AMD unveils TressFX hair rendering technology (pics)

By on February 26, 2013, 4:00 PM

Earlier this week, some of you may have seen the teasers regarding AMD's TressFX physics and rendering technology. Today, the chip-maker unveiled details about TressFX -- its new toolset for creating life-like locks. The system promises a future where rendered hair features both  realistic looks and equally realistic movements.

TressFX is the fruit of a partnership between AMD and Crystal Dynamics -- the game studio who managed to snag control of the iconic Tomb Raider franchise roughly a decade ago. Not surprisingly, the next Tomb Raider installment -- essentially a franchise reboot -- depicts the tomb-diving heroine Lara Croft with flowing locks of finely rendered hair, rather than her trademark bundle of hair-like blocks.

Hair found throughout the history of gaming titles has traditionally been a collection of some low-number of polygons with a hair-like texture mapped over top of it. TressFX creates a system where developers can have thousands of individual, flexible "strands" of hair that can be influenced by gravity, wind, movement and even moisture. The strands are treated as solid constructs, unable to clip past other objects. This should make the perceivable results of TressFX particularly realistic.

AMD's sophisticated hair tools are based on its previous work with Order Independent Transparency (OIT), making use of Per-Pixel Linked-List (PPLL) data structures to manage memory usage and rendering complexity. TressFX also leverages the massively-parallel processing power afforded by DirectCompute, taking full advantage of AMD's GCN-based hardware.

Although AMD doesn't say specifically, Nvidia's line-up also supports DirectCompute and OIT (pdf). This may suggest TressFX will work across a broader variety of GPUs than just AMD Radeons. However, it's a safe bet that TressFX will work best, if not exclusively, with Radeon GPUs.




User Comments: 21

Got something to say? Post a comment
Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I have to admit, her hair does look good! nice to see someone is making progress in this area!

JC713 JC713 said:

Isnt this basically like nvidias CUDA hair?

3 people like this | Guest said:

Can't wait to see what Agent 47 looks like with this technology.

MrAnderson said:

Isnt this basically like nvidias CUDA hair?

[Edit]

PCPer reports "I asked AMD a couple of questions including if this was going to be a technology that NVIDIA users would be missing out on. Their response? "We don't create features that lock out other vendors." "

Full Article:

[link]

[/Edit]

Nvidia had tech demos showing they can do hair on many occassions. They have worked with developers to arrive to specific effects in games, but it does not look like they pushed specific examples of the technology in which all developers can leverage, as a tools. There is Nvidia Apex??

Maybe they have Hair in the Apex toolset, which includes Physx support??? - I'm not sure. It does seem AMD is (for a change) being agressive, at least for a new hair tool.

I must say I would want the hair version after seeing it without. I cannot go back now! I hope Nvidia has worked with Crystal Dynamics for a shader branch for hair on Geforce or I will be not happy... ... no really.. not happy >:|

1 person liked this | Guest said:
Puiu Puiu said:

I wonder if this will be available in the new xbox and ps4 consoles. It should be.

dennis777 dennis777 said:

Wow... graphics cards on conditioners... I like!!

captainawesome captainawesome said:

I must say I like this. It was getting pretty lame with the sausage-roll-like hair clipped to a persons head. And this is especially important for Tomb Raider [being a fan of the franchise] I can tell you this has been lacking.

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

New hair tech, the best kind of graphics benchmarking! On a side note, Lara Croft running around in a muddy jungle probably wouldn't have hair straight from a Garnier commercial.

Guest said:

How about some realistic skin textures? I find the blowup doll aspect more annoying in games today than chunky hair.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Well well lookey there, beautiful waving hair. It waves so nicely I feel like waving back. Seriously though, I'm glad to see somebody's at last doing something about the lousy textures we always see. Now if only they could also do something about the in-game character finger dexterity among other things.

1 person liked this | Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Now if only they could also do something about the in-game character finger dexterity among other things.

Haha! Do you remember GTA: SA? everyone's hands were stuck together and barely moved! Things have moved on a little bit since but not much.

I hope this new gen of console will push stuff like this forward, since the polygon count is now higher than ever on characters and we can make old men look emotional I hope in the next few years we see fingers move individually and skin tones that look realistic, I think its now possible

kuroiei kuroiei said:

As I do tend to watch those trends, in regard to my work, this one is very nice thing to see! This is not realistic as CAD and pre-rendered hair goes, but a huge advancement over the previous low-poly generation. I just hope for two things: optimized (fast simulation) and cross-platform availability. I do own a couple of Nvidia cards, mainly for CUDA - for advanced video editing effects. I would love this on an Nvidia card, for gaming purposes though.

Chazz said:

As I do tend to watch those trends, in regard to my work, this one is very nice thing to see! This is not realistic as CAD and pre-rendered hair goes, but a huge advancement over the previous low-poly generation. I just hope for two things: optimized (fast simulation) and cross-platform availability. I do own a couple of Nvidia cards, mainly for CUDA - for advanced video editing effects. I would love this on an Nvidia card, for gaming purposes though.

I hope they make it cross platform too, but I'd just like to point out the irony. You purchased Nvidia for an exclusive feature yet you dislike exclusivity. haha :P

lipe123 said:

Hmm I don't get it, I thought Nvidia already did something like this before, its even almost called the same: tesselation

Here is a link from 2008! www.nvidia.ca/object/siggraph-2008-hair.html

There is also countless tech demo's on youtube about it.

1 person liked this | Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Haha! Do you remember GTA: SA? everyone's hands were stuck together and barely moved! Things have moved on a little bit since but not much.

I hope this new gen of console will push stuff like this forward, since the polygon count is now higher than ever on characters and we can make old men look emotional I hope in the next few years we see fingers move individually and skin tones that look realistic, I think its now possible

Yes I do. I was actually thinking of the opening cut scene with Sonny in GTA Vice City when I posted this.

Geforcepat Geforcepat said:

Just picked up a 7930 aka 7870 Tahiti.cant wait to see this in action.

Souvs Souvs said:

Just picked up a 7930 aka 7870 Tahiti.cant wait to see this in action.

great card indeed

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Just picked up a 7930 aka 7870 Tahiti.cant wait to see this in action.

With a name of Geforcepat, you bought AMD??? Is it for you?

MrAnderson said:

How about some realistic skin textures? I find the blowup doll aspect more annoying in games today than chunky hair.

You mean you don't find it a little disturbing when characters have, what looks like, a full head of flowing hair and when they move their head... it turns into a hat? I think it is great that we have enough power in the graphics cards so that our hero characters can have great looking hair. It adds to the detail for me. Honestly I would not have thought anything of it (besides the normal notice oh waving block ponytail), but not that I have seen the strands... I cannot go back.

I think Skin textures have come a long way, but sometimes even when it can look more real I think some designers like to produce something more stylized because other aspects of the character might hurt because all the hardware to make "realistic" characters is just not yet available in realtime at a consumer level price point.

I'm so looking forward to the Live Stream next week!!!

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.