16 May 2007As South Africa prospers, so does the brand it represents. According to Minister in the Presidency Essop Pahad, Brand South Africa’s weight in the global marketplace is today valued at over half a trillion rand (over R500-billion).Delivering the budget vote of the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) in Parliament in Cape Town on Tuesday, Pahad said that a brand equity study first conducted in 2003 had valued Brand South Africa at R379.5-billion.Because of the work since done by the International Marketing Council (IMC) to elevate awareness of the country, this value, he said, was now R516.6-billion.This valuable imprint on popular consciousness – which is what an established brand represents – coincides with a move by the IMC to extend the South African country brand formula from the borders of the United Kingdom and the United States to emerging economic giant India.Sharper country profilingThe IMC – now a registered public entity – has brought about a sharper international profiling of South Africa as a dynamic emerging market with an image now less tied to its dramatic liberation from apartheid.The IMC, Pahad added, had over the past year forged a closer working relationship with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) – which also markets the country abroad – resulting in the hiring of a joint brand manager. The IMC and DTI recently collaborated on a successful trade mission to the United States, an important source of foreign investment.The IMC also recently hosted a conference where the leading international news editors engaged South Africa’s government and communicators on news selection so as to create a more balanced picture of the African continent.With South Africa gearing up to host the 2010 Fifa World Cup, the IMC’s work is expected to increase.The GCIS, the IMC, South African Tourism and the communication unit of the 2010 Local Organising Committee were all working together to co-ordinate South Africa’s communication around 2010, Pahad said.Riding the economic boomWhen the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) was established in 1998 to keep South Africans informed of the progress made and challenges encountered by the developmental state, SA’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth stood at just 1 percent.GDP growth is now hovering at around 5%, although some market watchers, taking into account the difficulties of measuring South Africa’s large informal or “second economy,” believe the government’s target of 6% GDP growth by 2010 has already been achieved.Speaking at a residents’ meeting in Mitchell’s Plain in Cape Town on Tuesday, Pahad said: “Some of us think, including [President Thabo Mbeki], that actually our economy is growing much faster than the official statistics demonstrate.”Pahad said more foreign direct investment was needed, especially in manufacturing, along with increased value-addition, for more jobs to be created in the country, but added that the climate had now been created for this to take place.Source: BuaNews
Every filmmaker is familiar with image noise, but what are its frequencies, and what’s really going on when we clean it up?Video footage at its most fundamental is the recording, storing, and playback of light waves reflecting off of objects in the frame. The light waves then strike one of millions of photo-sensitive pixels that stores the charge of the wave before transferring that data to specialized hardware for interpretation and assembly of the final image.As a result of this imaging process, each pixel is subject to faulty inputs caused by any number of sources of image noise. Ranging from cosmic radiation to over-volting the sensor, all noise essentially overwrites the information you were trying to capture at each affected pixel.There are plenty of methods for handling this noise, both at the hardware and software levels, but the technology behind these tools goes largely unexplored by the average filmmaker.Today, we’re taking the scenic route. Let’s take an in-depth look at one of the most prevalent noise reduction techniques and see if there is a way to mimic its results manually. At the very least, we should get a better idea for what our tools are doing under the hood.Spatial Noise ReductionMost video noise reduction techniques fall into one of two categories: spatial and temporal. As the names suggest, spatial noise reduction deals with noise across each pixel of each frame, whereas temporal noise reduction examines multiple frames to determine whether pixel readout is intended or a result of image noise.Because spatial noise reduction addresses each frame individually, its results should be the easiest to replicate manually.The primary way most programs implement spatial noise reduction is by analyzing the frequencies of the recorded light from each pixel block. This is because noise has different characteristics depending on the frequency of the affected pixel.High, Medium, and Low Noise FrequenciesRegardless of type, all video noise breaks down into one of three categories based on how the noise manifests in the footage: high-, medium-, or low-frequency.The sharp, staticy nature of high-frequency noise is usually the most