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Shadows are not anti-aliased correctly.
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Shadow edges, and edges of objects which are in shadow, are not anti-aliased correctly with MSAA enabled (PPAA disabled). Most of the time shadows exhibit no anti-aliasing at all, which is especially noticeable on object edges and distant sharp shadow transitions. It seems that the shadow render pass does not have MSAA enabled regardless of settings. {F17072} {F17073} {F17074} {F17075}


Legacy ID
Steps To Reproduce

Play with AA set to 2x, 4x or 8x and with PPAA turned off, and shadows on at least Standard.

Event Timeline

dylan edited Steps To Reproduce. (Show Details)Mar 6 2013, 7:57 PM
dylan edited Additional Information. (Show Details)
dylan set Category to Engine.
dylan set Reproducibility to Always.
dylan set Severity to Minor.
dylan set Resolution to Reopened.
dylan set Legacy ID to 3887126695.May 7 2016, 11:04 AM
dylan added a subscriber: dylan.May 7 2016, 11:04 AM

Both of the issues reported in the links you have provided are not anti-aliasing issues, just a shadow resolution and mapping issue. However a comment in that first link does hint to the object/shadow edge jaggy issue caused by the lack of anti-aliasing.

This problem does not present itself on the surfaces of nearby surfaces, because the sampling rate (the resolution) of rendering is higher than that of the projection of the shadow map. It occurs when the projected shadow has a higher projected screen-space resolution than the rendering resolution. It also occurs on object edges where the surface discontinuity is not multi-sampled. The solution of enabling MSAA will only fix the latter effect (edge AA). Super sampling of shadows (but not the geometry) is required to fix the entire problem, which is easy to implement by enabling per-sample fragment shading with MSAA.

Dupe of #0000351.

Re-opening as this was incorrectly closed. Sorry.

dylan added a comment.Mar 21 2013, 9:42 PM

Thanks for reopening.

dylan added a comment.Mar 21 2013, 9:47 PM

BTW, this problem also applies to Very High and Ultra shadow settings.

oldy41 added a comment.Apr 6 2013, 3:58 PM


It took a while for me until I realized that this bug is responsible for a lot of the flickering in bright daylight scenes. Disabling shadows yielded a rather surprising improvement, but this is not my preferred option.

Given that I would also suggest to raise severity of this issue. Imho it has a significant impact on visual appearance.

I uploaded a couple pics which I felt were missing from this feedback. I believe the pics are related to this issue, if not let me know and I'll create my own report.

What I've noticed, is with anti aliasing turned on, objects with a shadowy backdrop don't receive proper AA. This is most noticed during the day looking at railings.

When you have AA turned on, the edges of objects in shadows are highlighted by a much brighter than they should be, resembling the background minus shadow effect.
Turning off AA makes it look fine.
Turning off shadows makes it look fine.
But the combination of shadows + AA looks rather poor.

I'm constantly stuck between AA on for nice medium and long range, but turning it off for some CQC in towns.

dylan added a comment.Apr 12 2013, 2:26 PM

@RuecanOnRails Yes, those screenshots demonstrate one of the most noticeable artifacts (the edge highlights) caused by this problem. Another is that distant shadows of distant objects are jaggy.

Can anyone else confirm that there has been an improvement with one of the latest dev builds?
Antialiasing still is not applied correctly to shadows and edges in front of shadows, but the flickering of the jaggy edges seems to be reduced. But maybe its just my wishful thinking...

Edit: Sorry, no improvement visible. Hope dies last ;-)

Buzzz added a comment.Jun 29 2013, 3:05 PM

Still present on Beta.
It's not acceptable for a 2013 game...

You don't AA shadows, you increase the shadow resolution, it's more efficient.

I'm not even sure that you can actually apply AA to shadows. I've never had the option to do it in any game engine, you just increase the shadow resolution.

dylan added a comment.Jun 29 2013, 6:36 PM

@Nicolii You are not thinking of the same AA. You are thinking of AA on the shadow map. This report is about FSAA in screen space of the screen shadow pass. In most game engines this type of AA is almost always present, and is indistinguishable from normal FSAA. Arma 3 is anomalous in not having this feature. Look at the attached screenshots to notice the problem this causes. You can see the light artifacts on object edges it causes.

Assigned? That's brilliant!

Please could you make sure to fix this with supersampling in the fragment shader using per-sample fragment shading, so that not only are the white edge jaggies gone, but distant oblique shadows (whose artefacts are not caused by edge aliasing) are also fixed? Or if that proves too much of a performance hit could you add it as an option?

I realise this is all quite fiddly in a deferred pipeline (due to the deferred MSAA surfaces), but it does have a large impact on the graphics quality.

Buzzz added a comment.Sep 10 2013, 9:39 PM

I really don't understand how it can be considered as a minor issue by BIS team...

@Buzzz, The people involved with reporting listed it as a minor issue, not the BIS team.

It's listed as a minor issue because it truly is. A slight visual annoyance at best. There were far more pressing issues that needed to get addressed first.
I'm glad to see it has been assigned and getting attention before final release.

Buzzz added a comment.Sep 11 2013, 8:34 PM

Sorry then. I thought it was BIS who defined the severity. I understand, that there were more severe issue, but for me this one is not minor.
A bug is a bug. Beta testing id made to find bugs and correct them. When a bug is found and not corrected before the product release, the product is NOT finished.
But selling a software with known bugs doesn't worry anyone these days and that's a pity. Releasing on time at any cost date is what counts...

oldy41 added a comment.Dec 4 2013, 8:11 AM

could you please provide a small indication, whether you are intending to fix this?

Imho, this is THE one bug affecting visual appearance which really needs fixing. Altis and Stratis could look so great in bright daylight, but the flickering edges are really spoiling my holidays in the Mediterranean...
Currently I only play with overcast weather, which tends to be a bit depressing on the longterm...

Once you notice the bad shadow maps, you can't unnotice them. Please address this.

This ticket was submitted more than a year ago! BIS, PLEASE FIX IT FINALLY!

This really needs to be fixed. With the sharpening filter, the effect gets even worse.

Shift added a subscriber: Shift.May 7 2016, 11:04 AM
Shift added a comment.Dec 13 2014, 5:24 AM

i have bought a new laptop with a GeForce 840M video card and am having the same shadow bug described here. also i have found a ticket that is also about this bug, its

No, I am pretty sure that's a different issue.
This one here seems to be caused by the architecture of the rendering pipeline. It is independent from specific hardware or drivers.

Wait, is the problem with shadows or Ambient Occlusion?

Its all about shadows.
Edges in front of shadows or shaded surfaces are not processed by anti aliasing.

Shift added a comment.Dec 14 2014, 3:59 PM

i'm sorry, this is not the problem i have, i posted in the wrong ticket, i have the other one

sc_neo added a subscriber: sc_neo.Nov 4 2016, 12:51 PM

any news on this? Still happens with latest amd drivers as well. It really depends on the angle you are looking at something with sun shine on it. Disabling either fxaa or shadows completely solves the problem....but thats kinda no solution really. This issue has been aroudn since the alpha in 2013 apparently and it really degrades visual quality.

@dazhbog As you may be aware, there are a couple of tickets with this very same issue here on the feedback tracker and some threads on the official forums. Another ticket with a good demonstration and suggestions as to the nature of the problem can be found in this ticket:

This issue has been around since the early access release of arma 3 and i have not seen any comment or response in any of those forum threads nor tickets here from a QA or arma 3 dev as of yet. Would you please be so kind as to bring this to the attention of the devs in charge of the renderer. Even if this cannot be fixed during arma 3s lifetime, an official response as to what is exactly going on and why it cannot be fixed would be greatly appreciated. The userbase does not expect every bug and inconsistency be fixed instantly. But communicating why something stays the way it is helps uphold this expection and understanding.

If you need more pictures/videos as a demonstation let me know. Thx mate.