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#3490375 - 01/09/12 03:00 AM Performance and quality comparisons of various AA (in-game and injected) modes  
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Xander Fulton Offline
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Put together a rather lengthy post over on the eVGA forums detailing some of the discoveries around AA quality using the various AA injectors and in-game AA for 'Cliffs of Dover'.

Doesn't look like there is a good way to copy and paste it over here and keep the formatting - but should be pretty easy to read on that link, and any discussion or questions could happen here.

Key take-away is:
- Don't mix SMAA with the in-game AA
- I don't really know why you'd use the in-game AA at all, given the excellent AA injectors out there
- New injectors coming out this year could be pretty cool!

Inline advert (2nd and 3rd post)

#3490406 - 01/09/12 04:45 AM Re: Performance and quality comparisons of various AA (in-game and injected) modes [Re: Xander Fulton]  
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Thanks. What do the injection methods do to the cockpit text?


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#3490411 - 01/09/12 05:00 AM Re: Performance and quality comparisons of various AA (in-game and injected) modes [Re: Xander Fulton]  
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Good question!

Here are the comparisons...


No AA:


In-game 2xAA:


FXAA:


SMAA:


By and large, no amount of in-game AA has any impact on text quality at all. They appear to be per-pixel identical.

FXAA and SMAA definitely 'blur' the text some, but not in a makes-it-harder-to-read way. Actually, the effect is very much like the OS's "font smoothing", and really improves readability of the text.

#3490413 - 01/09/12 05:02 AM Re: Performance and quality comparisons of various AA (in-game and injected) modes [Re: Xander Fulton]  
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Great, I'll have a go. smile


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#3490495 - 01/09/12 11:13 AM Re: Performance and quality comparisons of various AA (in-game and injected) modes [Re: Xander Fulton]  
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Nice , i'm using the fxaa tweak but have not played with it via the ini file at all, much more acceptable than what is not provided in game, hoping Timothy's 4.0 version can step it up a bit within CloD.


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#3490636 - 01/09/12 03:41 PM Re: Performance and quality comparisons of various AA (in-game and injected) modes [Re: Xander Fulton]  
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I don't know about it not degrading the text quality in game, when I was using the FXAA (latest ones, with the shader settings) it degraded the text to the point I couldn't stand it. Little white dots appeared randomly on the server messages, and the lines had become too thin. It was a pain to read.

Not knowing how to adjust the colors properly also made it un-useable for me. While I like the idea of being able to tweak the color palette, I simply do not understand what I'm doing enough to improve it graphics. I was hurting it (purple skies, black trees, orange tint to everything).

Also, I may have had both in-game AA and FXAA running, which caused Launcher.exe crashes very quickly (i7 920 @ 4.1Ghz, 12GB DDR3 RAM @1480ghz, GTX 560Ti+2GB running 1680x1050). I have since removed all injected FXAA, and haven't had a crash since.

I loved it when I was first using it, but later versions got overly complex, and without a better understanding of what it's doing, it was wrecking the game for me. Not saying its the cause of my problems, but it's removal has helped my system.

#3490682 - 01/09/12 04:45 PM Re: Performance and quality comparisons of various AA (in-game and injected) modes [Re: Xander Fulton]  
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It might be the over-sharpening that was enabled by default causing your issue.

The default filters applied (in the injFX_Settings.h file) looked something like this:

// Comment to deactivate an effect.
// Example: To disable the tonemap effect, use // in front of #define USE_TONEMAP

#define USE_ANTI_ALIASING
#define USE_PRE_SHARPEN
//#define USE_BLOOM *NOT WORKING
#define USE_TECHNICOLOR
#define USE_TONEMAP
#define USE_SEPIA

//#define USE_VIGNETTE
#define USE_POST_SHARPEN
//#define USE_FINAL_LIMITER

I really didn't find most of those effects interesting or useful at all, so just flat-out disabled everything that wasn't AA:
// Comment to deactivate an effect.
// Example: To disable the tonemap effect, use // in front of #define USE_TONEMAP

#define USE_ANTI_ALIASING
//#define USE_PRE_SHARPEN
//#define USE_BLOOM *NOT WORKING
//#define USE_TECHNICOLOR
//#define USE_TONEMAP
//#define USE_SEPIA
//#define USE_VIGNETTE
//#define USE_POST_SHARPEN
//#define USE_FINAL_LIMITER

#3490751 - 01/09/12 05:55 PM Re: Performance and quality comparisons of various AA (in-game and injected) modes [Re: Xander Fulton]  
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Thanks for post Xander,

You mention both FXAA and SMAA, do they accomplish the same thing/what are the differences? Is one better for one sim, and the other better for others?

