Despite how far graphics have come over the years, creating realistic hair for anything in a video game is pretty much impossible. Developers and animators have managed to make hair look decent enough, but creating a real looking set of hair involves having upwards of ten thousand strands of hair animated at one time that must also match up with every motion the character makes.
However AMD Gaming Evolved and Crystal Dynamics have teamed up to create a piece of technology that will address those technical challenges. Through painstaking work, the companies have managed to come up with the first ever real-time hair lighting and physics system that they are calling TressFX Hair and they have demonstrated how it looks with Tomb Raider’s Lara Croft.
According to the statement from Square Enix, 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.”
Below you’ll find two galleries, the first showing how Lara Croft’s hair looks with the normal PC visuals and hair styling, and below that in the second gallery you can see how amazing Lara’s hair looks when created with TressFX.
Created with TressFX: