Anisotropic filtering (AF) is a technique used in computer graphics to improve the quality of textures when viewed at an angle. It is used to increase the clarity and sharpness of textures when viewed from an angle, such as on the surface of a curved road or the edge of a building.
Anisotropic filtering can improve the visual quality of textures, especially on surfaces that are not parallel to the screen. It can make textures look sharper and more detailed, especially when viewed from an angle. However, in some cases, it can also slightly reduce the frames per second (FPS) because it requires more processing power to apply the filtering.
AF works by sampling the texture from different angles and then averaging the results to produce a final image with better texture quality. This is a form of multisampling where multiple samples are taken from the texture at different angles to improve its quality.
There are several types of anisotropic filtering, including:
• Bilinear anisotropic filteringe: This type of AF samples the texture from two angles, which slightly improves texture quality.
• Trilinear anisotropic filtering: This type of AF samples the texture from three angles, which improves texture quality more than bilinear AF.
• X anisotropic filtering: This type of AF samples the texture at x angles, where x is a number such as 8 or 16. This type of AF is the most advanced and can improve texture quality the most.
The difference between 2x and 4x anisotropic filtering refers to the number of samples taken from the texture at different angles. 2x anisotropic filtering samples the texture from two angles. This type of filtering slightly improves texture quality, but may not be as effective at reducing aliasing artifacts as higher levels of anisotropic filtering. On the other hand, 4x anisotropic filtering samples the texture from four angles. This type of filtering improves texture quality over 2x anisotropic filtering and is more effective at reducing aliasing artifacts. The image appears sharper and more detailed when viewed from an angle. In general, the higher the level of anisotropic filtering, the better the texture quality will be, but it also requires more processing power. That’s why it’s important to balance the need for high-quality textures with system performance. Some games also allow you to set the level of anisotropic filtering, with options like 2x, 4x, 8x, and 16x.
If your hardware has good performance and you want the best visual quality out of your game, 16x anisotropic filtering is a good option, otherwise you may want to lower it for more FPS.