noticeable, but patchy medium- and splotchy low-frequency noise will affect your footage just as much.Let’s look at two clips with noise problems and manually select and bring down the visibility of the noise.We’re starting out with an example from a short I shot on super 16 several years back. I underexposed it a fair bit for effect, but during the film transfer, the film grain turned into irritating digital noise across most of the frame.I’ve brought the exposure up a bit for the actress — and also to make spotting the noise frequencies a bit easier. For this shot, we’ll bring up the levels on our actress and then do our best to turn all of the noisy pixels to black.SelectingThe tool we’re using to select specific regions of noise today is the HSL/Secondary tab in the Lumetri Color Panel.When selecting your footage, make sure to ask yourself a few questions: What color is the noise I want to target? How intense are the colors? Is the area primarily highs, lows, or mids?I’ve duplicated the video three times for each noise frequency.To select the blocky dark blue low-frequency noise, I have targeted all colors with the exception of the red and orange skin tones in the Hue qualifier. I also selected the top 10 percent or so of the Saturation qualifier before sliding the feather all the way to the left to create a soft falloff of color tones. Finally, I selected the bottom third of the Luminance qualifier.For the splotchy lighter-blue, medium-frequency noise, I’ve selected yellow to magenta in Hue, the top 25 percent of Saturation with falloff to about the 50 percent mark, and then the bottom third of the Luma.To isolate the bright, starry pixels in the high-frequency noise, I targeted the cyan tones of the high-frequency noise, selected the full saturation range, and then isolated from about 35-65 percent on the Luma controls.Now that we’ve selected each frequency of the noise, we’re going to adjust the levels and color balance of our selections to turn the problematic pixel blocks as close to black as we can get them.I slightly denoised and blurred the low-frequency clip to create a bit of feathering for the low selection before bringing the levels down about 30 percent, warming the selection and pushing the tint to green. I fine-tuned my results by slightly sharpening and then fully desaturating the selection.For the medium selection, I pushed the temperature to 100 and pulled the tint almost all the way over to green before bumping the contrast up about halfway and then fully de-saturating.For the high-frequency noise, it was important to denoise the selection, as the type of noise we’re targeting has a very small radius. Denoising the selection helps to open the mask up a little bit.I denoised slightly, pushed temperature fully to orange and tint fully to green, pumped the contrast to 85, blurred slightly, and then fully desaturated.To finalize our color blends, we’re stacking all of the duplicated and repaired tracks on top of a medium-gray color matte. I stacked highs on the top track, mids on middle, and lows on the bottom. For the lows, I selected the Vivid opacity blend mode and set the opacity to 95 percent. For the mids, the blend mode was Overlay set to 60 percent, and highs were set to Multiply at 35 percent.From there, I nested the three separated tracks and made a few tweaks to the levels until I found the best look. All that’s left now is to compare the results with a copy of the original with similar adjustments to see if all this extra work paid off.BeforeAfterI think there’s a pretty clear difference between the two — ours comes out a little ahead.The first example was a little easy because we essentially only needed to turn every noise pixel into a black one. Let’s take a look at a more realistic use case, wherein we will need to blend the results into the good parts of the frame.In this shot, we have a substantial amount of high-frequency noise in the Luminance channel and a fair amount of mid- and low-frequency noise in the green channel.To select the low-frequency noise, I used the Hue qualifier to select all tones except for reds and oranges, selected the top 40 percent or so of the Saturation qualifier with a small 5 percent or so falloff towards the shadows, and then isolated the bottom 25 percent or so of the Luma qualifier with some softening on either side.To repair, I denoised the selection at 50, blurred the selection slightly, used the three-way color corrector to boost shadows, cut mids, and slightly pulled back on the highs. I warmed and pushed the tint to magenta before pushing contrast to 20, blurring softly and then reducing saturation to 70.For the mids, I used the Hue qualifier to select all colors but orange and red, selected the bottom 25 percent of the Saturation qualifier with about a 10 percent falloff to the highs, and then selected from about 10-30 percent on the Luma qualifier with falloff in both directions.To repair, I denoised by 50, blurred to 15, cut shadows and highs, boosted mids, cooled the temp to 50, pushed magenta to 40, desharpened by 50, and desaturated to 85.For the highs, I selected all colors on the Hue qualifier, the bottom 30 percent with a 15 percent or so falloff to the highs on the