Fire breaks out in Panorama City home

first_imgPANORAMA CITY – Nobody was hurt in a fire that broke out today in a single-story residence in the Panorama City area, a Los Angeles city fire captain said. The fire was reported at 12:22 a.m. in the 8000 block of Brimfield Avenue, said Los Angeles fire Capt. Dave Murray. Arriving firefighters saw flames in the garage, he said. The fire was knocked down at 12:49 a.m., he said. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champFor more news and observations about crime in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, check out the Daily News’ crime blog by clicking here. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Can Martin Jones give the Sharks the goaltending they need to win the Cup?

first_imgSAN JOSE — After a decade of playoff disappointments, it seemed like the Sharks had finally found the missing ingredient with a slick trade in the summer of 2015.Martin Jones opened his career with the Sharks by setting a franchise-record shutout streak of 234:33 during his first week on the job. Later, in the spring, he led the Sharks to their first appearance in the Stanley Cup Final, recording a .923 save percentage in 24 games. The future looked bright. At 26, Jones had the potential to …last_img

SA increases R&D spending

first_img1 June 2007South Africa’s spending on research and development (R&D) has increased by about R4.5-billion over the last five years, an indicator of the growing competitiveness of the country’s economy.Delivering his department’s budget vote in Parliament in Cape Town last week, Science and Technology Minister Mosibudi Mangena said the country’s target of spending 1% of gross domestic product (GDP) on R&D by 2008/09 was now “well within sights.”According to the latest Human Sciences Research Council survey of R&D spending, SA businesses, universities, science councils, government research institutes and non-governmental organisations spent R14-billion, or 0.91% of GDP, on R&D in 2005/06.This was up from R12-billion, or 0.87% of GDP, in 2004/05, Mangena said.Over the same period, the private sector’s share of R&D activity rose from 56% to 59%. “As our business sector engages in innovation and R&D, their returns contribute to economic growth,” the minister said. “We are delighted with this trend.”SA firms score for innovationEarlier this year, the Human Sciences Research Council released the results of the first official South African Innovation Survey – modelled on the survey used in all European Union countries in 2005/06 – showing that more than half of SA’s companies engaged in the development of new products and processes between 2002 and 2004.“Our rate of innovation is well above that of the European average of 42% for 2004,” Mangena told Parliament last week.According to the survey, SA companies spent in the region of R27.8-billion on innovative activities in 2004, representing about 2.4% of the total turnover of all business covered in the industrial and service sectors.While the bulk of this expenditure was devoted to the acquisition of new machinery, equipment and software, in-house research and development (R&D) expenditure accounted for about 20% of total innovation expenditure.“In addition, some 10% of successful innovators in industry received public funding for innovation activities,” Mangena said. “That shows that the funding programmes of government are having a penetrating effect in the private sector.”R&D incentivesThe Department of Science and Technology also worked with the National Treasury and SA Revenue Service over the past year to introduce enhanced tax incentives for R&D.“I must, however, report a concern that few business leaders appear to be aware of the new incentives,” Mangena said. “We urge businesses to carefully examine their production processes, correctly identify their R&D activities, and increase their investments further.”Mangena reported that the lion’s share of the department’s budget over for 2007 through 2009 – about R323-million – would go to developing South Africa’s human resources in science, engineering and technology.The department has also allocated R178-million to provide modern research facilities and infrastructure for the country’s research community.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

