Saturn and antialiasing

Daniel Eriksson

New Member
I played the Pc version of The House of the Dead a day ago, and I have played the Saturn version. Those play exactly the same, they run in the same resolution and the have about as much draw-in. The thing that differed them was that the pc version used antialiasing, making it look MUCH better. The difference is quite big. Usually I dont like antialiasing. Most N64 games are so blurry that they give me headache. However, could this antialiasing be done on Saturn? I mean, HoTD does not uses the Saturns total power by far. Is there any Saturn games that uses antialiasing at all?
 

Taelon

Member
Can't be done. Anti-aliasing takes a LOT of computing power, and some of the first PC videocards that featured it had huge framerate drops when it was enabled - it's just now getting up to speed, so to speak.

You're asking the Saturn to render the graphics in HOTD at twice the resolution it actually does, then "mix down" the hi-res pixels to actual screen resolution. That's some enormous overhead. Software is not gonna do it, and even if the VDP video processors had some kind of hardware to do it, it would be unbearably slow.

As a matter of fact, HOTD is already pushing the Saturn near its limits, and doing so rather nicely.
 

AntiPasta

New Member
you've got something confused there I'm afraid... rendering it at twice (actually, quadruple as both X and Y resolutions are doubled) is full screen anti-aliasing, which the Saturn couldn't do indeed...

Normal antialiasing, however, just involves taking a pixel's value and averaging it with the neighboring pixels... just takes a lot of memory accesses and a cpu that can do fast shifting... but still, I don't think the Sat has nuff power to do that either. I once wrote a brute-force AA algorithm in assembly and ran it in 320x200 on my Athlon 750... it took about a second to do one frame :)
 

Alexvrb

Member
Some fast AA implementations don't require hardware support, otherwise the PS2 wouldn't have been able to take advantage of it. First gen games didn't, or they used the crappy CRT-blur method, which resulted in washed-out textures (much like N64). Of course the software AA and filtering and whatever else PS2 does in software aren't as nice as hardware support in something like a GF3-based solution, or any modern PC graphics solutions.

As I just said, not all anti-aliasing solutions blur textures, and many improve texture and image quality as well as reducing/removing jaggies. When coupled with advanced filtering techniques, you can make a game look tremendous, but at that performance cost it's almost better to just jack up the resolution (if you have a decent monitor to keep up).

Err, and modern graphics cards STILL take a tremendous hit on AA, even newer implementations are still much slower than no AA, and the faster ones are not as good looking or imperfect (doesn't AA everything, misses some surfaces that it should AA).
 
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