WhatsApp Email Linkedin Facebook Advertisement MORE than €3mn is to be spent in Co Limerick on replacing 23km of watermain to avoid water being lost through the current leaky system. It comes a week after the Limerick Post reported that the city council was to spend more than €5mn on replacing 19km of watermains. This week, Phil Hogan, Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, approved Limerick County Council’s proposals to carry out extensive rehabilitation works in the County at an estimated cost of €3.065mn.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Minister Hogan’s stated: “It is difficult to justify major capital expenditure on new water supply infrastructure unless we also tackle high unaccounted for water levels in the existing supply systems. I expect local authorities to commence mains rehabilitation and replacement works with a value of over €320mn nationwide.”The Council intends to carry out the work to replace 22.865km of watermain along with 624 associated new individual services.According to the Minister’s department, common backyard services will also be replaced in accordance with the relevant Departmental Circulars.The rehabilitation works will tackle pipes that are ranked poorly in regard to age, condition, burst history and that have experienced level of service problems.“The Council’s priorities for water mains rehabilitation are to enhance the water quality, prevent mains failure, identify service pipe defects, improve pressure and flow, reduce interruptions to supply and address leakage and operational serviceability,” a Department of Environment statement said.The Minister’s approval now allows Limerick County Council to prepare contract documents for its water conservation proposals with the view to seeking tenders and having the works commence as soon as possible. Previous articleMcManus ‘embarrassed’ at latest honourNext articleCattle moved from farm under garda escort admin Print Twitter NewsLocal NewsFunds flow to fix County’s water systemBy admin – August 15, 2011 661
View Comments You’ve put up your tree, hung the stockings by the chimney with care and made the most delicious Wicked cupcakes for everyone in your office. There’s nothing left to do but sit by the fire and rock out to the Broadway.com Ultimate Holiday Playlist! From “The Schmuel Song” to “Turkey Lurkey Time,” we’ve got 19 of your favorite holiday-themed Broadway tunes all in one place on Spotify. So grab a cup of hot cider, snuggle up under your fuzziest theater blanket and have a holly jolly Broadway holiday!
Comments Published on March 14, 2018 at 11:15 pm [View the story “Fan reactions to Syracuse’s 60-56 First Four win over Arizona State” on Storify] Facebook Twitter Google+
MESA, Ariz. — The A’s made sure Thursday’s spring opener got underway.Though the forecast called for heavy rainfall throughout the day, the A’s are continued to prepare the field for a game against the Mariners at Hohokam Stadium after the rain stopped about two hours before the scheduled start time of 12:05 p.m. PT.Paul Blackburn started the game and worked one inning, allowing two runs on three hits. With Matt Olson digging into the plate to lead off the bottom of the second and the A’s …
In the scientific institutions and the media, Evolution is the default explanation for everything in nature (and as Small opined, even for human manufacturing and economics). Most of the time Evolution doesn’t require justification or evidence. It is applied in broad, sweeping generalities from the authorities. The explanations are pronounced dogmatically as if to be accepted on faith by the common people. In a sense, then, Evolution (with a capital E) plays the same role as gods and goddesses in ancient cultures.Silly, silly, silly. These people only get away with saying such things because we are not laughing loud enough. Look at them. They worship cartoony idols (King Charles, Popeye, Yoda and Tinker Bell) that have magical powers. They say things that not only make no sense, they plagiarize design words and contradict their own core beliefs. They justify humans’ worst character flaws as artifacts of an animal past. Get out on the yellow brick road and sing We’re off the shame the Wizard, the blunderful Wizard of Flaws (see lyrics in the 09/05/2008 commentary) as you accomplish your mission to expose charlatanry and bring science back to the real world.(Visited 36 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 If you were taught a precise definition of neo-Darwinism in school, it doesn’t seem to matter to many evolutionists in the media. In practice, the word “Evolution” seems to act as a catch-all category for explaining anything and everything – whether or not random mutation and natural selection were involved. Some purpose and design can even be tossed into the mix as long as Evolution is the hero of the story. Here are some recent examples of how Evolution is employed to explain whatever:Evolution the tool user: “Evolution has a ‘toolkit’ and when it needs to do a particular job, such as see light, it uses the same toolkit again and again.” These are the words of Margaret McFall-Ngai [U of Wisconsin-Madison] in Science Daily, explaining why squid can sense light through their light-emitting organs. The article explained that “molecular machinery” is involved – tangible evidence not of design, but that Evolution has been at work with its toolkit.Guppy race: Evolution is slow and gradual – except when it is fast and furious. “What’s the secret to surviving during times of environmental change?” asked Science Daily. “Evolve…quickly.” (This sounds like a version of the bumper sticker, “Evolve or perish.”) Guppies in Trinidad have apparently altered their reproductive habits in just eight years when transplanted to different streams – one with more predators, one with fewer. How this constitutes evolution when the reproductive apparatus was the same before and after was not explained, but “fitness differences” were defined in terms of survival rate (see 10/30/2002, “Fitness for Dummies”). Surprisingly, after 150 years of Darwinism, “This is one of only a few studies to look at adaptation and survival in a wild population,” the article said.Spanish hominid: Evolution got the credit for a fossil monkey with “modern New Scientist) – something that might make Europeans feel superior once again as being in the forefront of human evolution.Mosquitos vs. turtles: Who will win the evolutionary arms race in the Galapagos? The mosquitos or the