McCatty: Refs to blame for basketball foul up

first_imgVeteran basketball official, Howard McCatty, has agreed with the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association’s (ISSA) competition’s director, George Forbes, that the referees are to blame for the incident which forced game one of the ISSA Southern Conference under-19 basketball final to be ruled null and void and ordered replayed.McCatty, a former basketball president and currently a referees’ trainer and technical commissioner, said the match officials erred by not ensuring that the teams were checked, even though others are sometimes assigned to fulfil this task.”They (referees) should have checked the identification cards before the game started. But, here in Kingston, we usually have someone checking it, and they (refs) thought it was checked by the table,” he explained.CHECKING ID’S”But I would put the blame on the referees because a technical commissioner should be at the table to check all IDs. In Northern (Conference), I check all IDs before the games starts,” he added.Calabar won game one of the series, only for Camperdown to launch a protest against their opponents for not having their IDs available for the game.However, ISSA investigations revealed that Calabar had no IDs. Camperdown did not have their full complement either and, as a result, a replay was ordered. Forbes blamed the match officials for not upholding the rules.”Our rules are quite simple, and that is you must have an ISSA-issued ID. The referees are the ones causing the problem. How do they know that a player has an ID? If I am the referee and I know you and I say you can play, that does not mean you satisfy the criteria,” Forbes said recently.McCatty admitted that sometimes schools have ID issues when they come to games, and insists that once it can be verified that a player is legitimate, they try to accommodate the schools as best as they can. However, he says next season, there will be no room for such leniency with the regulations.last_img read more

HTC Vives VR game and app subscription service starts April 2 for

first_img Preview • Here’s what it’s like to use the HTC Vive, the $799 VR headset that you can preorder today Review • HTC Vive review: Yes, this is the best VR experience, if you’ve got the space Mentioned Above HTC Vive HTC Vive Pro Eye tracks your eyes with pinpoint accuracy,… Along with the considerable investment in hardware, the lack of quality VR content has been a major turnoff for people interested in buying headsets. To help with the content part, HTC launched the Viveport Subscription service in 2017 for Vive headset owners that gives subscribers access to up to five titles at a time for $9 a month. The service was expanded to support rival Oculus Rift headsets in August 2018 and the upgraded service works for both Vive and Oculus users. New Viveport customers can sign up anytime for a free two-week membership to the Infinity service. Current subscribers to the Viveport Subscription service, as well as those with prepaid memberships, will be upgraded to the Infinity service at no additional charge through 2019. To encourage developers to crank out more titles, Viveport also increased revenue shares for developers to 80/20 up from 70/30 starting April 1 and runs through the end of 2019. It applies to all titles in the Viveport Infinity service.  Up close with the HTC Vive Pro 1:47 CNET may get a commission from retail offers. See It HTC HTC’s Viveport Infinity unlimited subscription service could deliver a much-needed boost to the virtual reality scene. Subscriptions cost $13 a month, HTC announced Thursday, or you can prepay an entire year for $99. The service, which was announced at CES 2019 with the upcoming Vive Cosmos headset, allows subscribers to download any of the more than 600 games and apps currently available in the Viveport store.Membership will include additional perks such as “weekend deals on select titles, free title giveaways, and monthly coupons,” HTC said in a blog post. The service starts on April 2. See it Share your voice $689 Post a comment 9 Photos Wearable Tech 0 Oculus Virtual Reality HTC HTC Vive Now playing: Watch this: Tags Walmart $499last_img read more

