Stuff.co.nz 12 January 2014Supporters of the controversial “anti-smacking” law are claiming victory after a dramatic fall in the number of parents being investigated for hitting their children.But opponents of the 2007 law change have accused the Government of fudging the numbers and the issue looks set to become an election lightning rod, with the Conservative Party, a potential Government coalition partner, committed to overturning the legislation.The amendment to section 59 of the Crimes Act in 2007 removed the defence of “reasonable force” for parents prosecuted for assault on their children.It divided the country, with its sponsor, former Green MP Sue Bradford, receiving death threats while Family First director Bob McCroskie, an opponent of the change, found plastic knives stabbed into his lawn.Family First plans to campaign strongly on the issue during the election buildup. “It’s a big issue because it was a law that came into every family home. Politicians want it to simmer down and go away, but it’s not,” McCroskie said, adding figures on falling smacking notifications are “fudged . . . It doesn’t identify cases where parents are being ransomed by their own kids.”http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9600491/Smacking-debate-back-in-the-limelight
After a near-perfect performance in the UEFA Champions League against Barcelona at Stamford BridgeÂ on Tuesday, Chelsea willÂ on SundayÂ be hoping to put up another scintillating show on as they visit Old Trafford against Manchester United. Both sides hope to cement their top-four position. To add spice to the epic battle is the animosity between the two managers-Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte as both are expected to continue their snobbish showdownChelsea are focused on extending their recent positive run when they travel to face Manchester United in the Premier LeagueÂ on Sunday, the London outfit’s defender Cesar Azpilicueta has said.After consecutive league defeats by Watford and Bournemouth, Chelsea have bounced back with a win over West Bromwich Albion, an FA Cup victory against Hull City and a 1-1 draw with Barcelona in first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.Chelsea are fourth in the standings, three points behind second-placed United, as the race to secure a top-four finish heats up with 11 games left in the campaign.“After two tough defeats a few weeks ago the team responded with two wins. Against Barcelona it was also a great performance from the team, nearly perfect. Now we have a tough gameÂ on SundayÂ and we have to turn our heads to the next target, the Premier League, and try to get as high as possible. At the moment, we are getting closer and closer to the end of the season, so we have to get the points,” Azpilicueta told the club’s website.Conte and Mourinho have traded poisonous barbs this season, culminating in the pair saying they felt “contempt” for each other.The feud started when the United boss said he did not need to “act like a clown” on the touchline, a comment perceived to be aimed at the animated Conte, who responded by claiming Mourinho must have “demenza senile” â€“ senile dementia.When Mourinho then appeared to allude to a suspension Conte served in relation to match-fixing, the Italian, who was later cleared of any wrongdoing on that issue, responded by accusing his rival of being “fake” and “a little man”.United recently appeared secure in second place in the Premier League, albeit a distant second to Manchester City, but two defeats in three games leave Mourinho’s side looking vulnerable with matches against four of the top six sides still to come, including Chelsea in fourth spot.After Manchester United were held to a 0-0 draw at home by Sevilla inÂ WednesdayÂ nightâ€™s Champions League Round of 16 first leg, attention is now shifted to Old Trafford as they host Chelsea in the Premier League.Mourinhoâ€™s side begin the weekend in 2nd place, 16 points behind rivals- Manchester City. Still, United boast the 2nd best record at home this season, and have conceded by far the fewest number of goals at home.Chelsea drew 1-1 with Barcelona in their midweek Champions league clash. Willian opened the scoring at Stamford Bridge before Lionel Messi equalised. The Blues are 4th in the table but have Tottenham hot on their heels.Liverpool and Man City are the only sides to take more points away from home than Chelsea this season. Antonio Conteâ€™s side also hold the second best defensive away record.A win for Chelsea would see them move level on points with Man United, although it is likely that the Red Devils would still have a superior goal difference.Alvaro Morata scored the only goal of the game when the sides met at Stamford Bridge in November.However, Chelsea midfielder, Willian is good friends with former manager Mourinho but will be focused solely on winning when he faces the Portuguese boss’ Manchester United team in the Premier LeagueÂ on Sunday.The Brazil international joined Chelsea in 2013 under Mourinho, who was sackedÂ two years laterÂ before taking over at United in 2016.The 29-year-old Willian has scored four goals and provided seven assists in 26 league appearances for Chelsea this campaign and Antonio Conte’s team sit three points behind second-placed Manchester United in fourth position.“He (Mourinho) is my friend. I had a great time with him, but I am at Chelsea and he is now at Manchester United,” Willian told British media.“They are difficult games. It is totally different to play in the Premier League to the Champions League. I think we can stay at this level and we can go to Old TraffordÂ on SundayÂ and play another great game.”Willian believes his teammates must emulate their performance against Barcelona if they are to beat United and leaders Manchester City.“We have to play in a similar way. Against Manchester United, I think we can do a great job,” Willian added.“Against Manchester City, it will be like the game against Barcelona – they like to have the ball. We have to stay compact and use the same plan as we used against Barcelona.”With City holding a seemingly insurmountable 16-point lead atop the standings, United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal are battling to secure a top-four finish with 11 games remaining.Following the trip to Old Trafford, Chelsea face City and Crystal Palace before the return leg against Barcelona onÂ March 14.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Two people had to abandon ship after their boat burst into flames at John’s Pass, off Treasure Island and Madeira Beach on Friday.Officials say the boat caught fire when the two people aboard refueling to the ship.The boat began burning in the middle of the water and then sunk, prompting the passengers to jump into the water.The pair suffered minor burns and reportedly took themselves to the hospital after the incident.The cause of the explosion and fire are now under investigation.
