AMD introduces TressFX Hair, a new technology that enables more realistic rendering of hair. The feature is supported by the company's GCN based graphics card, like select Radeon HD 7000 series models, and uses the DirectCompute programming language. The first game to feature TressFX Hair is Tomb Raider (2013). More details can be read at AMD's website.
Since the dawn of the 3D era, characters in your favorite games have largely featured totally unrealistic hair: blocky and jagged, often without animation that matches your character’s movements. Many games have attempted to disguise the problem with short haircuts, updos, or even unremovable helmets. But why? Simply: 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.
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.