AMD TressFX Talks Appear Ahead of PlayStation 4 Release Date Rumors
Article by: Kevin Go – For many years, gamers have been suffering from unrealistic, blocky and stiff locks of game characters (pun intended), from Resident Evil’s Jill Valentine to the Tomb Raider’s ever-so-popular Lara Croft, when will all the this jagged tress madness come to an end? Well, Advanced Micro Devices and Crystal Dynamics have just the right solution to your problem.
We all know that anti-alising, shading and shadow mapping are just some of the most demanding tasks a PC’s graphics card often encounter, guess what? Your shiny new GPU ain’t seen nothing yet, AMD’s TressFX promises to offer an even better gaming experience by making your favorite game character’s hair look as realistic as possible.
…realistic hair is one of the most complex and challenging materials to accurately reproduce in real-time. Convincingly recreating a head of lively hair involves drawing tens of thousands of tiny and individual semi-transparent strands, each of which casts complex shadows and requires anti-aliasing. Even more challengingly, these calculations must be updated dozens of times per second to synchronize with the motion of a character.
TressFX takes advantage of your GPU’s massive number-crunching prowess with the help of Microsoft’s DirectCompute, DirectCompute works same way OpenCL and Nvidia’s CUDA does, the CPU’s main job is to basically prepare the data needed and passes the data/workload to the GPU since a single graphics card can sport around hundreds or even thousands of cores that perform computations via parallel processing — a whole lot faster and more efficient than the CPU.
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.
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