Faded & Blurred https://www.fadedandblurred.com Tech | Photography | Software Wed, 14 Nov 2018 07:22:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 Common Mistakes You Make While Charging Your Phone https://www.fadedandblurred.com/common-mistakes-you-make-while-charging-your-phone/ https://www.fadedandblurred.com/common-mistakes-you-make-while-charging-your-phone/#respond Tue, 13 Nov 2018 19:54:47 +0000 https://www.fadedandblurred.com/?p=582 Gadgets these days have so many different functions that they’ve become everything a person might need, all stuffed into a palm-sized device. The one big drawback of this technological advancement is that batteries can’t keep up with the workload and end up dying too quickly. While mobile producers continue to improve on batteries to make them charge faster and last longer, people still keep doing all kinds of crazy stuff because they believe it will extend the life of their battery.

Charging your phone to the max before using it for the first time

We’ve all heard of this one I’m sure. You bring your phone home from the store, plug it in, and wait until your new baby is full to the brim. In fact, some mobile salespeople even recommend doing this. It is, however, nothing but a myth; cell phone batteries work best when they’re charged only up to 40-80%. That’s why you’ll be perfectly fine if you just buy a phone, take it out of the box and start using it right away. However, there’s one important thing to remember is if you fire up your new cell phone and notice that the battery indicator shows less than 40 percent charge you should probably take it back to the store.

Not using your phone while it’s charging

Tons of people are convinced that if they use their cell phone while it’s charging it will harm the battery’s lifespan. Others believe that in this case, the battery won’t charge as well as it can when it’s not in use. You’ll probably be happy to know that this too is a misconception as it doesn’t matter whether you’re using your phone or not it’ll still charge the same way. Consider this, even when you aren’t working with your gadget, it’s still completing some difficult tasks of its own, like synchronising data, this means that you can easily add several more tasks to this workload.

Assuming that different charger brands will ruin your battery

Now it is true that some off-brand chargers may not be the best choice for your phone, and they do typically take longer to charge the battery, but if the charger isn’t badly made it shouldn’t harm your phone. Therefore, if you need to urgently charge your phone in an emergency or the factory charger it came with doesn’t work anymore, you can get any cheap version that’s compatible with your smartphone. Unfortunately this doesn’t apply to the Droid Turbo, as it requires a charger designed specifically for this device.

Assuming that turning your phone off will cause damage to the battery

Yes if you leave your phone off for an extended amount of time its battery is going to die, as that’s a totally normal thing all batteries do; but, if you just turn off your device occasionally, nothing dramatic should happen. In fact, some devices may actually start working more effectively after you reboot them as doing this also helps restore the functionality of the batteries

Trying to train your battery

Some people think that they can train their battery so that it’ll be able to hold more charge. They let the battery drain completely before recharging it again and never charge their phone if it’s only at 50-60%. Their reasoning is that batteries have memory and if you don’t wait to charge your phone before it’s almost hit 0% the battery won’t work as well as it used to. This idea has no ground to stand on so feel free to charge your phone even if the battery is as full as 90%. Charging your phone frequently doesn’t hurt the battery.

Fear of damaging your battery while charging overnight

While overnight charging doesn’t harm your phone in any way it’s still not the most effective way to do it. If you want to extend your battery’s lifespan keep it charged between 40-80%, as believe it or not, this actually helps the battery live the longest.

Freezing your battery, literally

This misconception goes way back to the 80s, when people would put batteries in the freezer for short periods of time to make them work longer, but freezing your phone does nothing more than kill the battery. Lithium-ion batteries react badly to both cold and heat; therefore the best temperature for this sort of battery is room temperature.

Using task managers to prolong battery life

Forget everything you’ve ever been told about task managers – they do not prolong your battery life! Your device’s performance is being dealt will via the inbuilt system. Third-party task managers are actually more likely to decrease your phone’s performance. Sure, they can control the apps you use but they really will damage the battery.

Fearing to leave your phone charger plugged in

You’ve probably heard that after you finished charging your mobile device you should unplug the charger from the wall, for fire and safety reasons. Well, leaving your charger dangling from the wall is ill-advised only in the following situations: you have pets, your charger makes weird noises, or you have leaks in your house or apartment complex. In all other cases, it’s perfectly safe to leave your charger plugged in; it’s up to you to decide whether or not to do this.

Believing that the internet runs your battery down

First of all, let’s specify what you’re using the internet for. If you’re doing graphic intensive activities such as online gaming or watching bright videos on YouTube, then your battery will, unfortunately, die much faster as these sorts of activities due to the need for impressive amounts of power. However, if you’re just surfing the net or reading articles, it doesn’t influence your battery life any more than listening to music does, and if you just can’t live without playing another round of your favourite online mobile game then dim the screen as much as possible to prolong the battery life.

Turning off Bluetooth GPS and Wi-Fi to prolong battery life

The only time when any of these services may drain your battery is when you’re actively using them. The rest of the time they might pull some small amount of energy from the battery but it’s not really a lot and doesn’t drain it completely. In fact, Wi-Fi consumes even less power than your smartphone needs to maintain a cellular data connection. Apple also encourages its users to leave Wi-Fi turned on to save battery

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Razer DeathStalker Review https://www.fadedandblurred.com/razer-deathstalker-review/ https://www.fadedandblurred.com/razer-deathstalker-review/#respond Thu, 11 Oct 2018 18:26:32 +0000 https://www.fadedandblurred.com/?p=553 With the DeathStalker Ultimate Gaming Keyboard, Razer took their popular keyboard design and combined it with a touchscreen LCD panel for use with their customizable Switchblade software. This keyboard is no joke…

First Impressions

“This keyboard reminds me of the Matrix…”

Along with the Switchblade interface, the keyboard also comes with Razer’s cloud-based optimization and syncing tool, Razer Synapse 2.0. This feature lets you create profiles for any of your Razer devices. You can also create a backup of your recorded macros, remapped key functions, and the settings for your favourite backlight colour. These settings can be saved and used on any other computer once you sign into the Synapse account. Packaged with Synapse is the Switchblade interface, making it quite easy to set up DeathStalker on another system as well. Performance wise, the chicklet keyboard keys may not offer the same response and comfort of a mechanical keyboard, but it plays out just fine in the heat of battle. And the Switchable interface adds a new element to gameplay, with game data and macro recording available on-the-go, in a non-interfering manner. In spite of a few glitches here and there, the DeathStalker still is a solid performer.

