Monday, February 18th 2019

NVIDIA: Image Quality for DLSS in Metro Exodus to Be Improved in Further Updates, and the Nature of the Beast

NVIDIA, in a blog post/Q&A on its DLSS technology, promised implementation and image quality improvements on its Metro Exodus rendition of the technology. If you'll remember, AMD recently vouched for other, non-proprietary ways of achieving desired quality of AA technology across resolutions such as TAA and SMAA, saying that DLSS introduces "(...) image artefacts caused by the upscaling and harsh sharpening." NVIDIA in its blog post has dissected DLSS in its implementation, also clarifying some lingering questions on the technology and its resolution limitations that some us here at TPU had already wondered about.

The blog post describes some of the limitations in DLSS technology, and why exactly image quality issues might be popping out here and there in titles. As we knew from NVIDIA's initial RTX press briefing, DLSS basically works on top of an NVIDIA neural network. Titled the NGX, it processes millions of frames from a single game at varying resolutions, with DLSS, and compares it to a given "ground truth image" - the highest quality possible output sans any shenanigans, generated from just pure raw processing power. The objective is to train the network towards generating this image without the performance cost. This DLSS model is then made available for NVIDIA's client to download and to be run at your local RTx graphics card level, which is why DLSS image quality can be improved with time. And it also helps explain why closed implementations of the technology, such as 3D Mark's Port Royal benchmark, show such incredible image quality scenarios compared to, say, Metro Exodus - there is a very, very limited number of frames that the neural network needs to process towards achieving the best image quality.
Forumites: This is an Editorial

The nature of DLSS means that the network needs to be trained for every conceivable resolution, since different rendering resolutions will require different processing for the image to resemble the ground truth we're looking for. This is the reason for Metro Exodus' limits in DLSS - it's likely that NVIDIA didn't actually choose not to enable it at 1080p with RTX off, it was just a case of the rendering time on its NGX cluster not being enough, in time for launch, to cover all of the most popular resolutions, with or without RTX, across its three available settings. So NVIDIA mated both settings, to allow the greatest image quality and performance improvements for those gamers that want to use RTX effects, and didn't train the network for non-RTX scenarios.
This brings with it a whole lot of questions - how long exactly does NVIDIA's neural network take to train an entire game's worth of DLSS integration? With linear titles, this is likely a great technology - but apply this to an open-world setting (oh hey, like Metro Exodus) and this seems like an incredibly daunting task. NVIDIA had this to say on its blog post:
For Metro Exodus, we've got an update coming that improves DLSS sharpness and overall image quality across all resolutions that didn't make it into day of launch. We're also training DLSS on a larger cross section of the game, and once these updates are ready you will see another increase in quality. Lastly, we are looking into a few other reported issues, such as with HDR, and will update as soon as we have fixes.
So this not only speaks to NVIDIA recognizing that DLSS image quality isn't at the level it's supposed to be (which implies it can actually degrade image quality, giving further credence to AMD's remarks on the matter), but also confirms that they're constantly working on improving DLSS' performance and image quality - and more interestingly, that this is something they can always change, server-side. I'd question the sustainability of DLSS' usage, though; the number of DLSS-enabled games is low enough as it is - and yet NVIDIA seems to be having difficuly in keeping up even when it comes to AAA releases. imagine of DLSS picked up like NVIDIA would like it (or would they?) and expand to most of the launched games. Looking at what we know, I don't even think that scenario of support would be possible - NVIDIA's neural network would be bottlenecked with all the processing time required for these games, their different rendering resolutions and RTX settings.
DLSS really is a very interesting technology that empowers the RTX graphicvs card of every user with the power of the cloud, as NVIDIA said it did. However, there are certianly some quirks that require more processing time than they've been given, and there are limits to how much processing power NVIDIA can and will dedicate to each title. That the network needs to be trained again and again and again for every new title out there bodes well for a controlle,d NVIDIA-fed games development environment, but that's not the real world - especially not with an AMD-led console market. I'd question DLSS' longevity and success on these factors alone, whilst praising its technology and forward-thinking design immensely. Source: NVIDIA
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112 Comments on NVIDIA: Image Quality for DLSS in Metro Exodus to Be Improved in Further Updates, and the Nature of the Beast

#2
Vayra86
I don't know but this whole DLSS affair sounds a lot like swinging a very blunt object at a very intricate problem, hoping at some point it hits the right button. I get the idea, but the result is só much work, look at the amount of games released in a year, what is Nvidia going to do, build an NGX box for each one? And for how long?

It depends way too much on that continued investment. They have had months now and all we got is three games... that are still not what they should be.
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#3
Wavetrex
SSDL ?
Super-Shady Deep Lies.
Posted on Reply
#4
Vayra86
Wavetrex, post: 3997236, member: 182738"
SSDL ?
Super-Shady Deep Lies.
Nah.

Depressingly Low Sample Size.
Posted on Reply
#5
Steevo
Dude where's my AA
Posted on Reply
#6
Raevenlord
News Editor
Wavetrex, post: 3997236, member: 182738"
SSDL ?
Super-Shady Deep Lies.
Vayra86, post: 3997246, member: 152404"
Nah.

