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Blackbird

Anti-Aliasing article revamp

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LAUNCHED

 

 

I've been holding this on for some time adding stuff and keeping it up-to-date with wiki templates, but now I'm not sure what could be improved/added so I'd appreciate if someone has some FEEDBACK
AA Test article
 
Changes:

  • Listed all known AA methods
  • Used the info icons to make everything cleaner
  • Divided them into Traditional and Post-Processing
  • Added info about their developers and GPU support
  • Added several new references to everything I could. (More may be needed and maybe less "biased" ones)
  • Removed Nvidia Inspector flags and moved them to Nvidia Inspector article

Some things to note:

  • Comparision images still use the old-ass image template and ugly wiki tables. I am not sure if the new templates can reproduce them without being overly huge or aligned to right
  • Types of Anti-Aliasing isn't prettiest, but I think it should stay in some form
  • ATI/AMD specific stuff needs to be looked over by someone who owns either as I can't verify anything as Nvidia user

Post any suggestions here in this thread please and DON'T EDIT THE ARTICLE DIRECTLY ELSE IT'LL GET MESSY

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Other than, less text, I don't really know yet, I like to keep everything in one row. So like the text at the top, I would shorten it so that it's one row long and I would also add a {{ii}} in front of it. So turn that into a keypoint I guess.

I like this format, more or less. Where any info outside the Fixboxes or whatever, is marked with an {{ii}}
http://pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/Steam

That article isn't perfect but whatever now, just so you get an idea.

You could probably remove the Developed by stuff maybe? I don't think anyone cares about who made these things, most people woulod rather know how to force these AA modes.

3zD7yae.png

 

I think you should remove anything that's not really important or essential in the end. If it helps the user in any way then sure. I didn't read the article so it's up to you, I'm sure you can figure it out though.

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Other than, less text, I don't really know yet, I like to keep everything in one row. So like the text at the top, I would shorten it so that it's one row long and I would also add a {{ii}} in front of it. So turn that into a keypoint I guess.

You mean the info text being in one row? The really long ones used to be text. I could try shortening them if possible. Keep in mind however that most people will find the AAs through wikilinks ie. [[MSAA]]

 

You could probably remove the Developed by stuff maybe? I don't think anyone cares about who made these things, most people woulod rather know how to force these AA modes.

Fair enough.

 

I think you should remove anything that's not really important or essential in the end. If it helps the user in any way then sure. I didn't read the article so it's up to you, I'm sure you can figure it out though.

Heh. I hope so.

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As far as I can tell everything related to AMD is correct.

I think the Forcing Anti-Aliasing table should simply be merged with all the AA descriptions. It would put a bit more meat on their verbal bones, as well.

I also think that using {{ii}} for everything makes the text a bit "heavy" to read. I think I'd like a traditional bulleted list more.

The article could use more comparison pictures, too.

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As far as I can tell everything related to AMD is correct.

Glad to hear that.

 

I think the Forcing Anti-Aliasing table should simply be merged with all the AA descriptions. It would but a bit more meat on their verbal bones, as well.

I was thinking about this. Just need to think of how to execute it

 

I also think that using {{ii}} for everything makes the text a bit "heavy" to read. I think I'd like a traditional bulleted list more.

Have to disagree there. This looks more closely to PCGW's aesthetic.

 

The article could use more comparison pictures, too.

Problem with that is AA implementation varies by game engines. Post-process ones in particular look different in all games.

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You could probably remove the Developed by stuff maybe? I don't think anyone cares about who made these things, most people woulod rather know how to force these AA modes.

I'm still not a fan of removing information just because what majority would search for, but with this I must agree. I do not know what I do with information that crytek has developed certain type of AA, other than some bet on trivia. What matters more is that what types of AA can be used and you already have an table there. Of course it can still be in some collapsable table as other information, but not sure is that vital enough info even then. 

 

Problem with that is AA implementation varies by game engines. Post-process ones in particular look different in all games.

Ah, I was about to suggest this as well. I would still think that some level of comparisons just to give an idea of differences would be really good. 

