A 2018 Splinter Cell listing has appeared on Amazon

Splinter Cell may be a stealth video game series but its next possible release is anything but at the moment. On Amazon Canada a listing appeared recently for Splinter Cell 2018 and though it’s since been taken down an eagle-eyed Redditor spotted it and a screenshot lives on.

Though the listing didn’t have images, release date, or synopsis, the item model number on the site included E3 which suggests this is when the game will first be announced. 

Given that we don’t actually have any confirmation a Splinter Cell game is coming this year and it’s possible Amazon could have been putting up the listing as some kind of placeholder (an oddly specific choice though Splinter Cell may be) this remains a rumor for now.

Not so stealthy

However, it does tie in neatly with previous rumors that the series would be returning this year. Back in 2016 there were rumors that Sam Fisher’s voice actor, Michael Ironside, was back at Ubisoft working on an unconfirmed project. Then, in 2017 Ubisoft’s CEO was quite clear during E3 that the publisher hadn’t forgotten the series. 

Outside of these rumors, the time just feels right – the last Splinter Cell game was released all the way back in 2013 at the tail end of the previous generation and Ghost Recon Wildlands is continuing to do well for Ubisoft. We’d say it’s about time the Splinter Cell side of the Tom Clancy brand made its way onto PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles. 

5 tips for choosing the right typeface

How to choose the right font

When it comes to picking a typeface, you can’t rely on gut alone

There are thousands of paid-for and free fonts available for creatives to choose from. However, when it comes to picking a typeface, you can’t rely on gut alone. Making the right choice depends on function, context and a whole host of other factors. But how do you ensure you’re going about it the right way? With these pointers, you won’t go far wrong…

01. Think function

Always think about function as well as form. There’s no point finding a typeface that ticks the creative boxes, testing it and wowing your client with it, only to discover that it won’t actually work for the project because it lacks key technical features. Consider these from the start.

02. Follow foundries

Type should be in your consciousness, not something you only think about when you need to use it. Try following some foundries like Dalton Maag, Monotype, Hoefler & Co, Font Bureau and Commercial Type, on social networking sites, read typography blogs or simply keep your eyes peeled for good and bad examples of type you see out in the world. The more you notice, the more you’ll know.

03. Test rigorously

Always test your type in ways that are relevant to the project. You don’t know if a typeface will work until you’ve seen it at the right size and tested whether the spacing works. You need a realistic idea of how it’s going to look – which you often won’t get from fake Latin.

04. Think effectively

Like any design decision, typeface selection needs to be the result of effective thinking. The fact that you like a typeface doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to convey the right brand messages to your target audience. You may convince your client, but the design won’t do its job.

05. Pair up properly

If you’re trying to pair two typefaces, start by defining what you want to achieve: are you aiming for harmony or contrast? Are you looking for complementary typefaces with corresponding curves, for example? Be careful not to let things get too uniform. Done wrong, this can be as inadvisable as double denim. To get it right, read our article on how to find the perfect font pairing.

The tips are taken from an article that originally appeared in Computer Arts issue 237.

Words: Anne Wollenberg

Like this? Read these!

Fitbit Versa UAE release date, price, news, and features

This article is written by TechRadar UK team for a global audience. It has been edited to match the information related to the UAE variant of the smartwatch.

When Fitbit announced its Ionic smartwatch at the tail end of 2017, the company said it planned to make more watches in the near future and the first is already here under the name Fitbit Versa.

The Versa shares a lot with the Fitbit Ionic from last year and while the design is a touch smaller, there are a few less features and the price is slightly lower, it looks to be a solid addition to the Fitbit family.

Fitbit has yet to confirm so, but the price point and feature set looks to make it a suitable replacement for the Fitbit Blaze. That means if you were holding out for the long-rumored Fitbit Blaze 2 you may want to take a look at this watch from the company instead as we may never get one under that name.

Below we’ve broken down everything you need to know about the Fitbit Versa. You can watch our video hands on review or read our full hands on Fitbit Versa review now.

Fitbit Versa price and release date in the UAE

Fitbit Versa is available for preorder on Fitbit.com as well some other online retailer for AED 899. That price will get you the watch in black with a black aluminum case, gray with a silver aluminum case, or peach with a rose gold aluminum case. 