Saturation qualifier, and then 30-50 percent on the Luma qualifier with about a 15 percent falloff on both sides.To hide the noise, I denoised by 50; pushed blur all the way to 30; boosted shadows and cut highs and mids; and pushed magenta to 25 before pushing contrast, sharpen, and saturation controls all the way to -100.To finish this out, I am again stacking the clips with the bottom set to the Color Dodge blend mode at 100 percent opacity, middle set to Multiply at 65 percent, and the highs set to Multiply at 90 percent. I then nested the clips to apply final adjustments to bring the levels up and warm the entire image, and then I slightly shifted the tint to get more accurate skin tones.I then added a 35mm film grain to further hide the noise and set it to the Lighten color blend mode at 20 percent opacity. Finally, I added an adjustment layer to boost the contrast in the shot a little more, and I made a slight adjustment to the Curves panel to mitigate the green tint in the image.All that’s left is to compare these results to a version of the original clip with similar adjustments excluding our noise reduction.BeforeAfterI think the winner is clear.Whether or not you decide to incorporate manual noise reduction into your image mastering workflow, I hope you got a better grasp of how specific noise frequencies affect your footage and some of the ways spatial noise reduction tools target and reduce noise — and perhaps a few tricks when none of your other tools are working out. As always, experiment with your own footage and see what other tricks you can figure out!Cover image via kasha_malasha.Looking for more post-production tips and tricks? Check these out.Saving Noisy Footage: The Easy Way and the Hard WayIsolating Image Channels to Work with Chroma and Luma in PremiereHere’s What You Need to Know About Data CompressionPost-Production Tips: How to Save Corrupted FootageWhy Dual Native ISO Should Be the New Industry Standard
Pankaj Advani turned in an aggressive performance laced with emotion to fetch India their first gold medal at the Asian Games as he conquered Myanmar’s Nay Thway Oo 3-2 in the English billiards final here on Sunday. On a day when the shooters ensured a silver and a bronze, it was Advani who was the flavour of the day.It’s been a tough year for Advani, having lost in the world billiards semi-finals in Pune and losing in the same stage at the World Professional Billiards Championship in Leeds, UK, recently.As the defending Asian Games champion, the pressure was indeed intense on him. Having conquered the world of baize sport at such a young age, Advani knew Sunday was a big day, where he had two play backto- back matches.He had begun the day by defeating another player from Myanmar’s Kyaw Oo Oo 3-2 in tough conditions. But the final was indeed a big match with the Myanmar team management vocal in their support, which is pretty unusual in a billiards hall.As the final began, Nay Thway looked cool and composed. Short in stature and dressed nattily, the unfancied Myanamar cueist was fast in walking away with first frame at a 100-33. During this period, Advani looked tense and not his usual self.As he came to the billiards table and rubbed the wax on his cue, there was hesitancy while he was potting the ball. It appeared as if Advani was tense. Once into the second frame, the bigwigs of Indian sport had arrived in the hall in anticipation of a gold medal. Advani slowly cranked his game up.advertisementHe had compiled a 46-37 lead and then went on to register a break of 28 for a 74-37 lead. That was the point Nay Thway missed potting a simple red.Advani jumped in on the chance and sealed the frame with an unfinished break of 26 points. The Myanmar cueist was on song in the third frame. His monk-like serenity and the fast game he played was worth watching. With breaks of 56 and 43, he won 101-12.That was the stage Advani took a toilet break. For those not conversant with the billiards format in the Asian Games, it is very different from how the world championships are played (time and point format).Out there, cueists like Advani can pace themselves out in hours and win a match.But in the Asian Games, it’s on a 100-point format, meaning whichever player first gets to 100, he wins the frame. For purists like Advani, this doesn’t come naturally. Yet, when a purist becomes a convert, we got to see what happens with the Indian in full flow on the table as he potted the ball with fluency and feel.In the fourth frame, Advani took a 6-2 lead and then built a good cushion to lead 34-2. Till then, Nay Thway looked as if he would compete hard. All of a sudden, Advani then unleashed a brilliant burst which only champions can, as he scored 67 points to win the frame 101-4.By this time, the Myanmar support staff had become quiet. They knew Advani had bounced back and Nay Thway was fidgety, looking left and right, with his body language being negative.Advani did not ease on the pedal in the decisive frame. He led 64-45 and from there again did not stop till he had sealed the frame 100-45.For a man who had till then been restrained, he signalled victory by pumping his clenched fists and pointing to the stands. A golden moment that Indians will treasure.