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Okay developers are gone now! :)

The images aren't bad idea but it'd only work for regular AAs. TAA/TXAA's improvement for example is only noticeable in motion and both are also not implemented same always.

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Even though AA has a varying implementation in games, the relative quality from one AA type to another should stay the same, no? If so we could put multiple forms of AA from the same game for comparison.

A good candidate for this would be ArmA 3 which has a three different forms of PPAA (FXAA, SMAA and CMAA), which themselves have different quality settings.

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I'm still not a fan of removing information just because what majority would search for.

I told him to do as he wants to, seeing as I have no idea if there's anything else that really needs to be removed right now without at least reading the whole thing. The whole "By X" is just something I saw at a glance. But, otherwise, if the info is fine then cool, keep it, if he's able to shorten things up then he can do that, without removing stuff though.

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You could probably remove the Developed by stuff maybe? I don't think anyone cares about who made these things, most people woulod rather know how to force these AA modes.

Fair enough.

Or, I dunno.. just point to actual technical details with reference tags.

 

Said this, I'm still skeptical on the forcing table.

Driver-specific stuff should probably be addressed in vendor pages.

 

And perhaps folks would be more interested to a table/graphics were quality and performance are plotted against.

Somehow including whether Alpha or blur are there.

 

Also, you should fix headers sizes.

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Or, I dunno.. just point to actual technical details with reference tags.

I was going to mention that but, I didn't really know where he could've put the ref tags, in the headers I guess?

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  • Added Quality comparision of several games and several methods done by @LDK in his PC reports. Each game uses different engine so this should balance it out. (Credited him accordingly on each image for his hard work)
  • Forcing AA removed
  • The cube AA example is slightly bigger

Images are currently biggest they can be since thumbnails would hide the differences. I could make them smaller obviously, but that would require user to click them which is annoyance. Right now they look perfectly on 1080p, but lower res suffers.

EDIT: Testing 500px. I want to hear which one is better or w/e value would be better. I am not putting them below each other though. The page is already long enough.

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The comparisons aren't too great, I don't really like the cube example, it's ugly and it's way too generic\broad and kinda redundant anyway, it's not a very good example either, is there any software where you can check what each type of AA looks like, so that you can later take screenshots of them?

 

Something like this.

http://www.nvidia.com/object/coverage-sampled-aa.html

http://developer.download.nvidia.com/SDK/10/Samples/CSAATutorial.zip

 

Also right now the page is kinda hard to read, it all feels kinda heavy, I can't come up with any ideas related to that right now though.

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I understand, but since AMD section only has one AA now it looks pointless. Maybe if more AAs are added. Also I'd rather not get rid of the distinction of the post process and regular AAs.

The exclusivity is on same row as supported GPUs anyway so it doesn't get in the way.

  • Removed Nvidia Inspector flags and moved them to Nvidia Inspector article

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Also I'd rather not get rid of the distinction of the post process and regular AAs.

I wasn't trying to do that, the titles are just messed up right now as I didn't bother changing them. I forgot how titles with === have no lines under them, so the categories are kinda pointless. I'm sorry I'm really sleepy today, usually I would check this stuff before posting but whatever now.

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Oh it's fine. I appreciate new ideas. Thinking of this I could remove the (Nvidia exclusive) and just write out the full GPU series name.

EDIT: Yup that's better.

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Plz, no vendor specific thingy. It's fantastic now.

First of all that page should describe AA methods.

 

Ok, I have an even neater truth now. It should -in theory- but first of all: what else do we want to include in that page?

 

For starters, we should think that page is likely to "welcome" people when games have no built-in support.

Or people with no freaking idea what AA is at all, or in general any person in any page with the video template that clicks over it (improve already existing support for example)

After this single dogma, which I believe would be better to address for first, we may think to everything else.

 

Until "Impact on Graphical Quality" section, I think it's a quite ok-ish introduction. Then?