by Doug FeinbergAP Basketball WriterNot much has come easily for C. Vivian Stringer during her Hall of Fame coaching career.So it was fitting that it took her five tries to become the fourth women’s basketball coach to have 900 victories. She finally reached the milestone Tuesday night with Rutgers’ 68-56 win over South Florida.“When I look back on my life, this team, probably this year, best reflects what 900 has been,” she said. “It helped me to remember that it was never easy. But unless you really have a passion, unless you really know how fortunate you are not to have had a lot of major injuries to a lot of players, which is what happened to this team, and unless you remember how fortunate you are to be able to get to those special places.”Stringer joined Pat Summitt, Jody Conradt and Sylvia Hatchell in the exclusive club. Maybe a half dozen more women’s coaches might gain entrance over the next few years. Only three Division I men’s coaches have reached 900 victories: Mike Krzyzewski, Bob Knight and Jim Boeheim.“I am fortunate to call Vivian my friend and could not be happier that she has reached the 900-win milestone in her career. I have great respect and admiration for Vivian and consider her one of the great pioneers of our game,” Summitt said in a statement. “She has had an incredible journey, and I hope she adds many more to her ‘W’ column!”Stringer, who was the first coach in men’s or women’s basketball to take three different schools to the Final Four — including Rutgers in 2000 and ’07 — fought back tears as her team celebrated their coach’s achievement.“I think it’s beyond words,” said Stringer, whose record stands at 900-330 in 42 seasons. “I’m happy that it’s over. I can hardly breathe. It’s over and now I can just coach and smile, and get back to what I love to do because it’s never been about numbers.”During the four-game losing streak, Stringer admitted she was tired of talking about when she’d get No. 900. She was getting worn out by it, even snapping at reporters during a media session.Her demeanor changed after a loss to St. John’s on Saturday, the game before Tuesday’s landmark victory. Stringer said she received a call from Hatchell, who reached 900 wins on Feb. 7.The longtime friends talked about the pressures their players faced while trying to get that 900th win. It took Hatchell’s team two tries to get her that victory.“She is probably one of the few people I would talk to about it,” Stringer said, “and she was just saying it was highly stressful for her, too. Finally when they were over it, (the players) were much better because they were really uptight.”With the weight of the milestone lifted, Stringer can only hope her team will use it as a springboard for the rest of the season. Stringer, in her 18th season at Rutgers, has been focused on making an 11th-straight trip to the NCAA tournament. Beating a surging South Florida team will definitely help the Scarlet Knights’ resume.“Everything will take care of itself,” Stringer said, dismissing a question related to her team’s postseason fate. “This was a major win, and it’s important to win down the (stretch) as it is right now.”The Scarlet Knights (15-12, 6-8 Big East), who are 10th in the conference, finish off the regular season against Cincinnati and Pittsburgh — two of the bottom teams in the league.As the game ended, a crowd of 1,304 at the Rutgers Athletic Center saluted Stringer with chants of “900” and “C-V-S” and Scarlet Knights athletic director Tim Pernetti was among the first to greet her with a framed No. 900 jersey. Rutgers’ cheerleaders unfurled a banner that read “Congratulations Coach Stringer – 900 wins,” and her players took turns hugging their emotional coach at midcourt.