giant tortoises? Science Daily seems alarmed about the danger to the long-time residents that are so popular with tourists: “Mosquito Evolution Spells Trouble For Galapagos Wildlife,” the article announced. It said that an “ancient” mosquito population came to the islands 200,000 years ago and has recently developed a taste for tortoise blood. Park officials are very concerned that diseases that could be introduced by tourists could spread to the island inhabitants, so they are taking precautions by spraying the interiors of planes arriving on the islands. “It is absolutely vital that these control measures are maintained and carried out rigorously, otherwise the consequences could be very serious indeed,” a scientist said. He did not explain why there should be a cause for concern, since all of the inhabitants of the islands supposedly evolved according to a well-known evolutionary dogma: the founder principle (see 05/08/2002 and 02/10/2009, bullet 4). Are they ranking the organisms according to some arbitrary rule? Are they claiming that human beings have some special stewardship responsibility over the animal kingdom?Saved by the junk: Functional “junk DNA” has been an argument against evolution, but they have found a way to turn it into an argument for evolution. PhysOrg printed a story that now claims junk DNA is vital to an animal’s survival – and therefore its evolution – because it allows an organism to adapt quickly. Tandem repeats (once a category of junk DNA) have been found to influence the activity of neighboring genes. This means they “may allow organisms to tune the activity of genes to match changing environments – a vital principle for survival in the endless evolutionary race.” Researchers explained, “If this was the real world, only cells with the repeats would be able to swiftly adapt to changes, thereby beating their repeat-less counterparts in the game of evolution. Their junk DNA saved their lives.” They did not say who is playing the game or who wrote the game in the first place.Animorals: Animals can tell right from wrong, claimed The Telegraph. “Until recently, humans were thought to be the only species to experience complex emotions and have a sense of morality,” the article by Richard Gray said. “But Prof Marc Bekoff, an ecologist at University of Colorado, Boulder, believes that morals are ‘hard-wired’ into the brains of all mammals and provide the ‘social glue’ that allow often aggressive and competitive animals to live together in groups.” Gray did not explain what the moral standard was by which to judge moral behavior, nor why social glue is a good thing. Some aggressive and competitive animals are loners. If morality is hard-wired, is it really morality? Who is the judge?Say what? One article on Science Daily claim that a genetic change to the language-related FOXP2 gene in mice to make them mimic the human form of the gene speaks “volumes about our evolutionary past” (Note: the mice do not talk; they just squeak a little differently.) Presumably, “Those differences offer a window into the evolution of speech and language capacity in the human brain.” The scientists involved admitted that “Currently, one can only speculate about the role these effects may have played during human evolution.” But then, another Science Daily four days earlier had announced, “More Genetic Differences Between Mice And Humans Than Previously Thought.” It further claimed that some of the newly-analyzed mouse genes are “evolving at an unusually rapid pace, probably as a result of an evolutionary ‘arms race’ among mice and their reproductive cells.”Small talk on cars: Evolution even applies to car companies. That’s the point Meredith Small tried to make on Live Science. Her article, “How Evolution Could Sink (or Save) GM,” contained the following statement, reminiscent of Rockefeller-era social Darwinism: “It would seem that the country should act as a collative [sic; collective?] and care about this,” (i.e., the bankruptcy of General Motors). “But the reality is that capitalism is like evolution by natural selection, and natural selection can be a harsh reality.” Taking the edge off, she launched into a discussion about group selection as a possible offset to the ruthlessness of natural selection. But group selection, she said, doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense. Why should we care about the job losses of people we don’t even know? She quoted Bobbi Lowe (U of Michigan) who believes “humans are not well designed to operate” by caring for distant members of our species. We only care about close kin, because that was “critical in our ancestral past when humans lived in small groups,” she explained. “We also don’t plan well for the future because our hominid history was marked by uncontrollable, unpredictable environments.” This seems to ignore the many people (and birds and squirrels and ants) who are good long-term planners. Giving Lowe the mike, Small continued,“We evolved to strive for resources and seldom, if ever, found ourselves evolutionarily ‘rewarded’ for conscious restraint,” Lowe has written. Instead, she claims, humans are designed by evolution to work well on the short-term, and forget about the more global view on conserving anything because we just can’t do it.”That seems a pretty broad-brush characterization of the human race. It also raises the question of how evolution could “design” anything. Meredith Small failed to distinguish between human design and blind forces of nature, so for the above quotes and the following, she wins a well-deserved SEQOTW prize: There are many forces of evolution, but natural selection, biologists feel, is the most important. It works like this: All sorts of variation is produced (think SUV, compacts, vans, and sedans) and then the environment (think free market) selects for some and ignores others. The ignored ones are dropped out of the gene pool (think showroom floor or metal recycling plant), and too bad for them. In this biological (or economic) system, only the best adapted survive. So what if evolution is presented with something more sleek, in cool colors, or with tinted windows – if it takes too much energy (gas) to use, it will be selected against. Natural selection operates on individuals, or individual automobiles companies because not all of them are going bankrupt, and that affects the future of the total gene pool, or automobile business. That’s how biological life, and capitalist economies, have been shaped over generations.
