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TOPIC: I think AC Syndicate has temporal or SS type FXAA

I think AC Syndicate has temporal or SS type FXAA 3 weeks 4 days ago #1

I have recently been trying to apply good anti-aliasing to Assassin's Creed Syndicate. The game is an TXAA advertised title, so when no AA applied, almost every single pixel dances throughout the screen. The internal offerings are FXAA, FXAA+ MSAA (x2 and x4), and FXAA+TXAA (x2 and x4). Also, anything above FXAA is killing the framerate as you would expect from a DirectX 11 title.

However that is not what is interesting. There is a very special type of FXAA here and is almost superior to SSAA.

I have tried every possible ReShade SMAA and ReShade FXAA solutions to match the game's own aliasing removal quality to no avail. I even tried applying 4FXAA on top op 2 SMAA, still not even close to single FXAA of the game's own. If it's not enough, I have tried to mimic SMAA S2X and created a custom resolution of 2720x1530 and applied SMAA on top of it, still it couldn't match the quality of a 1080p + in - game FXAA quality. By quality, I mean removing aliasing of course, blur is another story.

Normally, one would expect MSAA to eliminate most of the jaggies however that is not the case. FXAA runs wonders here, doing things that it should not be doing in theory. Please look carefully at the 3 pictures I shared.

The first picture without any AA.

Warning: Spoiler! [ Click to expand ]


The one with no AA can clearly shows there are sub-pixel disconnections on the window frames of the building at the right, there are also gaps at the black iron bars on top of the front building. The tree bracnes are also disconnected on the left side, and there are seams on the front building's chimney. These are sub-pixel aliasing and can only be fixed by increasing the sample count, which is not possible by post-processing AA.

There are additional aliasing as well, the rope under the tree and the windows of the church at the left, including roof tops in general. They are either geometry and shader aliasing and can be corrected with a post-processing algorithm easily.

Let's look at the picture with in-game FXAA;

Warning: Spoiler! [ Click to expand ]


Geometry and shader aliasing is gone, as expected. However, the seams are gone! Tree branches are slightly merged, the white window frames on the right are perfectly corrected, the seams are sealed on the chimney, SSAA grade. Only the black bars on top of the front building is not perfectly corrected and not every branch are sticthed, albeit they are softened to a degree.

Now, add 4x MSAA and see what it helps with.

Warning: Spoiler! [ Click to expand ]


It only corrects the missing sub-pixel correction on the front black bars and helps with the remaining minor artifacts here and there but that is all. I can clearly say that FXAA is correcting 90% of the aliasing and 60-70% of the temporal aliasing (shimmering). 4xMSAA addition only carries it to 95% and 80% respectively. It can't even connect missing branches of the tree although the geometry rendering is now 4K.

Normally, FXAA "sees" what's on the screen and "guesses" how it should be by only comparing every pixel for it's neighbours then slightly decreases the contrast where it is higher than a treshold and "mimics" sub-pixel removing. This also results in infamous blur and causes curves on the sharp edges. However, in this particular game, it perfectly connects disconnected window frames without even causing a soft or curved image. In addition, it fixes the seams on the chimney and removes most of the shimmering when moving.

When I switch to 4K with no AA, it still can not match any scenerio which includes in-game FXAA.

So, where is the magic here? How a PPAA can achieve this? And since this is possible, why no other game uses it, only AC Syndicate and AC Unity?
Last Edit: 3 weeks 4 days ago by canceralp. Reason: images were not visible
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I think AC Syndicate has temporal or SS type FXAA 3 weeks 3 days ago #2

I don't think there's anything special about it, on a 1440p 27" monitor I see a ton of aliasing using only FXAA which is pretty typical. Even with TXAA x4 + FXAA there is a lot of aliasing and especially texture shimmering. I have to use TXAA x4 + 4x SGSSAA in NVIDIA Inspector to completely get rid of the aliasing in this game, which drops my FPS down to the 30-45 range with a 1080 TI. If you want to test SGSSAA though, you need to be using an old version of ReShade (I'm using 1.1), as it doesn't work with the latest versions. Game has some of the worst in-motion aliasing I've seen using only FXAA, though I'll say it's definitely better than ReShade FXAA which does almost nothing noticeable outside of a still image other than blur.

