Multisampling Primer

Started by JeGX, October 27, 2021, 03:12:29 PM

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Multisampling is a well-understood technique used in computer graphics that enables applications to efficiently reduce geometry aliasing, yet not everybody is familiar with the entire toolset offered by modern GPU hardware to control multisampling behavior. In this article we present the behavior of basic multisampling and explore a set of controls that enable us to tune performance/quality trade-offs and open doors for more advanced rendering techniques.

While it's quite common nowadays for renderers to use other, lower cost and often less intrusive techniques to reduce screen-space aliasing like temporal anti-aliasing or various morphological techniques, multisampling remains prevalent as a standard go-to technique to perform anti-aliasing, is often used in conjunction with the aforementioned alternatives, and sometimes (ab)used to aid more complex rendering algorithms like checkerboard rendering to achieve better perceived resolution, quality, and/or performance. Hence familiarity with the behavior and configuration parameters available in modern multisampling hardware implementations comes handy in a wide set of rendering problems.

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