“If it’s something special for all the generations of players and coaches that I’ve been a part of, then, yeah, I’m happy,” she said. “But I’m looking forward to more.”Rutgers had lost four straight games since beating Cincinnati for Stringer’s 899th career victory.“It’s more than a game, it’s about a preparation for life,” said Stringer, who is in her 18th season at Rutgers. “It’s about understanding that when things are rough you may get knocked down and there may be doubters but you’ll still rise.”Senior guard Erica Wheeler scored 24 points to lead Rutgers.“It’s almost a little heartbreaking because she gives her heart out when she coaches,” Wheeler said. “So to not get her that 900th win as soon as we needed to, I cried a couple times at night. It was important tonight to definitely get her that win.”Editor’s Note: Stringer is a native of Edenborn, Pennsylvania (Fayette County) about an hour south of Pittsburgh. She is also a graduate of Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. Stringer and her late husband, William D. Stringer, have three children: David, Janine and Justin. MILESTONE–Rutgers head coach C. Vivian Stringer celebrates with her players on Feb. 26, in Piscataway, N.J., after defeating South Florida 68-56 for Stringer’s 900th win. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
The Nelson Leafs continue to be one of the elite teams in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League.The problem for the Leafs is another elite team plays in the same division.The Beaver Valley Nitehawks took over the lead in the Murdoch Division by completing the weekend sweep Sunday in Grand Forks with a 7-5 decision over the Border Bruins.The win keeps the Hawks in first place in the Murdoch Division, one point ahead of Nelson.Dallas Calvin was unstoppable for the Hawks, accumulating 13 points in three games to lead Beaver Valley. Sunday Calvin led the Hawks with three goals and an assist.Riley Brandt added a pair for Beaver Valley while Jeremy Lucchini and Braden Fuller added singles. Tucker Brown, with a pair, Lincoln Lane, Graham Watkins and Michael Rand replied for Grand Forks.Nelson kept pace with the Hawks, bouncing back from a loss Friday in Grand Forks to edge the Spokane Braves 4-3 Sunday at the NDCC Arena.Nelson held period leads of 3-1 and 4-2 before securing the win with a solid third period.Brandon Sookro, Darnel St. Pierre, Linden Horswill and Travis Wellman, playing his second game after missing a few weeks with the lower body injury, scored for Nelson.Wellman and Jamie Vlanich finished the game each with two points for Nelson.Sean Collins, Kurtis Redding and Justin Bonanno in the final seconds of the game replied for Spokane.Brad Rebagliati faced 33 shots for Nelson to register the win in goal.Nelson out shot Spokane 43-33 in the game.ICE CHIPS: Beaver Valley and Nelson both clinched playoff spots with Sunday’s wins. . . . Nelson will lose the services of defenceman Patrick Croome, who was involved in fight with time expired in the game. . . . Nelson hosts Castlegar, Friday, and Grand Forks, Saturday at the NDCC Arena. . . . Leafs Jamie Vlanich climbed to within a point of Nick Joseph of the Kelowna Chiefs in KIJHL scoring. Vlanich has 27 goals and 47 assists for 74 points. Teammate Travis Wellman is tied for fifth spot with 68 points. . . . Nelson captain Darnel St. Pierre was back in the lineup Sunday after serving a two-game suspension. . . . Alex Wilkerson was also back in the lineup for Nelson after recovering from an upper body injury.
