Nvidia has developed a new anti-aliasing technique it dubbed Adaptive Temporal Anti-Aliasing (ATAA). ATAA builds upon the existing Temporal Anti-Aliasing (TAA) method, but kicks things up a notch by adding adaptive ray tracing rendering techniques to the mix.
Temporal Anti-Aliasing has become one of the more popular anti-aliasing options for gamers as it produces great results in most situations without imposing a performance burden on their systems. But as with every anti-aliasing method, Temporal Anti-Aliasing is not free of drawbacks, and the principal issue is that it tends to add a considerable amount of blur to the scene. The blurriness is more noticeable than ever when there is a lot of object motion on screen. However, Nvidia has found a solution to this problem - or so it claims.
According to Nvidia's recently published document on Adaptive Temporal Anti-Aliasing, the new algorithm promises to remove the blurry and ghosting artifacts associated with the Temporal Anti-Aliasing technique, and at the same time, deliver a level of image quality close to 8x Super-Sampling Anti-Aliasing (SSAA). But what's even more impressive is staying within the 33ms standard that dictates the majority of games. The secret sauce in Nvidia's recipe is real-time adaptive sampling made possible with the implementation of ray tracing technology and rasterization. Microsoft's DirectX Raytracing (DXR) API and Nvidia RTX act as the cornerstones for the Adaptive Temporal Anti-Aliasing.
Nvidia cooked up a quick demonstration in Unreal Engine 4 to show off the prowess of its Adaptive Temporal Anti-Aliasing technique. The scene is that of a modern house. Not much is known about the test system's specifications other that it was powered by a $2,999 Nvidia Titan V graphics card. The system was running on a Windows 10 operating system with the latest April 2018 Update (1803) and Nvidia's GeForce 398.11 WHQL graphics driver. Nvidia confirmed that ATAA was operating at 18.4ms at 8× supersampling, 9.3ms at 4× supersampling, and 4.6ms at 2× supersampling for the sample image with a 1920 x 1080 resolution. The demonstration included the creation of the TAA result, the segmentation mask, and the adaptive ray tracing.
Unfortunately, it'll take some time before we see Adaptive Temporal Anti-Aliasing in games as it relies on Microsoft's DXR API, which is yet to be supported by mainstream gaming graphics cards. Nvidia has scheduled a talk about its new anti-aliasing technique at SIGGRAPH 2018, which will take place in Vancouver, British Columbia between August 12-16.