Half-Life 2 Anti-Aliasing Fixed

A detail in the Valve talks Half Life 2 modding log on modDB.com (thanks BewareDAnewbie) offers the apparent resolution of the brouhaha over anti-aliasing support in Half-Life 2 (story). The short and sweet news on this is provided by Valve's Gary McTaggart: "Anti-aliasing has been fixed for all cards."
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79.
 
Re: ATi=Centroid
Aug 21, 2003, 21:27
79.
Re: ATi=Centroid Aug 21, 2003, 21:27
Aug 21, 2003, 21:27
 
It's "official".
I got an e-mail from Gabe about the AA subject.
ATi will go with Centroid sampling, nVidia with the "PS2.0 trick".

well, if that's true, which ones faster and less likely to cause other problems ?

78.
 
Re: Vulcan
Aug 12, 2003, 16:03
78.
Re: Vulcan Aug 12, 2003, 16:03
Aug 12, 2003, 16:03
 
Meanwhile, back on the planet Earth........

It ends tonight...
77.
 
Vulcan
Aug 10, 2003, 00:43
77.
Vulcan Aug 10, 2003, 00:43
Aug 10, 2003, 00:43
 
That William Shatner spoof was awesome. I was at a convention in Vulcan (no really, theres a town called Vulcan in Alberta, Canada. It is also home to the worlds largest enterprise statue) And he performed it there. Usually all the big star trek personalities go to that one. They also had game developers there showing off Elite Force 2 (this was some time ago) and various other star trek or sci-fi projects. It was hella fun. I couldn't resist though, I had to put on my Star Trek uniform (the kind from the later DS9 shows) it was cool.

76.
 
Re: Hey greenie!
Aug 9, 2003, 20:43
Bronco
 
76.
Re: Hey greenie! Aug 9, 2003, 20:43
Aug 9, 2003, 20:43
 Bronco
 
I don't know for sure...

If I had to guess I would say:

99% of these people started out as gamers themselves. They want to talk about their project but can't.
Many of them still view it as a hobby and would like to participate in forums like this.
Then they show up and the first thing you know they are being peppered with 'work' questions. Doesn't matter if it is directly related to the current project. It's just the idea that they can't post without being bombarded with senseless questions.

The solution is for them to choose a normal log on. No green border, no silly questions about their work.

If you think of the spoof William Shatner did of the Star Trek conventions it gives you an idea of what I'm trying to say. It's not a perfect analogy but it works IMO.


-TPFKAS2S
http://www.braglio.org
My spoon is too big!

This comment was edited on Aug 9, 20:49.
-TPFKAS2S
Avatar 10139
75.
 
Re: Hey greenie!
Aug 9, 2003, 16:44
indiv
 
75.
Re: Hey greenie! Aug 9, 2003, 16:44
Aug 9, 2003, 16:44
 indiv
 
What makes you think the questions are the reason for that?

I don't know for sure... I'm just assuming that they are like me and don't like to post in threads with a high moron count.

edit: I'm->I
This comment was edited on Aug 9, 16:44.
74.
 
Re: Hey greenie!
Aug 8, 2003, 17:46
74.
Re: Hey greenie! Aug 8, 2003, 17:46
Aug 8, 2003, 17:46
 
Maybe these developers have social phobia, even on the Internet?

"Social phobia on the Internet" Now that's funny

This comment was edited on Aug 8, 17:46.
You cannot make anything fool-proof. The fools are too inventive

GW: Tr Gandhi (Ra), Shiva Sung (Mo), Mangal Pandey (Ne), Rana Pratap Singh (Wa), Boddhi Satwa (Ri), Bhagat Singh (De), Bahadur Shastri (Pa)
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73.
 
Re: Hey greenie!
Aug 8, 2003, 10:39
hkm
73.
Re: Hey greenie! Aug 8, 2003, 10:39
Aug 8, 2003, 10:39
hkm
 
Every time a 3D Realms developer posts here, no matter what the topic, someone always has to chime in with a question about Duke Nukem. And then the developers don't post for another 6 months.

What makes you think the questions are the reason for that? If a specific question about a game causes a developer to be scared away, this person needs help - fast. Maybe these developers have social phobia, even on the Internet?

