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What is Anti-Aliasing and how does it work?

Very good article for learning purposes, explains different sort of AA methods.

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GrieverSoul2439d ago (Edited 2439d ago )

Nice article. Though half of it I didnt understand since im not that informed on technical stuff regarding rendering.

reynod2439d ago

Agreed its a good article to get an understand about the different forms of AA.

therapist2439d ago

"What is Anti-Aliasing ?"

something consoles never have enough of! Ever, in every game.

I hate jaggies!

im-12-years-old2439d ago

How is he trolling? It's true.

hoops2439d ago

He might be trolling but what he says is true. Most console games have little to no use of Anti-Aliasing. If it does have it it's in the 2x or MLAA variety.
Most console games still today use no AA

ATiElite2439d ago (Edited 2439d ago )

This person is not trolling! He/she is telling the truth so stop being a little hateful console fanboy.

I played Crysis 2 on the Ps3 and 360 on sunday(all platform Lan Party) and what a horrible display of jaggies (washed out colors, low draw distances, blur, and bad graphics in many areas) when i compare it to the PC version.

The consoles have good looking games but going from 8xAA or even 4xAA at 1920 x 1080p down to whatever consoles do, the consoles look like shit! adjustable AA will be on next gen consoles but for right now the amount of jaggies is horrible.

tdrules2439d ago

AA is in my opinion essential in PC games, even if jaggies are less obvious at 1080p, due to how close you are to the screen.

In console games, I think developers should focus more on framerate and performance than jaggies, the average console gamer is pretty far away from the screen usually.
can't speak for everyone though

BlackKnight2439d ago

Actually it depends on distance from the display AND the size of the display. A 1080P monitor at 24inches has very tiny pixels, but sitting 3 feet from it, you can see those pixels. Considering most console games run at 720P, a 1080P TV uses multiple pixels to make 1 dot (scaling) and that dot is bigger. AND the fact most people game on consoles with a 32-65inch TV, those pixels are even larger.

Personally, I game on my TV with both console and my PC and 1080P barely needs AA. 4xAA at 1080P on my 46inch watching from my couch COMPLETELY eliminates jaggies. While high levels of AA helps console games at 720P, it is still 720P though so it looks less detailed and less sharp than a true 1080P game (If you calculate it, 720 is almost exactly half the resolution of 1080P).

Proper forms of AA help image quality but is no substitute for higher resolution.

Otheros002439d ago (Edited 2439d ago )

AA is AA no matter how you do it. Just like milking a cow is milking a cow. Even if you do it by hand or using a machine.

It's stupid how some people here say that a certain AA is not AA when it gets rid of Aliasing.

To those people: How can a certain AA not be "real" AA when it's sole purpose is to get rid of Aliasing?

callahan092439d ago (Edited 2439d ago )

Ridiculous. If "AA is AA no matter how you do it" then we wouldn't have multiple "how"s to do it by. It'd just be "AA". The distinction between the different types is clearly explained in this article so I see no reason to recount that information in this comment, but to put it briefly, different methods of AA are more efficient than others but produce different results in terms of the quality of the image. Some are more processor intensive but yield a better image, others are less intensive but the image is either not as effectively anti-aliased or becomes more blurry.

Otheros002439d ago

I'm just saying that all methods of AA gets rid of AA even if you do it differently. The point is that it only does AA and doesn't add more polygons or better lightning.

BlackKnight2439d ago (Edited 2439d ago )

Because it is more complex than you are making it out to be?

Super Sampling AA
Subpixel data preserved and works on every surface and has no adverse effects besides HUGE performmance hit. This is the best quality AA method. Has different sample choices to choose performance/quality.

Multisampling AA
Subpixel data preserved and works on ALMOST all surfaces (alpha tested surfaces do not benefit, neither does "shader" aliasing on surfaces). Much lower performance hit than SSAA. Has different sample choices to choose performance/quality. There are variations of this with CSAA and transparency AA that can be couple with it to solve alpha testing issues.

MLAA
Postprocissing AA so there is NO subpixel data preservation which leads to shimmering or "pixel popping" when the image is moving. Does smooth alpha tested surfaces (foliage and fences) but since there is no subpixel data, pixel popping is noticable. Smoothing is excellent and effects all surfaces. Has been shown to blur textures a small amount but is not too noticable. Performance hit is less than MSAA in most cases

SRAA/FXAA - New Nvidia AA methods not yet available (to my knowledge), I don't know much about them except that FXAA is similar to MLAA but does have subpixel data. SRAA seems to be similar but better? I have to do more reading.

Anyways, AA is quite complex and there are all sorts of ways to do it with pros and cons. There are more than this, but these are popular/coming soon.

To put it in your words, there are different ways to milk a cow but some ways are going to get the milk out slow while other ways gets you milk fast but not particularly good milk...

ATiElite2439d ago

SSAA is THE only AA for an Enthusiast PC Gamer like myself in Quality mode of course.

Very Good job a describing this even if you copied and paste. This was a helpful post and article to those who don't understand the importance of AA

Bubbles for you my friend.

BlackKnight2439d ago

This is what I know. I am actually glad that you thought this might be copy/pasted. I am a serious gamer, be it xbox/ps3/PC (Dad has a Wii and I play it sometimes at his place, I am just not into it, sorry!!!!).

I think the key to anything is knowing the facts (true facts, not opinion) and being able to say the pro and cons of ANYTHING. Be it a technique, game, PLATFORM, whatever.

Motorola2439d ago

I did before and after comparisons with AA in some games and see barely any difference.. But i sit quite far away from the screen as I use a controller..

chak_2439d ago

Very good article, and vrey usefull.

I've always been "WTF" when I had to choose CSAA, SSAA or MSAA, coupled with TsAA & co.

Now I know, I'll mostly go for MSAA 4x on my screen.

ATiElite2439d ago

If your PC has the muscle go for SSAA it's the best but 4x MSAA at 1920 x 1080p is very very effective and provide super high quality visuals with a conservative hit on performance.

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