Note that any shadow setting above High is glitched in that it makes the coverage of MSAA and TXAA worse.
Last Edit: 3 weeks 3 days ago by Riadon.
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I think AC Syndicate has temporal or SS type FXAA 3 weeks 3 days ago #3

smaa and fxaa work a little different in how the determine what is a line tho , its just possible how the rendering is done and how they tweaked fxaa with other things it may be doing a better job removing aa in general then other methods msaa imo is like the worst option you could choose unless its combined into some form of a TAA method.Even back on black flag they modified the fxaa on console to have a temporal effect if i remember a post from one of the game devs to simulate the pc setting but at a cost the consoles could run to help shimmering in low pixel count edges like ropes and other things.
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I think AC Syndicate has temporal or SS type FXAA 3 weeks 3 days ago #4

Thanks for the answers. However, what I'm trying to say here; the game's FXAA is not only "removing" things, it is "completing" mising pixels, that is only possible with increasing the geometry sample count (increasing the resolution, SSAA, TXAA and MSAA).

Technically that is not possible due to how post-processing AA works.
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I think AC Syndicate has temporal or SS type FXAA 3 weeks 2 days ago #5

canceralp wrote:
Thanks for the answers. However, what I'm trying to say here; the game's FXAA is not only "removing" things, it is "completing" mising pixels, that is only possible with increasing the geometry sample count (increasing the resolution, SSAA, TXAA and MSAA).

Technically that is not possible due to how post-processing AA works.
all anti aliasing determine a threshold that data is rounded off that a wave length either is to long or not long enough for the request , basically if a object is rendering a certain amount of data and it appears jagged you need to approximate that data by someway often post processing aa will do this by finding the edge and making some type of pattern to smear the pixels together with a blur to make it appear like the line has been reconstructed, msaa ssaa and temporal aa go a step further to reconstruct from another method then most post techniques do or combine post to enhance it, my post about assassins creed black flag on console using a moddifed version of fxaa/smaa using a temporal filter to better approximate the location of the line during motion was just saying that you are probably correct in assuming syndicate is using a combination of post aa with actual object data to detect where lines are going to be its pretty standard actually to use some form of temporal aa now btw TXAA= ( msaa buffer+post aa temporal filter specific to nvidia hardware pretty sure it runs like ass on amd cards if it was able to run)This is a really big run on sentence to say that a current day game probably has something extra to help the good ol fxaa along or may have a setting tied into the games post processing setting that enhances some shaders turned on ...., i think my poorly explained explanation sorta comes close enough to maybe help your question
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I think AC Syndicate has temporal or SS type FXAA 3 weeks 1 day ago #6

Kleio420 wrote:
canceralp wrote:
Thanks for the answers. However, what I'm trying to say here; the game's FXAA is not only "removing" things, it is "completing" mising pixels, that is only possible with increasing the geometry sample count (increasing the resolution, SSAA, TXAA and MSAA).

Technically that is not possible due to how post-processing AA works.
all anti aliasing determine a threshold that data is rounded off that a wave length either is to long or not long enough for the request , basically if a object is rendering a certain amount of data and it appears jagged you need to approximate that data by someway often post processing aa will do this by finding the edge and making some type of pattern to smear the pixels together with a blur to make it appear like the line has been reconstructed, msaa ssaa and temporal aa go a step further to reconstruct from another method then most post techniques do or combine post to enhance it, my post about assassins creed black flag on console using a moddifed version of fxaa/smaa using a temporal filter to better approximate the location of the line during motion was just saying that you are probably correct in assuming syndicate is using a combination of post aa with actual object data to detect where lines are going to be its pretty standard actually to use some form of temporal aa now btw TXAA= ( msaa buffer+post aa temporal filter specific to nvidia hardware pretty sure it runs like ass on amd cards if it was able to run)This is a really big run on sentence to say that a current day game probably has something extra to help the good ol fxaa along or may have a setting tied into the games post processing setting that enhances some shaders turned on ...., i think my poorly explained explanation sorta comes close enough to maybe help your question

I re-read the answers, I missed about the part you mentioned console uses temporal FXAA. My bad.

So, temporal FXAA is a thing. Just like SMAA 2Tx. That also means there is no way to port that type of quality FXAA into ReShade now. Great for FXAA, strengthening it's place in our lives, bad for me, hoping to use it on other games through ReShade, for now.
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I think AC Syndicate has temporal or SS type FXAA 3 weeks 1 day ago #7

canceralp wrote:
Kleio420 wrote:
canceralp wrote:
Thanks for the answers. However, what I'm trying to say here; the game's FXAA is not only "removing" things, it is "completing" mising pixels, that is only possible with increasing the geometry sample count (increasing the resolution, SSAA, TXAA and MSAA).