The Illusion of Life: A Q&A with Cento Lodigiani

first_imgTraditional animation principles meets modern motion design software in ‘The Illusion of Life’ created by Cento Lodigiani.Modern tools have made animation and motion graphic design much easier than ever before. Instead of having to draw each frame by hand, animators and designers can use computers to easily create amazing animations in no-time.However, it can be really easy to jump straight into animation without having a good background to help you understand why certain things look good and other things do not. Over the years many artists have perfected the art of animation and along the way they’ve created a few principles that can help give life to your animated characters. These artists come from a variety of different animation studios but perhaps the most famous and innovative animation comes from Disney Animation Studios.For decades Disney has been well known for their storytelling, art, and lifelike animation. Even a kid can tell the difference between an animated Disney film and a film created by another company, but why is that?In their insightful book, The Illusion of Life,  Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston share their secrets as to how they perfected the ‘Disney’ look while working as animators at the Disney Animation Studios during the golden era of animation. The book has become required reading for those looking to get into character animation and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in taking their designs to the next level.The book is loaded with tips and tricks to give the illusion of life to your characters, but one of the most helpful sections of the books comes in the form of 12 principles that can easily be applied to animations. The 12 principles are:Squash and StretchAnticipationStagingStraight Ahead Action and Pose to PoseFollow Through and Overlapping ActionSlow In and Slow OutArcsSecondary AnimationTimingExaggerationSolid DrawingAppealAll of these principles when combined create the charming ‘Disney’ style of animation that is so appealing to animators. These principles of animation are incredibly useful and important, but unfortunately until recently there weren’t any good online resources illustrating the principles in action. That was until New York based animator Cento Lodigiani decided to illustrate all 12 principles using a simple cube. The result is a short video that beautifully illustrates each principle.If you haven’t seen the video here it is. Notice how easy it is to give life to such a simple shape using these principles.Cento’s video was amazingly created entirely in After Effects, which absolutely blew my mind the first time I read that. With more questions regarding the animation, I reached out to Cento and he was kind enough to answer a few questions regarding ‘The Illusion of Life’ video.Q&A with Cento LodigianiHow did you come up with the idea?It actually happened randomly, one day I was cleaning my room and I found the book. I started flipping through the book and found the 12 principles and thought they would be great to illustrate in a video. I was confident that there would be a video like that on the internet, but when I searched I couldn’t find anything at all. Which honestly surprised me.I chose to do the cube character instead of a traditional character because I wanted the focus to be on the animation instead of the character. I thought it would be a fun challenge to give a personality to a simple shape.Do you feel like learning the principles is crucial to learning to be a better animator?I know the principles because I’ve always been into traditional animation. Since I was a kid I always was inspired by Disney animation principles. Even in the beginning when I didn’t know the 12 principles but I found myself using the 12 principles a lot. So when I ended up reading the Illusion of Life it really put into words what I had already been doing.Currently it’s not like I sit down to animate and think about the 12 principles, but I do end up applying them to what I do.I think it’s really good to stick to tradition in animation. Today you can have multiple designers with different styles and different education backgrounds and that’s good. New animation schools like those in Japan have begun simplifying real life and showing real-life