Distinctive features of the Razer DeathStalker Ultimate Gaming Keyboard

Razer Deathstalker gaming keyboard

While many of the gaming keyboards today use mechanical switches, in case of the Razer DeathStalker Ultimate Gaming Keyboard, chicklet keys are used with scissor switches– the same type used on the Razer Blade laptop. As compared to plain membrane switches, this one gives a better typing feel, however, it’s not in the same league as the mechanical switches. The chicklet style keys are backlit; with options available to change the colour as well. The one issue with the backlighting is that it is inconsistent, and it doesn’t light up or highlight the keys very well under normal conditions. This makes the DeathStalker’s keys a bit difficult to read. With a built-in wrist rest, game ergonomics are taken care of. An important point to note here is that, the DeathStalker Ultimate has no conventional 10-key number pad. Instead in its place is the Razer’s Switchblade interface.
Razer Deathstalker gaming keyboard

Switchblade UI And Touch Screen:

There are quite a few apps loaded with the Switchblade UI, along with the basic touchpad functionality. The switchblade touch screen can double up as a 10-key numeric keypad, switching between the two with the press of a button. It also acts a mobile version of the popular social media and video websites of the world such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc. A clock and a stopwatch are the other apps included in it, so are buttons to record macros and take screenshots.

Pros Vs Cons

Pros:

  • The Switchblade UI is awesome
  • Adjustable multi-color backlight
  • Razer synapse 2.0
  • Razer Switchblade UI apps

Cons:

  • Scissor switches are kinda lame
  • Looks cheap
  • Not as impressive as other gaming keyboards

 

Razer Deathstalker gaming keyboardPerformance wise, the chicklet keyboard keys may not offer the same response and comfort of a mechanical keyboard, but it plays out just fine in the heat of battle. The Switchblade interface adds a new element to gameplay, with the ability to share game data on the go, in a non-interfering manner. In spite of a few glitches here and there, the DeathStalker Ultimate Gaming Keyboard is still one of the best gaming keyboards that I’ve found and is a solid performer.

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Block CIDR IP Blocks via Apache .htaccess HOWTO https://www.fadedandblurred.com/block-cidr-ip-blocks-via-apache-htaccess-howto/ https://www.fadedandblurred.com/block-cidr-ip-blocks-via-apache-htaccess-howto/#respond Thu, 11 Oct 2018 18:17:50 +0000 https://www.fadedandblurred.com/?p=549 How do I safely block Amazon AWS from accessing my website? I received this question via email by a user that is having her website hammered by Amazon AWS IP’s. She operates an e-commerce store and the software she uses has a tool that shows who’s currently accessing her site. Multiple occurrences of Amazon IP addresses are going to her site for what purpose, I don’t know, but she wants to block them. I gave the solution of using Apache’s Access Control to reject the Amazon AWS IP address connection attempts. If your website is getting hammered by bots and you use Apache Webserver then follow these steps to stop the bots in their tracks.

Determine the CIDR Block the IP Address Belongs To

You may skip this part if you only need to block a single address, but if you happen to notice that a lot of the IP addresses are similar then you may want to just block the entire range. In the real world case we needed to block all of the Amazon AWS CIDR’s. Through a quick Google search, I came across a page that had a list of all the current AWS IP ranges. If Amazon is also your problem then you can find the page here.

To find the CIDR of an IP you have a couple options. If you have access to the Linux command-line and whois is installed then you can use that.

[root@server ~]# whois 54.196.246.210

There may be a chance the CIDR is not available and instead you’ll receive the start and end IP addresses, at which point you’ll need to use a CIDR calculator. If you need to use the browser route then here are a couple sites you can use: Whois by IP Address and CIDR Utility Tool. See the examples below.

Whois By IP Address example CIDR Utility Tool example

Add the CIDR Block(s) To .htaccess

If you already have a .htaccess file then you’ll be adding these rules to it, otherwise you will create a new file. For our example we’ll create one from scratch. Open your favorite text editor drop in the text below.

# BLOCK/FORBID AmazonAWS by CIDR Block
Order Allow,Deny
Deny from 54.196.0.0/15
Allow from all

Add all IP/CIDR Blocks on separate lines preceded with Deny from statements. Save your .htaccess and upload it to your website’s root directory (or other location if necessary). Restarting Apache is not needed as these rules take immediate effect. Any IP/CIDR Blocks set in the rules will now receive a 403 Forbidden.

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JavaScript: Controlling a Popup Window’s Parent Window https://www.fadedandblurred.com/javascript-controlling-a-popup-windows-parent-window/ https://www.fadedandblurred.com/javascript-controlling-a-popup-windows-parent-window/#respond Thu, 11 Oct 2018 18:09:21 +0000 https://www.fadedandblurred.com/?p=544 You may find it useful to control a parent window from a generated popup window, such as being able to manipulate its look, content, etc. One example being a web application I wrote for work. In the portion for entering a new sales order, products are added from a popup search window. When the product being added is selected, a button is clicked and the parent window’s line item table is modified to include the selected product. This is only one example as many others exist. This tutorial will discuss how to launch a popup window and change properties of the parent (colors, fonts, sizes, and styles).

Parent Window Screenshot for JavaScript ManipulationWe begin with creating the parent window. There won’t anything fancy with it, just a H1 title, a couple paragraphs of text, and a link to launch the popup window controller. To the left is a screenshot of what our parent window will look like when the HTML has been added. In the code some elements have been added to allow us to use JavaScript to control (manipulate) the contents of the parent window. Namely id attributes for the H1 and P tags for use the the Document Object Method getElementById.

