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Different Types of AA

EastCoasthandle

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There are several different types of AA that can be used in games. Below are a few:



Older and Current AA Methods​
Quincunx AA - Sometimes used on PS3 instead of MSAA. Uses 2 geometry sample points just like 2xMSAA, but it also uses 3 samples belonging to neighboring pixels. This results in blurring.
Examples:
Quincunx vs MSAA
SSAA (scroll down) - Super Sampled AA
Analytical AA - It's found in Metro2033




IHV specific AA techniques
Nvidia
Transparent AA (mid-way down) - NVIDIA for Alpha textures, etc


Nvidia's CSAA - Coverage sampled AA. Used to increase frame rate by using a reduce number of coverage samples normally found in MSAA. This is typically mistaken by some as MSAA when infact it is not. IE: "I can use 8xAA in games" can be misleading when in fact that person is using 8x CSAA. If they were using true 8x MSAA it should read 8xQ (or whatever they are using now). CSAA is found in some games along with MSAA.

CSAA in Color, Z and Coverage
  • 2x....= MSAA (1, 2, 2)
  • 4x....= MSAA (1, 4, 4)
    .....
  • 8x...= CSAA (1, 4, 8)
  • 8xQ = MSAA (1,8, 8)
    .....
  • 16x..= CSAA (1, 4, 16)
  • 16xQ = CSAA (1, 8, 16)




AMD
Adaptive AA (mid-way down)- AMD for Alpha textures, etc
Both TrAA and AdAA can improve the image of transparent textures using specific Antialiasing techniques.

ATI's CFAA - Custom-Filter Anti-Aliasing takes samples from outside the pixel boundary. It provides more samples per pixel than MSAA with little impact on the memory footprint. They can work alongside floating-point blending based High Dynamic Range rendering and anti-aliasing stencil shadows. The draw back to Narrow and Wide Tent is blurring. Edge Detect performs a pass to discover any edges on the rendered scene, resolving those edges only (if I recall correctly). This is done by using AA while the rest of the image is AA'd using a standard box filter and a lower number of samples. If my memory recalls correctly you want to use either 8xAA (or higher) or Edge Detect you want to overclock the GPU in order to increase the Shader Clock to reduce the additional performance penalty using them.

Filter Modes
  • 2x, 4x, 8x Box = Normal AA
  • 4x CFAA 2x + Narrow tent
  • 6x CFAA 2x + Wide tent / 4x + Narrow tent
  • 8x CFAA 4x + Wide tent
  • 12x CFAA 8x + Narrow tent / 4x + Edge detect
  • 16x CFAA 8x + Wide tent
  • 24x CFAA 8x + Edge detect

Enhanced Quality Anti-Aliasing is a newer filter that is only available in the cayman series video cards. What this does is provides extra coverage samples per color sample. For example:
2xEQAA provides 4 coverage samples. 2xAA only has 2 coverage samples.
4xEQAA provides 8 coverage samples. 4xAA only has 4 coverage samples.
8xEQAA provides 16 coverage samples. 8xAA only has 8 coverage samples.




Newer Post-Processing Filters​
Practical Morphological Anti-Aliasing (by
I've come across another AA method called Practical Morphological Anti-Aliasing (MLAA by Jorge Jimenez, etc). There is also a CPU version of MLAA from Intel (Alexander Reshetov) according to this article and pdf. MLAA can be found in GOW III, KillZone 3, etc. The quality of MLAA is between 4xAA and 8xAA MSAA at a fraction of the memory and time consumption. Because this process works as a post-processing it should work with any game. How it works is by detecting specific patterns in color or depth information of boarders and anti-aliasing them by blending pixels of those borders according to the type of pattern and position they belong to within the pattern.


MLAA



8xAA



1xAA

Take notice of the railing in the upper right corner. And here is another article another article about MLAA.


