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Enable AntiAliasing in The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay

This was originally written in 2013 but I'm translating it into a separate page in 2019 to let crawlers index better for english speaking audience, instead use my double language posts.

I translated it the best I could but I know it may contain some grammatical errors ;)

Being the third time I played this game, the first thing you think before start playing it is that it lacks antialiasing.

You search the whole Internet and you don't find any way to enable it. The game lacks of such option and the config file doesn't have any docs or help (or, better said, no one have even tried it or told about it around the net).

An option is to force antialiasing through your graphics card control panel, if it offers it, but it doesn't always work (from my experience), so is not a good option. Even some recommend using third party tools, as the drivers (very "well made" sometimes) don't apply it correctly when using OpenGL programs.

So, this time, stubborn here..., I tried by myself.

It hasn't been a big deal, because the second time I played, I already tried to do something through the in-game console, but it was mostly a death end, because something that doesn't help is that the console itself is quite tiny and can't, or I don't know how, be made to page results, so is "not easy" to display all possible commands and there is the need to try one by one, I mean, letter by letter, and any combination with others. This is, input "a" and press "Enter" and all commands beginning by "a" are shown, press "ab" (and subsequent combinations), and the same. Then with "b", and the same; "c" and the same, and so on...

Anyway, this time, stubborn, as I said, and with all patience in my hand, I tried every damn letter combination to show all commands and, after a while, you end with some in the screen as "vmultisampletaps" (letter "v", so, imagine the time I wasted until reach the command). A command, that, obviously, looks the first suspect as an antialiasing feature, you know, v=video, multi-sample, and taps=maybe steps..., I don't know, something like that. So, briefing, video antialiasing.

With a bit of fear, without any documentation at hand, as it is just a trial-error process, and I don't know what would I do to the game, I input such command in the console and the console gave and error that to be able to use such command you need to enable the OpenGL function "GL_ADVPIXELFORMAT" (sort off "enable OpenGL advanced pixel format") through the Environment.cfg file. The best I can say about this is thank you to the developers to include such explicit error message in the console.

Ok, lets exit the game and try it.

We add the following text in a new line in the Environment.cfg file, that is located in the path where we installed the game, without quotes, "GL_ADVPIXELFORMAT=1" (1 to enable).

We run again the game, we open the console, for what we need to use the following keys combination, CTRL+ALT+\ (or CTRL+ALT~ in an English keyboard), and we write vmultisampletaps and a value to apply, that, for obvious reasons, must be power of two, as it is inherit to how antialiasing works. So, if we want a 2x antialiasing, we write "vmultisampletaps 2" (without the quotes), if 4x "vmultisampletaps 4", and so on for greater factors.

We will find out that the command is being applied and we will have antialiasing at the specified factor in the command (as I show in the examples below).

As a side note, with my tests, I found that a value over 4x tends to blur the image to much, so, my advice is to avoid to go beyond 4x antialiasing, or maybe it was my hardware. Anyway, isn't less true that above 4x we absolutely kill any possible Moire, as the textures are quite detailed and they tend to give that effect. So, if you are annoyed by the Moire, go beyond 4x, at cost of blur, otherwise... is up to you.

Also you'll find a drop in performance beyond 4x, depending on your hardware, of course.

Examples without AA, at 2x and at 4x:

Sin AA (PNG) Con AA a 2x (PNG) Con AA a 4x (PNG)

What I wasn't able to do is to load the command automatically with the game, as is not being accepted as command line option or in the Environment.cfg file, so you'll need to write it every time you start the game and after you open the console. The good side about this is that the console remembers the recently used commands and we will just need to go up with the directions key to show it and press Enter. So, isn't a big deal after all, but still is a bit annoying, but is the price to be done by hand and that the developers didn't originally provide a way to do it through in-game menus. Not all was going to be like a cake :-S