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Guide: How to get much better anti-aliasing in Rome 2 for no performance hit

SnakeTheFoxSnakeTheFox MemberRegistered Users Posts: 35
edited September 2013 in General Discussion
As many of you may have noticed, Rome II's in-game "anti-aliasing" option is a simple on/off toggle switch that turns on what is called "FXAA", or Fast Approximation Anti Aliasing (or it could be "MLAA", Morphological Anti-Aliasing, but they're both almost identical). Anti-aliasing in general is meant to "smooth out" the "jaggedness" of textures. The benefits of FXAA over conventional/normal anti-aliasing is that it is pretty much zero performance hit. The drawback, however, is that it is really just a post-processing blur filter that makes the game look muddy and washed out.

So basically Rome II players are forced between making their game look jagged and awful*, or blurry and awful. I give you a third option: SweetFX. Download this (http://forums.guru3d.com/showpost.php?p=4581604&postcount=528) and drop it in the folder "Total War Rome II" (which should be in your Steam > Steamapps > Common folder). After doing this, open "SweetFX_settings.txt" in Notepad and make sure "SMAA" is set to 1. Also fiddle with anything else that that you'd like but personally I only use it for SMAA. Then start the game and turn off the in-game anti aliasing in the options, and hit your Scroll Lock key (should be near your Print Screen and Pause Break keys) to toggle SMAA on and off. I recommend starting a battle first and zooming in on a group of soldiers for the best comparison.

SMAA, or Enhanced Subpixel Morphological Antialiasing, is basically yet another post-processing anti-aliasing function, except it looks much better and contributes nearly zero blur.

A few people have probably already suggested this, but I because the game just released that the signal-to-noise ratio on this forum might have drowned them out, so I'm making my own thread.

* = It may be possible to force conventional multisample/supersample anti aliasing, but given that Rome II already pushes my system right up to the limit, and I'm on a fairly modern system (3770 i7, 8GB DDR3, 660Ti OC'd), I doubt many people are looking to lop their already low framerate straight in half.
Post edited by SnakeTheFox on


  • ThalesMMLThalesMML Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 297
    edited September 2013
    It is perfect. It is not just good AA but sharpening the edges a bit and giving vibrance a bit. These are my most using Photoshop effects for screenshots.

    There is a problem also, I can't access Steam in the game by shift-Tab and can't take screenshots.
  • ThalesMMLThalesMML Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 297
    edited September 2013
    Any opinion for in-game steam problem?
  • ImotepeImotepe Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 5
    edited September 2013
    Thank you, great tip :D

    It's work for me !
    Slice of Life !
  • RayeRaye Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 233
    edited September 2013
    Thanks for this. I just needed to see just one more person support SweetFx to go ahead and download.
  • HeskeyHeskey Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 107
    edited September 2013

    Had 33.9 FPS before use, and 32.8 FPS after (Bench mark result). Can't say I notice MUCH difference, but I'm sure there is.
    Total War Battles: KINGDOM Lord name - Hesketh
  • SporeduckSporeduck Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 767
    edited September 2013
    No performance hit? Blatant lie.

    But it does look prettier.
  • ThalesMMLThalesMML Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 297
    edited September 2013
    It has many options. Try this :eek::
      /                      Choose effects                         /
    // Set to 1 for ON or 0 for OFF
    #define USE_SMAA_ANTIALIASING 1 //[0 or 1] SMAA Anti-aliasing : Smoothens jagged lines using the SMAA technique.
    #define USE_FXAA_ANTIALIASING 0 //[0 or 1] FXAA Anti-aliasing : Smoothens jagged lines using the FXAA technique
    #define USE_CARTOON       	  0 //[0 or 1] Cartoon : "Toon"s the image.
    #define USE_ADVANCED_CRT      0 //[0 or 1] Advanced CRT : Simulates an old CRT TV display. Set gaussian blur along with it to get a halation effect
    #define USE_BLOOM             1 //[0 or 1] Bloom : Makes bright lights bleed their light into their surroundings (relatively high performance cost)
    #define USE_HDR               1 //[0 or 1] HDR : Not actual HDR - It just tries to mimic an HDR look (relatively high performance cost)
    #define USE_LUMASHARPEN       1 //[0 or 1] LumaSharpen : Also sharpens the antialiased edges which makes them less smooth - I'm working on fixing that.
    #define USE_GAUSSIAN          0 //[0 or 1] Gaussian Blur : can be used to... blur, but also bloom/hazy/glowy look, also unsharp masking
    #define USE_FILMGRAIN         0 //[0 or 1] Filmgrain effect
    #define USE_TECHNICOLOR       0 //[0 or 1] TECHNICOLOR : Attempts to mimic the look of an old movie using the Technicolor three-strip color process (Techicolor Process 4)
    #define USE_DPX               1 //[0 or 1] Cineon DPX : Should make the image look like it's been converted to DXP Cineon - basically it's another movie-like look similar to technicolor.
    #define USE_MONOCHROME        0 //[0 or 1] Monochrome : Monochrome makes the colors disappear.
    #define USE_LIFTGAMMAGAIN     1 //[0 or 1] Lift Gamma Gain : Adjust brightness and color of shadows, midtones and highlights (avoids clipping)
    #define USE_TONEMAP           1 //[0 or 1] Tonemap : Adjust gamma, exposure, saturation, bleach and defog. (may cause clipping)
    #define USE_VIBRANCE          1 //[0 or 1] Vibrance : Intelligently saturates (or desaturates if you use negative values) the pixels depending on their original saturation.
    #define USE_CURVES            1 //[0 or 1] Curves : Contrast adjustments using S-curves.
    #define USE_SEPIA             0 //[0 or 1] Sepia : Sepia tones the image.
    #define USE_VIGNETTE          1 //[0 or 1] Vignette : Darkens the edges of the image to make it look more like it was shot with a camera lens. May cause banding artifacts.
    #define USE_DITHER            1 //[0 or 1] Dither : Applies dithering to simulate more colors than your monitor can display. This lessens banding artifacts (mostly caused by Vignette)
    #define USE_BORDER            0 //[0 or 1] Border : Makes the screenedge black as a workaround for the bright edge that forcing some AA modes sometimes causes.
    #define USE_SPLITSCREEN       0 //[0 or 1] Splitscreen : Enables the before-and-after splitscreen comparison mode.
  • icewind123icewind123 Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 170
    edited September 2013
    SMAA may be better than the ingame AA but still I can't stand it. The problem is that it looks well on still scenes, but when you move the camera or there's alot of movement in the picture itself there's flickering / it doesn't look so smooth as real AA.

    I hope one day we'll get real AA. If you have a powerful PC I recommend downsampling, it looks way better than SMAA. Downsampling works for Rome2 as it supports even the 2560x1440 resolution.

    Downsampling for NVIDA cards is more easy (just google for it) but this technique works for ATI:

    I tried this out some days ago and it was working allright, its eating too much FPS for my system though to play at my 16:9 screen. Basicly you tell your monitor to run at 2560x1440 if you're running normally at 1920x1080 and the game will let you chose the higher resolution.

    The game as it looks in 1680x1050 and my low-medium detail settings and no ingame AA:

    Game running at 1920x1200

    Game running at 2560x1440

    As you can see the UI is getting smaller, but the graphics are way more crips. I'm playing at my 16:10 screen now with the 1920x1200 setup.

    For my 16:9 full hd screen the next downsampling resolution would be 2560x1440 so 1920x1200 instead of is way better for performance.
    Start putting RTW2 into your STEAM garbage collection today. The only place where it belongs until it has been patched properly.

    Do you enjoy RTW2?
  • ShoccoShocco Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 235
    edited September 2013
    Cool could you post before and after screens?
  • ThalesMMLThalesMML Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 297
    edited September 2013
    There are many options in SweetFX. I use high settings usually. This is the difference:


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