Nestlé’s Milo brand is getting behind football in South Africa by supporting its development in schools. (Image: Nestlé Milo) MEDIA CONTACTS • Ravi PillayNestlé public affairs manager+27 11 889 6799 or + 27 82 908 2580RELATED ARTICLES • SA’s children get football fever • Peace football tournament for SA • Football for Hope to unite SA • Fly the Flag for Football toolkitJanine ErasmusThe 2009 Nestlé Milo Champions tournament brought almost 6 000 schools from around South Africa together in Soweto to compete for the trophy, as well as R100 000 (US$13 300) for the winning school to invest in a health, wellness or nutrition initiative.With the 2010 Fifa World Cup now scant months away, football fever in all forms is gripping the nation as never before. Last year’s Milo Champions competition, run in collaboration with the South African Schools Football Association (Sasfa) and the Supersport television channel, was the second edition.About 94 500 would-be football stars participated in the 2009 tournament, with around 75 000 children from some 4 800 schools taking part in the 2008 event.Dorothy Langa Primary School in Limpopo province was the ultimate winner, snatching the title from Mpumalanga’s Mapula Sindane School in an exciting final that came down to a penalty shoot-out. Dorothy Langa, with two goals to Mapula’s one, emerged triumphant.“It is great to see that school competitions like this are not dominated by one school,” said Dorothy Langa head coach Mpho Mathopa. “Our achievement has reflected the true spirit of competition and shown that there is a balance of football talent in the country.”Developing future talentThe competition was open to all South African primary schools, and took place over four months. District and regional winners went through to the provincial play-offs, and the nine provincial winners progressed to the national finals at Hyundai Park in Soweto.“We want to see growth in school soccer in our country,” said Sasfa president Mandla “Shoes” Mazibuko. “Next year we will make sure that more schools take part in this wonderful tournament.”Global food giant Nestlé has invested generously in the Milo Champions tournament. In addition to the grand prize, each provincial winner walked off with R10 000 ($1 320), while the runner-up took home R75 000 and the third-placed team won R50 000 ($6 600).The programme is intended primarily to foster young football talent in South Africa while promoting an enthusiasm for the beautiful game and an awareness of the importance of healthy living. As well as valuable football coaching from top players, all participants received comprehensive nutritional education.Nestlé South Africa MD Yves Manghardt said, “We at Nestlé hope that each child who has played in this tournament comes out a winner, having learnt about teamwork, determination and most importantly why sports and a healthy lifestyle are qualities that will stand them strong through life.”Nurturing football skillsDorothy Langa chose to use the money for a new football field, which was officially opened towards the end of 2009. The 68m x 50m field, complete with borehole to ensure that the pitch is always green, was a welcome addition to the school’s infrastructure.To celebrate the occasion former Bafana Bafana defender Mark Fish gave a coaching clinic at the school. Fish is Nestlé’s Milo brand ambassador for good health, and also took time to visit each of the nine finalists beforehand to help with their preparations for the big day.At the same time Nestlé launched the South African branch of its Healthy Kids programme. This is a global initiative that aims to fight the growing problem of malnutrition and obesity in children between the ages of four and 16. By encouraging good nutrition and exercise, Healthy Kids aims to raise a healthier, more active generation.The programme was introduced to the world in April 2009 by Nestlé CEO Paul Bulcke.Regional competitionIn anticipation of the first World Cup to take place on African soil, the Milo brand is deepening its association with football in South Africa by extending the Champions tournament to the entire African continent.The inaugural African Milo Champions tournament was launched in September 2009 and features top under-13 teams from Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. Regional stages are already underway, and the final will take place in South Africa in May 2010, just before the month-long Fifa World Cup kicks off in June.
