ExtremeTech - In our graphics card reviews, we frequently talk about antialiasing and anisotropic filtering. These are advanced techniques used to improve the image quality of 3D graphics. But what exactly are they, and how do they work? Today, our goal is to give you a basic understand of what AA (antialiasing) and AF (anistropic filtering) are, and why you should care about them. What follows in this article is a primer of sorts. To avoid confusion, we have simplified explanations in several areas and made a few generalizations. We have also chosen to avoid performance benchmarks or comparisons of various AA and AF modes on competing graphics cards. All that stuff is useful, and we'll tackle it in time, but we think it's important that our readers have a basic understanding of the techniques before diving down too deeply into specifics.