Directionally Localized Anti-Aliasing
This will be found in DLAA in Force Unleashed II (link demonstrates DLAA vs no AA). DLAA is similar to MLAA but little is explained as to how it works at this time. Current execution times for DLAA are:
"Xbox 360: 2.2 +/- 0.2ms @ 1280x720
"PlayStation3 (5 SPUs): 1.6 +/- 0.3ms @ 1280x720"
[DLAA (Directionally Localized Anti-Aliasing (by Dmitry Andreev) - our custom anti-aliasing algorithm implemented in Star Wars : The Force Unleashed 2. In terms of picture quality it is comparable with MLAA, but due to perception based probabilistic nature it features high temporal stability and implemented on both the GPU (X360, PC) and PS3 SPUs ]

Below are some examples of DLAA vs no AA.







IQ comparison of Force Unleashed 2 using DLAA VS FXAA.
To me, the FXAA pics looks a little blurry.




Directionally Adaptive Edge AA
I've seen this one but haven't found it in games yet.



Nvidia's Version
SRAA
FXAA (by Timothy Lottes)- Fear 3 uses FXAA below are examples of what FXAA looks like vs 4x MSAA.

FXAA example vs 4xMSAA
Take notice of the grating on the crate.

MLAA vs FXAA article

What I got out of it is:
MLAA - Doesn't apply as much blurring to edges leaving a slightly sharper image quality. However it can find false edges which can be the result of a noisy texture. This causes the texture to not look as AA'd as it should be.
FXAA - Does well with noisy textures and high frequency images. Background images seem to be slightly more blurry. There is FXAA console and FXAA Quality

Currently there are no benchmark tests that show:
-Both FXAA and MLAA used from the control panel/drivers in games to see which is faster and compare IQ at the driver level.
-Both FXAA and MLAA implemented in PC games to see which is faster and compare IQ. IE: Games that have both MLAA and FXAA as a selectable AA option in it's menu.

8-3-2011
There is a FXAA DLL hook out that is at beta 4. This program allows you to use FXAA in certain games by placing it's files in the same directory as the .exe of the game. Once in game you use the Insert key to toggle FXAA on or off and use the Delete key to take screenshots. Currently this does not work in all games. Be careful when using dll hooks with online games using anti-cheating software. There is also reports of issues using this with other programs that use the original D3D9.dll file. For example, the OSD for afterburner is said to no longer work when using this program.

FXAA beta 5
Original Post

Results so far are encouraging as there is less impact on text and other on screen digits. Lets see what MLAA offers in it's update.

Update:
Jorge Jimenez and his team appear to have evolved from MLAA and developed SMAA. SMAA, Subpixel Morphological Antialiasing, improves on MLAA.

SMAA has the following options:
SMAA 1x: includes accurate distance searches, local contrast adaptation, sharp geometric features and diagonal pattern detection.
SMAA S2x: includes all SMAA 1x features plus spatial multisampling.
SMAA T2x: includes all SMAA 1x features plus temporal supersampling.
SMAA 4x: includes all SMAA 1x features plus spatial and temporal multi/supersampling.

Pic of SMAA in use.
SMAA Injector
 
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Great post man!

Anyway I disagree with the morphological anti-aliasing point of view. I find it to be the best of all of them. Problem is the performance hit it gives currently.

But I guess thats all opinion.
 
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Great post man!

Anyway I disagree with the morphological anti-aliasing point of view. I find it to be the best of all of them. Problem is the performance hit it gives currently.

But I guess thats all opinion.

Thanks!
MLAA does work very well. Perhaps one day we will see several post process filters options developed in more PC games in order to see any comparisons. But I honestly don't think there will any noticeable differences in IQ, memory foot-print, processing time, etc if all of them are developed well.
 
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They should just call it a blur filter.

How about "edgy blur filter thingy"?

I mean other then extreme geeks like ourselves can look at these pictures and tell WTF is going on. :laugh:
 

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Great thread :toast:

Just adding my 2 cents, MLAA blows ass in Dirt3 big time.
 

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Great thread :toast:

Just adding my 2 cents, MLAA blows ass in Dirt3 big time.

How does it blow? In performance or IQ or does it have a cameo in the game were it blows a giant ass in the biblical manner?
 

