I have a very basic question, honestly just the name/definition would help, about the way old games did their textures/graphics. I have this picture from a game called Mother. I'm wondering what the name is of the circled edges is called. In old games, the more diagonal an edge was to the players perspective, the more pixelated the line was. As you turned to look at it more dead on, it would become one flat edge. What is this called and can it be done it blender or is this accomplished more in the game engine you are working in? Is it based on low res textures or the object mesh or shading? Any help would be greatly appreciated as I have been racking my brain trying to remember what this is called. Thank you.

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    $\begingroup$ The word you are looking for is Aliasing. Edges that become jagged based on angle are referred to as aliased. You don't see as much of it these days because much work has gone into Anti-Aliasing technology (as it is generally considered undesirable). I think the closest you can come to re-introducing aliasing in blender is to go to Preferences > Viewport > Quality and turn it off. This may only affect the viewport and not renders, though. $\endgroup$ Apr 20, 2021 at 4:10
  • $\begingroup$ Also, if you are using Cycles, you can go to the Film section of the Render Properties tab and turn the Pixel Filter down as low as it can go (0.01 I think - Gaussian may also work as the best type). $\endgroup$ Apr 20, 2021 at 4:15
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    $\begingroup$ "To reduce or remove anti-aliasing in Cycles, turn down the Gaussian width in the Film section of the Render settings." (blender.stackexchange.com/a/3554/61453) $\endgroup$ Apr 20, 2021 at 4:59

1 Answer 1


This is called stair-stepping, or the staircase effect. It's the lack of anti-aliasing causing this effect.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you everyone who has replied that really helped a lot. One more question; if I wanted to have aliased edges like this on purpose in a game to replicate old graphics, is that something I would do in engine? (Using unreal if it helps) $\endgroup$
    – Joey N
    Apr 21, 2021 at 21:07
  • $\begingroup$ I believe so, it's part of their post-processing pipeline. Docs say it can be disabled - docs.unrealengine.com/en-US/RenderingAndGraphics/… $\endgroup$ Apr 21, 2021 at 21:58

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