Parent Window HTML + JavaScript Code ( parent-window.html ):

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml"  dir="ltr" lang="en-US">
<head>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" />
<title>The Parent Window [ JavaScript: Controlling a Popup Window's Parent Window ]</title>
</head>
<body>
<h1 id="page_title">The Parent Window</h1>
<p id="paragraph1">This is the window that will be controlled by the popup window.</p>
<p id="paragraph2">Click the link below to open the popup window controller.</p>
<p> </p>
<p><a href="#" onclick="javascript:window.open('popup-window.html','popupwindow','width=450,height=250,menu=0,status=0');">Launch Popup Window</a></p>
<p><small>Note: Please disable any popup blocker software if you don't see the popup window.</small></p>
</body>
</html>

You’ll see that the code for opening the popup window is located in the href onclick. The JavaScript window.open is called and the popup window filename is passed as the first parameter, followed by a name for the window, and lastly the specs for the window appearance (width, height, hide the menu and status bars).

Popup Window Screenshot for JavaScript Parent Window ManipulationWith the parent window created the next step is to create the popup window. The purpose of the popup window is to control its parent window. For this demonstration it’s accomplished through a series of buttons that call JavaScript functions that alter the parent window’s properties (as seen on the left). I have created buttons that change the window’s background color, the font family for the H1 title, the font size for the first paragraph, the font style for the second paragraph, and to reload the parent window page. Obviously I’m only scratching the surface here as much more can be done with JavaScript to alter the parent window.

Popup Window HTML + JavaScript Code ( popup-window.html ):

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml"  dir="ltr" lang="en-US">
<head>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" />
<title>The Popup Window [ JavaScript: Controlling a Popup Window's Parent Window ]</title>
</head>
<body>
<script type="text/javascript" language="JavaScript">
<!--
var parent_window = window.opener;
var bgcolor_index = 0;
var h1font_index = 0;
var para1_index = 0;
var para2_index = 0;

function backgroundColor() {
  var colors = ['#ff0000', '#00ff00', '#0000ff', '#ffff00', '#00ffff', '#cccccc', '#ffffff'];
  if (parent_window && !parent_window.closed) {
    parent_window.document.body.style.backgroundColor = colors[bgcolor_index];
    if (++bgcolor_index > colors.length - 1) { bgcolor_index = 0; }
  }
}

function h1TitleFontFamily() {
  var fonts = ['Arial', 'Helvectica', 'Sans Serif', 'Verdana', 'Times New Roman'];
  if (parent_window && !parent_window.closed) {
    var page_title = parent_window.document.getElementById('page_title');
    page_title.style.fontFamily = fonts[h1font_index];
    if (++h1font_index > fonts.length - 1) { h1font_index = 0; }
  }
}

function paragraph1FontSize() {
  var sizes = ['8pt', '12pt', '16pt', '20pt', '32pt', '64pt'];
  if (parent_window && !parent_window.closed) {
    var paragraph1 = parent_window.document.getElementById('paragraph1');
    paragraph1.style.fontSize = sizes[para1_index];
    if (++para1_index > sizes.length - 1) { para1_index = 0; }
  }
}

function paragraph2FontStyle() {
  var styles = ['oblique', 'italic', 'normal'];
  if (parent_window && !parent_window.closed) {
    var paragraph2 = parent_window.document.getElementById('paragraph2');
    paragraph2.style.fontStyle = styles[para2_index];
    paragraph2.style.fontWeight = 'bold';
    if (++para2_index > styles.length - 1) {
      para2_index = 0;
      paragraph2.style.fontWeight = '';
    }
  }
}

function reloadParent() {
  if (parent_window && !parent_window.closed) {
    parent_window.location.reload(true);
  }
}
// -->
</script>
<h1 align="center">The Popup Window</h1>
<table width="100%" border="0" cellpadding="10" cellspacing="0">
<tr>
<td align="center" valign="middle"><input type="button" name="button1" id="button1" value="Background Color" onclick="backgroundColor();" /></td>
<td align="center" valign="middle"><input type="button" name="button2" id="button2" value="H1 Title Font Family" onclick="h1TitleFontFamily();" /></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center" valign="middle"><input type="button" name="button3" id="button3" value="Paragraph 1 Font Size" onclick="paragraph1FontSize();" /></td>
<td align="center" valign="middle"><input type="button" name="button4" id="button4" value="Paragraph 2 Font Style" onclick="paragraph2FontStyle();" /></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center" valign="middle" colspan="2"><input type="button" name="button5" id="button5" value="Reload Parent Window" onclick="reloadParent();" /></td>
</tr>
</table>
</body>
</html>

I’m not going to go over all the code. The key to making the popup control the parent is the Window object’s opener property ala window.opener. In my code I assign it to a variable called parent_window which I use throughout my functions. By referencing it in front of the document object you can hook into the window properties of the parent much like you would for any foreground window. Having done so you now have access to getElementById and other Document Object Methods to get a handle to the object. Add some creative JavaScript and you can build some pretty interesting web applications with popup windows.

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Huion GT190 Review https://www.fadedandblurred.com/huion-gt190-review/ https://www.fadedandblurred.com/huion-gt190-review/#respond Sun, 07 Oct 2018 12:16:03 +0000 https://www.fadedandblurred.com/?p=519 The Huion GT190 looks a lot like the Wacom Cintiq, which makes it a fantastic alternative. It also has a 19′ screen, which isn’t offered by Wacom, who only offer a 13′ and 22′ size with no other sizes in between. It is also very light for its size. Wacom’s Cintiq 13′ weighs in at around eight lbs, while Turcom’s TS 7190 weighs a little under 10 lbs. Buyers be warned: the Turcom TS 7190 is essentially a copy of the Huion GT190. This is not the first time either, as Turcom has been known to steal designs from Huion blatantly. In several of their product ads and store listings, their employees at times even mistype the item name and name it the same as Huion does. That’s some really lazy copy and paste!

The GT190 has every one of the standard features associated with an average draw-on-the-screen type tablet: video hookups, DVI, tilt adjustability, position lock button/lever, adjustable leg/stand, USB, and VGA. The style is professional and pleasant, with a two-tone black and silver colour typical of electronics. It has a significant vent area on the back top side for cooling, and the stand is almost as wide as the display screen for increased stability.

It comes in a regular cardboard carrying box, equipped with a handle. Not as impressive as several of their mid-range tablet boxes, which have a minimalist, all white, Apple vibe graphics that are sharp. Basically the box for this item looks as a cardboard carton you would get your flatscreen TV in. Does it really matter? Not really.