Cheesehawk makes a point, that some people may be intimidated to install it given his experience (call it misguided tweaking?). It is VERY easy to use JSGME and these post-FX AA mods. If you don't like it, deactivate the mod via JSGME and remove it from the Mods folder.

These apps are worth trying, they really make a difference if you have a low to mid range system.


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#3490781 - 01/09/12 06:26 PM Re: Performance and quality comparisons of various AA (in-game and injected) modes [Re: Xander Fulton]  
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FXAA and SMAA do the same thing, yes.

Ostensibly, FXAA is based on one of the nVidia developer's hobby work...but it's vendor-agnostic (works on ATI and nVidia cards). SMAA is ATI's "post-anti-aliasing world" take on the same basic idea (shader-based AA), and an external developer used some of the concepts of FXAA injection to implement the SMAA logic. Again, it works on vendors from either manufacturer.

There is an offside chance that one of the methods works better for the vendor it is most closely tied with? I have no idea, though - my testing showed no difference in performance between them (and such a very slight hit from 'no AA at all').

As to JSGME - yup, that's what I used to enable/disable them. I suppose if mod complexity is a concern, the SMAA implementation has the smallest number of files - just 4, and the .ini file has all of, like, 2 lines to customize in it. Do note, per screenshot examples, that if you wanted to enable SMAA you *really need to disable the in-game AA*. The two just look...weird together.

#3493246 - 01/12/12 03:52 PM Re: Performance and quality comparisons of various AA (in-game and injected) modes [Re: Xander Fulton]  
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Can we use this when we fly online or would we get banned by steam?


Formerly JG5_Emil
#3493461 - 01/12/12 08:42 PM Re: Performance and quality comparisons of various AA (in-game and injected) modes [Re: ZG26_Emil]  
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I used them for at least 4 months, and my VAC standing is still unblemished smile

It's not restricted by Steam, and shouldn't have any problems, but I can't say for sure if VAC is working or no. No one's been able to definitively say it is working or has been banned by it in CoD, or that they've cheated and got away with it!

#3493699 - 01/13/12 02:36 AM Re: Performance and quality comparisons of various AA (in-game and injected) modes [Re: ZG26_Emil]  
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Originally Posted By: JG5_Emil
Can we use this when we fly online or would we get banned by steam?


The semi-official word is that it's "use at your own risk", but Steam supposedly doesn't worry much about Direct3d plugins, as many, many things do that...Xfire overlays, FRAPS, etc.

So there has been no official complaint about it, nobody reporting being banned by it, and theoretically - the way it works - shouldn't be a problem, anyway.

So the stars appear to be aligned for this being a good workaround to the lack of working AA in game.

#3493830 - 01/13/12 07:08 AM Re: Performance and quality comparisons of various AA (in-game and injected) modes [Re: Xander Fulton]  
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Thanks guys smile


Formerly JG5_Emil
#3494501 - 01/14/12 02:05 AM Re: Performance and quality comparisons of various AA (in-game and injected) modes [Re: Xander Fulton]  
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I'm having a hard time getting this to work. I put all the files in my main CloD folder, but I still can't get it to work.

Edit: Nevermind, had the game running in DX11. -_-

Last edited by ChwyNiblet; 01/14/12 02:15 AM.
#3494760 - 01/14/12 04:37 PM Re: Performance and quality comparisons of various AA (in-game and injected) modes [Re: ChwyNiblet]  
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Originally Posted By: ChwyNiblet
Edit: Nevermind, had the game running in DX11. -_-


Eh? Does it only work in DX9 or 10.

#3494802 - 01/14/12 06:14 PM Re: Performance and quality comparisons of various AA (in-game and injected) modes [Re: Xander Fulton]  
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He didnt. just like somepeople think they have FSAA working more than x2, they dont.

#3494833 - 01/14/12 06:59 PM Re: Performance and quality comparisons of various AA (in-game and injected) modes [Re: BKHZ_Furbs]  
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Originally Posted By: BKHZ_Furbs
He didnt. just like somepeople think they have FSAA working more than x2, they dont.


Actually you can enable DX11 in the config. It enables some DX11 features but its really buggy and butchers performance.

#3495144 - 01/15/12 05:05 AM Re: Performance and quality comparisons of various AA (in-game and injected) modes [Re: Xander Fulton]  
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FSAA! Wow, it's practically fixed this sim for me. I tried FXAA and didn't think it was doing all that much. Big color change when I hit the pause button, but mainly that's all I saw. At first I thought it was doing something, but the more I turned it on and off, the more I realized it wasn't.
So I put FSAA in today. Have an ATI card and I read it's more geared to them, the way FXAA was really intended for NVidea cards.
My horizons are no longe jagged and shimmering. France, way across the Channel, is no longer a jaggeded line, but a very discernable stretch of land. The terrain looks terrific.
I post I read said that you get good results with FSAA and ingame AA on 2X, and that does seem to work.
Very impressed.


