Hi. My apologies if this discussion has been played out already. This topic seems to come up a lot, but I did a quick search and did not quite find the information I was looking for. I'm interested in knowing what is considered the best practice these days, with respect to deferred rendering and anti-aliasing. These are the options, as I understand them:
Use some post-processed blur like FXAA.
I've tried enabling NVidia's built-in FXAA support, but the results were not nearly acceptable. Maybe there is another technique that can do a better job?
Use a multi-sampled MRT, and then handle your own MSAA resolve.
I've never done this before, and I'm anxious to try it for the sake of learning how, but it is difficult for me to understand how this is much better than super-sampling. If I understand MSAA correctly, the memory requirements are the same as for super-sampling. The only difference is that your shader is called fewer times. However, with deferred shading, this really only seems to help save a few material shader fragments, which don't seem very expensive in the first place. Unless I'm missing something, you still have to do your lighting calculations once per sample, even if all of the samples have the same exact data in them. Are the material shader savings (meager, I'm guessing) really worth all of the hassle?
Use Deferred Lighting instead of Deferred Shading.
You'll still have aliased lighting, though, and it comes at the expense of an extra pass (albeit depth-only, if I understand the technique correctly). Is anybody taking this option these days?
NVidia is touting some TXAA technique on their website, although details seem slim. It seems to combine 2X MSAA with some sort of post-process technique. Judging from their videos, the results look quite acceptable, unlike FXAA. I'm guessing that the 2X MSAA would be handled using your own custom MSAA resolve, as described above, but I don't know what processing happens after that.
These all seem like valid options to try, although none of them seem to be from the proverbial Book. It seems to me, though, that forward rendering is a thing of the past, and I would love to be able to fill my scene with lights. I could try implementing all of these techniques as an experiment, but since they each come with a major time investment and learning curve, I was hoping that someone could help point a lost soul in the right direction.
Bonus questions: Is there a generally agreed-upon way to lay out your G-Buffer? I'd like to use this in conjunction with HDR, and so memory/bandwidth could start to become a problem, I would imagine. Is it still best practice to try to reconstruct position from depth? Are half-float textures typically used? Are any of the material properties packed or compressed in a particular way? Are normals stored as x/y coordinates, with the z-coord calculated in the shader?
I'm using OpenGL, if it matters.