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Anti-aliasing announcement

Saturday, March 20th, 2021 by Holy at

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Something of note occurred a while ago. Briefly, for a long time now Sword of Moonlight has had a unique anti-aliasing technique for which I’ve continued to develop complementary 3D image-based graphical effects. This line of work has matured and now has reached a conclusion. It started when I had an idea I thought could address its main weakness: that is it takes more than one image frame to create a double exposure image, which means it can’t anti-alias a single image by itself, or put another way: when a picture is moving it can’t do its job.

This is an economical solution because it doesn’t require any resources or time on the computer to compute its results. When a picture is moving it can be hard to make out its edges, so anti-aliasing isn’t as important. So it mostly washes out, except it’s still a legitimate mark against this technique. To solve this problem (with an equally no resources solution) (as well as it can be solved) the new complementary technique works to remove contrast on moving edges. This looks like an unfocused image on the moving edge.

Shortly after developing this it made sense to implement supersampling for Sword of Moonlight because this anti-aliasing system seems finished, and to supersample an anti-aliasing technique is a common final step, although it does significantly increase the hardware budget to enable supersampling. Supersampling doesn’t automatically buy you much, especially considering its cost. It requires an anti-aliasing strategy to justify its cost, such as the one Sword of Moonlight has. So, long story short, combining these developments produces a very high quality image.

A third thing happened around the same time that’s worth including here: in short, intense scrutiny of the edge contrast technique made apparent deficiencies in the analog control system. A thorough investigation followed, in which not a fix, but a change was made that seemed miraculous in how it produced a much higher quality experience in terms of how movements are transferred from the analog game controller onto the screen. Without going too deep into a description how Sword of Moonlight actually works in this regard is to translate the sensor data from the controller into a very limited digital signal, and then convert that back into the movements you see on your screen. There are benefits to this process versus using the sensor data unprocessed but all that you need to know is the last conversion step is where the major leap occurred.

Finally, in the forum post attached to this blog item I’m going to be publishing previews of the next release, which will also include any patches in the meantime. I will explain the focus of the new release inside.

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