Introducing Temporal Anti-Aliasing

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Temporal Anti-Aliasing, sometimes shortened to TAA. Yep, it’s a bit of a mouthful, but the short story is, it’s a really cool update to our real-time renderer that everyone can benefit from.

TAA is a relatively recent development in anti-aliasing (the process used to smooth jagged edges – aliasing – in graphics rendering) designed to reduce flickering and present a more pleasing image.

Traditional anti-aliasing (AA) uses neighboring pixels to smooth out lines. Temporal anti-aliasing introduces the aspect of time into the visual smoothing process (hence the use of the term temporal) by analyzing prior rendered frames to further smooth the effect.

Here’s an example in action. On the left is the new TAA approach, on the right is our old AA methodology. The improvement on the left is immediately apparent when you grab and move the scene:

The benefit is particularly apparent with dithering transparency, high specular highlights, and patterns like grids, It also helps to smooth some post process effects (SSAO, bloom). Again, TAA is in effect on the left:

However, TAA isn’t just for edge-cases. Every scene on Sketchfab can now benefit from TAA. Note, that while the effect is much more subtle, looking closely, the sharp edges on the right (our old AA method) occasionally shimmer or “crawl” when you move the scene:

TAA is now enabled by default, so no further action is required for your work to benefit from this improvement. However, in a very small number of cases, you may find the TAA effect undesirable for your scene. TAA can sometimes degrade rendering with transparent materials that use the “Blending” methodology or produce visual ghosting on certain scenes.

If you suspect issues caused by TAA, the effect can easily be turned-off under the post-processing tab in the editor. Here we offer the ability to turn it off only on transparent materials or if you’re seeing issues with ghosting, you can turn TAA off completely.

One final note, TAA is not yet currently implemented on scenes containing animation. As always we continue to explore ways to improve both the speed and quality of our renderer, so stay tuned for updates!

About the author

Paul Chambers

Paul Chambers

Artist Evangelist & Community outreach at Sketchfab, freelance CG Generalist, render-farm tinkerer. Zelda worshipper.


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