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Post by Eorl @ 11:11am 27/02/13 | 15 Comments
Hair is big business in the world of gaming (unless you are playing Hitman) and hardware giant AMD has unveiled an entirely new hair technology to help combat those bad hair days. Titled TressFX, the new DirectCompute programming language is able to unlock "the massively-parallel processing capabilities of the Graphics Core Next architecture, enabling image quality previously restricted to pre-rendered images." In more simpler terms, the new system allows for prettier hair.

Currently AMD is trialling the new technology in upcoming action title Tomb Raider, where iconic character Lara Croft will be giving a mane full of realistic hair that will surely combat any enemies along her way.
Lara Croft is an iconic character with an equally iconic ponytail. Re-imagining Lara and her haircut for the 2013 release of Tomb Raider wasn’t just an opportunity to modernize the character, it was an opportunity to substantially advance in-game realism by tackling the long-standing challenge of unrealistic hair. Through painstaking collaboration between software developers at AMD and Crystal Dynamics, Tomb Raider proudly features the world’s first real-time hair rendering technology in a playable game: TressFX Hair.

Building on AMD’s previous work on Order Independent Transparency, this method makes use of Per-Pixel Linked-List data structures to manage rendering complexity and memory usage.

DirectCompute is additionally utilized to perform the real-time physics simulations for TressFX Hair. This physics system treats each strand of hair as a chain with dozens of links, permitting for forces like gravity, wind and movement of the head to move and curl Lara’s hair in a realistic fashion. Further, collision detection is performed to ensure that strands do not pass through one another, or other solid surfaces such as Lara’s head, clothing and body. Finally, hair styles are simulated by gradually pulling the strands back towards their original shape after they have moved in response to an external force.
For those interested in the new AMD feature you'll require a graphics card featuring the Graphics Core Next architecture, like the AMD Radeon HD 7000 series. You can check out a glimpse of the old and new hair compared below (more at our game page), but also swing by AMD's new blog for a more detailed outlook of the new technology. For those who haven't yet, you can also check out AusGamers fresh review on Tomb Raider over here.






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Latest Comments
ravn0s
Posted 12:48pm 27/2/13
i have no idea if my cards feature the graphics core next architecture.
Viper
Posted 12:51pm 27/2/13
Whilst it does look very pretty and is an amazing feat, she is completely covered in mud and her hair looks fresh out of a shampoo commercial.
thermite
Posted 12:54pm 27/2/13
Radeon HD 7000 series have GCN

don't think anything else does
ravn0s
Posted 01:39pm 27/2/13
Radeon HD 7000 series have GCN


my cards are HD 6XXX series :(
Zakson
Posted 01:59pm 27/2/13
Whilst it does look very pretty and is an amazing feat, she is completely covered in mud and her hair looks fresh out of a shampoo commercial.

Oh snap.
Khel
Posted 02:01pm 27/2/13
Maybe shes born with it, maybe its Maybeline
Raven
Posted 02:01pm 27/2/13
Very easy to do this with dark hair, but how does it go with light colours? I'll bet it looks far less realistic.
Khel
Posted 02:04pm 27/2/13
I think I'm becoming too used to how good games and graphics look these days and have become a bit de-sensitised to it. Cos Tomb Raider looks great, sure, but to me its still just a good looking game. But I was at the cinemas last night and saw an ad for it before the movie, and could hear the people in the row in front talking and at first they were thinking it was a pre-rendered animated movie and were then amazed when it was actual gameplay. Are games really starting to look THAT good to the casual observer?
scuzzy
Posted 03:01pm 27/2/13
Someone get the tech they used in Pixars "Brave"
Nerf Lord
Posted 03:05pm 27/2/13
I think I'm becoming too used to how good games and graphics look these days and have become a bit de-sensitised to it. Cos Tomb Raider looks great, sure, but to me its still just a good looking game. But I was at the cinemas last night and saw an ad for it before the movie, and could hear the people in the row in front talking and at first they were thinking it was a pre-rendered animated movie and were then amazed when it was actual gameplay. Are games really starting to look THAT good to the casual observer?

I think it's that for people who have been around this stuff for ages, all we see are the polygons, now just slightly more of them.
skythra
Posted 05:04pm 27/2/13
remember the jump between the nes to the supernes, and then the n64, nothing but amazement. but these days what are you gonna get? Doubling the polygons doesn't substantially change how a game feels or plays and in an action sequence as long as the points of articulation are high enough it doesn't really matter so much
Eorl
Posted 07:31pm 27/2/13
I think what we'll find from this next-gen isn't so much a jump of graphics like we saw in the PlayStation 2 > PlayStation 3, but more so a jump in what is going on in the background. Larger views, more AI, more gameplay mechanics and probably more things to do in general. The graphics will be most likely be on par with Battlefield 3 for the first few years, maybe slightly better, but it will be the back end of things that will be a much larger change.
Nerf Lord
Posted 07:43pm 27/2/13
Also this
ChsSwUE.png
rickah
Posted 02:02pm 07/3/13
Works on GTX670 :D
TiT
Posted 02:04pm 07/3/13
In Tomb Raider i turned the Hair off as i believe it looked to fake and wrong. With it off her hair looks much more natural.
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