Compatibility

The Huion GT190 works with Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 10, as well as Mac OS 10.8 and Mac OS 10.10. or perhaps higher. It works with many software such as CorelDraw, Stratos3D Max, Manga Studio, Macromedia Flash, Adobe Fireworks, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Corel Painter, AutoDesk Maya and ZBrush. Nevertheless, you need to do due diligence as Huion hasn’t tested out all these software properly. The tablet of yours may use several versions of the software program and not others.

As of today, there’s no complete list with what versions are incompatible or compatible with specific program version. Nevertheless, Huion has excellent customer service and you are always able to drop them a line with suggestions, and questions.

huion gt190 review

Functionality

Okay, time to determine if this machine really does match up to a Wacom Cintiq. I tested out this by breaking out my VGA cable and connecting it to my screen. Note: you want a computer with multi-screen capability to run this tablet. In this case, I ended up with three monitors.

The very first thing I noticed was the absence of hotkey buttons. The Cintiq comes with four hotkeys and one scroll wheel. The GT190 does not, so you are likely to have to remember those keyboard combos for this one. Drawing on the screen was a pretty standard experience, so that is obviously a big positive! I did not really notice any glaring errors or extreme differences in quality. 16.7 million colours are claimed by the manufacturer. The human eye can see approximately ten million colours, so I am not sure how you can tell the difference between additional 6.7 million, but I can say that the colour quality was terrific from the right angles. From various other angles, the colours begin to be much more saturated than usual, which will throw off the accuracy of your work. If you do not mind adjusting the tablet of every time you need to draw, it is not actually a huge deal. Other concerns are with changing the brightness setting, which may only darken the colours rather than dimming the backlight like it is supposed to.

The one thing that detracted from the colours was the shiny surface of the tablet. The bundle includes a glove that spreads over the bottom section of your hand so you do not leave marks on the screen, but despite that, I discovered it was not hard to dirty the drawing surface area with my hand. I am kind of biased though, I really choose a tablet without a display screen for this reason, so take this point with a grain of salt.

The tablet adjusts horizontally and vertically. Horizontally the viewing angle is really effective at 170 degrees compared to Cintiq’s 178 degrees. I doubt you will also notice the difference. Nevertheless, in case you are not sitting head on to it vertically (eyes perpendicular to the screen surface), you most certainly will notice some distortion. If you lean in really close up, you can see a little bit of distortion between where stylus touches the screen and where it thinks you are drawing too. Depending on your setup, this might be one thing you may want to think about. The cables come out from the bottom of this particular unit, which kind of blocks it from tilting all the best way to it’s maxed angle. You will find some other tablets that do not do this, the Cintiq and Yiynova MSP19U are two examples that have cables coming out from the side rather than the bottom.

Quality control appears to be decent, I have an excellent, functional unit and was drawing right out of the box with it. During the research that I did, I came across some folks complaining about dust trapped under their screen as soon as they removed it from the box. In case you obtain one of these, and you are not in a hurry, return it for a replacement.

As is standard practice for many tablet manufacturers, the pen came with a pen holder. The pen holder opens up and doubles as a nib keeper with eight slots for spare nibs. The stylus is rechargeable and also comes with it is own power cord. For comparison, the Cintiq’s pen is available in a fancy box rather than the circular pen holder. The Cintiq pen kit includes a number of different replacement nibs, while the Huion kit only contains one kind of spare nib. The Cintiq kit also consists of a colour ring to mark the pen so you know which is which (either for telling the big difference between what nibs are installed, or perhaps for personal preference).

Summary

This is a fantastic tablet for those that would like to step up their graphical drawing game seriously. I will be truthful; it is not a “professional’s” tablet. Most professionals shell out big money to get the Cintiq, but this is a fantastic replacement for the hobbyist drawer who’s experience level is above average. This tablet has about 90% of the Cintiq’s functions at about a quarter of the cost. When you do not mind putting up with it is few minor flaws, it is a great tablet which will serve you well.

HUION GT-190 19 Inches...
43 Reviews
HUION GT-190 19 Inches...
  • 19 inch TFT Pen Display: with 1440 x 900 native resolution, 16:10 aspect ratio and the viewing angle 170° x 150°(V x H), the monitor delivers good visual experience
  • 2048 Levels Pen Pressure Sensivity, 5080 LPI and 220 RPS ensure responsive and accurate drawing lines. Support both right-handed and left handed users
  • Newly Designed Rechargeable pen and Adjustable Stand: comes with a newly designed rechargeable pen which can better control the cursor. The adjustable stand allows to choose a most comfortable drawing position
  • OS Compatibility and Drawing Programs Support: Compatible with major drawing software including Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Corel Painter, Autodesk Sketchbook, Manga Studio, Clip Studio, Zbrush, Krita, Gimp and more in Windows 10/8/8.1/7 and Mac 10.8.0 or above version
  • Extra gifts: 1 free size drawing glove, 1 screen protector, 1 extra pen and 10 pen nibs. 1 Year Warranty.
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Breakout Beasts Review https://www.fadedandblurred.com/breakout-beasts-review/ https://www.fadedandblurred.com/breakout-beasts-review/#respond Sat, 06 Oct 2018 10:23:47 +0000 https://www.fadedandblurred.com/?p=511 If you thought the slime fad was long gone, you would be mistaken! Breakout Beasts are a brand new line of toys that have been released by Mega Construx. These mysterious monsters are encased in a slime filled egg. When you crack the egg open you will uncover one of the five mystery beasts, and you’ll never know which one you’re going to get.

The names of the monsters are:

  • Torchwing
  • Blackheart
  • Boulder
  • Tempyst
  • Ironclaw

The amazing thing about Breakout Beasts is that, because of their configurable bodies, you’re able to make your own beasts by combining other monster body parts together!

Mega Construx Breakout Beasts,...
19 Reviews
Mega Construx Breakout Beasts,...
  • Series of 5 buildable beasts, each packaged in a mystery, slime-filled egg
  • Open the egg to unleash a slime surprise and reveal the pieces to build your beast!
  • Each beast has its own unique look and comes with orange, blue or green slime
  • Collectible beasts include Torchwing, Blackheart, Boulder, Tempyst, and Ironclaw, sold separately
  • Egg has prongs inside and out and includes a display rod to create beastly action poses

 

 

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Mega Man 11 Review https://www.fadedandblurred.com/mega-man-11-review/ https://www.fadedandblurred.com/mega-man-11-review/#respond Mon, 01 Oct 2018 22:11:30 +0000 https://www.fadedandblurred.com/?p=535 Without wasting any time, if you are a Mega Man fan, you probably already have the game. If you haven’t played Mega Man before, or aren’t certain if you will enjoy it, the selectable difficulty modes really open up the game to first-timers so you can continuously retry without running out of chances, so don’t fret.