through abstract elements instead of the 12 principles.You said you did created this project with a combination of both cell drawn animation and After Effects. Could you walk us through the production process?The little cube is a cube made with 6 3D layers. For most of the animation I was able to use that little element by stretching it. But there were parts that I had to draw frame by frame.I changed the basic parameters of the cube like scale and rotation, but I honestly used deformation effects like bend to create the cube’s animation. I used a mixture of a lot of things because when you are trying to finalize a scene it has to be perfect.The challenge with this project is if people are going to be using my video to reference the 12 principles than the animation had to be absolutely perfect. Since moving a keyframe a few frames forwards or backwards can change the entire scene I spent a lot of time perfecting the movements.So when the cube arcs? That is an example of hand-drawn animation?Exactly, because I couldn’t get the cube to deform that way, so I had to go frame by frame.How long did it take you to create this video?I was messing with it for about 3 months but I definitely wasn’t working on it full time. In the last few weeks I would say I almost was working on it full-time but I was working on a lot of different projects at the time.Did you know the narrator?No, but it turned out awesome. I found him in one of those online services that have a bunch of different voices. I just happened to find him and it was absolutely perfect.How difficult was it to perfect the movement?It was a big challenge. Again, if you are trying to make a piece about animation principles perfection of the movement is almost the whole point. There were other challenges like, finding the right action to explain each principle. I spent a lot of time perfecting each move, it was all a matter of frames, so it was really difficult. But, I saw that the animation was something I could be proud of so I wanted to put the time in to make it good. I was liking what I was doing so it was worth it.Where did you learn how to do motion graphics?I didn’t study animation in school, I actually studied design in Milan, Italy. So I would say I am a good example of learning by doing instead of studying. I was at a design university and I was doing other things, but while I was there I was able to talk to other people in animation. I approached it kinda by myself and I had this professor who invited me to one of his classes. Then I started working as an intern for his company. Then I just started studying a lot of stuff like books and animated movies and that was pretty much all my education.Where do you go for creative inspiration?Inspiration is all around me. I draw inspiration from everyday life. The city that I live in (New York), is a big source of inspiration. Good music is very inspiring and good films. Masters of animation including Saul Bass the father of motion graphics and Richard Williams who was the lead animator for Roger Rabbit give me inspiration. I spend a lot of time on the almighty internet. It’s a great source of inspiration.A still from A Few Moments of Mess by Cento Lodogiani Do you have any specific websites you go to?I have plenty. I follow a lot of tumblr’s and blogs of every kind. I can’t just name one blog because that would be unfair to the others. Tumblr is great because there are so many different artists that blow you away every day. You can look randomly for design artists everyday and it’s an endless source of inspiration.What was the most helpful tip you can give aspiring animators and motion graphic artists?Apply yourself and keep doing your own projects for fun. Sometimes it’s easy to get lost in the short-term goal of making money. It’s more rewarding to do your own personal projects and create a good body of work that is more for yourself than for a client. But of course work to pay your bills…If you are interested in purchasing the book the 12 principles were based on you can pick it up ‘The Illusion of Life’ by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston from Amazon for around $40. You can see more of Cento Lodigiani’s work on his webiste any other questions for Cento? Do you reference the 12 principles in your animations? Let us know in the comments below.last_img read more

