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Old 1st July, 2006, 08:22 PM
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Cool An few ideas just hit me

i'm not sure this is the right section, but i've sure got a couple of interesting ideas.

First up, Anti aliasing. This idea first sprung to mind a couple of days ago. I was sat in the garden, inside the gazebo. it's made of a very fine mesh that's quite hard to see. Now, i looked at it closely and saw that it was made of hexagons. Very small haxagons and that's when i thought of it. If we could apply a semi-transparent mesh overlay to our graphics card output (alpha channel of grid lines approx. 125 out of 255) then it would actually smooth the aliased edges into something along the lines of 4xAA. If the grid lines are about 1 or 2 pixels thick, with the gap in the centre of each hexagon being about 4 pixels or less diameter, then i think it would create a good quality of AA without using up that much GPU time as the Fake AA itself would be handled by the CPU, but even then, it would just be a static overlay so wouldn't even use much CPU time.

Now, my next idea is to do with physics of games. Firstly, this concept would appear to be good. Basically, if an object is designed using millions of very small blocks, that are all pieced together to form the final object, when, for example, one of the blocks is shot at, perhaps the block could be destroyed, and other surrounding blocks also destroyed. When enough of the blocks have disappeared/been destroyed, the object should crack/break at the points where no blocks are. I believe this would be an equivalent of 'just below' physx style physics.

Those are the only ideas i have for now. So, what do you guys think?
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Old 1st July, 2006, 09:26 PM
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Interesting ideas. But we don't know for sure if they'll work. The hexagon mesh sounds somewhat intriguing, and is probably testable (perhaps take screenshots and apply your Fake AA to them in photoshop to see if it helps). And the physics idea sounds good, and doable, but not readily testable.

I like the ideas. And check the fake AA to see if it really works. If it does, I'd recommend sending the results to various publishers, as well as posting it on many forums. Some modders on forums might just make it work and see how much it does in gameplay!
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Old 1st July, 2006, 11:10 PM
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Hmmm, i just tested it out now using the method you advised. The mesh didn't appear to work too well. I've found that using ever so slightly angled lines seems to work better. In essence, it appears to be working ever so slightly, but needs a lot of fine tuning. I think that using hundreds of anti aliased lines, all vertical at a slight angle (e.g. 1 degree. we would need 360 pixels per line so the image could be tileable, or even, if possible, 0.5 degrees, use 720 pixels per line) with a low alpha blend value (i discovered that 125 is way to high. 30 or below is better), then it would be possible to fake anti aliasing. However, using just one colour and blurring it would not suffice. Ideally, the colour of the lines should match the majority of objects in the game. So for example, on BF2, in gulf of oman map, a brown colour should be used, as the majority of objects that need AA are either brown, or against a brown background or brows secondary object. So some sort of profile system would be needed.

I think i might be onto something here as it means that there wouldn't need to be a format for AA (various ones are used, such as in GRAW, it's basic blurring, while BF2 anti-aliases the lines based on colour matching/fading), it would just be one image that could be applied as an overlay, the image could be changed as the map changes, or as night turns into day, without the need for the GPU to process AA. All that's required is a small amount of CPU time, in addition to the games CPU time.

Obviously, i'm interested to hear any research or ideas anyone has how i can improve this project.
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Old 2nd July, 2006, 12:13 AM
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Keep us up to date on the mesh, and post comparison pics if you can.
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Old 2nd July, 2006, 01:17 AM
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i think i'm gonna need to do a bit of research. I need to find a suitable mesh overlay, but all the ones i've tried, seem to have various different effects. The meshes i've tried so far:

Octagons - seemed to be a little bit effective but nothing spectacular.
Angled lines - seemed to work on verticles quite well, but not spectacular.
sound frequency style shape - had no noticable effect.

Perhaps some of you guys here could help me create an ideal mesh. The alpha colour at the moment is black. But, one other way to do AA is to 'detect and fade', based on pixels at edges, fade the image slowly to the colour of surrounding pixels. But this is the standard way of doing AA, which isn't what i want.
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