather, he has several overlapping and some more simple shapes, which he can then animate as a group for a more efficient rotoscope.If you want a decent introduction to compositing, keying, rotoscoping, and animating masks, this 20-minute tutorial from PremiumBeat’s own Adobe After Effects Fundamentals course will deliver just that.If you want some more in-depth tutorials on rotoscoping specifically, check out this edition of After Effects for Film Editors, which gives you a whole host to choose from — including this one on advanced rotoscoping techniques from Surfaced Studio.Color CorrectionAnother Star Wars fan-restoration in the works is Mike Verta’s 4K Legacy edition, which I’ve written about previously. I bring it up because Mike’s video demonstrates some of the radical differences in the color grade between the Blu-ray releases and the original theatrical prints, which is something that Harmy also has to deal with in his restoration process.Harmy also uses color correction to blend together the differences between the matte painting in the background of the shot, and the live action elements (the birds, the ship) in the shot. He also removes much of the crushed and blue-toned darkness in the shot (check out the four-way comparison in the image at the top of this post.)If you’re an absolute beginner to color correction principles and techniques then this post on Rocketstock.com offers a handy round-up of introductory tutorials.Looking for more information on post-production? Check out these links.Our Favorite After Effects Tutorials of 2018 (So Far)223 Free Animations, Transitions, LUTs, and Overlays for Video EditorsVideo Tutorial: Better, Faster, Stronger Editing TipsAnimate Clean Commercial Graphics in Adobe After EffectsHow to Animate a Text Stroke in Adobe After Effects
Over 3.22 lakh girl students of Class IX in Rajasthan will get bicycles during the current academic year with the State government devising new methods to facilitate their access to schools. The government senior secondary schools opened at all panchayat headquarters have reported a large number of admission of girls.State Education Minister Vasudev Devnani, who distributed bicycles to the girl students of the Government Jawahar Higher Secondary School in Ajmer on Saturday, said the dropout rate of girls after the middle school’s education was earlier very high because of lack of resources to continue the studies.“The education scenario in Rajasthan has made a turnaround with the State improving its rank from 26th to second in the country in this field during the last four years,” Mr. Devnani said. The Minister represents the Ajmer North constituency in the Assembly.‘Schools upgraded’Mr. Devnani said as many as 7,000 schools across the State had been upgraded as part of the drive to improve the standard of education. “After the promotion of teachers and an increase in the enrolment of students, the parents want to send their children to the government schools and get benefit of new resources and high standard of education,” he said.
After declaring his desire to win the Serie A title, Napoli Coach Carlo Ancelotti confirms Alex Meret has recovered and fit enough to feature in their Saturday’s Frosinone match, adding that it “could be his game”.The young shot-stopper joined the Partenopei in the summer, but injured his arm during his very first training session with Ancelotti’s side.The 21-year-old is yet to make his debut and could come Saturday.“We’re a young club with ambitions,” Ancelotti told Tgr Campania via Football Italia.“My group is young and competitive.Sacchi explains Sarri, Conte, and Ancelotti Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Arrigo Sacchi talked about how Sarri has a tougher time at Juventus than Conte at Inter; while Ancelotti’s “blood is boiling” at Napoli.Arrigo Sacchi…“Frosinone? Chievo was also easy on paper, this will be an important match for us because of the head-to-head match [Juventus-Inter]”“As for Meret, he’s fine now and Frosinone could be his game.”Meret was an important player in the Italian U19 national team which took part in the 2016 UEFA European Under-19 Championship.His team finished as runner-up after losing in the final and he named in the team of the tournament alongside Kylian Mbappé of France.
Photo via Twitter @MultCoBridgesFreezing temperatures and below-zero wind chills socked much of the northern United States on Wednesday, and the snow-hardened city of Erie, dug out from a record snowfall.The post-Christmas prolonged, dangerously cold weather across half the country has advocates for the homeless scrambling to get people off the streets and local officials urging residents to assist their elderly neighbors.Residents from the Midwest to the Northeast were dealing with sub-freezing temperatures and wind chills, while those in the Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies were bracing for storms that forecasters warn can cause heavy mountain snow and freezing rain.The cold is expected to continue through the holiday weekend and likely longer, according to the National Weather Service, prolonging a stretch of brutal weather blamed for vehicle crashes, emergency room visits and at least one death.Wind chill advisories remained in place for many areas. Animal owners were urged to bring their pets indoors if possible or at least make sure they have sufficient warmth.Forecasters warned people to be wary of hypothermia and frostbite from the arctic blast that has gripped a large swath from the Midwest to the Northeast, where the temperature, without the wind chill factored in, dipped to minus 32 (minus 35 Celsius) Thursday morning in Watertown, New York. Temperatures rose to minus 7 (minus 22 Celsius) early Friday morning.Heavy snow is expected Friday in the Pacific Northwest, across the Cascade mountains and into the northern Rockies before gradually tapering off Saturday. As much as 2 to 3 feet of snow is possible in the highest terrain, while coastal regions were expected to see heavy rainfall.About 30 crashes were reported on icy roadways Friday morning in Michigan, where below-freezing temperatures continue to envelop parts of the state.A woman trying to maneuver her wheelchair on a cold, snowy night in Nebraska got a firetruck escort. Snow and construction items on the sidewalk forced her into a busy Omaha thoroughfare Tuesday. Firefighters returning to their station noticed her. They flipped on their lights and followed the woman until she reached her destination. She gave them a thumbs-up as they departed.In South Dakota, an 83-year-old woman died from exposure to the cold. Police believe she crashed her car on a gravel road near the tiny rural town of Revillo then left the vehicle to look for help. They found her body in a ditch on Sunday.Warming centers have been set up in some locations, including recreation centers across Cincinnati. Boston’s Pine Street Inn sent a van with outreach workers around to persuade people to spend the night inside, but some said they prefer the streets.Segundo Rivera and Sean Stuart told the Boston Herald they were not comfortable spending the night in a shelter.“We’ve lived out here so long it’s like honestly, this is comfortable for us,” Rivera said.A shelter spokeswoman said that if people don’t want to go to a shelter, they’re given blankets, warm clothing and a hot beverage, and informed of the dangers of extreme cold.The Ohio Department of Aging said older people are at increased risk from such severe cold, from medication side effects to falling risks. The department encouraged people to check on family members, friends and neighbors to make sure they’re warm enough and have their needed medications and sufficient food and water.On Thursday, cold weather records were set from Arkansas to Maine, and the freezing air will linger through the weekend, reaching as far south as Texas and the Florida Panhandle.In New Hampshire, the cold set a record for the day of minus 34 (minus 37 Celsius) atop the Northeast’s highest peak, Mount Washington.In the Midwest, temperatures in Minneapolis aren’t expected to top zero (minus 18 Celsius) this weekend, and it likely will be in the teens (minus 11 Celsius to minus 7 Celsius) when the ball drops on New Year’s Eve in New York City.A winter storm warning was in effect for much of Montana, calling for significant snowfall followed by dangerously cold temperatures as 2017 comes to an end.“People like to think of themselves as being prepared for the weather and things like that,” Billings forecaster Dan Borsum said, “but this one will get your attention.” Share