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Peschisolido hails Wilder for Sheffield Utd impactby Paul Vegas3 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Sheffield United striker Paul Peschisolido is delighted seeing the club back in the Premier League.Peschisolido was speaking before last night’s win over Arsenal.He told The Star: “It’s great to see United back where they are.”How can you not be impressed by the job Chris (Wilder) has done? It’s been brilliant. There’s just no way to criticise anything that’s happened there.””One of the things I really like is that the dressing room just seems to be filled with normal blokes,” Peschisolido added, drawing parallels between Wilder’s team and the one Neil Warnock built. “And that’s what the fans at United want to see; people playing good football but above all else, giving everything for the shirt. I know our one did and, from the outside looking in, with everything you hear, you can see that Chris’ dressing room also runs itself.”
LOS ANGELES – NOVEMBER 11: General view of action as the Oregon Ducks take on the USC Trojans on November 11, 2006 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. The Trojans defeated the Ducks 35-10. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)When USC hits the field for the Holiday Bowl against Wisconsin on December 30, we expect the Trojans to wear their classic helmets. Going chrome with the current design is about the extend of what we see with alternate looks from the Trojans, but that doesn’t stop some of the internet’s top graphic designers from playing with some cool ideas for the program. Fresh Football Helmets and Deeyung Entertainment came up with a cool USC concept, that uses a yellow base with red details and logos.What do you think, Trojan fans?
Lindsey Bahr, The Associated Press LOS ANGELES — “Aquaman” is still leading the pack at the box office, but other films like “Mary Poppins Returns” and “The Mule” are enjoying post-Christmas bumps too.Warner Bros. on Sunday says “Aquaman” has added an estimated $51.6 million in North American ticket sales over the weekend to take first place again. Down just 24 per cent from its domestic debut, the DC Comics pic has grossed nearly $748.8 million worldwide.Up 19 per cent, “Mary Poppins Returns” took second place with $28 million, while “Bumblebee” settled in third with $20.5 million.“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” got fourth with $18.3 million. And “The Mule,” up 24 per cent, took fifth with $11.8 million.The Dick Cheney movie “Vice” grossed $7.8 million from the weekend and $17.7 million since its Christmas opening.RELATED: Thor’s Hammers: Vice
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Women’s Resource Society got a big boost last month after Tourmaline Oil donated the proceeds from its Annual Golf Tournament.The event, which took place at Lakepoint Golf and Country Club on July 19th, featured entertaining live and silent auctions, a 50/50 ticket draw, and a call for participants to “Fill-A-Truck” with non-perishable donations for the food pantry at the Centre.Society Board members Jen Pimm and Kelsey Dawley attended the tournament’s dinner, where Pimm spoke on behalf of the organization. “We are a front-line organization dealing with violence against women and children, community outreach, poverty, advocacy, harm reduction, food security, and much more. Your donation stays in our community and directly impacts local people. Without the support of our community, we could not do this important work, so thank you, we are very grateful.”After the tournament’s fundraising total was added up, Tourmaline said that it would like to match the donation, bringing the donation total to an incredible $35,150.“This means so much to us,” said Pimm. “We need a new furnace, and we have been trying to find room in the budget for this kind of capital expenditure. Thank you Tourmaline, the sponsors, and everyone who came out to golf!”Executive director Amanda Trotter explained that the donation was much-needed by the Society, which is currently seeing upwards of 500 clients each month.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Sunrise Rotary Club is hosting the gala fundraising event an ‘Evening Under the Stars’ February 16th, 2019 at the Pomeroy Hotel & Conference Center.This is a major fundraiser for the year which includes live entertainment, dinner and live and silent auctions.Funds raised from this event will go towards two projects. The Fort St. John Rotary Spray Park is the local project and the international project is in support of the End Polio Now Campaign, Rotary’s international fight for global polio eradication. Tickets for the event cost $100.00 each and are available to purchase from Sunrise Rotary Members, SunFM, The Investors Group or contact Amy Titley of the Rotary club at 250.261.8032.The evening starts at 5:30 pm with Cocktails followed by dinner at 6:30 pm Dinner. The featured entertainment for the evening will be live music performed by Last Horse Standing.To view, the FB Event Page CLICK HERE