72.
 
fuck all
Aug 8, 2003, 06:54
72.
fuck all Aug 8, 2003, 06:54
Aug 8, 2003, 06:54
 
Piecing puzzle of Sept. 11 flight
http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/08/08/attacks.flight93/index.html


Right... and they took 2 years to figure this out?


HAHA EVERYONE KNOW AMERICAN WAR JETS BOMBED FLIGHT 93 DOWN
--
cock climber aka rock climber
71.
 
Re: AA
Aug 7, 2003, 22:22
71.
Re: AA Aug 7, 2003, 22:22
Aug 7, 2003, 22:22
 
Edit : Just reread gManiac's post. Apparently this has been occuring since the earliest days of the Quake Engine. So I guess Valve's definition of "bad artifacts" is pretty different from mine.

Yes, there you have it.

~Steve

70.
 
Re: AA
Aug 7, 2003, 19:56
70.
Re: AA Aug 7, 2003, 19:56
Aug 7, 2003, 19:56
 
Gary McTaggart brought this up in an email because he is being pretty hardcore about graphics quality right now.

To put this in perspective, not doing tri-linear filtering on mipmaps is a lot worse.

Creston said: "So I guess Valve's definition of "bad artifacts" is pretty different from mine.

Exactly.

69.
 
AA
Aug 7, 2003, 19:18
69.
AA Aug 7, 2003, 19:18
Aug 7, 2003, 19:18
 
I've never had an AA problem before in any Quake engined game. The only problems I've had, like creston said, was with EA games. The only game I could get to run AA without problems was NFS: Porsche Unleashed. The rest or most of the EA games had either performance problems or graphic anomalies. EF2, JK2, Q3 all those games had no performance problems or graphics anomalies and in fact, JK2 accually seemed to run faster - but it was probably just smoother with the same framerate.

68.
 
ATi=Centroid
Aug 7, 2003, 18:31
68.
ATi=Centroid Aug 7, 2003, 18:31
Aug 7, 2003, 18:31
 
It's "official".
I got an e-mail from Gabe about the AA subject.
ATi will go with Centroid sampling, nVidia with the "PS2.0 trick".

67.
 
Hmm
Aug 7, 2003, 16:24
67.
Hmm Aug 7, 2003, 16:24
Aug 7, 2003, 16:24
 
I think our argument simply lies in a definition of what is Valve's "fault" and what is the hardware manufacturers fault.

To explain : MOST games work absolutely fine with AA enabled. The only one of my games that doesn't like AA is Sim City 4, and since that's a product of EA, it really doesn't need a lot of scrutiny to see where the problem lies. Apparently BF1942 doesn't like AA either, and once again it's an EA product.

Pretty much every other game I have (probably upward of a hundred and fifty), I've played with AA at one point or another, and never had any problems.

Now, Valve builds a new engine, that does things in a certain way, that current graphics hardware doesn't really like, causing artifacts to appear in their game (with AA enabled).

My argument is that really can only find blame with Valve, since they built an engine that apparently goes outside of the boundaries established by current hardware.

Your argument is that that's NOT their fault, since the hardware needs to catch up with Valve's great new engine.

Both arguments have merit, in my opinion. However, if Valve fixed OR hacked something in their engine, it's still something THEY did to make it work. And it doesn't really matter which of the above statements you adhere to, VALVE was the one that fixed it.

You can choose not to see it as a bug, that's fine, I don't know enough about graphics to determine whether what Valve is doing is either stupid or brilliant, but I still think that the problem was in their engine.

*shrug*

Creston

Edit : Just reread gManiac's post. Apparently this has been occuring since the earliest days of the Quake Engine. I've just played a few Quake engine games (SOF2, JK2, EF2) that I still had installed, with AA enabled, and I just don't see these artifacts.
So I guess Valve's definition of "bad artifacts" is pretty different from mine.

This comment was edited on Aug 7, 16:28.
Avatar 15604
66.
 
Re: Who said what is to blame
Aug 7, 2003, 13:44
66.
Re: Who said what is to blame Aug 7, 2003, 13:44
Aug 7, 2003, 13:44
 
gMANiac: Exactly. That's the information it seemed like people were ignoring in concocting their own explanations for the events.

~Steve

65.
 
