If you were reading the news last week, you probably saw our report about TressFX Hair—a new, DirectCompute-accelerated hair simulation technology developed by Crystal Dynamics in collaboration with AMD. Sadly, at the time, we only had static screenshots to show you.
And, ya know, it's kinda hard to judge a physics simulation system based on stills.
Luckily, a video of TressFX Hair in action has popped up on the official Tomb Raider YouTube channel. At long last, you can see Lara Croft's hardware-accelerated locks in motion, swaying and blowing in the rainy breeze as she navigates fearlessly through fast cuts of in-game footage.
I would have preferred less jumpy clips with better lighting, but hey, I'll take what I can get. The footage certainly look nice. TressFX may not simulate hair to the same degree of precision as offline renderers, but it provides a better approximation than most other game engines do. (I think barbers and stylists everywhere are still haunted by nightmares of Skyrim characters with mops or mixtures of straw and Krazy Glue for hair. Yeesh.)
TressFX Hair is premiering in the new Tomb Raider reboot, which came out earlier today. You can nab it now on Steam for $49.99. Tomb Raider is also included with Radeon HD 7800-series graphics cards as part of AMD's Never Settle Reloaded bundle.