Venezuela border controversyThe Government of Guyana (GoG) has officially sounded its strong condemnation of recent statements made by the neighbouring Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (BRV) in regard to Guyana exploiting its natural resources located offshore the Essequibo.In regard to a resolution promulgated on Wednesday by the Energy and Petroleum Commission of Venezuela, calling for Guyana to immediately cease ongoing offshore oil exploration and exploitation activities in the Stabroek concession block well, the Government of Guyana has noted that that Spanish-speaking nation has not even adopted or endorsed the resolution.The Foreign Affairs Ministry, noting on Friday that as far as Guyana is aware, the Government of Venezuela has neither adopted nor otherwise endorsed the resolution, had this to say: “The inflammatory resolution contains serious factual and legal errors. First, it suggests erroneously that the offshore activities in Guyanese waters have “recently” commenced, whereas the Stabroek license was awarded in 1999 and exploration commenced the following year, in 2000, 17 years ago.”The Foreign Affairs Ministry’s release has also said that the resolution suggests, erroneously, that Guyana is prohibited from developing its resources in this area because of Article V of the Geneva Agreement of 1966, but nothing whatsoever in the terms of that provision indicates that the parties cannot exercise jurisdiction over their sovereign territories. “Otherwise, it would mean that for the past fifty years, Guyana had no right to develop 70% of its territory, and the same applies to Venezuela’s development of the Orinoco region and adjacent maritime area which, like the Essequibo, was the subject of the 1899 Arbitral Award. Needless to say, such an argument is manifestly absurd”, the release argues.The release further states that Venezuela’s political posturing comes at an unfortunate time – when the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General has appointed Ambassador Dag Nylander as his Personal Representative to provide Guyana and Venezuela a final opportunity to resort to the Good Offices process, in order to resolve the controversy arising from Venezuela’s contention that the 1899 Arbitral Award delimiting the land boundary between Guyana and Venezuela is “null and void”.The release reminded that the parties have until the end of 2017 to make significant progress in arriving at a final resolution of the controversy; failing which, the Secretary-General will refer the matter to the International Court of Justice.The release has said that Guyana is fully committed to the search for a full and final resolution of the controversy under the Good Offices process in the limited time that remains. “Such deliberate provocations and absurd demands: that Guyana halt all development activities, especially when, for over fifty years, Venezuela has intimidated Guyana and obstructed a resolution of the controversy in accordance with international law, only serve to undermine this final opportunity for the parties to once and for all bring an end to this matter by agreement; failing which, adjudication will be the only remaining means of settlement.”The release declares that Guyana remains committed to friendly and neighbourly relations with the Government and people of Venezuela, but will categorically refuse to surrender any of the sovereign rights to which it is entitled under international law, “not least in this, the fifty-first anniversary of its independence from colonial rule, as a new period of prosperity awaits its people”.
1 Jorginho The agent of Liverpool and Southampton target Jorginho has revealed his client had offers in the summer.The Napoli midfielder struggled for playing time last year and appeared just 13 times in Serie A.That led to clubs showing an interest in the 23-year-old during the summer, including the likes of Liverpool and Southampton.But now Jorginho’s agent, Joao Santos, claims his client is happy at Napoli despite receiving proposals from several sides.“Everything has changed since the summer. After the arrival of new players, we thought the moment had come to leave. A quality player like Jorginho cannot sit on the bench,” Santos told gianlucadimarzio.com.“There were five sides interested in Jorginho: four Italian and one English. We were very close to leaving Napoli, then director of sport Cristiano Giuntoli arrived.“He told us that the club really believed in him and considered him untouchable. Therefore we decided to postpone any discussions until January.”
