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Oh My Pretty Hair. Hair In Videogames And Why It’s Important. Past to Present to Next Gen PC And Consoles (From Cloud in FFVII to Lara Croft in Tomb Raider 2013). How Will PS4, Xbox 720 Hair Fare?

19 May

Spikey Yellow Cloud Hair Final Fantasy VII Is Iconic

Cloud in Final Fantasy VII. Realistic hair? No. Iconic hair? HECK YES.

Oh my pretty hair. Remember Cloud? You know that blond spiky headed anime guy from Final Fantasy VII? Of course you know exactly who he is even if you never played FF7. If there is something that gives a video game character well… “character”, it is their hair.

The hair technology in videogames has changed dramatically but has not kept up with advancements in other important game mechanics such us A.I., Physics, Face-Enhancement features ala “LA Noire”, etc. Just to name a few. Why is this? Because it’s SO freakin’ hard to render hair in real time! That’s why!

Lara Croft Hair Tomb Raider 2013 Normal vs Next Gen Screenshot Comparison In Game

Current-gen Lara Croft Tomb Raider 2013 hair on the left vs next-gen on the right.

As should be obvious, the PC has the edge in this videogame hair technology as of right now over consoles (and probably always will). But could this be something that next gen consoles can acquire and do so successfully in comparison to the power of PC technology to render hair? Will the Xbox 720 or the PS4 be able to compete in the videogame hair-rendering department? Well, we’ll just need to wait and find out (and won’t have to wait long, the Xbox 720 will get revealed in TWO DAYS).

TressFX developed by AMD is a technology that allows the hair on a character to render in real time and gives you an immersive experience that’s very lifelike… However this technology is only available on the PC version of games.

If you have a PC copy of the new Tomb Raider 2013 for example, and have plenty of PC horse power (such as an AMD Radeon HD 4870 or better or NVIDIA GeForce 480 GTX or better) you can select this realistic TressFX hair-rendering feature in the Options Menu to really see the difference that realistic hair makes to Lara Croft in Tomb Raider 2013 and to characters in videogames. Females in particular really shine with realistic hair.

Videogame Hair of the Future Next Gen Art

This what hair in videogames of the future (next-gen) will look like!

And what better example than to see this realistic hair on than Lara Croft herself? See realistic videogame hair in action in the video below, which compares Lara Croft’s Tomb Raider 2013 normal hair with the TressFX hair via in-game gameplay footage of both side-by-side.

Also here is the “Fermi Hair Demo” by Nvidia. Brought to you by the DX11 tessellation and the GeForce GTX 400 series video cards that allow you to realistically simulate and render interactive hair in real-time. Check it out!

— Thanks to “FreedomJay” for contributing this article!

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