Technically that is not possible due to how post-processing AA works.
all anti aliasing determine a threshold that data is rounded off that a wave length either is to long or not long enough for the request , basically if a object is rendering a certain amount of data and it appears jagged you need to approximate that data by someway often post processing aa will do this by finding the edge and making some type of pattern to smear the pixels together with a blur to make it appear like the line has been reconstructed, msaa ssaa and temporal aa go a step further to reconstruct from another method then most post techniques do or combine post to enhance it, my post about assassins creed black flag on console using a moddifed version of fxaa/smaa using a temporal filter to better approximate the location of the line during motion was just saying that you are probably correct in assuming syndicate is using a combination of post aa with actual object data to detect where lines are going to be its pretty standard actually to use some form of temporal aa now btw TXAA= ( msaa buffer+post aa temporal filter specific to nvidia hardware pretty sure it runs like ass on amd cards if it was able to run)This is a really big run on sentence to say that a current day game probably has something extra to help the good ol fxaa along or may have a setting tied into the games post processing setting that enhances some shaders turned on ...., i think my poorly explained explanation sorta comes close enough to maybe help your question

I re-read the answers, I missed about the part you mentioned console uses temporal FXAA. My bad.

So, temporal FXAA is a thing. Just like SMAA 2Tx. That also means there is no way to port that type of quality FXAA into ReShade now. Great for FXAA, strengthening it's place in our lives, bad for me, hoping to use it on other games through ReShade, for now.
there may be other ways to help catch more edges but being blunt gaming at 1080p most current TAA solutions are enough yes.I was just trying to say that there are numerous reasons fxaa in that game may appear to have more coverage then you think it should in that frame, there may be a better way to do post aa without neededing temporal filter that is just as good but if that were so and it was cost effective it would have been done , they are currently looking into predictive supersampling on the rtx card lineup which shows results that are very close to native 4k without the entire performance hit so who knows what will be out in 5 years. But as far as reshade if you need AA just increase your resolution to 1440p+
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I think AC Syndicate has temporal or SS type FXAA 3 weeks 4 hours ago #8

Kleio420 wrote:
canceralp wrote:
Kleio420 wrote:
canceralp wrote:
Thanks for the answers. However, what I'm trying to say here; the game's FXAA is not only "removing" things, it is "completing" mising pixels, that is only possible with increasing the geometry sample count (increasing the resolution, SSAA, TXAA and MSAA).

Technically that is not possible due to how post-processing AA works.
all anti aliasing determine a threshold that data is rounded off that a wave length either is to long or not long enough for the request , basically if a object is rendering a certain amount of data and it appears jagged you need to approximate that data by someway often post processing aa will do this by finding the edge and making some type of pattern to smear the pixels together with a blur to make it appear like the line has been reconstructed, msaa ssaa and temporal aa go a step further to reconstruct from another method then most post techniques do or combine post to enhance it, my post about assassins creed black flag on console using a moddifed version of fxaa/smaa using a temporal filter to better approximate the location of the line during motion was just saying that you are probably correct in assuming syndicate is using a combination of post aa with actual object data to detect where lines are going to be its pretty standard actually to use some form of temporal aa now btw TXAA= ( msaa buffer+post aa temporal filter specific to nvidia hardware pretty sure it runs like ass on amd cards if it was able to run)This is a really big run on sentence to say that a current day game probably has something extra to help the good ol fxaa along or may have a setting tied into the games post processing setting that enhances some shaders turned on ...., i think my poorly explained explanation sorta comes close enough to maybe help your question

I re-read the answers, I missed about the part you mentioned console uses temporal FXAA. My bad.

So, temporal FXAA is a thing. Just like SMAA 2Tx. That also means there is no way to port that type of quality FXAA into ReShade now. Great for FXAA, strengthening it's place in our lives, bad for me, hoping to use it on other games through ReShade, for now.
there may be other ways to help catch more edges but being blunt gaming at 1080p most current TAA solutions are enough yes.I was just trying to say that there are numerous reasons fxaa in that game may appear to have more coverage then you think it should in that frame, there may be a better way to do post aa without neededing temporal filter that is just as good but if that were so and it was cost effective it would have been done , they are currently looking into predictive supersampling on the rtx card lineup which shows results that are very close to native 4k without the entire performance hit so who knows what will be out in 5 years. But as far as reshade if you need AA just increase your resolution to 1440p+

I actually created two custom resolutions
2304x1296 = 36 pixel info for every 25 pixel square, close to 1.5x of the full HD area
2688x1512 = 49 pixel info for every 25 pixel square area, close to 2x of the Full Hd. (also 2xSSAA).

They scale better than 1440p. When I have the power, like Batman Arkham Knight, I use 1512p (2xSSAA) and apply Reshade FXAA + SMAA and it is perfect. Where I trust more to the game's own AA, and also lack the power, like Assassin's Creed Syndicate, I use in game FXAA + ReShade FXAA at 1296p (1.5xSSAA).

The results are not as perfect and performance friendly as advanced temporal AA solutions, like AC: Origins, but gets the job done, even on a big TV.
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