Die Chemieindustrie Sudafrikas, die alles von der Kraftstoff- und Plastikherstellung bis zum Pharmabereich umfasst, ist die großte ihrer Art in ganz Afrika und wird vom Staat als Hauptantriebsmotor des Wirtschaftswachstums gesehen.Sie dominiert die Produktion in Sudafrika und tragt mehr zur Wirtschaft bei als jeder andere Industriezweig. Über die Halfte aller Arbeitsplatze in der Produktion entfallt auf die Chemieindustrie.Obwohl die Industrie nach wie vor von lokalen Unternehmen dominiert wird, sind einige internationale Konzerne mit lokalen Vertriebsniederlassungen vertreten und engagieren sich vielfach in der lokalen Produktion.BereicheDie Industrie wird vom Grundchemikalien-Bereich dominiert, dessen Flussigkraftstoffe, Olefine, organische Losungsmitte und industriellen Mineralderivate insgesamt 31% der Chemieproduktion des Landes ausmachen.Die anderen 10 Unerbereiche sind Plastikprodukte (ca. 20% der Produktion), Pharma (8%), anorganische Chemikalien (8%), Primarpolymare und Gummi(7%), organische Chemikalien (6%), Gummiprodukte (5%), Schuttgut- (5%) und Verbraucherchemikalien (5%), und Funktions- und Spezialchemikalien (5%).Obwohl drei dieser Bereiche – Kraftstoffe, Schuttgutchemikalien und Pharma – in Relation zur Gesamtwirtschaft uberdurchschnittliche Ergebnisse erzielen, ist Sudafrikas Chemieindustrie weltweit betrachtet relativ klein.Von den 80.000 Grund- bzw. Reinchemikalien, die derzeit weltweit gewerbsmaßig produziert werden, stellt Sudafrika ca. 300 her, zumeist geringwertige Rohstoffe in Massenproduktion.Staatliche StrategieDie sudafrikanischen Chemieexporte verzeichneten seit 1999 ein jahrliches Wachstum von ca. 19%. Begunstigende Faktoren waren neue Handelsabkommen und eine erhohte Wettbewerbsfahigkeit durch geringe Produktionskosten bei reichlich vorhandenen mineralischen und organischen Rohstoffen. Die Energiekosten sind relativ gering in Sudafrika und der Sektor profitiert von einer wirtschaftlichen, kostengunstigen Wasser- und Dampfversorgung.Allerdings wird nach wie vor mehr importiert als exportiert. Der Staat zielt darauf ab, dieses Missverhaltnis auszugleichen mit einer kurzlich eingefuhrten Industriepolitik zur Forderung von Exporten, die einen Mehrwert darstellen.Die lokale Industrie ist einseitig auf einen international wettbewerbsfahigen Upstream-Sektor ausgerichtet und vernachlassigt dabei einen nachgelagerten Sektor, der ein hohes Entwicklungspotential in sich birgt.Eine Umkehrung dieser Ausrichtung wurde der Industrie helfen, die Veredelungsexporte zu steigern und somit Arbeitsplatze zu schaffen. Die nachgelagerte Produktion ist arbeitsintensiver und zieht eine Vielzahl von kleineren Firmen an.Veredelung ist der Schlusselfaktor in dieser Strategie. Sudafrika hat einen naturlichen Vorteil in form von mineralischen Rohstoffen, die jedoch zumeist in Rohform exportiert werden. Es gibt jedoch – unter Ausnutzung der lokalen Arbeitskraft – betrachtliche Moglichkeiten zur Umwandlung dieser Materialien zu anorganischen Chemikalien, die als Exportgut einen Mehrwert darstellen.Staat und Industrie arbeiten daruber hinaus zusammen an der Ausbeutung der bislang ungenutzten Bodenschatzen, zu denen u. a. große Fluorvorkommen gehoren.PlastikSudafrikas Plastikindustrie ist gut in Form. Eine kurzlich veroffentlichte Übersicht in Engineering News listet eine Vielzahl von Herstellern von Produkten, die “im weltweiten Wettbewerb sowohl von der Qualitat als auch von der Performance her standhalten”.Der lokale Markt wird zu uber 50% von Verpackungsmaterialien dominiert. Die Industrie wurde vor einigen Jahren mit der Einfuhrung einer Abgabe auf Plastiktuten aus Umweltschutzgrunden hart getroffen.Aber man ist zuversichtlich, da auch die Regierung die Plastikherstellung mit als Hauptarbeitsplatzmotor sieht.Die Polymerproduktion ist ein potentieller Expansionsbereich. Sudafrika exportiert “erhebliche Mengen an Polymeren”, so die Plastics Federation of SA, importiert jedoch immer noch großere Mengen an polymerischen Halbprodukten wie zum Beispiel Styropor, was hier nicht hergestellt wird.Die meisten Plastikunternehmen in Sudafrika sind klein. Über 800 Unternehmen betatigen sich in der Plastikumwandlung. Manche sind dabei hochinnovativ, wie zum Beispiel Timber Plastics, ein Unternehmen, das Plastikabfall wie zum Beispiel Getrankeflaschen recycelt und sie zu Elementen wie z. B. Pfahlen, Brettern und Balken presst.GasverflussigungstechnikSudafrika ist weltweiter Marktfuhrer in kohlebasierter Synthese- und Gasverflussigungstechnik. Das Land gehort weltweit betrachtet zu den Billigherstellern von Äthylen und Propylen, dank des ungehinderten Zugangs zu geringhaltiger Kohle und dank hochwertiger Verfahrenstechnik.PharmaindustrieEs gibt große Moglichkeiten fur Pharmahersteller in Sudafrika. Die Regierung plant ein Entwicklungsprogramm fur die inlandische Pharmaindustrie durch gezielte Forderung der lokalen Produktion von anspruchsvollen Erzeugnissen wie zum Beispiel antiretrovirale Arzneimittel zur Bekampfung des HIV-/AIDS-Virus.Die Regierung mochte ebenfalls die Forschung und die technologische Infrastruktur fordern, um das Wachstum des Sektors zu stimulieren.UmweltschutzUmweltschutz ist ein Schlusselfaktor in der Entwicklung der Chemiebranche. Sudafrika hat die Umweltstandards der Industrielander ubernommen, darunter auch Initiativen zur Forderung eines kooperativen Umweltmanagements und Richtlinien fur die Entsorgung von Sondermull.Letzte Aktualisierung: September 2008SAinfo reporter. Quellen (Englische Websites):Department of Trade and IndustryStatistics South AfricaChemical and Allied Industries’ AssociationSouth African Chemical InstituteCHEMISSAPlastics Federation of South AfricaEngineering NewsBusiness Day
