SMAA vs. TAA (Graphics)


Introduction

So, you’re looking to take your graphics to the next level, and you’re looking for a video codec that will give you the best quality at the smallest size? Well, this article is for you! We will walk through what SMAA and TAA are, how they work, what sets them apart, which one is more “accurate” in terms of filtering out textures on distant objects.

And finally who should use which one.

SMAA and TAA are both antialiasing techniques. They do this by sampling neighboring pixels and evaluating whether an edge exists or not, as well as if it changes direction. After finding the edges, a pixel shader can apply different filters to eliminate the aliasing.

The term “antialiasing” has one problem: it is used for several different approaches to solving the same problem: improving image quality by removing jagged edges.

What is TAA, and what does it do?

From the AMD documentation: Temporal Anti-Aliasing (TAA) is a temporal antialiasing technique for rendering scenes in real-time. It uses the last frame to help determine which edges need to be smoothed. Unlike traditional antialiasing techniques, TAA samples a small area surrounding each pixel, which samples pixels in a rectangular region. By doing this, TAA typically achieves superior results to traditional antialiasing techniques while also reducing the amount of memory used.

TAA relies on most lines being formed at 0 degrees or 90 degrees. For example, a straight line on the horizon will be perpendicular to the camera at 30 degrees, 90 degrees, 180 degrees, 270 degrees, etc.

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How does TAA work?

It uses temporal information of the previous frame to help determine which edges need to be smoothed. It samples a small area surrounding each pixel. By doing this, TAA typically achieves superior results to traditional antialiasing techniques while also reducing the amount of memory used.

What does TAA provide?

– You can apply it to a wide variety of scenes, including terrain, 2D elements, and objects, as well as other dynamic scenes

– By making use of the temporal information on the previous frame, TAA can produce more accurate results than conventional antialiasing techniques

– TAA reduces memory requirements.

What is SMAA, and what does it do?

From the Microsoft documentation: Smooth Motion Alternative Anti-Aliasing (SMAA) is a temporal antialiasing technique that helps to remove both jagged edges and crawling lines commonly observed on sub-pixel rendered textures. Temporal antialiasing techniques use previously rendered frames to determine if areas of the scene have changed. If they have, new samples are taken, and a new frame is generated. SMAA is available in Direct3D 11 feature level 9_3 or higher.

How does SMAA work?

It samples a small area surrounding each pixel. By doing this, SMAA typically achieves superior results to traditional antialiasing techniques while also reducing the amount of memory used.

What does SMAA provide?

– you can apply it to a wide variety of scenes, including terrain, 2D elements, and objects, as well as other dynamic scenes

– By making use of the temporal information on the previous frame, SMAA can produce more accurate results than conventional antialiasing techniques

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– SMAA reduces memory requirements.

Why is SMAA better than TAA?

When comparing to TAA, we get the following:

-Smaller memory footprint less than half

-No crawling lines in motion, just like TAA

-No GPU driver overhead for MSAA compatibility with all GPUs

What is the recommendation?

For most people, SMAA will provide a noticeable improvement in image quality. SMAA was designed to be compatible with all GPUs. Therefore, it may be a better choice than TAA if your graphics card or game engine does not support MSAA or SSAA.

Conclusion

In the end, it all comes down to the game engine that you are using. If your game engine does not support MSAA or SSAA, then SMAA is more than likely your best bet for graphics. It also provides a smaller memory footprint and better performance than TAA. If your game engine supports MSAA or SSAA, you should be able to achieve almost identical quality as SMAA with these modes.

Here’s a great video that compares SMAA and TAA on Tomb Raider:


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