The secret to Laikas Missing Link Really fancy Mr Potato Heads

first_img Post a comment Laika spends anywhere from six months to a year designing the internal components of a puppet’s head — like eye rigs and mechanisms that hold the ears — to give animators as much control as possible. “They’re kind of like really fancy Mr. Potato Heads,” McLean says. In stop-motion filmmaking, animators carefully pose objects, take a still photo, move them ever so slightly, and take another still photo, repeating those steps. When all those images are shown in succession, the objects appear to move independently. Laika’s 3D-printed replacement animation flips the usual stop-motion process on its head, McLean says. Normally, animators draw out a scene, get the body movement and the timing just right — known as blocking — and only at the end add the facial animation. For Missing Link, the director and animators chose expressions for each performance months before shooting. On set, the animators decided how to position the puppets’ bodies, costumes, hair, and even eyeballs and eyelids. But they had a box of 3D-printed faces ready, and they essentially followed a spreadsheet outlining which expressions to use for each frame. missing-link-printed-facesLaika 3D-printed over 106,000 faces in color for Missing Link.  Anne Dujmovic/CNET Laika used a commercial 3D printer from Stratasys, which it started testing while still in beta, and Fraunhofer’s Cuttlefish software to produce over 106,000 faces in color for Missing Link. This was a huge leap from Coraline a decade earlier, when color wasn’t an option. Instead, the 20,000 faces printed for that film had to be hand-painted.In the years since, the studio tinkered with finding the right formula to print in color without trading precision and accuracy. For Missing Link, Laika was able to produce 3D-printed faces that “no one else in the world had the sophistication to do,” McLean says. No neck, no problemBuilding a believable Link — the lonely Sasquatch at the heart of the story — was a challenge from the beginning, according to John Craney, puppet fabrication supervisor. “What’s the worst-case scenario when you’re asked to fabricate a puppet?” asks Craney, standing in front of a naked Link. Turns out it looks a lot like the movie’s star: a husky character shaped like an avocado, over a foot tall and covered in fur. But that’s also what made it exciting, Craney says. 2019 sci-fi and geeky movies to freak out about 23 Photos Now playing: Watch this: Missing Link: Step inside Laika’s epic Bigfoot adventure 0 A handful of 10-inch posable puppets in tailored costumes — some in checked three-piece suits, others in floor-length gowns — are lined up on a shelf, like a collection of Victorian-era action figures.But what lies beneath those serene puppets is the stuff of nightmares.”I’m going to take this wonderful puppet and rip his face off,” says Brian McLean, director of rapid prototype at stop-motion animation studio Laika. The now faceless puppet, a character in family adventure Missing Link, shows off circuitlike innards that make it look more like an android from TV’s Westworld.A Sir Lionel Frost puppet from Missing Link, minus his face. Anne Dujmovic/CNET Following Laika’s acclaimed stop motion movies Kubo and the Two Strings and Coraline, the endlessly charming Missing Link is available on DVD, Blu-ray and digital now. We went behind the scenes to find out how Laika has made its puppets more lifelike than ever — which starts with replacing the puppets’ faces, sometimes up to 24 times for one second of film. The technique, called replacement animation, involves taking a picture of the puppet wearing one face and then swapping in another with a slightly different expression. The studio, based outside Portland, Oregon, has used the technique since its first film, 2009’s Oscar-nominated Coraline, fusing it with 3D-printing tech to produce faces that pop on and off. But it’s come a long way since then. Director and writer Chris Butler describes Missing Link as “Indiana Jones meets Sherlock Holmes and Around the World in 80 Days — with monsters in it.” Set in the Victorian era, the movie follows Bigfoot, aka Mr. Link (voiced by Zach Galifianakis), as he travels with adventurer Sir Lionel Frost (Hugh Jackman) across the globe in a search for the valley of Shangri-La and long-lost family. “I think stop motion is often seen as a medium that makes creepy short stories,” says Butler, referring back to how The Nightmare Before Christmas has defined the genre. “It does that really well, but that shouldn’t be all it does. So I was trying to tell a story that was big and bright and bold and colorful.””This was the first time our facial animation was bespoke,” says Butler, who also co-wrote Kubo and the Two Strings and wrote and co-directed ParaNorman. He and the animators painstakingly planned the puppets’ exact facial expressions for more nuanced performances.”It’s another level of acting really,” he says. The facial expressions were so subtle at times that in at least one case, the visual effects team cleaned up what it thought was a mistake: a scene where a character’s lips stick together as if his mouth is dry. “I was like ‘Put it back, put it back,'” Butler says with a laugh.To add to a puppet’s humanlike performance, animators do something even more disturbing than popping off faces, McLean says. They stab a character’s eyeballs and lids with an X-Acto blade to move them, giving its expression more subtlety. He happily demonstrates exactly how on a nearby, faceless Lionel. They’re kind of like really fancy Mr. Potato Heads. Brian McLean, Laika’s director of rapid prototype Creating a stage-ready puppet takes about nine months on average. That includes building a character’s intricate, skeletal insides — its armature — which give it a humanlike range of movement. Link’s armature contains over 250 components, says Craney, proudly pointing out the swivel in its forearms. Link also has a foam interior similar to a mattress, and a built-in belly mover to add to his jaunty character.All those details are what help bring out the performance from within, Craney says. “I’m looking at structure underneath, so there’s depth to these characters.” Another challenge was getting Link’s body and head to move together in a natural way because he’s got no neck. His facial animation needed to drive the fur around his head and the rest of his body, McLean says. It took about a year to come up with the answer: a 3D-printed plastic ring with magnets that attached to the lower part of the puppet’s head and sat underneath the face. The ring, known as a driver, worked together with Link’s cowl to push and pull the fur into shapes to complement his facial expressions. Making hybrid movies In Laika movies, the stop-motion puppets are the stars, but over the years digital visual effects have played an ever-growing supporting role. As well as computer-generated effects like smoke and water, Missing Link features CG characters when the story calls for, say, a long line of imposing Yeti guards or a digital extension of handmade sets such as a Himalayan ice bridge. This combination of digital and practical effects goes back to Laika’s second movie — ParaNorman, about a boy who can talk to the dead — when the studio started making what it calls hybrid films.”When we brought technology into the mix, we wanted to do so in a way that was ultimately respectful, and honor the art of stop-motion animation,” says Steve Emerson, visual effects supervisor. Originally published April 12, 5 a.m. PT. Update, 2:35 p.m. PT: Adds video Inside the Magic of Laika; Update, Aug. 9: Adds home release details.  Share your voice Tags The visual effects team is involved from the beginning, working alongside puppet makers to ensure the characters they create digitally have the same limitations the real ones do. “In the end, hopefully … you can’t really tell what’s digital and what’s not,” Emerson says.In post-production, the team also does cosmetic work — for example, cleaning up the line created between a puppet’s eyelids and face mask to give characters more of a humanlike quality. “We’re trying to get audiences to connect and empathize with 10-inch inanimate objects that are being pushed through space by human hands,” Emerson says. “So, [we do] whatever we can do to help you forget that you’re looking at a puppet.” Laika is already deep into work on its sixth film, but it’s not sharing any details yet. Meanwhile, two other stop-motion movies are preparing to get underway in the Portland area. One is Wendell and Wild, directed by Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas and Coraline). The movie centers on two demon brothers who go up against a nun and a couple of goth teens, with voices by Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key. The other is Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro’s take on Pinocchio, set during the rise of fascism in Italy. More fuel for your nightmares.”There is something inherently magical about stop motion,” says Chris Butler. “It’s an inanimate object coming to life. There’s something about CG animation where you know that what you’re watching is artificial, whereas stop motion is real light on real objects. It’s like when you’re a kid and you play with toys, and you imagine them coming to life.”  2:15 TV and Movieslast_img read more