6 November 2012 South Africa has a world-class agro-processing sector but its potential is not fully recognised and requires investment, says Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson. “South Africa has a world-class agro-processing and marketing infrastructure that provides for local needs as well as limited exports of a range of dairy products – largely to countries on our continent,” Joemat-Pettersson said at the World Dairy Summit in Cape Town on Monday. “We also supply a wide range of dairy equipment from global companies to other countries on the continent.” Despite this, the potential of the country’s sector remained unexploited, she said.‘Addressing unemployment and poverty’ South Africa’s dairy industry is the third-largest livestock sector in the country, with an estimated total turnover of R10-billion at producer level. The total number of milk producers in South Africa is at 2 347. “They produce more than 2.6-billion litres of milk and employ more than 30 000 workers. This important sector assists government in addressing some of our challenges, particularly unemployment and poverty,” she said. The dairy industry plays a critical role in ensuring global food security through the diverse range of its product offerings, including fresh milk, cheese, cream and yoghurt. It also ensures employment and income generation for millions of men and women across the globe. In this way, the sector ensures that basic needs of people are met, and their standard of living is increased.Sharing experiences and best practice The 2012 World Dairy Summit, organised by the South African National Committee of the International Dairy Federation, brings together producers, processors, technical experts and various other stakeholders to deliberate the challenges of the sector, and also to share experiences and best practices. South Africa supports a range of milk farming systems, from intensive total mixed ration to grass-fed and dairy ranching. A group of dairy farmers from Mozambique will soon be attending a course at the agricultural development centre outside George as part of a bilateral cooperation programme between South Africa and Mozambique. This effort has been highly successful, with the Consumer Education Project of Milk SA last year receiving the award for best campaign in the world from the International Dairy Federation and Dairy Standard Agency. Source: SANews.gov.za
Download 5 Autodesk Smoke graphics templates for free. Learn how they were created using Timeline, ConnectFX and Action.I recently had the privilege of being asked to create some motion graphics templates for Autodesk Smoke. Because of my history in using Smoke in broadcast, where you often have to edit and create your own graphics, I have gotten pretty good at pushing the tools in Smoke. These are some examples of the things that you can do inside Smoke’s 3D compositing environment. Many of these Smoke templates use the timeline compositing, as well as ConnectFX and of course Action, the heart of CFX.Each of these downloadable templates for Smoke comes with a 20-30 min video explaining how it was built, and how to modify it to your own needs. Every major component of the templates are LIVE, which is to say that there are little to no pre-rendered elements. They are completely adjustable. Template archives are compatible with Smoke 2013 Extension 1. Don’t have the latest version of Smoke yet? You can download the free 30-day trial here.Here is a breakdown of the Smoke templates and what features they showcase, along with a little behind-the-scenes of what went in to creating them.1. Box WorldBox World Preview VideoThe Box World Smoke template showcases a 3D environment where you have a dozen 3D Cubes with a camera flying through the scene. You can map different images to the cube as well as change the matte transition that reveals the images on the sides of the cube. One of the cool things about this template is that it uses a timeline trick to transition from one 3D animation clip to the next, by using a simple keyable box transition which hides a simple vertical wipe. This allows you to change the camera animation and the length of any of the scenes just by trimming the clips.DOWNLOAD THE FREE SMOKE TEMPLATE NOWBox World Tutorial Video2. TypeLandTypeland Preview VideoThe TypeLand template showcases the use the 3D Text in Smoke’s Action Node. It creates a world of 3D Text on the ground with bold stand out words rising above them. It’s a simple, yet elegant graphics template that you could further enhance with 3D Lens Flares or other 3D or 2D elements. This template also uses the timeline to break each scene up in to it’s own CFX clip. That way each scene is manageable and in fact, they are simple copies of each other where only the camera and text have been changed. So you