AMD's Fidelity FX Contrast Adaptive Sharpening (CAS) feature is being adopted by an increasing amount of games (only last week we reported that Chernobylite added it) and CCP's EVE Online is now the latest title to do so.
Patch 18.05, released yesterday, added the feature to provide clearer visuals in EVE Online. The developers at CCP had previously shared a bit more insight on why they opted to add Contrast Adaptive Sharpening into the spacefaring MMO game.
CAS will accurately sharpen visuals all across New Eden, including areas that have large contrast differences where normal sharpeners often struggle. Furthermore, CAS will be platform agnostic.
As the name suggests, Contrast Adaptive Sharpening (CAS) considers the contrast of the pixels during the sharpening process. Edges and gradients no longer suffer from the same artifact problems shown above, but it still allows for areas that have large contrast differences to be sharpened accurately.
A great example of this in EVE Online is moon surfaces. They have craters, surface rings, mountain ranges, and flat areas that have large contrast differences by design. CAS really shines in this situation, where it successfully allows for the subtle details created by the artists to become clearer in the final render, even with the existing post-processes turned on.
It looks equally as good on ships, where CAS brings out the subtle details of the hulls. You can see this particularly well on the Orca and Naga where paneling and decals are used.
The performance cost of this enhancement is negligible relative to pre-existing post-processing. However, it has been decided that this feature will only be enabled when the ‘Post Processing’ setting within EVE Online is set to ‘High’ for the moment.
CCP also confirmed to be still hard at work on the DirectX 12 client, which should bring a host of performance improvements to EVE Online, although there's no timetable yet.