AL men behind 21 Aug grenade attack alleges Rizvi

first_imgRuhul Kabir RizviBangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi on Thursday alleged that the 21-August grenade attack on Awami League president Sheikh Hasina’s rally in 2004 was carried by the party itself to put the then Khaleda Zia-led government in trouble.Speaking at a prayer session, he also alleged that law enforcers are issuing various threats against those speaking in favour of the Supreme Court’s verdict that annulled the 16th amendment to the constitution.”Awami League was asked to hold the rally at Muktangan. Why did you hold it in front of your party office? There’s something fishy… the bomb went off, but she [Hasina] remained safe,” said the BNP leader.He further said, “We can say your party men did it to embarrass the then BNP-led government and enhance people’s sympathy for you.”Jatiyatabadi Ulema Dal arranged the programme at BNP’s Naya Paltan central office seeking the early recovery of party chairperson Khaleda Zia who underwent a surgery in her right eye in London recently.On 21 August 2004, 24 leaders and activists of Awami League and its associate bodies were killed as at least 13 grenades were thrown from the rooftops of a nearby building soon after Sheikh Hasina had finished her speech at the rally.Hasina narrowly escaped the attack, but she had lost her hearing ability due to the impact of the repeated grenade blasts near the truck-dais of the huge public rally.Describing the incident as planned one by Awami league, Rizvi said it was executed by the party’s well-wishers.He said the main target behind the incident was to dent the image of BNP, Khaleda Zia and Tarique Rahman. “Their evil design exposed as the party soon after assuming power implicated Tarique Rahman with the case through a supplementary charge-sheet.”The BNP leader said similar attacks are taken place at different parts of the country, but no one is blaming the government for those. “We can now say Awami League is involved in Pilkhana BDR carnage as it took place soon after the party came to power.”About the 16th amendment verdict, he said the government let loose its different forces against those who are talking in favour of the verdict. “And these forces are giving them threats.”last_img read more