How should we present forcing? And how to talk about the heap of programs that do it? (don't bother much with gpu control panels, given that should go here or here)

 

Consider it should be as immediate as possible for your average noob (meaning cut the "you can try this or this or this or this or this or this or this"), yet comprehensive for somebody with "more time and knowledge"

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I think "Impact on Graphical Quality" could be removed and its content integrated in the types of anti-aliasing (traditional and PP) by making the points relevant to it more detailed, since those points are kind of repeating what the "Impact on Graphical Quality" part already said.

For example in "Traditional methods" instead of having "Usually more taxing on resources" we could have something like "Usually more taxing on resources, should be prioritized if seeking a large performance improvement".

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Not bad! Working on it now. Also added note about deffered shading since it's lot more common in use now.

  • Impact on quality removed and merged into the categories
  • Minimal information on deferred shading added (if user wants to know more he should read the article/google it)
  • Removed some dubious stuff I noticed
  • AA wiki article is now reference

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 Usually more taxing on resources, should be prioritized if seeking a large performance improvement

Should be prioritized.. what?

And.. I dunno, AA performance response greatly varies between games and hardware.

Albeit I agree there should be such a kind of "low FPS alert", it should just warn users that, if any lag, it might want to consider a post processing alternative.

 

On the other hand, in post processing AA, I'd like an alert stating that [rarely/sometimes/every-now-and-then/usually/often/almost-always] (choose the one you like) bad implemented algorithms causes more harm to the image (aka blur) than good.

 

. . . and now the big part.

 

 

You may be interested to know that amd driver features Adaptive AA (ADAA?), which I guess goes alongside Nvidia's TMS and TSS. (ok, only the later, perhaps)

And not to mention that (put aside MLAA which can be combined with any other mode) there are different filters: narrow-tent, wide-tent, edge-detect (together they make CFAA)

 

For as much as.. I guess at least their description/link should be there on the list, this is getting really big.

And moreover, for as much as I do like that table, it still does nothing to lead noobs.

I just realized a thing though: traditional AA is only hackable through drivers (let's forget about downsampling, at least for starters)

 

This in turn implies what I was saying before: it's always going to be a vendor specific process.

And for as much it might be good to have a list with supported modes for each one, that has nothing to do with "Forcing" in the main AA page.

You either want traditional AA hacked (regardless if it is SSAA or MSAA or SGSSAA) or for whatever reason you are condemned to post-processing one.

 

Make your own conclusions. seriously, I have fucked my mind in this last hour

Last, -still in noobs interest- there was still that idea about compatibility bits list pending.

 

Trivia: should we mention Fragment AA?

And would we have any use of this table?

 

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Should be prioritized.. what?

I meant to say, should be among the first thing to remove in case you want a performance boost.

I can't think of a single game, regardless of the hardware, where non-post-process AA isn't one of the most taxing graphical options.

 

Also, does ADAA still exist on modern AMD GPUs? I don't see it in Crimson.

Edited by DrCat

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I meant to say, should be among the first thing to remove in case you want a performance boost.

I can't think of a single game, regardless of the hardware, where non-post-process AA isn't one of the most taxing graphical options.

Yes, and it's exactly that "one of the most" the problem.

Sometimes it isn't (be it because in-game AA is pretty lightweight/optimized for some reason, be it because there are even more heavy effects) and I really hate to give inaccurate information.

 

I and blackbird managed to find a very good "wording fix" anyway.

Also, does ADAA still exist on modern AMD GPUs? I don't see it in Crimson.

It's called adaptive multisampling. And it's still there at least in 16.2.1

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Say hello to:

 

Last: should we mention analtyical anti-aliasing (AAA or AEAA)?

What about Rotated Grid (or rook?) and Ordered Grid SS ?

Is Quincunx supersampling or multisampling?

And is HSAA even a thing outside ot this guy?

 

Considering the list is becoming enormous.. I dunno, perhaps should we introduce some other criteria? And move it in a: "AA list/glossary" page?

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Maybe we should restrict the described AAs to those that are supported natively by at least and handful of games + those that can be forced in drivers, and put the rest in a "further reading" list or something of the sort.