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How does it blow? In performance or IQ or does it have a cameo in the game were it blows a giant ass in the biblical manner?
Listen here mofo!!! :roll: blows ass is just that! It sucks! It looks horrible looking.

Have you tried it yet to see what im saying.
 

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Sadly I dont have dirt 3.
 
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SSAA is nice. Big performance hit for obvious reasons though.
 

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Ah I thought you did? Erocker was saying you were racing us the other night. Unless he was saying something else :wtf:
 

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FXAA vs MLAA video

Here is a video showing FXAA vs MLAA. The games used are:
BC2
Borderlands
Bulletstorm

Sidenote:
I'm not sure how this was done. IE: through drivers, console, etc. But I can't see much of a difference and it doesn't include frame rates. Even if it did it would go back to my earlier thought of how it was done.
 
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ctrain

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Great post man!

Anyway I disagree with the morphological anti-aliasing point of view. I find it to be the best of all of them. Problem is the performance hit it gives currently.

But I guess thats all opinion.

Depends on the implementation, the AMD one is seemingly slowww and of course affects everything including the hud since it's implemented at the driver level. To make it more confusing, FEAR 3 (and probably every game using it) has supposedly used an old version so it's faster / higher quality now.

The MLAA page linked would put it ahead of FXAA speed wise, so it's a matter of implementation.

They should just call it a blur filter.

Why would they call it what it isn't?
 

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MLAA is always being improved upon. In March 2011 they release version 1.5. Currently they are working on version 1.6

We can’t speak for all the MLAA(-like) implementations out there, but we think our current version 1.6 (the one used for these comparisons) has raised the quality bar considerably,” Jimenez told gamesindustry.biz. “In our tests, it produces results on par (when not superior) to CPU MLAA

MLAA is considered highly demanding, taking 3-4ms to render on the PS3 while using five SPUS, but Jorge Jimenez and Jose I. Echevarria say their 360 version is faster: “On the Xbox 360 we run at 2.47ms, with still a lot of optimisations to try,” Jimenez said.
 
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I would've not have chosen a Star Whores game as a comparison for this thread.
Interesting anyway.
 
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Why would they call it what it isn't?

Because that's what it looks like? Perhaps I haven't tried it with the right game. I'd much rather use SSAA than MLAA at this point based upon what I play.
 

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Cat 11.8 is said to offer up to 30% improvement for MLAA.
 

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Improvements using MLAA is noticeable. Try it.
 
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Jun 12, 2007
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4,815 (0.88/day)
Location
Wangas, New Zealand
System Name Darth Obsidious
Processor Intel i5 2500K
Motherboard ASUS P8Z68-V/Gen3
Cooling Cooler Master Hyper 212+ in Push Pull
Memory 2X4GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600
Video Card(s) ASUS R9 270x TOP
Storage 128GB Samsung 830 SSD, 1TB WD Black, 2TB WD Green
Display(s) LG IPS234V-PN
Case Corsair Obsidian 650D
Audio Device(s) Infrasonic Quartet
Power Supply Corsair HX650w
Software Windows 7 64bit and Windows XP Home
Benchmark Scores 2cm mark on bench with a razor blade.
I'm a fan of the wide tent filter.
I can make few games a little too blurry though.
 

ctrain

New Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2010
Messages
393 (0.09/day)
For what it's worth, Unreal Engine now has support for both FXAA and MLAA. You can use either one now in the UDK.
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2008
Messages
4,686 (0.90/day)
System Name Obelisc
Processor i7 3770k @ 4.8 GHz
Motherboard Asus P8Z77-V
Cooling H110
Memory 16GB(4x4) @ 2400 MHz 9-11-11-31
Video Card(s) GTX 780 Ti
Storage 850 EVO 1TB, 2x 5TB Toshiba
Case T81
Audio Device(s) X-Fi Titanium HD
Power Supply EVGA 850 T2 80+ TITANIUM
Software Win10 64bit
When is nvidia going to add support for SR/FX in the control panel?
 
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