Who said what is to blame
Aug 7, 2003, 03:30
65.
Who said what is to blame Aug 7, 2003, 03:30
Aug 7, 2003, 03:30
 
It seems to me this is all blown out of proportion in the first place. "To put this in perspective, not doing tri-linear filtering on mipmaps is a lot worse."-Gabe Newell

However, here are the words from the forums that brought this "conspiracy" upon us. Nobody ever seems to actually read the words anymore. Valve stated that the problem wasn't only in their game over two weeks ago. It's the same problem a lot of games have with FSAA. Source/Half-Life 2 and their light maps seems to have brought out the worst case scenario in Gary McTaggart's opinion.

http://www.halflife2.net/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=2622&perpage=15&pagenumber=1

"There are problems with the way that current hardware implements FSAA. If you enable it, you will see a lot of artifacts on polygon boundaries due to the way that they sample texture subrects with FSAA enabled. We are working with the harware companies and the DirectX team to make sure that future hardware doesn't have this problem.
Gary"


http://www.halflife2.net/forums/showthread.php?s=f0f48a8d0a22f04ff8502d9413da6f9c&threadid=2622&perpage=15&pagenumber=2

"At the present, you wouldn't want to run the game with AA enabled. . you'd see some pretty bad artifacts. We may come up with some way to work around the hardware problems in the future though so that you can use AA.
Gary "



http://www.halflife2.net/forums/showthread.php?s=f0f48a8d0a22f04ff8502d9413da6f9c&threadid=2622&perpage=15&pagenumber=4

1) Is this a problem that can be fixed with new drivers, or would we have to buy a whole new card to recitify it? If so, are there any cards on the horizon that would offer it?

"Drivers aren't likely to fix the problem, with the exception of the ATI 9500-9800. There's hope there for being able to use FSAA properly. You are out of luck on NVidia unless either NVidia or us come up with some clever way of solving this problem."

2) Is this a problem unique to hardware + Source?

"It's a problem for any app that packs small textures into larger textures. The small textures will bleed into each other if you have multisample FSAA enabled. The best thing to do right now is either buy an ATI card in the hopes that it will be solved there, or wait until the next generation of cards come out."

So this is why Valve keeps pushing ATI.


http://hl2.burstfire.net/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3071&highlight=FSAA

Anti-aliasing
Since people seem to be hyperventilating over the anti-aliasing issue, I thought I'd update everyone.

1) How bad is the problem?

With current multi-sample implementations of anti-aliasing, you may sample texels outside of the polygon boundary, which may result in sampling light maps from other polygons.

This has always been a problem. This is a problem with Quake 1, Quake 2, Quake 3, Daikatana, Sin, Elite Force, Half-Life, Counter-Strike on the X-Box, or any game that uses packed lightmaps with multi-sample anti-aliasing.

You would see these artifacts on polygon boundaries where the wrong lightmap is being sampled. It will look like a bright or dark line on the edge of a polygon.

Gary McTaggart brought this up in an email because he is being pretty hardcore about graphics quality right now. This is not a new problem. If you've run a game that uses lightmaps with anti-aliasing turned on, then you've been seeing these artifacts the whole time.

Artifacts may show up more frequently in Half-Life 2 simply because we've eliminated lots of other artifacts, and because we have a lot of variation in scene lighting due to our art direction.

To put this in perspective, not doing tri-linear filtering on mipmaps is a lot worse.

2) What are potential solutions?




Support Centroid Sampling

Use Pixel Shaders to Clamp Texture Coordinates


Centroid sampling doesn't have the problem that center sampling does in multi-sample antil-aliasing. ATI has supported this form of anti-aliasing for the 9000 series. The tricky part is enabling this when DirectX doesn't easily expose this.

There's a different trick you can use with hardware, such as NVIDIA's, that doesn't support centroid sampling. Basically you trade off some pixel shader bandwidth to clamp the texture coordinates so that you don't sample texels outside of that polygon's lightmap sub-rect.

Between these two approaches, multi-sample anti-aliasing artifacts should be a non-issue for any DX9-level hardware running Pixel Shader 2.0.

3) How will this look?

We'll release one of the demo movies with the anti-aliasing artifacts in and one with the anti-aliasing changes.


__________________
Gabe Newell


[edit] I would also dare to say that those two solutions Gabe N. stated are the solutions they used for the respective cards. Else, why the hell would you bother making a video showing everyone the outcome?![/edit]
This comment was edited on Aug 7, 04:12.
64.
 