Considerable attention has been lavished on Crossway, a high-performance home designed by British architect Richard Hawkes and completed a couple years ago on a spacious lot in county Kent, in southeast England. It wasn’t until July of this year, however, that the house, which has become as well known for its parabolic roof as its energy efficiency, was finally certified for Passive House performance, becoming one of the first new homes in the country to meet the standard.Hawkes, who tracked the project’s progress in a blog, and his wife, Sophie, occupied the four-bedroom 3,000-sq.-ft. house for about a year before hiring a service in February to perform a blower-door test, which showed 0.56 air changes per hour at 50 Pascals. Later that month, the house also earned an A-A rating, the highest achievable, for energy efficiency and CO2 emissions in government-mandated Energy Performance Certificate tests, with a 93% energy efficiency score, and 103 out of 103 points on the “environmental impact” CO2-emissions rating.Adding a thermal bufferOther than the parabolic roof – a Catalan vault constructed of 26,000 locally made clay tiles arranged in three layers – the house is equipped with a combined photovoltaic and solar thermal system and phase-change material thermal store, with a 4 kW heat register linked to the building’s heat recovery ventilation system. A biomass boiler has been installed as backup, but has yet to be used.For the exterior walls, in between their cellulose insulation and interior-facing layer of plasterboard, Hawkes installed 5mm-thick DuPont Energain panels, which are designed to absorb ambient heat as room temperature rises (starting at about 72 degrees), store it until the temperature drops (at around 64 degrees), and then release it back into the room.After some adjustments, the home’s energy efficiency systems seem to be performing as expected, Hawkes told the Scottish Passive House Centre (SPHC), a consultancy and certification group serving the U.K. He added that the house has had 100% free hot water since March and its PV/solar thermal system has generated almost 700 kWh of electricity since the end of June. SPHC handled the building’s Passive House certification, which was awarded on July 10.Clay soil and the greening of a roofThough the region’s clay soil is terrific material for tile and brick, it did mean that the builder had to sink a series of 36-ft. pilings into the ground to guarantee stability for the foundation. The clay also is doing duty as a native-plant substrate in a center channel built into roof’s porous tiles, which were dressed with metal mesh and then filled with gravel and clay. With the support of an inexpensive irrigation system, grasses and flowers have finally taken root.None of this came cheaply. Although we haven’t gotten word on the final cost of construction and materials, estimates were mentioned in an overview of the project for “Grand Designs,” a TV series presented by Britain’s Channel 4 Television that focuses on architecturally unusual residential construction projects. The initial budget of about $473,000 for Crossway grew to $630,700 as the project got underway, and the cost of the parabolic roof, originally pegged at $134,000, had drifted to about $165,000.Judging from Hawkes’ comments about the results, though, it doesn’t seem as if he or his wife have regrets about the endeavor, and the attention it has attracted probably hasn’t hurt either.
4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App On Wednesday, Comcast gave its subscribers a new reason they shouldn’t cut the cord: The “Watchathon.”Beginning March 25, any Comcast subscriber with a cable subscription and access to video-on-demand viewing can dial up over 1,000 episodes from over 100 shows, including hits like Game of Thrones or Dexter. Yes, that’s right: every show from every season from major pay TV services like HBO, Showtime, Starz, and Cinemax will available for free for a full week, whether or not you have premium-channel subscriptions. The Watchathon extends to basic-cable hits like Downton Abbey and The Walking Dead.In other words, every so often, even Comcast can act just like everyone wishes they would all the time.Normally, Comcast holds an iron grip around the pockets of most subscribers. Want ESPN, ABC, NBC, USA, and Bravo? Of course you do. But Comcast forces 150 more channels of utter dreck down your throats, and makes you pay over $100 a month for the privilege. In a Harris branding study released this month, Comcast finished 51st out of the 60 companies surveyed, with a corporate reputation that Harris said was “poor”.But work the peasants too hard, and a revolution will brew. To forestall that day, Comcast customers are eating cake, at least for now. (Here’s a full list of shows included in the Watchathon. Note that it doesn’t offer a free, one-week subscription to HBO, Starz or Showtime, just a pass to their proprietary shows.)Comcast Is A Streaming Service, TooWhen consumers talk about streaming services, the conversation starts with Netflix, then maybe Hulu Plus or Amazon Prime. If these services were baseball teams, Netflix might be the Oakland Athletics, always looking for an underutilized asset it can exploit — in its case, the massive, inexpensive, and still popular back catalog of television shows. If that’s true, Comcast is the New York Yankees: absolutely dominating the markets it serves, and buying up whatever it wants. And by owning a majority stake in NBC