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The whole list feels a bit cluttered to me, it could probably use some more hierarchy. Grouping those various methods by family would allow us to have broader descriptions for each of those families, whereas individual methods would only need to be compared to each other. Here's what I mean :

 

 

*Buffer sampling methods
** Color buffer
*** SSAA
*** QSAA (Nvidia)
*** SGSSAA/OGSSAA (Nvidia)
** Z/Stencil buffer
*** MSAA
** Coverage buffer
*** CSAA (Nvidia)
*** EQAA (AMD)
* Temporal methods
** MFAA (Nvidia)
** TXAA (Nvidia)
* Post-processing methods
** FXAA

** MLAA

** SMAA

** CMAA
* Hybrid methods
** HRAA
** HSAA

The article could then focus on comparing each one of those in a more meaningful manner instead of aimlessly trying to name every algorythm under the sun and leaving it at that.

What would you guys think?

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Guys read the first post again please. You're not paying attention. (mirh only edited due to us chatting about it)

Also that is way too technical. This is done for average PCGW user, not programmers.

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Doublepost. The page is up now. I am not some dictator of what is right or wrong, but please no stupid edit wars. I'd prefer it to being discussed here.

  • Fixed redirects

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Guys read the first post again please. You're not paying attention. (mirh only edited due to us chatting about it)

Also that is way too technical. This is done for average PCGW user, not programmers.

I get that, but how is the average user supposed to figure out which one is better if the article skims over giving a brief explaination on what makes every method different? For all your average wiki-goer knows, the difference between all of these is the combination of letters before the "AA" part and that some of them only work on Nvidia cards. If you split them into families like that, you can say "Oh, EQAA a Cover-buffer samplig AA method, so it doesn't render everything at double the resolution but it at least checks for the edges of objects and uses that to blend those boundaries where it can. Now I know it's going to be far less taxing than MSAA. Thank you, PCGW!"

 

At the very least, you need to start explaining somewhere.

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You are right on the explaining part. This is something that needs to be done. The current info is mostly from the old page since getting info on some of the methods is harder than it seems. The stuff you mention should be also added to individual AAs. I am quite happy with how they are divided already. It's simple and straight-forward. Most gamers aren't as tech literate as you think. Post this on some PC Gaming subreddit and you'll realize this.

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You are right on the explaining part. This is something that needs to be done. The current info is mostly from the old page since getting info on some of the methods is harder than it seems. The stuff you mention should be also added to individual AAs. I am quite happy with how they are divided already. It's simple and straight-forward. Most gamers aren't as tech literate as you think. Post this on some PC Gaming subreddit and you'll realize this.

I'll always defend more hierarchised models, but I see where you're coming from. I'll probably try forking this article on my own personnal page over the next few days to see if I can get some sort of a preview going, to better show how I envision that article.

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(This post looks kinda weird seeing as I wrote a big thing, then I deleted everything as I summarized it so, whatever.)

 

TL:DR 2: Keep dis shit simpler, yo. Shit's too long too.

 

TL:DR: People shouldn't have to Google fancy words in order to understand how something works, use simple words and short sentences as much as you can.

If you have to look up an extremely techinical word (not just a common word or anything that can be deduced) then the explanation might not be that great.

 

Also my TL:DR is literally an example of how I summarized a ton of crap into something really simple. It could be shorter and better but, it still conveys the same message either way, and you didn't lose any useful info.

 

I don't know, just convey the important stuff with a bunch of easy words for the explanations. You've lost like the whole userbase by using the words "buffer" and "hierarchised models".

 

Try not to go too crazy with the categorization, right now this page is kinda pointless though, the wiki doesn't focus much on explaining stuff, and more on how to do stuff easily and quickly in a clear and simple manner, but any explanations should also follow that formula too. Short, to the point, extremely clear and so on. The page could use some instrutions on how to force some of these AA methods, there's not much point in explaining how an AA method works, if we literally have no use for it right now, but I guess having an explanation is a nice thing to have anyway?

 

I'm not saying that you shouldn't have your own take at it, but christ make it easy to read at least. We don't want to reach Wikipedia levels of unreadable. It's the same crap as with academical documents, people only write them that way just to feel better about themselves, but you end up wasting more time understanding the contents of the text instead of doing something better with your life, the author also has no idea what any of that crap he wrote back then even means anymore.

