As teased from yesterday, AMD has unveiled their TressFX technology and as expected it's utilized to bring a new level of realism to, well, hair. What better application for such a technology than none other than Lara Croft from the upcoming Tomb Raider release. Described as an "iconic character" with an "iconic ponytail," TressFX modernizes the character while also tackling what AMD describes as one of the most challenging and complex materials in gaming graphics.
Utilizing Microsoft's DirectCompute technology that released with DirectX 11 (but runs on both 10 and 11 GPUs) and the parallel processing power of AMD's Direct Core Next architecture, AMD claims TressFX is able to deliver pre-rendered quality to hair. This also allows for real-time physics for individual strands of hair, treated as chains of links that react to gravity, wind, and the movement of Lara's head.
Certainly, the images provided by AMD look like significant graphical improvements, but it's difficult to confirm their claims without gameplay footage. As in, it's easy to point at a picture and say her hair is sitting that way due to wind, but impossible to confirm without seeing the wind and hair in motion.Even with footage to confirm the physics involved in TressFX, the visual upgrade is significant. Bravo.
In the gallery below there is a series of nine images with both original and TressFX versions, and then seven extra image to highlight the high quality of the tech. Err, that is, just note which images are using TressFX and which aren't from the filenames.