The Great PS4 Missing AF Mystery *spawn

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by Shortbread, Oct 5, 2015.

  1. Shortbread

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    DF Face-Off: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5
    Although I believe this is not hardware related... but rather SDK/API related. I still think Sony should investigate (more) why certain developers are having a hard time on implementing quality AF into their projects. It's getting pretty ridiculous now...
     
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  2. hesido

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    import_DX_AFSettings.exe
     
  3. Shifty Geezer

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    Actually I'd say this one does prove there's some sort of issue. The game is not visually taxing. If XB1 can have AF in this game, PS4 can. The reason it's not included is because it's clearly not obvious/simple enough for devs to include. Maybe something like on by default on XB1, off by default on PS4 and no-one checks to switch it on? But Sony should make a change to enable it as standard, whether that's in default settings or communication or something else in the tool chain. It's quite frankly ridiculous that we're ~15 years into GPUs adding AF and yet we have games not using it when it's in the hardware. It was bad enough last gen lacked AF. AF is as vital to sharp imagery as AA and everyone's chasing around finding clever AA solutions. Why aren't they using the AF feature in every game where there's clearly no performance bottleneck limiting it?
     
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  4. Billy Idol

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    I still don't get it:

    We have the difference in multiplat games with X1 and PS4 having different levels of AF.

    So, do you say that the X1 versions have AF enabled for all materials? And if PS4 would do the same, the performance penalty would be to much for the PS4. Thus we have multiplats with X1 AF/PS4 no AF. Hence, we need to wait for a patch, where the devs manually change the AF setting for the textures that have the most visual impact to nullify the performance impact AF would cause on the PS4 and make the resulting AF level samey to the X1 version.

    This would then mean that AF is generally better on X1 and iroboto et al. Is right that the PS4 AF problems are(!) actually performance related!

    Or:
    Suppose that devs also use a per texture AF setting on the X1. Evidence for this is the different levels of AF DF reports for different textures and scenes.

    But this would be a strong hint that it is a software problem for PS4 then and not a performance problem (I know AF is not free, but I hope everyone understands the context of 'free' AF meaning that only some textures get AF to minimize impact).

    Maybe something like: on X1 the standard is to use per texture AF settings, on PS4 the standard is to use trilinear filter. And the per texture AF needs to be manually enabled, which then needs to be patched and tested etc etc.
     
  5. function

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    As forumaccount pointed out a couple of pages ago, AF does have a performance hit and it's best selected by artists as and when it's needed (and you can afford it).

     
  6. DSoup

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    Having it on by default and devs have to disable it on a per texture basis sounds like a bad idea. Perhaps a graphics guy can comment but it think the number of textures that would benefit from AF is probably lower than the total number of texturs in a game so do you really want to burn unnecessary GPU cycles?

    I don't think this can be proven. What we have seen is that some PS4 games that have had AF patched in have not suffered unduly in terms of performance but was AF applied against all textures or only against the textures the artist as flagged as needing AF?
     
  7. Shifty Geezer

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    Yes, I was just speaking generally about the difference. There's something MS is doing that Sony isn't that's leading to devs including AF on XB1. So on X1, AF is 'on' by default. Whatever that 'on' is (it shouldn't be AF on every texture), Sony need the same.

    Let me rephrase my statement :

    Why aren't they using the AF feature in each game where there's enough spare performance to allow it, like Tony Hawk? Obviously some games really pushing things may make the sacrifice, but overall in cross-platform titles with no major differences on PS4 should feature it.

    In this specific case, Tony Hawk is a crap game. It's 1080p on both consoles, zero AA, nothing fancy. The choice to forgo AF on PS4 clearly isn't one of a specific platform optimisation chosen to enable a better framerate, as that would mean the choice to enable it on XB1 was deliberate. So 1080p, no AA, everything else the same, large framerate drops, but let's also add AF on XB1 but not on PS4.

    The consistency with which 3rd party titles add AF on X1 but not PS4 means there's a reason, a fundamental difference between the systems at some level (almost certainly the software authoring level and not hardware). TH proves that to me with a high degree of certainty. There's no way in my mind that the devs looked at the game running on both boxes in 1080p @ 60 fps with more framerate issues on X1, and then decided to put in a bit of extra effort to enable AF on X1 but not PS4. What possible though process would lead to that?
     
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  8. Scott_Arm

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    Tony Hawk is a kind of crappy looking game, but it still doesn't hit a locked 60Hz update. As much as it looks like junk, it is possible performance is a reason they didn't include AF. I still don't really understand why PS4 would have any issue with AF over Xbox One, but I just thought I'd point out that the game isn't exactly running well.
     
  9. Shifty Geezer

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    Except they included it on X1 but not PS4, and X1 has more framerates drops than PS4. It can't even be a TRC for X1 as games are released on X1 without it. Well, I guess it could be with some devs managing to ignore TRCs - that happens.
     
  10. Scott_Arm

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    But who knows if AF on PS4 was trashing performance even worse? I'm just saying, if the games were locked 60Hz and it looked basic, you can make a guess that they could have performance "available" to enable it. The game seems to have trouble with transparencies, which are bandwidth intensive, like AF.

    Edit:
    I'd like to clarify, that personally I believe it's most likely an implementation issue in the SDK, where there is a bug or a non-trivial setup. I don't see why the hardware would have any issue, so it has to be software-side.
     
    #10 Scott_Arm, Oct 6, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2015
  11. upnorthsox

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    So its Sony's fault and they should do the work for lazy devs......................just so that we've got that settled.
     
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  12. Shifty Geezer

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    Why would it? With more texture BW and a faster GPU, it should have less impact. Certainly the not difference between 60 fps and say 50 fps consistent so that they felt PS4 was better without while XB1's framerate dips were tolerable.
     
  13. Scott_Arm

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    I have no idea. Performance in that game is already bad, and AF isn't always "free". I don't understand why the hardware would have any issues handling low-levels of AF. I personally think it's an SDK issue.
     
  14. hesido

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    But the fact that the SDK hasn't yet been made "easy to apply AF settings", or that apparently there's not a simple way to import DX per-texture AF settings into PS4 projects is baffling (if the setup part is the problem, devs have no problems setting that up for the Xbox One.)
     
  15. DSoup

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    I'm thinking something in the toolchain. Perhaps there is something that impacts some third party development systems, particularly the tools that deal with asset management.

    I doubt many people are using the basic tools. Many (most?) cross platform developers, particularly those with multiple teams, will likely have their own asset management and development tools that sit on top of Sony's core dev system.
     
  16. Shifty Geezer

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    If there's a way things work that devs are used to using, and one system doesn't operate that way, either the devs need to change their habits or the system needs to change to fit their habits. Neither/both are to blame, depending on whose side one sits. What's apparent here is it's easy for devs to get AF working on XB1 but not on PS4 for the same game. Is Sony's system too abstract/confusing? Are the devs too lazy to look up the "Filtering Amount" on the texture import? Without real insider clarification (what's actually required to enable it? Worst case might be setting some esoteric, poorly documented flags) we can't say, but there must be something Sony can do (literally copy MS's way of handling AF!) to make AF appear in more games, and it's thus in their best interests rather than stubbornly sitting their waiting for devs to do it the Sony way.
     
  17. zed

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    I have a radical idea, whilst I know gaming journalism doesnt exist in any legitimate state.
    But perhaps someone could email the dev's of tonyhawk and ask them why there is no AF on ps4?
    Radical huh
     
  18. Davros

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    Do they have a twitter/facebook page you could ask
     
  19. Rangers

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    Well, Tony Hawk looks to be such a disaster I wouldn't worry about it, quality wasn't something they were too concerned with it seems. If there is some kind of hidden way to turn on AF in PS4 SDK they wouldn't care.
     
  20. Shifty Geezer

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    That's precisely the point! Why is it enabled on XB1 and not PS4 when clearly no particular care was given over to the product? There are no per-platform optimisations - XB1 and PS4 run the same visuals at the same framerate and resolution. So why did the devs feel the need to switch on AF on XB1 and not on PS4? It's suggestive of either a different default behaviour on XB1 and the devs went to no effort to enable it, or that enabling AF was more of a chore on PS4 than the devs could be bothered with.
     
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