Tale of two cities: Chiefs are surfing waves of success as Leicester tread water

first_imgWhen Leicester last won the Premiership title it was at precisely this stage of the season in 2012 that they welcomed Exeter to Welford Road and promptly sent them packing back down to the West Country, tails between their legs. In the five years since, the sides’ relative progress has been nigh-on diametrically opposed – Exeter have soared, Leicester stagnated.The comparison between the two is relevant because their similarities are abundant. Both attempt to live within their means, there are rarely many empty seats when either play at home and both clubs have an earthiness to them. Not so long ago Leicester provided the blueprint for Saturday’s visitors, now the Chiefs are threatening to leave them behind.“I think there are a lot of similarities if you speak to people at both clubs about what you perceive to be their virtues, you’d come up with the same words,” says the Leicester chief executive, Simon Cohen. “Down to earth, humble, hard-working. A people’s club and a family club, both have those aspirations and values.” Marcus Smith shines for Harlequins but Leicester Tigers turn the tide features Exeter Share via Email Share on Twitter Read more Since you’re here… … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Sign up to the Breakdown for the latest rugby union news Premiership Read more Share on Facebookcenter_img Support The Guardian Share on Pinterest Share on LinkedIn Rugby union “If you look at the squads for all the top teams they’ve got international players in almost every position,” he says. “To come out of the academy and be better than those players is harder than it’s ever been. Cyclically, you have a group of very good players coming out of the academy. We had it a little while ago with Manu and Ben Youngs, Saracens have recently, Exeter had with [Dave] Ewers, Jack Nowell and Henry Slade. That is the new reality.”If Leicester and Exeter is a tale of two cities then it is apt it takes place against the backdrop of revolt. It has been another week dominated by talk of industrial action by players in the face of plans to extend the season and it was troubling to listen to the England captain, Dylan Hartley, this week discuss the issue that will come to define his generation. “I don’t know much about it,” he said, “but I don’t know where to get the information from.”It is not laziness, nor ignorance, on Hartley’s part – rather he is, to all intents and purposes, in the dark. And here is the crux of the matter. Premiership Rugby chose a good day to bury bad news when announcing its plans for a 10-month season, the Monday morning after the Six Nations had packed up and rolled out of town. The lack of subsequent detail, or consultation with the players that has led to talk of strike action, does not sit well.On the face of it, the motivations of the Premiership clubs are understandable. When soaring wage bills have led to a collective loss of approximately £30m, they have had enough of being without their international players – their crowd-pullers – for large parts of the season. Dig a litter deeper, however, and not all 12 clubs share that view.“For us it has never been an issue of competing with international rugby,” says Cohen. “England played Australia a couple of years ago and we played Harlequins and sold out. I don’t feel fans are short-changed about not seeing their international players enough. If we have to compete with international rugby we are happy to do that.“I know you want me to say that commercially we can’t afford to shorten the season but I don’t believe that because I have some sympathy for the players’ position. Without players, we don’t have a game. We have to accommodate their concerns and welfare and we have to make it work financially around that, rather than the other way around. I find it very difficult to see how [a 10-month season] can work.”Cohen’s views are interesting because firstly they blow apart the myth that club boardrooms are on one side of the fence, the players on the other. And secondly, because last June Leicester announced a loss in their annual accounts. The £424,000 pales in comparison to those of Wasps, Bath and Saracens – clubs who rely on wealthy benefactors to absorb their debts – but when a club as traditionally successful as the Tigers is in the red it is clear that 20 years since the advent of the Premiership, the club model is far from perfect. Wages are currently a far greater proportion of turnover than is manageable and Brexit is among the key reasons sponsorship is hard to come by, leading to an overreliance on the funds generated from TV rights.“It’s certainly difficult, finances are not easy, but it’s a weird old world,” Cohen adds. “The Premiership has never been more successful, the rugby is attractive, any team can beat any other team on their day. The revenues are higher than they’ve ever been so in that sense it’s extremely successful. But in attempting to do all those things, we’re spending more on players than we would like in this stage of our development.” Topics Share on Messenger Leicester Share on WhatsApp Leicester anticipate their biggest gate of the season on Saturday but the Chiefs are in fine form and won the fixture 34-15 last term. The most feared pack in the Premiership was once the Tigers’ but it is now an accolade that belongs to the Chiefs, who are thriving on and off the pitch, making a profit of £2.1m last year.Even with the upheaval of losing Richard Cockerill, Aaron Mauger and Scott Hansen last season Leicester maintained their record of reaching the play-offs every year since 2005. But trophies – the Anglo-Welsh Cup aside – are proving harder to come by and despite the summer arrivals of George Ford and Jonny May, and the return to fitness of Matt Toomua, they have been scratchy so far under Matt O’Connor this season, losing their first two before wins against Gloucester and Harlequins.“Success is very difficult for anybody because there are some very good sides,” says Cohen. “But Matt O’Connor has given us absolute clarity in what he wants from the players. They’ve responded well to that. I think we’ve got as good a chance as anybody of winning the Premiership this year. If you look at the bedrock of great Leicester sides you talk about Les Cusworth, Paul Dodge, Rory Underwood, you’re talking about sides that have always played pretty, attractive rugby. You can’t just sit back and expect people to come through the door, there’s too much competition in the leisure industry for people’s money now.”Leicester’s answer to the blank run has been recruitment. The stream of academy graduates to the senior England team has dried up since the Youngs brothers and Manu Tuilagi – it is a rare thing indeed for a Lions tour to pass off without any Tigers earning caps, as was the case in New Zealand. A quick look at the map would suggest they are hampered by the proximity of Worcester, Wasps and Northampton, but Cohen disagrees. Reuse this contentlast_img read more