 

 

TL:DR 3: BIG WORDS BAD, SIMPLE AND CLEAR IS GOOD FOR UGA BOOGA LIKE ME.

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Description shouldn't be very much technical, and they isn't if you ask me (they could be a little shortened probably)

Actual mindblowing detail is linked in the reference.

 

Anyway, as I was saying above, indeed the list is too damn long.

And under these circumstances, I'd say ALL methods description should be moved in a separate page. Only for that. And there all the various MSAA, FSAA, HRAA... words in the wiki should point.

The improved hierarchy idea isn't bad.

 

"Vanilla" AA page, should then just talk about the phenomena itself, explaining the difference between traditional, postprocessing (and supersampling perhaps), offer a screenshot highlighting that, stop.

As per forcing, there's nothing special to say if you ask me.

 

It seems obvious, that where there's a performance margin for SSAA, that's undeniably the best choice.

Then there are all those variants of MSAA, be it a bit qualitatively or speed superior.

Last, post-processing.

 

I'm starting to think that, similarly to how we shouldn't mention particular vendors in AA page*, prolly we oughtn't even with specific implementations?

 

*= the ideal fixbox should say, along the lines "traditional/msaa/ssaa can only be forced through graphics card driver/control panel"

And a link to either this or this should be placed there.

 

 

subspoiler: I'm starting to question where we should explain graphics option in general: framerate, AF, gpu scaling.. general pages or graphics card control panels ones?

 

 

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Description shouldn't be very much technical, and they isn't if you ask me (they could be a little shortened probably)

Actual mindblowing detail is linked in the reference.

 

Anyway, as I was saying above, indeed the list is too damn long.

And under these circumstances, I'd say ALL methods description should be moved in a separate page. Only for that. And there all the various MSAA, FSAA, HRAA... words in the wiki should point.

The improved hierarchy idea isn't bad.

 

"Vanilla" AA page, should then just talk about the phenomena itself, explaining the difference between traditional, postprocessing (and supersampling perhaps), offer a screenshot highlighting that, stop.

As per forcing, there's nothing special to say if you ask me.

 

It seems obvious, that where there's a performance margin for SSAA, that's undeniably the best choice.

Then there are all those variants of MSAA, be it a bit qualitatively or speed superior.

Last, post-processing.

 

I'm starting to think that, similarly to how we shouldn't mention particular vendors in AA page*, prolly we oughtn't even with specific implementations?

The thing is that on the surface, most methods don't differ that much relative to each other aside from the general idea behind it (CSAA and EQAA are literally the exact same thing). If you make a page on each of those AA methods, you won't really have much to say beside stuff copy-parted from other articles about AA methods.

 

What we *could* do, however, is split this article into 3 separate one, to highlight the fact that Supersampling AA, Temporal AA and Post-Processing AA are utlimately unrelated to each other and can actually be used simultaneously.

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The thing is that on the surface, most methods don't differ that much relative to each other aside from the general idea behind it (CSAA and EQAA are literally the exact same thing).

Yes. And that's why I said above that probably, we shouldn't even mention single methods at all in the page (and perhaps I also mentioned this in some discussio with blackbird, forgetting to post back)

Think to the "mental process".

 

You know nothing. But you want to apply this AA thing to improve image quality.

What would be the first thing that you could try to do, in an ideal world? SSAA!

 

But that's usually (but totally NOT always) a performance killer.

So, only if that's a no go, you say "hey, try lighter traditional methods otherwise". And there you link GPU/AMD/NVIDIA/Intel page, because graphics driver is the only thing capable to do it, and one's choice is restricted by that.

 

Still not satisfied?

Talk about post processing methods.

If you make a page on each of those AA methods, you won't really have much to say beside stuff copy-parted from other articles about AA methods.

Mhh, I dunno. EVERY copy-pasta I ever read, heavily lacked in references.

And by the very nature of forums, once man got tired,everything stopped to get updated.

 

And, if you ask me, 2 or at most 3 "lines" (be it a negative, positive or info point) is still brief enough not to "bore".

 

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