New anti-aliasing techniques from Nvidia

By on February 2, 2011

AMD was the first to offer a technique that could be applied to games that did not natively support Anti-Aliasing, but seems that Nvidia has a better solution. One that won’t have any negative impact to the image quality of the games.

For starters, AMD’s technique is called Morphological Antialiasing (or MLAA in short) and we first saw it in some PS3 games, like “The Saboteur”. The negative impact of this technique, is that it blurs a lot the whole image. Nvidia approached from a different angle this issue and will offer identical Anti-Aliasing results without blurring the image. Nvidia’s technique is called Subpixel Reconstruction Antialiasing (or SRAA) and will be included in the future versions of the ForceWare drivers. Unfortunately we don’t know which cards will support, but stay tuned for more!

Subpixel Reconstruction Anti-aliasing (SRAA) combines single-pixel (1x) shading with subpixel visibility to create antialiased images without increasing the shading cost. SRAA targets deferred-shading renderers, which cannot use multisample antialiasing. SRAA operates as a post-process on a rendered image with superresolution depth and normal buffers, so it can be incorporated into an existing renderer without modifying the shaders. In this way SRAA resembles Morphological Antialiasing (MLAA), but the new algorithm can better respect geometric boundaries and has fixed runtime independent of scene and image complexity. SRAA benefits shading-bound applications. For example, our implementation evaluates SRAA in 1.8 ms (1280×720) to yield antialiasing quality comparable to 4-16x shading. Thus SRAA would produce a net speedup over supersampling for applications that spend 1 ms or more on shading; for comparison, most modern games spend 5-10 ms shading. We also describe simplifications that increase performance by reducing quality.

About David Scarpitta

I am a critical guy, and love to review and give my professional opinion on just about anything. Though have a love for tech/gaming and music alongside the cinema. You can catch me consulting and developing the net any day of the week.