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Graphics Intel Hardware Technology

Intel Details Handling Anti-Aliasing On CPUs 190

Posted by timothy
from the upping-the-spec-of-normalcy dept.
MojoKid writes "When AMD launched their Barts GPU that powers the Radeon 6850 and 6870, they added support for a new type of anti-aliasing called Morphological AA (MLAA). However, Intel originally developed MLAA in 2009 and they have released a follow-up paper on the topic--including a discussion of how the technique could be handled by the CPU. Supersampling is much more computationally and bandwidth intensive than multisampling, but both techniques are generally too demanding of more horsepower than modern consoles or mobile devices are able to provide. Morphological Anti-aliasing, in contrast, is performed on an already-rendered image. The technique is embarrassingly parallel and, unlike traditional hardware anti-aliasing, can be effectively handled by the CPU in real time. MLAA is also equally compatible with ray tracing or rasterized graphics."
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Intel Details Handling Anti-Aliasing On CPUs

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  • by Tr3vin (1220548) on Sunday July 24, 2011 @08:12PM (#36866338)
    If it is "embarrassingly parallel", why not leave it on the GPU? Makes more sense to have it running on dozens to potentially hundreds of stream processors than a couple "free" cores on the CPU.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 24, 2011 @08:17PM (#36866392)

    If your signal is aliased during sampling, you are toasted.
    No voodoo will help you if your spectrum folded on itself.
    So super-sample it or shut up.
    Everything else is a snake oil for unwashed masses.
    And yes, MPLAA still looks like crap in comparison to SS.

  • Blur (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Baloroth (2370816) on Sunday July 24, 2011 @08:21PM (#36866434)

    So, it basically blurs the image around areas of high contrast? Sounds like thats whats going on. Looks like it, too. I can understand why they are targeting this at mobile and lower powered devices: it kinda looks crappy. I might even say that no antialiasing looks better, but I'd really have to see more samples, especially contrasting this with regular MSAA. I suspect, however, that normal antialiasing will always look considerably better. For instance, normal AA would not blur the edge between two high-contrast textures on a wall (I think, since it is actually aware that it is processing polygon edges), while I suspect MLAA will, since it only sees an area of high contrast. Look at the sample image they post in the article: the white snow on the black rock looks blurred in the MLAA processed picture, while it has no aliasing artifacts at all in the unprocessed image. Its pretty slight, but its definitely there. Like I say, need to see more real world renders to really tell if its a problem at all or simply a minor thing no one will ever notice. I'll stick to my 4X MSAA, TYVM.

  • by nedlohs (1335013) on Sunday July 24, 2011 @09:19PM (#36866790)

    It's a term of art commonly used in the field for a very long time. That you don't like it really doesn't matter at all to anyone but you.

Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.

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