Length

The stages are heavily based on the NES styled titles, with large rooms and unique gimmicks. There are 8 Main Stages, 2 Wily Stages, a simple Boss Capsule Refight Stage, and a short ride to the Final Battle. There is no intro stage in this game, which is a minor disappointment. The total amount of content is brisk, so if you know what you are doing, expect to complete the game in a few hours, tops.

The extra modes pad out the content a little, but the entire point of this game is to challenge yourself. You can get a lot of replay value out of trying to play the game without using special weapons or the gear system, essentially replaying the same content with restrictions to unlock achievements or self-improvement.

Balance

There are only two areas I can recall where you get trapped into taking a hit, one in Blastman’s stage, and one in Impact Man’s. Unless you have foresight, you will likely take a hit there. Thankfully, there is no such forced hit involving instant death. All falling blocks and spikes are clearly telegraphed, and any player skillful enough can feasibly avoid such obstacles without unfair deaths.

E-Tank Spam trivializes a lot of the difficulty on all modes, but especially the easier ones, due to the sheer amount of bolts that drop. E-Tanks only cost 100 bolts a pop, and you can walk out of a stage with 1000+ if you pick up every drop. You simply never run out of these things, which means most of the game can be beaten by standing on top of bosses and tanking the damage while you burn the bosses down, chugging E-Tanks every so often. This is only a problem if you choose to use this form of recovery, though.

Everything felt great playing Buster Only, so if you are interested in a playthrough without powers or special weapons, look forward to an excellent challenge.

Weapons

The special weapons in this game are easily among the most powerful in a long line of games. They have very generous hitboxes and have enormous utility, making almost all of them a pure upgrade over your default buster. Power Gear toggling just to wipe the screen with overwhelming special weapons feels extremely nice.

In addition, there is a new option to change your special weapons with the right control stick. It has never been easier to utilize these things.

Soundtrack

Although music is a very subjective thing, I have to say that I found the vast majority of the soundtrack to be utterly forgettable. This is very much a soundtrack made for a newer age, and felt much more modernized than ever before. You won’t find the same level of catchy melodies as any of the past Mega Man titles. None of the music is outright bad, but it pains you much moreso when the series is known for such well made music and you end the experience without any of the tunes stuck in your head.

Final Notes

The game is short and sweet. There are really just 10 meaty stages with a few extra short walks to the final bosses. You will get your money’s worth if you decide to try the higher difficulties or want to play the side modes, but they are more of the same. If you enjoy challenging yourself, grab this for sure. If you are more of a “variety” gamer and will only play this once, you might only get 3-5 hours out of it, so do keep that in mind.

If you want to see this series prosper, you really owe it to yourself to support the Blue Bomber so that his games may continue. The sales are essentially votes, so vote with your wallet!

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Best Small Treadmill In 2018 https://www.fadedandblurred.com/best-small-treadmill/ https://www.fadedandblurred.com/best-small-treadmill/#respond Sat, 29 Sep 2018 06:33:47 +0000 https://www.fadedandblurred.com/?p=506 We know limited workout space may be the major issue for everyone with regards to buying a treadmill. This’s precisely where small treadmills come into the picture. Small treadmills are an excellent choice when space is an issue, particularly in case you intend to run on a regular basis in your apartment, small condo, work, or perhaps the tiny bonus room in your house that you have no use for. As small treadmills are lightweight, affordable and come with a portability factor, this tends to make it much easier for a person to move and store them because of its size.

On the contrary, the majority of the less expensive models of small treadmills are installed with weak motors which how low horsepower. Their folding and lightweight property may cause them to shake while you exercise. This can mean that the compact models somewhat lack the characteristics that the permanently erected treadmills have. Although the low priced models of small treadmills fulfil the cardio and fat loss needs of a typical user quite quickly, they’re insufficiently broad, and the short running area may be a point of concern for tall runners.

In the event that you want a small treadmill as durable as the traditional non-folding treadmill with advanced features, designed for regular home use, which will help you attain your health goals, we have found five of the best that will suit your purpose. We have reviewed these designs with the parameters of the maximum weight capacity of the machine, top speed, warranty, durability, dimensions, motor speed, incline range and of course, price.

best small treadmill

Choose a small treadmill for your home or apartment

Like with purchasing anything, if you know what you’re looking for, buying a small treadmill can be a walk in the park (which you won’t even need to do once you own a treadmill!). Consider the following points when looking at the different treadmills that are available, so that you purchase the perfect one for your needs and requirements.

Budget

Even though these fall under the small treadmill category, it does not imply that they’re cheap and inexpensive. But this also does not mean that they’re costly either. The correct would be that they provide the best value for money. Because once again, they’re probably the best small treadmills and what they purposely lack in size, they compensate in features. Make an effort to maximise your investment by picking out the one that’s within the budget you have set out for yourself. In general, the more costly the treadmill the more features it will have. Once again, a higher price doesn’t always mean much better, know the best features for your purpose and you’ll be all set.

Treadmill use

Determine whether you’re likely to be using it just for walking or whether you intend to perform high amounts of weekly running. As these are small treadmills, specific models may not be suited for those who plan on running over 40 miles per week on it for the foreseeable future.

It’s suggested that in case you intend to make use of it for strenuous physical exercise and sports injury rehab, a quick checkup with a physician is something that should be done before you start.

Advantages and disadvantages

You will find that there are many distinct advantages to owning a small treadmill, with very few disadvantages. They’re great space savers and really simple to move around. On the flipside, one drawback is that since they’re minimal in size, the motor power will be limited, thus restricting the height and weight of the user. Most models are easily suitable for a 90kg user but for someone who exceeds that by a large margin, it will be important to thoroughly look at the models specific features, programs, and the maximum user weight it supports.