Universal, Comcast is a program creator as well as an aggregator like Netflix.Furthermore, over five million U.S. homes are now “zero TV” homes, Nielsen reported this week, a figure that’s doubled in the last six years. These cord-cutters are just five percent of the total U.S. TV viewing audience, but it’s a growing trend. And cord-cutters, by definition, aren’t choosing Comcast.But until now, Comcast and Netflix have been polar opposites. Comcast provides everything that pay or free TV provides, hundreds of channels worth, but with no real depth. After a month or so, TV episodes drop into that nebulous twilight zone where they’re only available for purchase from Amazon, Hulu, or Vudu before they’re eventually packaged into boxed Blu-ray sets. A few years later, Netflix scoops them up into its ever-expanding back catalog.The same holds true, quality-wise. For all of the low-budget “B” movies that some criticize Netflix for buying up, they’re just the equivalent of the “16 and Pregnant” reality ilk that MTV and its brethren commission. And while Netflix would like to buy up as many recent movies as it can, Comcast tries to offer “Catch Up” options for viewers to watch older episodes of shows that are currently airing.Throwing Its Weight AroundThe difference, however, is one of budget. Comcast’s quarterly revenues usually top $16 billion; Netflix recorded $945 million last quarter. But Netflix’s revenue is steadily rising, giving the company more money to invest in either original programming, which competes directly with NBC, or buying up more movies and TV shows. Either way, Comcast loses. Watchathon is just Comcast beating its chest and roaring its displeasure – quite possibly to no avail at all.There’s one important component to the promotion, however, that’s not immediately apparent: many of the shows that Comcast is promoting, including the premium ones, are ongoing. Sure, you’ll get to watch seven seasons of Dexter, if that’s what you want. But when Season 8 rolls around this June, you’ll have to sign up for Showtime to see how it ends. (The first sample is always free.)Still, for years customers have clamored for an a la carte option, a way to pick individual channels without bundled stations they didn’t want. For years, cable and satellite companies have ignored them. For a week, we get what we want. It’s not clear how much money Comcast spent to try and buy our happiness, but who cares? After all, we paid for it.Image via Flickr/scriptingnews 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… markhachman Related Posts 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… Tags:#Comcast
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!
No Goals: You need a target. Without a target, there is nothing to aim for. Without goals, you are simply drifting, reacting to whatever acts on you. Goals are what allow you to be proactive and take initiative. Without goals, you can be very busy without being productive.No Plan: A well thought-out, written plan is the map that guides your actions. Without a plan to reach your goals, the actions you take won’t get you where you want to go.No Master List: A yellow legal pad might be the right tool to track all of the many things that come into your life, but it’s not likely. You need a master list of every project, every task, and every piece of incoming information you need to take action on. Without this list, commitments are lost, and so is your productivity.No Weekly Review: Once a week (at minimum), you have to spend the time evaluating your priorities and adjusting your plans. Without spending time reviewing your priorities and making adjustments to your calendar, you can’t make progress on your most important priorities. In fact, you won’t even know what your priorities are.No Time Blocking: Part of a good weekly review is blocking the time you need to take action on your most important priorities. If you don’t take time to plan your week, then others will plan your week for you.Over-committed: Busy people get more done. Over-committed people get the wrong things done. Focus is saying no to all but the few things that really matter. Being overcommitted is to pretend that everything matters and all the choices of what to do with your limited time are equal. Commit to doing more work, but only the work that matters.Under-committed: This isn’t having too little to do, even though that is possible. It’s not being committed enough to your goals, your dreams, and your priorities. If you want to live a productive life, you must have a fire in your belly.Procrastination: Being productive means taking action on what matters most. You procrastinate when you know what you need to do but aren’t inspired enough to take action or aren’t disciplined enough to do the work that is necessary. When you are committed to meaningful goals, even the rote actions get done.Burnout: Being productive is only sustainable when you take time away from doing the work to refresh, reset, and recharge. The more you do, the more you need time to recover. Burnout comes when you don’t take care of the only real asset through which you produce results: You.Inability to Say No: Saying no to small things is how you preserve your time for big things. Without the ability to say no, other people’s priorities will crowd out your real priorities. Being productive requires that you say no far more than you say yes. These are productivity’s ten enemies: Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now