7 February 2018

Dagor Engine 5.0: Temporal Anti-Aliasing (Variance Clipping TAA)

  For a better comparison, watch the video in full-screen and at the highest quality.

Very soon, we will be introducing a new render for War Thunder, and we would like to familiarize you with the changes that players can expect to see in update 1.77. Today we will talk about temporal anti-aliasing technology.

In the upcoming War Thunder 1.77 update, we are introducing a new version of the Dagor Engine graphics engine and we want to tell you about a few new opportunities this render provides. One of the innovations is a new anti-aliasing algorithm – temporal anti-aliasing (TAA). Anti-aliasing is used in computer games to neutralize the effect of pixelation at the edges of objects. We previously used FXAA (Fast approXimate Anti-Aliasing)  and MSAA (Multisample Anti-Aliasing). FXAA and MSAA provide far more humble results in graphics quality, smoothing only the edges of polygons or the sharp borders of images with various algorithms.

About FXAA and MSAA

FXAA is an anti-aliasing algorithm that works on a resulting image, trying to find and smooth visual borders without taking into account depth and source geometry. This allows the algorithm to work very quickly, and in addition makes it compatible with any type of render, including deferred render, the technology that is currently a de facto standard in video games
MSAA is an algorithm implemented into the video card (hardware), antialiasing geometrical boundaries by means of additional samples at the border of the triangles. This provides a better visual result for silhouettes and remote objects at the expense of higher performance cost. This technology virtually provides antialiasing for boundaries (silhouettes) of geometrical objects and does not improve visual quality elsewhere. Besides this, such technology is hardly compatible with deferred render in practice and an acceptable result for modern rendering requires additional tricks, leading to additional calculation costs and visual issues and limitations.

TAA – temporal anti-aliasing – calculates a specific number of previously rendered frames, taking into account the position of pixels dynamically. Visually, the new anti-aliasing algorithm provides a sharper image and reduces “noise” on the edges of objects and blinking on shiny surfaces. Additionally, it not only successfully smooths edges and borders, but also adds details. It basically works by rendering the image at high resolution and then reducing it to the size of your screen.

High-resolution screenshots:

Temporal anti-aliasing somewhat has an affect on frame rate, so we recommend you use the new anti-aliasing method on medium-high level graphic cards. By default, temporal anti-aliasing will be enabled for maximum graphics settings. For other graphics presets, the new anti-aliasing algorithm can be selected in the graphics settings in the form of two options: TAA and HQ TAA. These options differ in quality of dynamic objects.

The War Thunder Team

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