What is Nvidia DLAA?
Nvidia DLAA (Deep Learning Anti-Aliasing) is a new anti-aliasing technique developed by Nvidia that utilizes deep learning and AI to provide high-quality anti-aliasing in games. Anti-aliasing is a technique used in computer graphics to reduce jagged edges, also known as “jaggies”, that appear due to the limited resolution of monitors. DLAA aims to offer image quality comparable to much more demanding anti-aliasing techniques like supersampling, but with minimal performance impact.
How Does DLAA Work?
DLAA utilizes a deep neural network trained on millions of high-resolution images to intelligently smooth jagged edges in rendered games while preserving detail. The DLAA neural network was trained by Nvidia engineers using supercomputers to analyze massive datasets of high-resolution images and identify patterns for reducing aliasing artifacts.
When DLAA is enabled in a game, the DLAA model analyzes the rendered frame and identifies edges that could benefit from anti-aliasing. It then selectively applies anti-aliasing only to those edges, rather than applying a uniform filter across the entire image. This targeted approach allows DLAA to deliver excellent anti-aliasing quality while minimizing the performance cost.
The DLAA model focuses specifically on edges and high-frequency details, the areas most impacted by aliasing “jaggies”. Lower frequency areas are ignored by the algorithm, reducing blurring of textures and details. This preserves image quality and sharpness much better than other common anti-aliasing techniques like MSAA or FXAA.
DLAA utilizes tensor cores on RTX GPUs to efficiently run the deep learning model and anti-alias rendered frames in real-time. The tensor cores allow the advanced DLAA algorithm to be run efficiently so high-quality AA can be enabled without a major performance hit.
Quality Comparison to Other AA Methods
In comparisons done by Nvidia, DLAA matches the image quality of 8K supersampling down to 4K resolution while only having a similar performance impact as native 4K rendering.
Because it is based on deep learning and understanding of image detail, DLAA also substantially outperforms other commonly used anti-aliasing methods like MSAA and FXAA. MSAA and FXAA apply uniform smoothing which often results in blurring of textures and detail. DLAA virtually eliminates jaggies while preserving much more detail.
DLAA also eliminates shader aliasing, a distraction temporal anti-aliasing methods like TAA exhibit in motion. This results in smoother and crisper image quality in motion over TAA solutions.
The performance impact of enabling DLAA is relatively small compared to other options that provide comparable image quality improvements.
Nvidia estimates the performance cost of DLAA to be around 25% slower than native resolution rendering. In contrast, true 8K supersampling to 4K would slash performance by over 75%.
Compared to more intensive anti-aliasing techniques like SSAA which renders at higher than native resolution before downsampling, DLAA provides similar image quality for a fraction of the performance cost.
Even FXAA and MSAA can have a bigger performance impact than DLAA for a lower quality improvement. This small performance impact makes DLAA very practical to enable in most gaming PCs and situations where you want enhanced anti-aliasing.
DLAA is available exclusively on GeForce RTX 30-series and 40-series GPUs. It requires the specialized tensor core hardware on RTX cards to efficiently run the DLAA neural network model.
DLAA must be supported specifically in each game to work. Nvidia has collaborated with game developers to add DLAA support in major titles.
Some games that already support DLAA include:
- Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered
- Microsoft Flight Simulator
- F1 22
- Super People
- Witcher 3 Wild Hunt
- Hitman 3
- The Callisto Protocol
Many more games are expected to add support for DLAA in the future to leverage this new advanced anti-aliasing technique.
Nvidia also plans to expand DLAA to virtual reality titles in the future. The image quality improvements from DLAA can be even more apparent in VR due to the headset displays being very close to the eyes.
DLAA provides game developers an easy way to significantly improve anti-aliasing, and thus overall image quality, without drastically affecting performance. Wider adoption is expected as more games add DLAA support.
DLAA utilizes the AI power of RTX GPUs and deep learning to provide a new level of anti-aliasing quality in games. By intelligently identifying edges and selectively applying anti-aliasing only where needed, it can match the image quality of far more demanding techniques.
The small performance impact makes DLAA practical to enable in most gaming PCs. And game developers can easily add DLAA support without having to fundamentally change their rendering techniques. DLAA represents an exciting new application of AI and deep learning in graphics technology to enhance real-time rendering. Nvidia is likely to continue improving DLAA models and expanding support, making it an important new anti-aliasing option moving forward.