Article 78 - MSAA vs FXAA vs SSAA

Puzzled by the various options available to tweak your 3D experience? Fear not, this article will teach you which anti-aliasing options gives the best quality.

Before diving into the options, it is best to explain the differences in MSAA, FXAA, and SSAA.

Multi-Sample Anti-Aliasing (MSAA)

This technique is very similar to the SSAA but instead of resampling the same point, variations are introduced around the point and the average is taken.

This technique is viewed to be superior to SSAA because SSAA often leads to an average that is too close or the same as the original point, thereby wasting effort in trying to anti-alias. This is the result as computations are often the same at the same point.

Some may complain about bleeding from surroundings; however, the bleeding is actually what anti-aliasing is all about, to blend the surrounding to create a non-jagged edge.

Fast Approximate Anti-Aliasing (FXAA)

Do not use this technique!

As the name suggests, this is one of the fastest techniques as it performed once per pixel. However, this technique is post processing. Essentially, after the image is stored in the frame buffer, this technique takes the image and blurs areas and edges to make the picture less seemingly jaggy.

This tricks your mind because blurring the image is really just blending the surroundings together. However, the resulting image is a blurriness of everything, not just the intended edges.

FXAA, notice that the image seems harsh and blurry to the eyes, since the entire image is applied to the filter.

MSAA, although you will notice jaggies, it does not make your eyes watery.

Super-Sample Anti-Alasing

This technique rasterizes the final image at higher resolutions, takes sampling of the points in a grid fashion and then averages the result into the screen's original size.

With this, ensure to disable FXAA and use MSAA over SSAA to get the best quality and performance.

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