The Fitbit Versa Special Edition will retail for AED 999. General availability is expected to be towards the beginning of April for all models,

Watch our full video review of the Fitbit Versa below

Fitbit Versa design and display

Unlike some previous Fitbit products, this comes with a full metal unibody design that feels premium but is much smaller on the wrist than the Ionic. We’ve yet to learn of the exact dimensions, but it’s slimmer and lighter than the Ionic or the Blaze so looks to be the perfect option if you have smaller wrists.

You’ve got the color options of grey or pink for the body of the actual watch.

As for straps, you’ve got a huge selection of options. There’s a wide variety of colors for each with materials of silicone, metal chain link, metal bands, Horween leather and more all up for grabs.

Image 1 of 3

Fitbit Versa with silicone strap
Image 2 of 3

Fitbit Versa special edition with woven strap
Image 3 of 3

Fitbit Versa with metal strap

On the front there’s a touchscreen display for navigating the Fitbit OS, with some thick bezels around the side. Below the screen there’s the Fitbit logo, but we don’t currently have any information on the screen technology or resolution.

The Versa is waterproof up to 50 meters, so you’ll be able to wear this in the shower or swimming without worrying about flooding the internals.

On the left hand edge there’s a power button, and there are two other hardware buttons on the right hand side of the watch for navigating through menus if you don’t want to use the screen.

The normal version comes with a silicone band in the box, so if you want a more premium band you’ll need to buy one separately to switch out.

Fitbit Versa fitness features

As this is a new smartwatch from Fitbit – a brand known for health and fitness wearables – you should probably only consider buying this if you’re interested in fitness features.

There’s your normal step tracking here, but now you’ll be able to see your last seven days of activity directly on the watch itself, so you can make sure you’re keeping up with your target.

On the rear there’s a PurePulse heart rate scanner that works 24/7, even when you’re sleeping. Plus there’s sleep tracking tech here that uses the company’s recent Sleep Stages tracking service.

That will tell you how much time you spend in REM and other stats about your sleep as well as providing feedback to help you improve upon your night’s sleep.

Fitbit Coach is also here to give you workouts you can perform at home, plus there’s a feature that allows you to monitor your cardio fitness level.

If you want to take this in the pool, you’ll be able to as it’s waterproof and comes with tracking for swimming.

Runners may be disappointed to learn there’s no GPS built into the Fitbit Versa. Instead it features Connected GPS, so you’ll need to take your phone out on your run with you to be able to track your location.

Fitbit is also bringing female health tracking features to its app and the Versa watch. Specifically you’ll be able to enter details about your menstrual cycle so you can keep an eye on how it impacts your health and wellness directly in the Fitbit app.

It’s not a groundbreaking innovation, but giving you dynamic cycle predictions allows you to log your symptoms easily and mark when you’re likely to be less active.

Fitbit Versa other features

It’s not all about fitness on the Fitbit Versa. This is a smartwatch too, so it comes with a variety of other smartwatch features including notifications from a variety of apps.

Fitbit also plans to allow you to use quick replies to apps including Messenger and WhatsApp. Right now we don’t know exactly when this feature will arrive, but it’ll be debuting on Android in the coming months, and is likely to come to iOS sometime after that.

Much like the Ionic, the Versa is running Fitbit OS, which gives you access to the App Gallery created by the company. That means there’s a variety of Fitbit-made apps to download for your watch and there are even some third-party options such as Strava and Starbucks.

More are set to debut on the Fitbit App Gallery in the coming months too, plus it gives you access to a huge variety of clock faces, so you can further personalize your watch with relatively little effort.

If you want to listen to music when you’re on the go, you’ll be able to upload up to 300 tracks onto the Fitbit Versa.

If you don’t own music though, you’ll be able to connect up a Deezer account to get streamed music on your wrist, but it looks like you’ll have to download playlists or your FLOW to the watch before you start running as there’s no 4G connection here.

Fitbit Pay is also working here so if you connect up your bank account to your watch you’ll be able to buy a bottle of water or a treat when you’re out for your run, using a contactless terminal.

