Andy Murray will leave the Australian Open early if his wife goes into labour prematurely.Kim Sears isn’t expecting until mid-February, but Murray told the Daily Mail newspaper that he’s prepared to withdraw from the first major of the year if she goes into labour early.”I’d go home. For sure, yes,” Murray said in yesterday’s edition. “I want to make sure at the beginning I am there as much as I can be to try and help out, just be there for whatever is really required of me.”The Australian Open, where Murray has reached the final four times but never won, runs from January 18-31.Regardless of his result, Murray said he’s taking off all of February and won’t play again until the first round of the Davis Cup in early March at home against Japan. Britain will be defending the trophy that Murray led them to last month.The second-ranked Murray said he is looking forward to becoming a father.”I am excited about that,” he said. “People have asked me, ‘Do you think it will be a distraction?’ It might be a distraction, but it’s a good distraction.”It’s actually not good to all the time be just concentrating on tennis and your training all of the time. It is important … when you finish on the practice court, be able to just go away and be with your friends and your family.”Murray also reunited with coach Amelie Mauresmo and her first child Aaron in Dubai this week. Mauresmo gave birth in August and Murray hadn’t seen her since Wimbledon in July.”I really enjoy working with her,” he said. “The last six months not seeing her, it’s just nice to have her back as part of the team, and get that continuity going again.”
CLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile deviceMESA, Ariz. — It’s crunch time for A’s pitchers with the club flying to Japan in 10 days to open the season.A spring training battle royale that began more than 10 pitchers vying for the final slot in the starting rotation seems have been narrowed to five.Chris Bassitt, Paul Blackburn, Aaron Brooks, top prospect Jesús Luzardo and Frankie Montas have made a case this spring that they deserve the job. Mike …
Working with film grain for your next YouTube project? Find out what not to do if you want a clean image.Cover image via Shutterstock.Over the past five years, YouTube has made significant advancements in bringing higher quality uploads to the platform, including 60fps, 2k, 4k, and now even 8k. However, we may be a few years off from getting that Blu-Ray sharpness on a simple 1080p upload. While most uploads are compressed the same way, there’s one digital asset that can severely affect your YouTube uploads, and that is coarse film grain.Image via Shutterstock.Recently I spent the better part of the day rendering the same file with different bitrates and various codecs in the hope of finding that YouTube sweet spot because, for some reason, my upload was looking like a mushy, blurry mess. On my desktop, despite a coarse grain overlay to mimic ’70s film stock, the image was still crisp, and I could still make out the finer details on the actor’s clothing. On Youtube, however, not so much. I eventually decided to bite the bullet and upload a less-than-satisfactory sharp video to YouTube, citing the website’s compression as the cause of my agony (even though I had uploaded sharper videos to YouTube over the past year). A few days later I had a thought: What if it was the grain?The project in question required a coarse, dirty grain flicker to imitate some of the B-movies of the ’70s and ’80s. So there was always a lot of minute visual information dashing across each frame, and it brought the information presented in this video by Tom Scott to my mind.Tom explains why videos that feature an abundance of small moving objects, such as confetti or snow, revert to lower quality playback. For a full demonstration, be sure to watch Tom’s video. In brief, Tom explains the basics of online inter-frame compression — how only the difference between frames gets stored, how the lack of bits will affect your video, and how multiple small moving objects will make your image fall apart.In the still below, you can really see how YouTube compress the coarse grain. In the background, a man is walking along the horizon, while on the desktop you can see the grainy texture. On YouTube, it’s become a blur — in fact, a lot of the color detail has disappeared in that region. Interestingly, within this particular capture, you can see also see how the dust and dirt that appears from the grain composite has been affected. On Youtube, especially on the top branch, the area surrounding the dirt has become pixelated like a lousy clone stamp. On the lower left, the compression is so high that it’s blended foliage with the background.In essence, using a coarse grain with plenty of hair, dust, and noise flickers is going to get processed as hundreds of individual moving objects, and the image will deteriorate in online compression. So, what exactly are the fixes? Unfortunately, for web presentation, you’re going to have