"From our orbital vantage point, we observe an earth without borders, full of peace, beauty and magnificence, and we pray that humanity as a whole can imagine a borderless world as we see it, and strive to live as one in peace."
Astronaut William C. McCool RIP, January 29, 2003 - Space Shuttle Columbia

#3495150 - 01/15/12 05:27 AM Re: Performance and quality comparisons of various AA (in-game and injected) modes [Re: Xander Fulton]  
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URL=http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/703/screenshot139095copy.jpg/][/URL]

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The definition in the terrain is very noticeable to me. I hadn't been seeing it that nicely. Clear and crisp and the horizons arent jagged , shmmering messes. And look at France, way out there. It had been jaggede line, for me. Very nice!


"From our orbital vantage point, we observe an earth without borders, full of peace, beauty and magnificence, and we pray that humanity as a whole can imagine a borderless world as we see it, and strive to live as one in peace."
Astronaut William C. McCool RIP, January 29, 2003 - Space Shuttle Columbia

#3495248 - 01/15/12 12:06 PM Re: Performance and quality comparisons of various AA (in-game and injected) modes [Re: Pooch]  
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Originally Posted By: Pooch
FSAA! Wow, it's practically fixed this sim for me. I tried FXAA and didn't think it was doing all that much. ...

Pooch, you mean SMAA, as the OP discusses. Just in case anyone gets confused by all the letters.

FXAA does a nice job on jaggies close up around the cockpit, and has lots of other post-effects to tweak in the config.ini file, colour hue being a very nice feature to correct the overly blue tint in CloD.

Will certainly give SMAA a try now that you say it reaches further out...


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#3495286 - 01/15/12 01:55 PM Re: Performance and quality comparisons of various AA (in-game and injected) modes [Re: Xander Fulton]  
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Pooch that SMAA looks better than the FSAA, are you sure that's the one you used?

Edit ive just tried both and while it is a improvement, to me its not a huge gain by any means.

Last edited by BKHZ_Furbs; 01/15/12 02:49 PM.
#3495330 - 01/15/12 03:09 PM Re: Performance and quality comparisons of various AA (in-game and injected) modes [Re: Xander Fulton]  
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I've tried both FXAA and SMAA a little, and have to say I see more change when FXAA is activated. System in signature, ATI card.

Now, as mentioned, when I toggle SMAA on/off I see some slight improvement (ultra introduced in config.ini), but when SMAA is off the render looks much better than when FXAA is off. So I'm wondering if the simple presence of the dll and/or other files in the game folder has an impact on render?

I've seen this type of thing before in other sims (3rd Wire), where just having the 'bloom' files present (not activated) actually improved FPS, which I know is counter intuitive, but true. Many others verified the phenomenon.


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#3495417 - 01/15/12 05:39 PM Re: Performance and quality comparisons of various AA (in-game and injected) modes [Re: Xander Fulton]  
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Yes, I'm sorry. SMAA. Getting my abbreviations and acronyms confused. It's like being in the military. It does seem to reach farther out, doesn't it?


"From our orbital vantage point, we observe an earth without borders, full of peace, beauty and magnificence, and we pray that humanity as a whole can imagine a borderless world as we see it, and strive to live as one in peace."
Astronaut William C. McCool RIP, January 29, 2003 - Space Shuttle Columbia

#3495632 - 01/16/12 12:31 AM Re: Performance and quality comparisons of various AA (in-game and injected) modes [Re: Pooch]  
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Originally Posted By: Pooch
The definition in the terrain is very noticeable to me. I hadn't been seeing it that nicely. Clear and crisp and the horizons arent jagged , shmmering messes. And look at France, way out there. It had been jaggede line, for me. Very nice!


You sure there isn't something else going on in those pics?

The horizon looks far more (correctly) 'hazy' than the pics I used, and I think it's that "horizon haze" (that the game was always painfully missing) that is fixing the issue for you.

Are you running any other mods that might be fixing that?

Or maybe running in different weather in those screenshots than the other tests you were using?

#3495679 - 01/16/12 02:31 AM Re: Performance and quality comparisons of various AA (in-game and injected) modes [Re: Xander Fulton]  
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Will SMAA work with nvidea cards or is it meant only for ATI?


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#3495739 - 01/16/12 05:41 AM Re: Performance and quality comparisons of various AA (in-game and injected) modes [Re: Xander Fulton]  
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X, no other mods. I don't even know of any. I'm new to this sim. And the weather is what ever weather the ATAG server was using. I don't know how to change that. To be honest, I didn't know you could.
Murph, I believe, like fxaa, you can use this for both card brands. Looks good, doesn't it?