can create as many variations as you would need to suit your own design.Separating the Text Animations are 2 different video walls where you can map your own video images. One video wall is 6 cubes showing the same image, and the other is a 6 cube wall that shows different images on each block. Shadows and Ambient Occlusion passes from Action are composited via ConnectFx as well as the Depth of Field Node.DOWNLOAD THE FREE SMOKE TEMPLATE NOWTypeland Tutorial Video3. Dancing PanelsDancing Panels Preview VideoThe Dancing Panels Smoke template is my personal favorite. It has a very classy, yet energetic feel to it. The 3D animation is fluid and the lens flares feel very natural in the scene. This template has 2 very special components to it. The first is the 20 panel FBX 3D Model. This model looks complex in the schematic, but is pretty well organized. It allows you to map different images to the Front, Back and Sides of each panel. The cascade of the panels is driven by the animation of just the first panel, which then drives the expression to the other 19 panels. You can easily change the frame rate of the cascade by adjusting just 1 value.The second feature of this Smoke template is the camera rig that generates the reflection on the floor. Now I must admit I didn’t invent this rig. It was first shown at a Autodesk Flame Users Group Presentation at NAB 2013. Philippe Soeiro, the Lead Product Designer for Autodesk Flame & Smoke showed it as part of a demo that year. The rig creates a mathematically inverted camera which creates a reflection on the floor plane. The reflection is then compositied post-Action node where you can control the blur and transparency. It really is genius. I would grab this template just for that camera rig alone. You can then save it and reuse it in any of your own 3D Action setups.DOWNLOAD THE FREE SMOKE TEMPLATE NOW.Dancing Panels Tutorial Video4. Dynamic SlashesDynamic Slashes Preview VideoThis free Smoke template was actually the first one I created when I started the project. I used the idea of creating these 3D glass slashes which reflect and refract the video images below it. I had used this technique before in an actual on-air broadcast promo. It’s quite simple…There are 2 types of image mapping you can texture your 3D text or geometries with: diffuse maps and reflection maps. Diffuse maps are simple textures that map to the UVs of the geometry and as the geometry moves the images sticks to the surfaces. But with reflection maps, you can add some environment refections from your scene to the object as well. Normally you would do this as a additive mix with your diffuse map, to enhance the realism. But if you use the reflection by itself, and use it full, then you can create this glassy, reflection and refraction look. Add a bit of lighting and some nice motion design and this template was born.One other cool thing to note about this template is that it is modular on the timeline. Each new scene uses the ConnectFX Back Clip to see through to the layer before, and then does its wipe transitions to bring on the new scene. SO you can mix and match these layers around to create new renditions of this template pretty easily.DOWNLOAD THIS FREE SMOKE TEMPLATE HEREDynamic Slashes Tutorial Video5. Inky SketchInky Sketch Preview VideoThe Inky Sketch template showcases 2 things – my youngest daughter in her high school senior pictures and the very powerful Smoke stylize node. The stylize node is one of those nodes in ConnectFX that you won’t use everyday – it’s a very special node that creates a very special kind of look (a paint, sketch, ink style). I have not seen a tutorial dedicated to this node. In fact, I don’t think I have seen this node showcased at all… ever. So that was my personal challenge…Let’s make a graphics template using the classic ink and sketch look. The node is very powerful and uses a Photoshop type of layering process where each layer can have a matte channel with it, and be assigned to be a canvas, edge, or drawing layer. You then alter the priorities of the layers and use any of the Photoshop Blend modes to create the look you want.Now good looking inky sketch drawings from video are not always easy and they take time and effort to make them look good. Rarely is it a one click operation on the plugin. The Stylize Node is no exception. I used ConnectFX to mix different version of the Stylize node together and then mix back the original image with a sepia color correction. By doing this and using some inky revel mattes, the images are blended and create different levels of ink and sketch to finalize the image. Each clip is really just a copied effect of the previous one with different images and camera moves.DOWNLOAD THIS FREE TEMPLATE NOWInky Sketch Tutorial VideoI hope that you find these free Smoke templates useful and educational. The templates are all project archive. Here is a Tutorial on how to load each one into Smoke.Enjoy and feel free to comment below or ask a question about any of the templates or videos!