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2009-12-25 10:09:37

Anti-Aliasing is a term used lots when selling graphics cards, but what exactly is Anti-Aliasing? We look deeper into the reasoning behind Anti-Aliasing and why we need it in the first place. There are varying types of anti-aliasing producing different results and different levels of performance hit.

when talking about computer games or graphics cards. You are told about what level of anti-aliasing your card can achieve but do you really know what anti-aliasing does or do you just accept it as a good thing and go for the best one? In this article we will show you what Anti-Aliasing actually does and show you why its important to graphics in images, text and games. We will also go into details about what side effects anti-aliasing has in games and why you have to strike a compromise between a high level of anti-aliasing and the performance of your computer.

Anti-Aliasing is a method of fooling the eye that a jagged edge is really smooth. Anti-Aliasing is often referred in games and on graphics cards. In games especially the chance to smooth edges of the images goes a long way to creating a realistic 3D image on the screen. Remember though that Anti-Aliasing does not actually smooth any edges of images it merely fools the eye. Like a lot of things they are only designed to be good enough. If you can't tell the difference then that's fine. Lets take a look at the example below to demonstrate the effects of Anti-Aliasing.

   

The letter on the left is a blown up letter a with no anti-aliasing. The letter on the right has had anti-aliasing applied to it. In this blown up form it looks like its simply blurred but if we reduce the size down to a more standard size you may see the difference.

Now look closely at the two letters. You can still tell that the letter of the left is jagged but the letter on the right looks a lot smoother and less blurry than the example above. Remember I have only shrunk the image down back to normal size and have not altered anything else to the image at all. So as you can see, Anti-Aliasing bring a much more pleasing image to the eye. Something like what comes out of a high class printer rather than what you can be used to seeing when on a computer screen.

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