Re: Oh boy
Aug 7, 2003, 03:16
64.
Re: Oh boy Aug 7, 2003, 03:16
Aug 7, 2003, 03:16
 
JediLuke: I agree, I think it's more likely that given Gabe Newell suggested a fix/workaround, card manufacturers likely worked with Valve to implement the code into their drivers, allowing AA to be fixed on "All cards". Just my opinion, but it wasn't stated whether or not the change was in the Source engine, or card specific drivers, or possibly both(who knows). My point is just that...

63.
 
Re: Oh boy
Aug 7, 2003, 03:08
63.
Re: Oh boy Aug 7, 2003, 03:08
Aug 7, 2003, 03:08
 
Indeed, Valve may have just implemented changes to take advantage of fixes that MS or card manufacturers may release in the next few months.

62.
 
Re: Oh boy
Aug 7, 2003, 02:02
62.
Re: Oh boy Aug 7, 2003, 02:02
Aug 7, 2003, 02:02
 
I asked you on what information you were basing that opinion. If it was pure speculation, then you were in fact making shit up. I had an opinion, yes, but it was based on all of the information available to me. I see no reason to assume that it was a bug in the engine, and as I said, Valve seemed to make it fairly clear that it was not.

So, to explain once again, it just SEEMS to me to be more of a bug in the Source Engine, since NOTHING changed on either Nvidia's side or Microsoft's side, and the problem is now fixed. Who was the only one who could have done any fixing on it? Valve. So, in all likelihood, where did the problem originate to begin with? In Valve's engine.

Right, except that that's a complete logical fallacy. Just because Valve fixed it does not mean that the problem was their fault.

~Steve

This comment was edited on Aug 7, 02:03.
61.
 
Oh boy
Aug 7, 2003, 01:18
61.
Oh boy Aug 7, 2003, 01:18
Aug 7, 2003, 01:18
 
Lots of replies I see.

[AIX]Hood :

You definitely need to get somebody that knows what he's doing working on your machine, if you have a "highest end" machine and videocard, and your framerates become unplayable at 4xFSAA. I can turn 4xFSAA on on my Athlon 1800 with my ti4200 and still remain playable, so either your definition of playable and mine are stupendously different, or you have a very shitty machine.
Also, some people might have noticed that I tend to exxagerate a little sometimes
Hence, if I say going from 800 to 100fps, I'm exxagerating. In case you didn't notice, it's still a drop by a factor of 8, which is pretty steep.
I happened to put together a top of the line machine for a rather well off acquaintance of mine, put a 9700PRO in it, and tested a couple of games on it (Elite Force 2 among them, not the newest of engines, but still a very new game) with all bells and whistles pumped up to the max, and it ran at around 40-60fps. That's MORE than enough for my taste. Perhaps not for you, so be it.

Xombie, Brick, JediLuke :

Screaming was perhaps an oddly chosen word. I was more referring to the fact that they had to release a press statement about how it wasn't working, and how they seemed to imply that it was Nvidia's / Microsoft's fault. I wasn't referring to the amount of noise they were making...

JediLuke :

Please do everyone a favor, grab yourself a dictionary, and look up the definition of the sentence "It seems to me".
A lot of people on these boards also still seem to have a very hard time understanding that what people post here are opinions.
So while you are leafing through that dictionary, look that word up as well.
It is my opinion, hence I said "It seems to me", that this was caused by a bug in the Engine itself, not by anything else.
Funny enough, your statement " but from reading the information released, it seemed quite clear " indicates you're doing the exact same thing. Ever heard of the saying "What's good for the goose is good for the gander?"
No, I'm not "making shit up", I'm posting an opinion. Just like YOU are. Next time, try to keep that difference in mind, it might help.

So, to explain once again, it just SEEMS to me to be more of a bug in the Source Engine, since NOTHING changed on either Nvidia's side or Microsoft's side, and the problem is now fixed. Who was the only one who could have done any fixing on it? Valve. So, in all likelihood, where did the problem originate to begin with? In Valve's engine.

Creston

Avatar 15604
60.
 
Re: Hey greenie!
Aug 7, 2003, 00:11
60.
Re: Hey greenie! Aug 7, 2003, 00:11
Aug 7, 2003, 00:11
 
Nope still armadillos.



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