Sale
LifeSpan TR1200i Folding...
517 Reviews
LifeSpan TR1200i Folding...
  • The best selling electric treadmill by LifeSpan, foldable and portable capability turns this motorized running machine into a small compact size;Step-Up Height :7.5 inches
  • Heavy duty and high capacity 2.5 HP motor with a large 20" x 56" walking belt surface, and 15 levels of adjustable incline.
  • Quiet and lightweight manual fold for space saving and storable purposes in your office or home. Console tracks time, calories, distance, speed, and more.
  • 21 trainer programs targeting weight loss, healthy living, sports training and heart rate programs with bluetooth connectivity.
  • Lifetime warranty on frame and motor. 300 pound user weight limit.
NordicTrack NTL17915 T 6.5 S...
567 Reviews
NordicTrack NTL17915 T 6.5 S...
  • Digitally adjust your incline up to 10 percent to add intensity to your workout and target specific muscle groups
  • Get the training you want with 20 built-in workouts designed by a Certified personal trainer to help you achieve your fitness goals
  • 2.6 CHP drive System
  • Plug your ipod or other MP3 device into the console sound System to stay motivated with your workout playlist
  • 20"X55" tread belt
Horizon Fitness T101-04...
306 Reviews
Horizon Fitness T101-04...
  • Rated a best "Value Buy" for walking by the Good Housekeeping Institute and by the Treadmill Doctor as one of the "Best Buys" in its category
  • Folding treadmill with speeds up to 10 MPH, incline to 10 percent, 20 x 55-Inch running area. Assembled Dimensions: 70 x 33.5 x 55"" Folded Dimensions: 45.5 x 33.5 x 61"
  • 30 program options including: manual workout, 10 Step-goal workouts, 10 distance-based workouts, 6 calorie-goal workouts and 3 intervals workouts
  • Sonic Surround speakers with MP3 compatibility; Pulse grip heart rate monitoring
  • 2.25 continuous duty CHP motor for quiet operation. 300-pound maximum user weight; Lifetime warranty on frame and motor, 2 yr parts, 1 yr labor
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What Is The Best Low Light Camera? https://www.fadedandblurred.com/best-low-light-camera/ https://www.fadedandblurred.com/best-low-light-camera/#respond Wed, 26 Sep 2018 11:48:09 +0000 https://www.fadedandblurred.com/?p=490 Before we delve into the intricacies of how we chose what we believe to be the best low light camera, we are first going to cover what low light photography actually is.

> In a hurry? Click here for the best camera!

Despite what the name may suggest, low light photography does not necessarily mean that’s done at night. The light sources may vary, but if the light is lesser than daytime light, then it should be treated as low light. This could be anything from an indoor shoot in the day without additional light sources, to nighttime shoots.

best camera for low light

Setting up your camera

Even if you’re equipped with the best camera for low light, if you’re unable to actually use your equipment efficiently, you’ll never reap the full benefits of the hardware.

While light sensitivity is obviously one of the biggest factors, there’s a lot more involved than just increasing your ISO to the highest it can go. To get the most out of your camera in low light conditions, we recommend utilising the following tips:

  1. ISO – A higher ISO increases the camera’s sensitivity to light, so it makes sense that it needs to be higher in non-optimal lighting conditions. You may need to take a few photos to hone in on the perfect ISO setting.
  2. Shutter speed – Shutter speed will also need to be increased to a high level. This will ensure that your photos are sharp and crisp, with no unintended blur from motion.
  3. Exposure – While exposure will need to be increased, it’s important to note that it’s better to underexpose rather than overexpose. This is because you will be able to fix underexposure with post-production software, whereas overexposure it will be near to impossible.
  4. Aperature – Just like with our eye’s iris, the larger the lens aperture, the more light will be allowed into the camera. While it may make the background blurry, it will help to focus in on the main focal point of the photo. The aperture won’t need too much attention unless in very low light conditions.

best low light camera

The best camera for low light – Sony a7 III

Sony a7 III Full-Frame...
88 Reviews
Sony a7 III Full-Frame...
  • Advanced 24.2MP BSI Full-frame Image Sensor w/ 1.8X readout speed* Advanced 24.2MP Back-Illuminated 35mm Full-frame Image Sensor * Sony test conditions. Compare to the α7 II
  • 15-stop dynamic range, 14-bit uncompressed RAW, ISO 50 to 204,800
  • Up to 10fps Silent or Mechanical Shutter with AE/AF tracking
  • 693 phase-detection / 425 contrast AF points w/ 93% image coverage
  • In the box: Rechargeable Battery (NP-FZ100), AC Adaptor (AC-UUD12), Shoulder strap, Body cap, Accessory shoe cap, Eyepiece cup, Micro USB cable

The Sony a7 III mirrorless camera is without a doubt the best on the market for low light photography.

Amazingly, out of the cameras we had access to, the a7 III managed to deliver clean and crisp photos at the staggering ISO level of 51200.

What was even more startling was that it even managed to produce cleaner footage compared to it’s more expensive brother, the aR7 III, at ISO 25600. However, it should be noted that the Sony aR7 III is only built to be a high performance still photography camera, even though does well as an allrounder.

It should be noted that as of writing, there is another camera in the a7 range which is due to be released at the end of the year. This will likely trump the a7 III, but only time will tell.

Advanced tips for taking photographs in low light

We have outlined some very basic tips on how to take photos in low light previously, but if you’re an advanced photographer who understands how to use a camera to its full capacity, then these tips are for you.

Preparation

Taking photographs in low light is a lot easier if some pre-planning is done. For instance, what kind of light do you expect before you get there? When is the most optimal time to take photos in the style that you want? Taking a photo at dusk, dawn, or night, will really change the feel of the image.

Certain pieces of equipment are invaluable and can make impossible shots possible. A suitable flash, tripod and lens can make or break your photo. A decent flashlight is also a handy investment, as it allows you to ensure you can see all of the buttons you need to press, and to make sure you haven’t left any gear behind when it’s time to leave.

low light level photography

Tripods – never leave home without one

As you’ve probably already gathered by now, less light means slower shutter speeds. Slow shutter speeds not only can make your camera shake, but will also give more opportunity for external influences to shake your camera (like yourself).