As for battery life, Fitbit estimates the watch should last around four days. We’ll be sure to test this during our full review, but considering the battery life on the Fitbit Ionic this makes a lot of sense. 

Fitbit Versa is the Fitbit Blaze 2 in all but name, replaces original Blaze watch

Back before the Fitbit Ionic was announced, an article on Bloomberg cited people familiar with the company’s upcoming products saying the firm was working on follow ups to both the Fitbit Charge 2 and Blaze

Fitbit has now confirmed the newly announce Versa watch has replaced the Blaze in its product line up.

A spokesperson for the company told TechRadar, “One of the key differentiators of Fitbit is our portfolio of products that offers users a way to find the right device for their needs and their style. Fitbit Versa will be replacing Fitbit Blaze in our product lineup. 

“Current Fitbit Blaze users will be able to continue using their device.  This is similar to how Fitbit Ionic replaced Fitbit Surge in our product lineup last year.”

Get the Blaze while it’s hot

You now can’t buy the Fitbit Blaze on the manufacturer’s official website, but we’ve found it available through a variety of third-party retailers. If you’re looking to get a good deal on the Fitbit Blaze, you may want to buy soon as when stock runs out Fitbit likely won’t be producing anymore.

There’s currently no official word on the rumored Fitbit Charge 3, but considering September will mark the two year anniversary of the Fitbit Charge 2 launch it’d make sense for the company to upgrade one of its best selling product lines before the end of the year.

We’ve tried the new Fitbit Versa, which comes with a slimmer design than the Blaze and Ionic as well as a lower price tag than Fitbit’s only other smartwatch. You can read our hands on Fitbit Versa review now.

Create a chromatic aberration effect in Photoshop

Chromatic aberration (distortion), also known as ‘colour fringing’ is a common optical problem. It occurs when a camera lens fails to bring all colour wavelengths to the same focal plane, or when the wavelengths of colour focus in different positions on the plane. 

It is caused by a lens dispersion, with different colours of light travelling at different speed while passing through a lens – in effect, producing a blurred image with coloured fringes (a rainbow edge in areas of contrast).

There are two types of chromatic aberration: axial (longitudinal) and transverse (lateral). Without going into too much detail, axial aberration occurs consistently throughout the image, whereas transverse does not occur in the centre and increases towards the edge of the image. There are a few ways to minimise or remove these with photo editing apps or Photoshop CC.

You may also notice this effect in some movies. Yes, it is there on purpose. It looks much better in motion than on a still, as it actually helps sharpen the picture as opposed to blur an image in photography.

So, if photographers do everything to avoid chromatic aberration in their work because it is deemed ‘incorrect’, why would you want to add it to your 3D art? Because, if used correctly, it can make your image ‘pop’ and look more realistic. Here’s how you can manually achieve this effect in Photoshop.

01. Image preparation

Merge your composition to a single layer before you start

Chromatic aberration is best added at the end, so first, complete your usual image composition. Put a copy of your layers in a folder for safekeeping (optional) or just start a new project. Make sure your composition is merged down to a single layer, then duplicate it twice. Set the duplicates to Lighten.

02. Choose your channels

Turn down the colours you don’t need for each channel

Decide which colours you want to create the effect with. Green and blue work here. Select the first duplicate, go to Levels and change the Red and Blue output levels to 0, leaving the Green levels untouched. Select the second duplicate and set Red and Green levels to 0, leaving Blue as it is. Rename layers accordingly.

03. Distortion

Don’t overdo the effect, because it’ll definitely look awful

Select the Green layer, activate the Move tool and press the left arrow on the keyboard (twice should be enough). Select the Blue layer and shift it to the right. Do not shift them by too many clicks because it will make the distortion too great, and your image will be painful to look at.

04. Emboss

Finish off with a tiny bit of subtle embossing

If you want to boost your image details even more, you can try adding an overlay of Filter/Stylize/Emboss on top. Experiment and play with the options for the angle, height and amount of Emboss, to see what works best with the lighting of your scene.

This article was originally published in issue 231 of 3D World, the world’s best-selling magazine for CG artists. Buy issue 231 here or subscribe to 3D World here.

Related articles: