Aliasing And Anti-Aliasing

All the pixels in a digital image have a square form. For this reason if you zoom in on areas where there are diagonal lines or circles, you will observe that they have a jagged appearance. This is the aliasing or steps effect. Here you can see an example:

Aliasing

Aliasing

The anti-aliasing algorithms makes this kind of edges look much smoother. The basic idea behind this algorithm is to make an average between the pixels that forms the edge and the pixels nearby them. This will create much smoother edges and it will greatly improve the quality of an image. This algorithm is usually implemented in the software that displays the images, but there are also cameras that have an anti-aliasing option on its own firmware. Here you can see the above image with a 16x anti-aliasing:

Anti-aliasing

Anti aliasing









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