Tripods will not eliminate blur from a moving object, but it will reduce the chance of an image blurring due to camera shake. These hand bits of kit means that you can use shutter speeds that would be impossible to use if you were to hold the camera yourself. Doesn’t matter how steady you think you are, you’ll never take a perfect slow shutter speed photo if you’re holding the camera.

For those who want to achieve the perfect photo, a self-timer or remote release should be used. This stops the camera from moving when you press any buttons on the camera, as you will be clicking an external remote.

Manual mode or shutter priority

If you were ever looking for a reasonable excuse to take your camera off auto, low light photography is the answer. Doing so will allow you to choose whatever shutter speed you want for your shot. If you’re not fully confident in doing everything manually, shutter priority is another option that’s better than auto. It ensures that the shutter speed stays exactly at the speed that you require it to, whilst changing all of the other variables for you.

Know your limits

Some cameras, like the Sony a7 III, excel at using high ISOs, whereas others will produce a grainy mess. It’s imperative that you understand how your gear works and its limitations. It’s a good idea to take a few test shots at different light levels and ISOs and view them on your computer at full size. This will allow you to determine where the noise creeps in on the shots and where loss of detail starts to become apparent.

Bestseller No. 1
Sony a7 III Full-Frame...
88 Reviews
Sony a7 III Full-Frame...
  • Advanced 24.2MP BSI Full-frame Image Sensor w/ 1.8X readout speed* Advanced 24.2MP Back-Illuminated 35mm Full-frame Image Sensor * Sony test conditions. Compare to the α7 II
  • 15-stop dynamic range, 14-bit uncompressed RAW, ISO 50 to 204,800
  • Up to 10fps Silent or Mechanical Shutter with AE/AF tracking
  • 693 phase-detection / 425 contrast AF points w/ 93% image coverage
  • In the box: Rechargeable Battery (NP-FZ100), AC Adaptor (AC-UUD12), Shoulder strap, Body cap, Accessory shoe cap, Eyepiece cup, Micro USB cable
SaleBestseller No. 2
Sony a7R III Mirrorless...
79 Reviews
Sony a7R III Mirrorless...
  • INCREDIBLE DETAIL: Shoot high-speed subjects at up to 10fps with continuous, accurate AF/AE tracking
  • OPTIMAL LIGHT: A back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor with gapless on-chip lens collects more light
  • FASTER IMAGE PROCESSING: An updated BIONZ X processing engine boosts processing speeds up to 1.8x
  • STUNNING HD VIDEO: Sony Alpha 7R 3 mirror less cameras record clear 4K video for editing and viewing
  • BUNDLE INCLUDES: Power cord, charger, cable protector, shoulder strap, body/shoe caps, eyepiece cup
Bestseller No. 3
Sony a7III Full Frame...
1 Reviews
Sony a7III Full Frame...
  • SONY AUTHORIZED DEALER - Includes Full SONY USA WARRANTY
  • Sony a7III Full Frame Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera with FE 28-70 mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Lens
  • 24.2MP 35mm full-frame back-illuminated CMOS sensor, 4K HDR movie recording capability
  • INCLUDED IN THE BOX: Sony Alpha a7 III Mirrorless Digital Camera with 35mm Full-Frame Image Sensor (Body) - Sony FE 28-70 mm F3.5-5.6 OSS | SEL2870 Lens - Rechargeable Battery NP-FZ100 - AC Adaptor - Shoulder strap - Body cap - Accessory shoe cap - Eyepiece cup - Micro USB cable - Sony USA Warranty
  • BUNDLE INCLUDES: 64GB Class 10 UHS-1 SDXC Memory Card - Sony LCS-U21 Soft Carrying Case - 67" Digital Camera Monopod - 12" Rubberized Spider Tripod - SLR Photo/Video Rechargeable LED Light - Corel PaintShop Pro X9 Digital Download - Wireless Shutter Release Remote Control - Bounce and Swivel Slave Flash - Wrist Grip Strap - Dust Removal Blower System - Lens Cleaning Pen - Memory Card Wallet - Card Reader - Mini Tripod - Screen Protectors - 3pc. Cleaning Kit - Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
Bestseller No. 4
Sony a7R II Full-Frame...
184 Reviews
Sony a7R II Full-Frame...
  • World's first Full-frame 5-axis in-body image stabilization optimized for 42.4MP full-frame, 4K movie recording with full pixel readout and no pixel binning
  • 2.4-million dot XGA OLED Tru-Finder w/ZEISS T* coating, connectivity to smartphones via Wi-Fi and NFC w/camera apps, Fast focal plane phase-detection AF realized with A-mount lenses
  • Shutter vibration suppression, curtain shutter, silent shutter, Resolution meets sensitivity 42.4MP up to ISO 102,400/4K up to 25,600, Durable, reliable and ergonomically enhanced for professional use
  • Fast Hybrid AF with 399 focal plane phase-detection AF points and sensor is 35 mm full-frame (35.9 x 24.0 mm), Exmor R CMOS sensor
  • Inside box: Rechargeable Battery NP-FW50; Cable Protector; AC Adaptor AC-UUD11; Battery Charger BC-VW1; Shoulder strap; Body cap; Accessory shoe cap; Eyepiece cup; Micro USB cable
SaleBestseller No. 5
David Busch's Sony Alpha a7...
5 Reviews
David Busch's Sony Alpha a7...
  • David D. Busch
  • Publisher: Rocky Nook
  • Paperback: 456 pages
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Graphics And Video Settings: A Basic Guide https://www.fadedandblurred.com/graphics-and-video-settings-a-basic-guide/ https://www.fadedandblurred.com/graphics-and-video-settings-a-basic-guide/#respond Tue, 25 Sep 2018 14:50:25 +0000 https://www.fadedandblurred.com/?p=475 One of the many perks of PC gaming is the ability to tweak the graphic options in our games to get the best performance for our systems. However, if you didn’t grow up on PC and never had to buy a Voodoo card for Quake, or getting the recommended RAM of 512mb for Doom 3, the video settings panel in a PC game can be intimidating. Here’s a guide to help you make the right choices and explain what all those acronyms and settings stand for and what they do.

