Well it's a lazy sunday morning and I thought I'd share with people what I've learned over the years as far as Anti-Aliasing in games goes. As you all know it seems like traditional MSAA has fallen out of favor recently with game developers. A lot of post-process AA algorithms have been made and if you are anything like me you think they all look like garbage. The reason why this has happened is many developers have switched from forward renderers to deferred renders which apparently makes traditional Multisample AA extremely memory bandwidth intensive. I don't know the ins and outs of any of that but I think it's awful. There are work arounds in fact AMD's Leo tech demo was made in order to show that MSAA was possible with a deferred renderer. I think a lot of people missed the point with that one. If you happen to be on an AMD card and are perusing this thread AMD has much better driver forced AA options in CCC. Their Adaptive Anti-Aliasing and Super-sampling AA options are both Ace and work with more games then Nvidia's standard
Here on the Nvidia side we are lucky because Sparse Grid Supersampling or SGSSAA provides similar IQ to traditional super sampling and does it with a much reduced performance hit. It also works with nearly every game. For a more in-depth look at the types of AA out there this link right here is the best I've ever seen it explained.
http://naturalviolence.webs.com/nvidia.htmWhat you need to use SGSSAA
The story behind SGSSAA:
Nvidia implemented TRSSAA as an alpha test that supersampled pixels that passed. A bug was present in one of the drivers they released for the new fermi cards that caused the alpha test to always pass and therefore apply SGSSAA to all pixels. They fixed the bug in the next release but many users said that they liked the look of fullscene SGSSAA and complained about its removal. This caused nvidia to release a tool that allowed the bug to be re-enabled. Despite the fact that this tool was made by nvidia they do not officially support it, it comes with a nice fat "use at your own risk" warning. The new fermi cards + new drivers made nhancer no longer compatible (since it never got updated for the 200 series drivers) and since the developer of nhancer has dropped off the face of the planet we can expect it to never be updated. However in the meantime another developer made a better app that did the same thing, nvidia inspector. He included the SGSSAA hack in it.
Therefore SGSSAA technically comes in two forms, FSSGSSAA (fullscene sparse gride supersampling anti-aliasing, which is SGSSAA applied to the entire scene) or TRSGSSAA (tranparency sparse grid supersampling anti-aliasing, which is SGSSAA applied only to transparent textures).
As far as nvidia inspector and nvcp (nvidia control panel) are concerned they are listed under the following names:
FSSGSSAA is just called SGSSAA
TRSGSSAA is just called TRSSAA or "Transparency Supersampling"
Technically both of them are SGSSAA, but only the fullscene implementation is called SGSSAA.
First off you will need to download Nvidia Inspector.
From here on in I will explain what the different functions of Inspector do. You are going to be most concerned with the profiles page. In each section of the guide I will refer to this picture here to show what to change.Driver bits
This picture here shows what settings you will need to change in order to use SGSSAA. However it is missing one big setting and this is the part that's a pain. Under the settings tab there are two options for Anti-Aliasing compatibility. For each individual game you are going to have to find a compatibility bit in order to get SGSSAA actually running in your game. These are commonly referred to as driver bits and if you get into this you will have to spend hours scouring the internet to find them for each of your games. It is important to note that Nvidia often provides driver bits for certain games however sometimes these will not work for SGSSAA and you will have to go find a different bit in order to enable it properly. You will be typing the bit into either the Dx11 tab or the standard anti-aliasing compatibility tab depending on which API the game uses.
The following link is the best I've found in terms of a resource that puts all the bits in one place. There are obviously many games not listed here but with any luck the game that you want to make pretty is. It's in German but it's pretty easy to follow so don't be scared off.
Ok we have our driver bit the next thing we have to do is figure out which anti-aliasing mode to use. Depending on the game you are going to either enhance or force. Rule of thumb states that if the game you are playing already has an MSAA option you will be enhancing application settings and if a game has no MSAA or only post-process AA support you will be overriding. Generally if you find the driver bit the person who found it will say whether or not it works in enhance mode or override mode so don't worry about this too much.Important things to note
At this point you are pretty much set up for amazing IQ but we're not done yet. You must set the Sparse Grid Sample number to the exact same amount of multi-samples
. In other words if you are using 4XSparse Gride you also MUST
use 4xMSAA in the profile. Otherwise you will end up with a blurry mess.
You also are going to have to set the LOD bias so there is no blurring. You must change the LOD bias setting from clamp to allow.
This is a general guideline on LOD bias settings.
2x MSAA + 2x SGSSAA: -0.500
4x MSAA + 4x SGSSAA: -1.000
8x MSAA + 8x SGSSAA: -1.500Also make sure your anti-aliasing behavior flags are set to none
Also it is important to note that the difference between 2XSGSSAA and 8XSGSSAA is minimal. If you jump straight to 8X and your getting 15FPS don't be discouraged as this is normal.
Anyway I know this guide is a bit of a mess and there are no pictures to show it off either. I will add to it in time. Any questions feel free.
Deus Ex Human Revolution FXAA High
Mass Effect 3 Anti-Aliasing ON?
Mass Effect 3 8XSGSSAA