"From our orbital vantage point, we observe an earth without borders, full of peace, beauty and magnificence, and we pray that humanity as a whole can imagine a borderless world as we see it, and strive to live as one in peace."
Astronaut William C. McCool RIP, January 29, 2003 - Space Shuttle Columbia

#3495770 - 01/16/12 07:47 AM Re: Performance and quality comparisons of various AA (in-game and injected) modes [Re: Xander Fulton]  
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I don't suppose it gets rid of the shimmering tree shadows does it?


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#3495938 - 01/16/12 05:02 PM Re: Performance and quality comparisons of various AA (in-game and injected) modes [Re: Xander Fulton]  
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If I want to use SMAA, I take it I will need to remove the files for FXAA first?


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#3495940 - 01/16/12 05:04 PM Re: Performance and quality comparisons of various AA (in-game and injected) modes [Re: Xander Fulton]  
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Well, obviously one needs to try each of these AA mods out one after the other using the exact same conditions, i.e. use a stock quick mission.

Taking screenshots for comparison is a poor choice for capturing what these mods are trying to do, i.e. get rid of distant shimmer and cockpit jagged lines. IMHO you have to compare them in an active runtime, and when you have to shut down in between to switch mods, it becomes more subjective.

I like the other things FXAA does, such as getting rid of the blue tint and toning down the day-glo greens of the stock textures, it also does a nice job of sharpening which helps to make things look a little more 3D. But I think SMAA may do a better job with distant shimmers. I have an ATI card.

Set them up in JSGME, switch 'em back and forth, then they are super easy to install.


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#3496004 - 01/16/12 06:35 PM Re: Performance and quality comparisons of various AA (in-game and injected) modes [Re: Xander Fulton]  
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Yeah, the shimmering trees, I still have. And yes, I removed the FXAA files before installing the SMAA. I'm pretty happy with results, though. And it does seem , to me , that the shimmering trees and their shadows, aren't as bad.


"From our orbital vantage point, we observe an earth without borders, full of peace, beauty and magnificence, and we pray that humanity as a whole can imagine a borderless world as we see it, and strive to live as one in peace."
Astronaut William C. McCool RIP, January 29, 2003 - Space Shuttle Columbia

#3496006 - 01/16/12 06:35 PM Re: Performance and quality comparisons of various AA (in-game and injected) modes [Re: Murph]  
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Originally Posted By: Murph
If I want to use SMAA, I take it I will need to remove the files for FXAA first?


Yes, they both replace the same standard DirectX .dll file (either dxd9.dll or dxgi.dll for DX9 or DX10 mode, respectively)

#3496022 - 01/16/12 06:57 PM Re: Performance and quality comparisons of various AA (in-game and injected) modes [Re: Bandy]  
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Originally Posted By: Bandy
I like the other things FXAA does, such as getting rid of the blue tint and toning down the day-glo greens of the stock textures, it also does a nice job of sharpening which helps to make things look a little more 3D. But I think SMAA may do a better job with distant shimmers. I have an ATI card.

Set them up in JSGME, switch 'em back and forth, then they are super easy to install.


+1. I'm now using SMAA with my ATI card, and I very much like how it fixes jaggies.

For those of you looking for an easy way to try out any of these FXAA and SMAA options, check out JSGME FXAA and SMAA utils to easily do what Bandy suggests above.

Charlo


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#3537549 - 03/13/12 05:08 AM Re: Performance and quality comparisons of various AA (in-game and injected) modes [Re: Xander Fulton]  
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I'm really liking SMAA, and it's very easy to set up using JSGME. Thank you. Is there a way to set the SMAA to 4X? I think 2X is default?


Intel i5 2500K CPU @4.0,Gigabyte GA-Z97-HD3 MB (turbo) GTX 1060 6G, 16G DDR3, Windows 10 Home 64 bit- "N�or bhris focal maith fiacail riamh."
#3576223 - 05/20/12 06:51 PM Re: Performance and quality comparisons of various AA (in-game and injected) modes [Re: Xander Fulton]  
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Im gonna try this as soon as I can, I really cannot stand those jaggies, so if this works Ill be a happy camper, even if I have to reduce some settings or lower the resolution.

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Anyone use VoiceAtttack?
by bones. 02/21/20 01:50 PM
Fanatical Platinum Bundle
by Red2112. 02/21/20 12:21 PM
Raising the Kursk
by CyBerkut. 02/20/20 11:09 PM
Borderlands the movie?
by PanzerMeyer. 02/20/20 07:41 PM
Post script on our fires
by Mad Max. 02/19/20 09:43 PM
Our current approaching storm
by Ajay. 02/19/20 12:35 PM
Just a little feel good flying thing
by Nixer. 02/18/20 12:37 AM
Now, This is Cool (Even if it WAS a Dog)
by vonBaur. 02/18/20 12:37 AM
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