Depressingly Low Sample Size.
Damn you all, I thought I had messed up somewhere in the article :slap::laugh:
Posted on Reply
#7
bug
You really didn't think of a "too soon to tell" option? Then again maybe you're right. I mean we have now like 3 titles to go by.
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#8
tvamos
Don't know why TPU keeps using this image from Port Royal bench, when all images from real games show DLSS to be WAY more blurry.
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#9
KarymidoN

Hardware Unboxed says (and shows) it's best...
DLSS = Resolution upscale...
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#10
lexluthermiester
lynx29, post: 3997219, member: 153071"
yawnfest 2019
Did you actually look at the example screen shots? That is not "yawnfest". That is very cool and an improvement worthy of recognition.

tvamos, post: 3997349, member: 162758"
Don't know why TPU keeps using this image from Port Royal bench, when all images from real games show DLSS to be WAY more blurry.
I've seen it upfront & personal, and no it isn't.

KarymidoN, post: 3997379, member: 153998"

Hardware Unboxed says (and shows) it's best...
DLSS = Resolution upscale...
The only thing that is a "fail" with that video is the testing and analyzation methodology.
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#11
KarymidoN
lexluthermiester, post: 3997384, member: 134537"
The only thing that is a "fail" with that video is the testing and analyzation methodology.
pardon mr. tech specalist, how would you do it then? explain it to us mere mortals
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#12
tvamos
lexluthermiester, post: 3997384, member: 134537"
Did you actually look at the example screen shots? That is not "yawnfest". That is very cool and an improvement worthy of recognition.


I've seen it upfront & personal, and no it isn't.


The only thing that is a "fail" with that video is the testing and analyzation methodology.
Oh, do share with us the right methodology video, please, I can not find it myself anywhere.
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#13
moproblems99
Need some work on these polls guys. Most of the time, all the answers lean in one direction or another.

If DLSS looked like the Port Royal example instead of all the screenshots we get from actual game play then I might actually buy an 2000 series.
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#14
lynx29
moproblems99, post: 3997418, member: 155919"
Need some work on these polls guys. Most of the time, all the answers lean in one direction or another.

If DLSS looked like the Port Royal example instead of all the screenshots we get from actual game play then I might actually buy an 2000 series.
DLSS only works for 4k gaming I thought? your monitor is 1440.
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#15
moproblems99
lynx29, post: 3997440, member: 153071"
DLSS only works for 4k gaming I thought? your monitor is 1440.
My monitor sucks and I am going to drop it like it's a hot potato when the monitor I want goes under $900. That said, I don't think it is the res that determine when it can be active but rather the frame rate.
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#16
EarthDog
lynx29, post: 3997440, member: 153071"
DLSS only works for 4k gaming I thought? your monitor is 1440.
In 4k for FF XV only IIRC. It works on 1440 and 4k for some cards in BF V. There was a table posted somewhere.
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#17
SystemMechanic
Raevenlord, post: 3997260, member: 166527"
Damn you all, I thought I had messed up somewhere in the article :slap::laugh:
You did. You need to correct ur spelling Graphicvs card.

lexluthermiester, post: 3997384, member: 134537"
Did you actually look at the example screen shots? That is not "yawnfest". That is very cool and an improvement worthy of recognition.


I've seen it upfront & personal, and no it isn't.


The only thing that is a "fail" with that video is the testing and analyzation methodology.
If you have seen it in person and are okay with it....you need to have ur eyes checked my friend.
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#18
EarthDog
It really depends on the implementation... it will improve with time.. look at how optimized 3dmark is and how good it looks.
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#19
SystemMechanic
#1: DLSS at 4k | #2:1600p on 4k screen | #3: 4k |


As u guys can see DLSS is not only blurry, it also washes out the color. The wrench at the bottom doesnt look as black in DLSS. ITS GARBAGE.
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#20
EarthDog
We get it. :)

Did you read what nvidia has said on how it works and how over time it will get better as it learns? Have you seen what it does in 3dmark and why? It's in the first post. :)
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#21
Xzibit
EarthDog, post: 3997478, member: 79836"
We get it. :)

Did you read what nvidia has said on how it works and how over time it will get better as it learns? Have you seen what it does in 3dmark and why? It's in the first post. :)
Out of curiosity has anyone done independent test on the Port Royal? All i can find is the Promo stuff from UL and Nvidia.
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#22
EarthDog
Good point. None I know of.. I ran it with DLSS and it looked just as good (if that means anything). But I havent done a side by side. ;)
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#23
Xzibit
EarthDog, post: 3997486, member: 79836"
Good point. None I know of.. I ran it with DLSS and it looked just as good (if that means anything). But I havent done a side by side. ;)
I seen side-by-side runs. I meant has anyone done an in-depth to see if the settings and implementations are good (on vs off)
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#24
EarthDog
Not sure I know what you are getting at...

Like settings the same between the two runs outside of dlss?
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#25
Xzibit
EarthDog, post: 3997492, member: 79836"
Not sure I know what you are getting at...

Like settings the same between the two runs outside of dlss?
Yes, cause its almost the reverse of what the games are getting. I understand its on rails and all that but still. In-game set scenes would have the same visual increase if that were true.
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