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Thread: CC3 patch includes anti-aliasing. Does it work?

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  1. #1
    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    Post CC3 patch includes anti-aliasing. Does it work?

    The newest patch for CC3 includes an option for antialiasing bitmap exports. I don't have CC3 installed at the moment, but for those who have installed the patch, how do your exports look now? I'd be interested in seeing before-and-after comparisons so we can see how much improvement there is.
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist
    http://www.bryanray.name

  2. #2

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    Hey Midgardsormr - long time no speak!

    I ran Patch 8 today and I've been playing with the anti-aliasing this afternoon.

    I'll post some examples in a few minutes for you to compare....

    Edit: Do me a favor, everyone. This patch is also supposed to fix the problem some Web browsers had with displaying PNGs generated directly from CC3. Let me know if for any reason you can't see the PNG images, especially if you had the problem in the past.
    Last edited by jaerdaph; 11-19-2009 at 09:48 PM.
    jaerdaph
    JUST ADD HEROES An ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying Game Blog by Joe "jaerdaph" Bardales

  3. #3

    Post

    Both these PNGs have been exported directly from CC3. The original has no anti-aliasing, and the second one has anti-aliasing set at 50%. Look at the text labeling in the upper left corner. You should see a definite improvement.

    I'll post a vector map example next so you can see how the anti-aliasing works with vector entities other than text.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    jaerdaph
    JUST ADD HEROES An ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying Game Blog by Joe "jaerdaph" Bardales

  4. #4

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    Here's the vector. The original has no anti-aliasing, the others have 25%, 50% and 75% anti-aliasing. The file size increases with the anti-aliasing percentage, and the time it takes to generate the image (number of passes) increases as well. None of the examples I've posted here (including the ones above) took too long (always less than a minute) to generate. Again, they get progressively better. Check out the well symbol in room 118 in particular.

    I did do some "big" image renders which took longer, and if I set those to 100% anti-aliasing, I managed to crash CC3.

    I pulled the percentages I used in each one out of my... hat.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    jaerdaph
    JUST ADD HEROES An ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying Game Blog by Joe "jaerdaph" Bardales

  5. #5

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    I have to add that so far, I'm extremely pleased and happy with the results I'm getting with the anti-aliasing. I've wanted anti-aliasing added to CC for years now (even before CC3 came out), and it's awesome to finally have it. Thank you again, Profantasy!

    Don't forget to let me know if you can't see any of the PNGs attached above - they were generated directly out of CC3.
    jaerdaph
    JUST ADD HEROES An ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying Game Blog by Joe "jaerdaph" Bardales

  6. #6
    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    I can see them all, and the anti-aliased ones look fantastic! The trees in the Vampire's Castle benefited greatly, even more than the text, I think. Thanks, jaerdaph!
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist
    http://www.bryanray.name

  7. #7
    Software Dev/Rep Gracious Donor waldronate's Avatar
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    PF has done a reasonable implementation of grid-based supersampled antialiasing. It is exactly equivalent to manually writing a larger file and then downsampling it to the desired end size in something like Photoshop. In this case it's a single option with no need for an external program.

    There are some subtle effects of this type of antialiasing, some of which appear in your examples. For example, fonts have different metrics at each anti-aliasing level and single-pixel lines become progressively more washed out. The text thing is caused by font hinting (fonts are rendered differently at different image sizes). The washed-out line thing is caused by the line width becoming progressively smaller (with no anti-aliasing the single-pixel line is one physical pixel wide; with 50% anti-aliasing the single-pixel line is half a physical pixel wide).

    It's a good result but has limitations such as differences in rendering and there will be an impact on some CC3 filters due to the image size and the need for tiling. For example, there is a good chance that the lighting filter thing won't render quite the same if the image needs to be tiled into smaller pieces.

  8. #8

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    Thanks for the explanation, waldronate - the process makes a lot more sense to me now. I was wondering why CC3 was saying my 1000x1000 images would be rendered at "true image dimensions of 4000x4000" during the process in the dialog box with anti-aliasing ticked, and then the end result would be a 1000x1000 image anyway.

    Thanks for the list of things to keep an eye out for too.
    jaerdaph
    JUST ADD HEROES An ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying Game Blog by Joe "jaerdaph" Bardales

  9. #9
    Community Leader Gandwarf's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting these results... can't wait to try it out myself some time
    Check out my City Designer 3 tutorials. See my fantasy (city) maps in this thread.

    Gandwarf has fallen into shadow...

  10. #10

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    One of the options we were considering, but did not get time to implement is to set the pixel width of zero width lines.

    We hope to implement effects options as a percentage of the map size as an option, which would overcome some of the issues Joe mentions.

    The reason we put in the true image size is because the CC3 export resolution is limited by your system, to be precise it's limited by Windows GDI. It's almost impossible to tell on a given system what that limit will be; it depends on graphics drivers in the main. My very old XP system does 6000x5000. Anti-aliasing requires large image sizes to be effective - 35% is about the minimum useful and noticeable value. So, once you know what your system can handle you can create an anti-aliased setting which can throw what you can handle at it.
    ProFantasy Software Ltd

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