Someone posted a link to my blog on the AnandTech forums… It’s funny how none of the responses discuss any of the blog’s contents (sad, since the post was mainly meant as a discussion piece. I pose a number of facts, but do not draw any conclusions either way, I leave that up for discussion). They are quick to discuss me personally though. About how I was banned there… Well, the reason I was banned there was quite simple: I was openly criticizing John Fruehe’s statements there. Apparently some of the moderators bought into Fruehe’s story at the time, so they just saw me as a ‘troublemaker’, and they thought they had to ban me. And as the internet goes, ofcourse the ban was never undone (let alone my reputation restored) once the ugly truth about Fruehe became known.
Another guy seems to remember another discussion about ATi vs nVidia anisotropic filtering. Funny how he still insists that I don’t know what I’m talking about. The reality of course is that his argument was flawed, because of a lack of understanding on his part. I never claimed ATi’s AF is ‘correct’ by the way. In fact, my argument was about how arbitrary the whole concept of AF is in general, so ‘correctness’ does not really come into play at all. Apparently he never understood that point. I merely pointed out that the arguments he tried to use to support his case were flawed (such as claiming that you can never have gray areas when using mipmapped checkerboard textures), and that the filtering can be classified as ‘perfectly angle-independent’ (which does not equate ‘correct’… angle-dependency is just one aspect of filtering. The argument he wanted to start was about how the mipmaps may be filtered and/or biased, resulting in undersampling and/or oversampling. Which, as I said in that blog, may or may not result in better perceived quality, even with more angle-dependency. In his case ‘quality’ seemed to equate ‘less gray areas’, but as I said, from a theoretical standpoint, gray areas can be considered ‘correct’, when you are at the limit of your mipmap stack).
Well, my blog is still up, I still stand by what I said at the time about ATi’s filtering (and what I didn’t say: it is not ‘correct’… nor would slightly different implementations be ‘incorrect’). I still say he is wrong, and lacks understanding. And if you disagree, you can still comment.
But well, apparently people don’t want any kind of technical discussions, they don’t want to understand technology. They just want to attack people. Quite ironic by the way that I am both attacked for being anti-AMD, and for defending AMD/ATi for having better angle-independency than nVidia at the time, in the same thread.
Update: BFG10K thought he had to respond and display his cluelessness again:
I am talking about the gray area, not about AF as a whole. Which is ‘correct’ for the Radeon 5770, as in, the way it is implemented, that is what it should yield. Other cards also yield gray areas near the middle, as you can see in this review for example. They just have slightly different transitions.
It isn’t correct, never was, and never will be. To state otherwise reveals a shocking lack of understanding, especially when reference versions are readily available to compare.
Ah, no technical argument whatsoever, only appeal to authority (as before). I however *did* give technical arguments: filter down a checkerboard texture, and your smallest mipmap will be gray. That’s just what you get when you filter down a texture that is 50% black and 50% white. So, it is correct that when you sample the smallest mipmap, you will sample only gray pixels. The only thing that is left up for debate is when and where in your image these gray pixels will become dominant. Which depends on things such as LOD biasing and what kind of approach you are taking with your mipmap sampling (eg, do you only take the two nearest mipmaps for all samples, or do you select the mipmap for each sample individually? Somewhat arbitrary yes, but ‘flawed’, no). With a checkerboard pattern, NOT seeing gray areas would actually indicate a sampling problem in certain areas (you are sampling from mipmaps that have more detail than is warranted given the texel:pixel mapping). And as I said, the ‘moire pattern’ that would be painted by the texture noise may be *perceived* as better quality (it gives the impression that the actual checkerboard texture can be seen even at great distances), while from a technical point of view it is not.
Referring to reference implementations is missing the point. As I said, there isn’t so much one ‘correct’ way to realtime AF. There are various ways to implement and tweak an anisotropic filter. One filter, set up a particular way, does not make other filters ‘incorrect’.
As this tutorial also points out:
The OpenGL specification is usually very particular about most things. It explains the details of which mipmap is selected as well as how closeness is defined for linear interpolation between mipmaps. But for anisotropic filtering, the specification is very loose as to exactly how it works.
The same goes for Direct3D (they both pretty much share the same specs when it comes to rasterizing, texturing, filtering and shading. After all, they both run on the same hardware). There is a ‘gray area’ (pun intented) that AF implementations can work in.
AMD themselves admitted the implementation was flawed and changed it (mentioning it in one of the 6000 series slides), but he’s still fighting the good fight on his oh-so-authoritative blog.
Sources for this? I see none. Yes, AMD has improved filtering since the 5000 series. However, that does not imply that the 5000 series was somehow ‘flawed’ or ‘incorrect’, so I doubt AMD would use such terms (in fact, I doubt they’d use those terms even if it were true). Well, he surely proved that he doesn’t have enough comprehension skills to even understand what I wrote. And once again he makes no technical argument whatsoever. The mark of a fanboy: to him, apparently the implementation of his favourite brand is the only ‘correct’ one, and everything else must be ‘incorrect’. Sadly for him, the D3D/OGL specs don’t agree with that. So I pose D3D/OGL specs, technical explanations and logical arguments, and he counters with personal insults and other fallacies… And then even claims he’s winning the argument, because *I* would have a lack of understanding? What an idiot. Pure Dunning-Kruger again. He would probably feel quite dumb if he ever read any actual API specs on the topic, but I think we can safely assume he’s never actually going to bother and try to educate himself on the matter in the first place.