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BFG GeForce 7800 GTX OC Review - Page 8 of 10

TRANSPARENT ANTIALIASING

If you skipped directly to this page be sure to also check out ChrisRay's excellent 7800 GTX antialiasing investigation. There simply is nothing to debate in that transparent antialiasing provides substantial improvements to image quality in games. Read through the investigation linked above to get up to speed if transparent antialiasing is something new to you.

Below are three of the most glaring examples of how supersampling transparent antialiasing benefits the image quality of your games. I didn't include transparent multisampling antialiasing because supersampling yields better image quality. This usually comes at a fairly light performance hit depending on your other settings of course. The first two are from F.E.A.R and the third is from Dungeon Siege II.

In addition to these three examples I've built what I hope some of you will find as a helpful tool for comparing two screenshots. The tool is completely web-based and just makes use of JavaScript and DHTML so any current browser should handle it. I've tested it most with Firefox 1.06 and just briefly with Internet Explorer 6. It still needs some polish in code but it will serve the purpose. I'll provide links to it in just a bit.

All of the images below are zoomed in 200% and compare the following:

  • no antialiasing
  • 4xAA
  • 4xAA TSS (transparent supersampling)

The first two slices below (no AA and 4xAA) show no change in the aliasing of the floor grating which is obviously a texture. The last slice (4xAA with transparent supersampling) show big improvements in the reduction of the jaggies on this particular texture.

F.E.A.R. - Transparent AA Comparison - Floor
200% Zoom

Again we see that the first two slices below of the fence have a lot of jaggies. The 4xAA actually looks a bit worse in this case than the no AA shot. The last slice with transparency supersampling applied has a nice effect.

F.E.A.R. - Transparent AA Comparison - Fence
200% Zoom

Fences and vegetation are typically where you will see textures used by developers that benefit from transparent antialiasing. I found something quite interesting in Dungeon Siege II though in the way of a sign. On this particular level of the game there are many pathways and all of them have a sign. Each sign, though, has a different insignia or mark. Apparently, the developers re-used the same sign 3D model but in order to make each sign unique they applied a different insignia as a texture. This is an excellent example of how transparency antialiasing makes textures that are actually intended to appear flat (unlike grass, fences, etc) look so much better.

Dungeon Siege II - Transparent AA Comparison - Sign
200% Zoom

Next Page: Transparent Antialiasing Continued

Last Updated on August 15, 2005


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