Watch this: EA shows off Frostbite's hair rendering and simulation capabilities

Polycount

TS Evangelist
Staff member

Game engine creators are always looking to add exciting new features to their engines' toolsets. You need look no further than Crytek's beautifully-rendered Neon Noir tech demo for evidence of that -- the demo proved that hardware-agnostic, engine-based real-time ray tracing is possible in the modern era.

Now, Electronic Arts (EA) wants to prove that its Frostbite engine (best known for powering the Battlefield franchise) is capable of some pretty impressive feats, too. In Part 1 of the publisher's new Frostbite-related blog series, EA showed off the in-house engine's ability to render and simulate hair realistically. You can see a brief demonstration of the effect above.

Obviously, this is not the first time we've seen game-related hair simulation; AMD's TressFX and Nvidia's HairWorks technologies have both been around for a while. However, EA's implementation of the idea, odd shininess aside, is surprisingly convincing -- and even said shininess can likely be chalked up to the lighting used in EA's rendering environment.

Rather than simply trailing behind (as hair tends to do in several modern video games), Frostbite's simulated hair bounces realistically along the demo character's shoulders based on the movement of their torso. Furthermore, as you'll notice, the effect isn't overly exaggerated and there's only a slight bounce while the character walks.

Movement aside, EA also claims its rendering system can handle more exotic hair colors with excellent accuracy -- see an example of that above, as well. While the quality of something like hair simulation is certainly subjective (beauty is in the eye of the beholder, after all), from the videos we've seen so far, Frostbite's hair rendering tech seems pretty solid so far.

With that said, we should note that the demos shown so far were created in tightly-controlled environments. We have no way of knowing how well Frostbite's hair simulation will work in an actual game, nor do we know how much of a performance hit modern systems might take with the tech switched on.

Regardless, we encourage you to leave your thoughts on EA's latest Frostbite advancements in the comments below.

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Markoni35

TS Addict
Hair looks okay, but tits are too small. Please don't copy Hollywood when it comes to women. Hollywood hates women. In the next demo hire some Italian graphic designers. They know what a real woman should look like (hint: Monica Belucci or better).
 

OptimumSlinky

TS Addict
Too bad the engine is hated by "Bioware". :D
Fixed that for you.
And Visceral. And the FIFA team.

Frostbite was designed singularly for Battlefield, and its tools reflect that, hence the struggle to make it work for literally any other genre.

Andrew Wilson has gone on record in a shareholders' earning call that improving the Frostbite tools and developer pipeline is a big priority for EA this year; he wouldn't say that to investors if only one studio was struggling with it.
 
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Mugsy

TS Evangelist
I'm always looking for better (more natural moving) hair renderers.

The big question though is whether the same technique can be applied to clothing?
 

HonestGamer

TS Rookie
Nobody cares about frostbite's hair rendering ability. Instead, they should be focusing on a proper anti-cheat system because whatever they have done so far is completely useless. For example there are (and have been since launch) rampant cheaters in Star Wars Battlefront 2015 where people can aimbot, damage hack heros, infinite jumppack, walk on air, wall hack. Ea/dice is completely incompetent and don't care since they already got their money from people who bought this game as we as countless others. I had a friend who filed a complaint o. Ea"s site was was bluntly told to "hack them back". What kind of a response is that? Their reporting system is garbage and does nothing. I used to waste my time and record video proof of Chester's, upload to YouTube, and paste the link in the report and STILL no response and the cheaters keep cheating. This company is pathetic. Will never spend another dime on ea/dice garbage.
 

Gypsygib

TS Enthusiast
Looks pretty next gen to me. Excited to see it implemented in games and curious about the perf impact.