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.