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How much does FXAA take from you? A little tests…(warning:lots of pics)

Discussion in 'Graphics Cards' started by walkingdog, Jun 10, 2012.

  1. walkingdog New Member

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    We all know that FXAA plays am important role as a hero against in-game jaggies,
    especially for those using deferred shading features. It’s a good start to fight those
    ugly jaggies, but FXAA also blurs the images and textures, details lost due to FXAA
    in charge. So, FXAA is not so perfect as everybody knows, and its side effect is what
    we must endure during the entire gaming experience.


    FXAA is a sharp blade for deferred shading and HDR while fighting those unpleasant jaggies,
    but what do we lose when taking advantage of its wonderful power?
    Since FXAA is a post process AA solution to smooth polygon edges, it also smoothes
    the entire textures as well. 『How much is destroyed』is the major concern of this little
    test and comparison, and I sincerely hope someday Nvidia or AMD can present a
    perfect and beautiful AA solution, not only killing in-game jaggies, but keeping
    textures as sharp as it should be (seems TXAA may have the chance).


    I used several games as samples, with different 3D engines. FXAA was enabled via
    NV driver contorl panel (Deus ex using ingame FXAA). FRAPs was the tool to
    capture in-game screenshots, and I kept FPS counter on screen, as a way to show
    performance change during testing process.
    I converted two bmps into one gif file, this procedure resulted in image quality loss,
    a lot I must add, so I made a RAR containing all png files.
    You can download it here and compare all the difference as you want.
    http://freakshare.com/files/0yo0hf5f/PNG.rar.html


    IMO I think FXAA is good, an alternative to suit gamer’s taste, although it blurs
    textures to a degree in most cases.
    In some games though, it really doesn’t have so much impact on images or textures,
    like Dead Space 2、Max Payne 3,etc. This may be due to different 3D engines used,
    the resolution of textures, and don’t forget in-game environments
    (dark or blight, in dark surroundings AA is less important).
    Anyway, an AA solution with the merit of both MSAA and FXAA is highly expected.
    I have heard TXAA is as good as FXAA while dealing with deferred shading, along
    with less performance drop compared to MSAA, and keeps textures sharp at the same
    time. Let’s hope it’s true, and AMD can present its own AA solution like TAXX in the near future…






    Test Platform
    CPU:E6500
    RAM:4GB DDR2-800
    VGA:9800GT GREEN
    MONITOR:CHIMEI T38D 1400X1050
    DRIVER:301.24


    1. Wolfenstein (Wolfenstein 3D Engine)
    http://i.imgur.com/FYe1D.gif
    [​IMG]

    FXAA is a charm, sentencing jaggies to death.
    Take a look at the floor and indentaions on the windowstill, a few details vanish,
    not a lot though. I think it’s good to turn on FXAA in this game.



    2. Borderlands (Unreal Engine 3)
    http://i.imgur.com/LwcLQ.gif
    [​IMG]

    PICs can not show what is really happening in this game.
    Yeah, I prefer to bear some jaggies than blurry images,
    not serious, but out of focus…



    3. Crysis (CryEngine)
    http://i.imgur.com/aPPOj.gif
    [​IMG]

    Shadows of mud become less stereoscopic, you can make it out I believe,
    don’t know if Nomad wears his grandpa’s glasses…
    FXAA does a little damage to the textures, especially when there are trees and grass.
    Although endurable, I think in-game AA is more cute…



    4. Deus ex: Human Revolution (Re-engineered Crystal Engine)
    http://i.imgur.com/gDabv.gif
    [​IMG]

    Look at the electronic panel on the far wall, the words on that panel decline a bit,
    and lines of hand mess up…
    Still, I think it’s better to enable FXAA in this game, otherwise you’ll earn a lot of doggy-teeth…



    5. Gothic 3 (Genome Engine)
    http://i.imgur.com/wdVvD.gif
    [​IMG]

    Never have I seen so many disparities in a game like Gothic 3 with FXAA on&off.
    The leaves of trees stick together like a mass of shit.
    Also take a look at the grain of the planks、ladders、cottages, textures downgrade a lot,
    and this forces you to trun off FXAA immediately…



    6. Max Payne 3 (Euphoria Engine)
    http://i.imgur.com/3btyZ.gif
    [​IMG]

    FXAA looks good in this game. I used driver FXAA instead of in-game FXAA.
    It seems in-game FXAA just couldn’t take jaggies away, but blurs all the image.
    I don’t know why, maybe a personal issue I guess…
     
  2. scope54

    scope54

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  3. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    Very nice work.

    However, blurring textures isn't a problem with FXAA(or any AA), it is what AA was designed to do. Jaggies aren't just around polygons, jaggies are any line that isn't perfectly horizontal or vertical, be it the edge of a polygon or a line in a texture. Of course, most lines in textures aren't straight, so we notice jaggies a lot less in them, but textures still have jaggies, and AA must be applied to them. So, AA works by blurring, that is what it does. It takes the two sides of the line and blurs them together to make the transition less abrupt. So applying AA to textures means blurring the textures, this is the wanted affect of AA.

    The Deus Ex example you provided is a perfect way of demonstrating what I mean. Look at the arm displayed on the wall. That is a texture, and it is filled with jaggies without AA, and with AA it is smooth but blurred.

    Blurring isn't a side effect, it is the solution.
     
    Crunching for Team TPU 50 Million points folded for TPU
  4. RejZoR

    RejZoR

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    There is a difefrence between blurring and interpolation. The second one is what most of advanced algorithms do. Bluring was used as cheap anti-aliasing on consoles and it looked horrible (good example is Dead Space 1). Thankfully MLAA (and FXAA) work far better instead.
     
  5. phanbuey

    phanbuey

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    I would rather have jaggies than blurred textures FXAA is horribly blurry, ruins the fidelity of the game IMO... enable it in a racing game and the road in front of you looks like soup. Same thing with any game that has vegetation. The leaves immediately lose quality.

    Bring out the retina displays, get rid of AA, and just crank the resolution.
     
  6. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    Interpolation is still a form of blurring, they are just a better way of doing it. But in the end, there is no way to do AA without bluring, that is what AA does. It blurs the lines, every line, including lines in textures.

    The real solution is to make AA not needed. Increased resolutions.
     
    phanbuey says thanks.
    Crunching for Team TPU 50 Million points folded for TPU
  7. MasterInvader

    MasterInvader

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    To me the more the better.

    All game engines need to be as the Frostbite [32x CSAA] :rockout:
     
  8. Slizzo

    Slizzo

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    Diminishing returns. The higher the resolution, the less that anti-aliasing is needed.

    At 30" panel resolutions, I would argue that very little or no AA is needed.
     
  9. Frag Maniac

    Frag Maniac

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    Odd, because for me, the in game VSync for MP3 looks noticeably better than when forced via the Nvidia Control Panel. I've yet to check in game vs driver FXAA though.

    BTW, does anyone know if there's a MP3 benchmark test that can be done via console command or something?
     
  10. Goodman

    Goodman

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    AA , FXAA , XAA all the same to me

    I never setup or tweaks my drivers i left everything to default except for benchmarks of course... ;)

    As for games i setup my AA & Aniso in my game settings & leave my driver to default

    I don't care much about AA or FXAA anyways as long as the game is fun to play with couldn't care less what it looks like...
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2012
  11. phanbuey

    phanbuey

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    You would be right.
     

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