Anti-Aliased ScalingAnti-aliasing is a method of drawing text or pictures which smooths edges, and avoids jagged edges ("jaggies").
In this article we'll discuss anti-aliasing as applied to scaling down (shrinking) bitmap images.
Imagine that we have a bitmap such as this picture:
If we look at the bitmap on a larger scaling (enlarging so that you can see the individual pixels), it might look something like this:
Now imagine that we wish to scale that bitmap down to a smaller size.
To achieve this, each pixel would need to cover a larger area:
However, if you look at the above diagram, you will see that many pixel cells contain more than one color. In our final image however, each pixel can only contain one color, so we need to do a bit more work.
One simple way to achieve this task, might be simply to pick one of the colors in each pixel cell (perhaps the predominant color in each cell). This is approach (not anti-aliased) would produce an image that looked like this:
While this approach works, and produces a nice sharp image, it also loses a lot of detail (for example, if you look at the pink stripes in the cake, you will notice gaps where the pink color has disappeared completely). Additionally, as you can see, it does look a little bit jagged (see "Jaggies").
An alternative idea would be to average the colors in each pixel cell (anti-aliasing), producing an image like this:
This time, it doesn't look jagged, but it does (to some eyes at least), look a little blurred. This difference will become clearer when we compare the images at their final sizes.
Returning to normal size, let's see what the final result is
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