Horgan says that while the province wants a transition away from fossil fuel dependence, that transition should be aided by more refined product to give B.C. drivers relief.Protesters planned to rally ahead of a Liberal fundraiser tonight to call for a stronger federal climate action and criticize Trudeau for his government’s approval and purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.But Trudeau told reporters that selling Canadian oil to American markets at a discount won’t help the environment, but redirecting some of the profits from the expansion will.“Having 99 per cent of our oil go to the United States doesn’t do anything for our environment,” Trudeau said.“Putting the profits from the TMX into the green transition will do a lot for the environment.”The prime minister and premier announced a joint investment in transit among federal, provincial and municipal governments that will also allow for 10 long-range electric buses that would provide greener transportation options in Greater Victoria. Trudeau told a crowd inside a BC Transit bus body shop that the buses will be more energy efficient and have improved accessibility and safety features as part of a public system that needs to keep pace with growing communities.Horgan said a strong transit system is essential to making communities more affordable and to greening the province’s transportation infrastructure.The federal and provincial governments have each contributed $31 million for the new buses while municipalities are pitching in $16 million.Trudeau was in Montreal earlier today, meeting with European Council President Donald Tusk and EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom, and he’s hosting a fundraising event tonight in Victoria. VICTORIA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Ottawa is open to proposals from the private sector for a refinery in British Columbia, as a public inquiry into the province’s soaring gas prices reviews possible solutions.The prime minister says he knows B.C. residents are struggling and the federal government is always open to hearing businesses cases and working with people to find solutions so they can pay their bills.He made the comments in Victoria today following a joint announcement with Premier John Horgan of $79 million to support 118 new transit buses across the province. The Canadian Press
Senco Gold & Diamonds, the largest jewellery retail chain from Eastern India, organised a fashion show with a difference. The fbb Colors Femina Miss India East 2019 winners walked down the ramp with the acid attack survivors – Mayna Pramanik and Sunita Dutta at Mega Shop of Senco Gold & Diamonds at Moulali as a gesture of respect and gratitude. The fbb Colors Femina Miss India East 2019 winners took pride in walking the ramp along with them, sporting the latest and exclusive designs of Bangles in Gold, Diamond and Platinum to mark the ongoing Bangle Utsav running currently at all the stores of Senco Gold & Diamonds, to celebrate Akshay Tritiya. Also Read – An income drop can harm brain Mayna and Sunita shared the ramp along with fbb Colours Femina Miss India East 2019 winners including Jyotishmita Baruah (fbb Colors Femina Miss India Assam 2019), Roshni Dada (fbb Colors Femina Miss India Arunachal Pradesh 2019), Shivani Jadhav (fbb Colors Femina Miss India Chhattisgarh 2019), Shreya Shanker (fbb Colors Femina Miss India Bihar 2019), Sushmita Roy (fbb Colors Femina Miss India West Bengal 2019), Chitrapriya Singh (fbb Colors Femina Miss India Jharkhand 2019), to name a few, along with a few customers. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma Award Acid Attack Survivors Mayna Pramanik and Sunita Dutta shared their real life struggle stories, their fight to encourage audiences to overcome all the hurdles in life. Suvankar Sen, Executive Director, Senco Gold & Diamonds, said: “Our association with Miss India goes back a long way. While it is recognised as one of the first platforms to bring Indian women to the forefront (nationally and worldwide), the annual event also resonates with Senco Gold & Diamonds’ philosophy of empowering women of today and making them independent and confident. It is also an opportunity to share the message with the younger generation that the jewelry we wear is an integral part of the society, history, culture and art. We believe that beauty lies in the mind and heart, and inner beauty lightens the world. On that note we are delighted to host such beautiful divas with heart of gold, who taught us how to fight to overcome hurdles.”