Vsync (Vertical Sync)

Vsync limits your graphics card to render frame rates that your monitor can display. With this option turned off, your computer will render frames faster than your monitor can handle. This can result in screen tearing, which causes the top and bottom halves of the image on your screen to appear as if they are not aligned. Turning Vsync on will limit the frame rates rendered to the refresh rate of your monitor. In other words, if your monitor has a refresh rate of 60Hz, your game will look best at a constant 60fps.

Enabling Vsync will impact performance, especially during graphics-intense scenes, as it will prevent your frame rate from dropping slightly, for fear of rendering an uneven frame. Instead, it will drop the frame rate a considerable amount more, in order to ensure that there is no screen tearing. Vsync can massively impact input lag, so only turn Vsync on if you experience screen tearing.

Refresh Rate

The refresh rate indicates how many times the monitor updates (refreshes) per second. This is measured in hertz (Hz). 60Hz is the refresh rate limit of most modern monitors, so you should strive for as close to 60 frames per second as your computer can reasonably handle. Most consoles run games at 30 frames per second and so a bad PC port of a console game will do the same.

You shouldn’t have to change any refresh rate settings as this should be in your monitors’ properties, and not in most in-game settings menus. Make sure your monitor is set to 60Hz, for the best gaming experience.

Resolution

Resolution is the measure of horizontal pixels by the vertical pixels being produced on your monitor (e.g.: 2560×1600). A higher resolution will display more detail regardless of other graphical settings, but it also means your PC needs to work hard at rendering extra pixels. You can lower this setting, if you are experiencing graphical lag; however, you will see a noticeable decrease in the quality of the image.

AA (Anti-Aliasing)

When looking closer at certain objects, they seem to have jagged edges, especially when looking at them from a diagonal perspective. This is due to the rendering of slanted lines or diagonals via a miniscule sequence of horizontal and vertical lines. The jagged edges (or “jaggies”) that you see are the right angles formed by those alternating lines. Anti-aliasing is a filter that works to get rid of those jagged edges, making the game look much smoother. It changes the colour of the pixels around the edges of lines, in order to blend them into the image. This has a high cost performance-wise, but can massively improve the graphics.

fidelity of your game. Most modern games offer multiple levels of anti-aliasing, which allows you to find the perfect balance of quality and performance.

MSAA (Multisampling Anti-Aliasing) is a type of AA that impacts performance less, by applying the anti-aliasing effect to only those parts of the frame that looks jagged, rather than across the entire frame. This can result in some jaggedness inside polygons, but will remove it from the edges.

FXAA (Fast Approximate Anti-Aliasing) is the least process-heavy method of anti-aliasing. FXAA doesn’t use higher resolution frame data. It is only applied to the pixels on screen at the resolution at which you’re playing. This translates to an image that is slightly blurrier, but one that renders much faster and taxes your GPU less.

TXAA (Temporal Anti-aliasing) Is “MSAA plus”. TXAA considers the previous frames and averages the colors to produce what will be displayed next. While it reduces flickering, it can also result in a blurrier image. TXAA is Nvidia-exclusive but AMD has their own anti-aliasing technology called MLAA.

You should always turn on FXAA – or even MSAA x2– until your PC starts to struggle, in order to have the best looking game.

PhysX

As you might’ve guessed from the name, this setting is all about rendering physics. This involves extra detail in the game world, as well as how you and other objects interact(e.g.: individual shards of shattered glass or detailed cloth objects flapping in a breeze). This is another Nvidia exclusive, but it is possible to run it without a Nvidia graphics card. This forces the CPU to work at it and will most likely in some cases, however, this will bring your frame rate to an unacceptably low number. Even using a Nvidia card, this has a very high-performance cost and can make your game unplayable.

If your system can handle it, you should absolutely have this on; but it should also be the first thing you turn off when performance takes a hit, as it is very taxing to the GPU. Only a few games have noticeable in-game support for PhysX.

Supersampling

This is a more resource-intensive “brute force” approach at removing jagged edges. With this enabled, your PC will render each frame at a higher resolution than your monitor can display, then shrink the image down to fit your monitor. After being shrunk, the larger image is used to work out what colours are needed to smooth out the jagged edges. This is a brilliant way to get rid of jagged edges in games, but itis more taxing on the system than any other anti-aliasing technique.

This setting should be kept off, unless you have invested in a high-end rig and have maxed out all your other settings. They don’t call it super-sampling for nothing.

SSAO (Screen Space Ambient Occlusion)

SSAO is a method of creating shadows around object edges or in corners. These shadows are not real in the sense that they aren’t created by dynamic lighting; rather they are rendered from your current perspective. While this ordinarily isn’t heavy on performance, the quality will differ from game to game. More advanced methods include horizon-based ambient occlusion (HBAO), which will render better-looking shadows (but require Direct X 10 or 11 to run).

The matter of whether to use SSAO is up to you, try activating it, and if the shadows look off, deactivate it and use other shadow effects.

AF (Anisotropic Filtering)

One of the oldest tricks of smoothing a gaming experience, is by making the surface textures blurrier the further away they are. AF blends the transition from a blurry surface texture to a crisp surface texture. With this disabled, it will look like hard cuts between the different levels of blurry to clear, as you move closer to a texture. Not a good looking effect.

Anisotropic Filtering has an almost unnoticeable performance effect, keep this one at 16x and enjoy smooth texture transitions.

Depth of Field

You’ll see that objects further away are blurrier than those close to the camera. The depth of field setting controls the intensity of the blur, not the distance that the objects start to blur (that’s the draw distance) but rather how strongly they blur out.

This is another setting that has a low-performance cost as is more down to personal taste. If the objects further away look oddly obscure or unrealistically clear Depth of field is your answer.

Post-processing

This differs from game to game. It commonly refers to effects like bloom (allowing light to bleed softly around objects), motion blur (simulates the blur of fast head movements or camera movement. Other effects can include high dynamic range lighting, which simulates the overbrightness the human eye experiences when moving from a dark space to a light one.

Again, what effects are controlled in Post-processing is different from game to game but each of the effects listed above are performance heavy so this should be turned down if your PC starts to chug. Some of the effects come down to personal preference anyway, as I myself don’t like motion blur.

Hopefully, this guide has helped to clarify some of the terms that you will frequently encounter in the video settings for your games. If you have further questions let us know in the comments below.

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