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It seems that some games have managed to implement downsampled transparency, and presumably gained a significant performance boost. (Examples: Uncharted 2, Crysis 2) A while back I attempted to implement a form of this based off of an article in GPU Gems 3, but we found that it wasn't quite fast enough to be a win for us.

I'm looking for information on other techniques of implementing downsampled transparency, especially targeting the PS3 and Xbox360.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't know if you are going to find anything else as good as the article you posted. Maybe you somehow messed up in your implementation? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 26, 2011 at 2:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ It could be that there are better ways of doing that implementation. It did help us out in the worst case, but hurt us in the average case, and ultimately wasn't a big enough win to justify putting it it. I have heard of hardware specific tricks that require only one pass, taking advantage of MSAA to render downsampled translucency while using a full res depth buffer. But I haven't found any info about that online, it may be NDA information. \$\endgroup\$
    – J Junker
    Apr 26, 2011 at 16:27

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I found a good GDC presentation on how they did it in Halo Reach.

EDIT: Found another method, for upsampling in 1 pass without redrawing the effects. It uses Bilateral Upsampling, but that one upsampling pass is apparently very expensive.

And yet another method: Nearest-Depth Upsampling. This one looks more promising, faster than Bilateral Upsampling, and it claims it was actually used in Batman: Arkham Asylum.

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