to say goodbye to using a heavy grain overlay.Fine GrainThe fix is to use a clean fine grain. I can understand that not using coarse grain is not really a fix. It’s like having a slight transmission problem with your vehicle, and the mechanic says “Use a different car.” However, paradoxically, by using finer grain, the video gets less compression, and the viewer can see more grain particles than they would if you were to use coarse grain.By all means, continue to use coarse grain for the master export, which you would use for festivals or digital download distribution, but for web uploads, look to use a cleaner grain to get a sharper image.Looking for more information on working with film grain? Check out these articles.The Best Places to Find Film GrainMaster Resolve’s Built-In Film Grain with This RundownUse Film Grain Overlays to Add a Cinematic Look to Your Footage
NHRC notice to U.P. Chief Secretary over rotis, salt served in midday meal A day after booking a journalist for exposing the poor quality of the mid-day meal at a primary school in Mirzapur, the district administration on Tuesday justified its action saying the reporter’s act had appeared suspect because he had shot a video of the incident despite working for a print daily.Talking to reporters, Mirzapur District Magistrate Anurag Patel said the reporter Pawan Jaiswal had gone to the primary school to film a video and make it “viral” as part of a “conspiracy.”“There is a different way to make news,” Mr. Patel said. “You are a print media journalist, you could have taken photos. You could have printed whatever you found wrong, but he did not do so. That is why his role appeared to be suspicious.”Days after he filmed children eating roti and salt during the mid-day meal served in the school, Mr. Jaiswal was booked by police for trying to defame the government as part of a “conspiracy”.The FIR was lodged on the complaint of Prem Shankar Ram, Block Education Officer, Mirzapur. Along with the scribe, the police also booked Raj Kumar Pal, a representative of the village pradhan, who tipped off the journalist about the inferior quality of meals being served at the school.Public support poured in for the scribe with the Editors Guild Of India and the Uttar Pradesh Accredited Journalists Association demanding immediate withdrawal of the criminal case against Mr. Jaiswal for doing his job.Also Read “It is a clear and classic case of shooting the messenger. It is shocking that instead of taking action to fix what is wrong on the ground, the government has filed criminal cases against the journalist,” the EGI said. Mr. Jaiswal acknowledged the public support he received and demanded that the “baseless” allegations against him be withdrawn immediately. “I did not do any wrong act,” said Mr. Jaiswal, adding that such action by the administration would demotivate scribes like him from doing their duty. Minister of State for Basic Education Satish Dwivedi gave a vague reply when reporters asked him about the case filed against the scribe. “No action should be taken against [someone] for bringing to light corruption or any fact,” he said.However, he added, “It is a matter of the police department.” So he would seek a report from the SP before any intervention.While the scribe had been booked on the serious charge of criminal conspiracy, ironically in the same FIR, the administration admitted that only roti and salt were cooked for the children at the school till noon on August 22, when the reporter filmed the episode. But it accused Mr. Jaiswal and Mr. Pal of hatching up a conspiracy to defame the mid-day meal scheme and malign the State government.Instead of arranging for the vegetables, Mr. Pal called Mr. Jaiswal, to the school premises and asked him to shoot a video showing students being served only roti and salt, the administration alleged. The government said Mr. Jaiswal not only shot the video but also forwarded it to agency ANI, following which it was made viral on social media. The action against the reporter was also contradicted by the stand taken by the administration after the issue came to light in August. Mr. Patel , the District Magistrate, had found the complaints to be true, after holding two independent probes at the local level.“Both reports showed that it was true that the students were being fed roti and salt,” Mr. Patel said in August, as he announced the suspension of the teacher-in-charge and the gram panchayat supervisor for the lapse. Mr. Jaiswal on September 2 stuck to his guns and said he had reported what he saw. “I saw at 12:07 minutes that the children were eating salt and roti,” he said, referring to his footage.He also said that after he received information about the mid-day meal, he had even brought it to the notice of the assistant basic siksha adhikari Brijesh Kumar Singh before heading out to the school. He said the district administration lodged criminal cases against him as the issue had become a “high-profile” one causing deep embarrassment to the administration.