Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Forcing Anti-Aliasing In Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR) with Video and Screenshot Example

Since Beta, I have been attempting to force Anti-Aliasing in Star Wars: The Old Republic. I see that many many people are also trying to do the same. I have read that Bioware themselves states that with this game's HERO Engine, there is no such capability (I am guessing to allow possible merging with consoles, allowing console play in the far future, I see few other reasons other than keeping the gaming overhead low for older machines, to increase marketability).

I have a GTS250 and Santa gave me an ATi/AMD Radeon HD 6870 for Xmas. I want to share here, my findings:

Nvidia AA set in the Nvidia Control Panel VS Amd-Ati AA set in the Catalyst Control Panel.
Unedited (cropped and pasted only) other than the 3 logos put in, FRAPS capture, same area, same NPC.
Either one is stretching or one is squishing, take your pick. I always wondered why all the females seemed to have huge butts in the game. Actually, I think it's just the character models are different (randomly generated), the main thing to notice is the difference in the aliasing ('stair-stepping' on the edges of the lines/models)
Click to see Full Size.

With the Nvidia GTS 250, I was unable to, in any way, shape or form, enable or force Anti-Aliasing. I tried Ntune and other applications that work with Nvidia brand video cards, I tried initialization tweaks (.ini file editing), everything. Nothing worked and judging by the images on the internet of people who 'HAVE IT ENABLED LOOK AT THE SCREENSHOTS', it is never really enabled and there are still jagged edges all over the screen.

For those who don't know, a Tip of what Anti-Aliasing (A.A.) is:
When a graphic adapter (video card for example) talks to the monitor to draw dots and objects so you can see things with your human eyes on the screen and attempts to draw a straight line at an angle, it cannot do so properly, due to the fact that the screen is made up of dots. The result on the screen can only 'resemble' or 'imitate' a straight line at an angle. Thus, the result is termed an 'alias' or 'fake version' of a line at an angle. This is fine, but the jagged edges are distracting to the human eye, especially as they move and jiggle when there is movement on the screen.
Because of this, we have the option to try to get rid of them (which is impossible, but we can try to 'hide' them) via a technique that blurs the jagged edge over and over a few times and blends it with the surrounding dots - and that very "attempt to hide the problems of the jagged imitation of a line at an angle" is termed Anti-Aliasing. Literally, we are against and trying to get rid of, the jagged representation of a straight line at an angle that is being displayed by dots on a screen by blurring it over and over. That's it. 
[Hey, that means we can have rallies and find members by asking them "ARE YOU AGAINST ALIASING??" and they can shout back "HELL YA I AM" and then we can high five each other and all drink and shoot guns together to loud music, celebrating our brotherhood of jagged-free-ness.] 

I had planned on recording a New Series for the Game Tips And More blog, using SWTOR (it actually began with the game Bully, but I haven't uploaded those videos yet) it was to be a series that I entitled "Let's Play Without Talking" (because...well....I don't talk - other reasons for this name will be explained with that Series of uploads/videos/posts). In recording my gameplay and annoyed at not being able to get Anti-Aliasing working with the Nvidia card, I threw in my shiny new Radeon and attempted to force AA in the Control Panel (as I did with the Nvidia Control Panel for the GTS). What resulted was AntiAliasing in SWTOR. Wonderful.

The 4xAA difference can be clearly seen, especially in the front of the brown armor, along the neck and down the bars of the holding cell behind. There is really nothing more I can add, this video is proof: As of Christmas 2011, The Way To Fully Enable Anti-Aliasing In SWTOR is to buy an AMD/ATi video card!

See you in there!

**Update 2012-01-22:
There has been a patch that enables AA within the game itself.
Creating testing videos and will post em once compiled...
Article and new video can be found here:

1 comment:

  1. I'm really inspired along with your writing abilities as well
    as with the structure to your blog. Is that this a paid subject matter
    or did you customize it yourself? Anyway keep up the excellent high quality writing, it is rare to see a
    great blog like this one nowadays..

    Feel free to visit my blog ... Self publishers wealth summit reviews