Tuesday, February 26th 2013

AMD TressFX Technology Detailed

AMD unveiled the new TressFX technology it teased us with, earlier this week. The technology, as predicted, works to create realistic hair rendering and physics; but we imagine it could be applied to foliage and hopefully, furry donuts as well. It will be first implemented in the 2013 reboot title of the Tomb Raider franchise, in which Lara Croft finally parted with her braid. TressFX helps accurately render Croft's hair, drawing finer locks of hair than pre-rendered hair textures plastered on bigger hair polygons that look unnatural. The free and fluid nature of these locks can then be used to accurately draw the effects of wind and water onto the hair. Below are a few before-after instances of TressFX.

Technically, TressFX is a toolset co-developed by AMD and Crystal Dynamics, which taps into DirectCompute to unlock the number-crunching prowess of the GPU (specifically Graphics CoreNext ones), to render individual strands of hair. It is built on the foundation laid by AMD's work on Order Independent Transparency (OIT), and uses Per-Pixel Linked-List (PPLL) data structures to manage rendering complexity and memory usage. DirectCompute is additionally used to process the physics of these strands of hair, which are affected by the character's motion, and elements such as wind and water/rain. TressFX will be implemented at least on the PC version of the upcoming Tomb Raider.
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100 Comments on AMD TressFX Technology Detailed

#1
theJesus
So is this something that will only work on AMD cards?
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#2
okidna
by: btarunr
It will be first implemented in the 2013 reboot title of the Tomb Raider franchise, in which Lara Croft finally parted with her braid.
She already parted with her braid in "Tomb Raider : Legend", back with braid in "Tomb Raider : Anniversary" and without braid again in "Tomb Raider : Underworld" and "Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light".

Call me braid-mania :D

On topic, looks nice, and as usual hoping for low performance hit when this hair-thingy enabled :D

by: theJesus
So is this something that will only work on AMD cards?
AMD didn't say anything about compatibility but here's a hint :
DirectCompute is additionally utilized to perform the real-time physics simulations for TressFX Hair. This physics system treats each strand of hair as a chain with dozens of links, permitting for forces like gravity, wind and movement of the head to move and curl Lara’s hair in a realistic fashion. Further, collision detection is performed to ensure that strands do not pass through one another, or other solid surfaces such as Lara’s head, clothing and body. Finally, hair styles are simulated by gradually pulling the strands back towards their original shape after they have moved in response to an external force.

Graphics cards featuring the Graphics Core Next architecture, like select AMD Radeon™ HD 7000 Series, are particularly well-equipped to handle these types of tasks, with their combination of fast on-chip shared memory and massive processing throughput on the order of trillions of operations per second.
http://blogs.amd.com/play/tressfx/
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#3
AphexDreamer
Can this be used to help Crysis 3's Ropy Physics? Maybe make it more hairy?
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#4
Ferrum Master
AMD has a crush on Lara... no doubt...

They should make a flurry cat demo :D
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#6
Dj-ElectriC
If this includes realistic boob movement i will sell my two 680s and get two 7970s
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#7
Ferrum Master
by: Dj-ElectriC
If this includes realistic boob movement i will sell my two 680s and get two 7970s
Btw it made me thought, that old Lara had BIGGER boobs - damn it...

A PATCH, we demand a game PATCH :roll:
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#8
AsRock
TPU addict
by: Dj-ElectriC
If this includes realistic boob movement i will sell my two 680s and get two 7970s
I was thinking that went the first news hit TPU.

BoobFX for the win
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#9
LAN_deRf_HA
I was very disappointed to see her boobs are inanimate in the gameplay I've seen. And I don't even mean that in a har har way it just feels like we're way past time for having more fluid bodies in video games. Enough of this everything is moving rocks stuff.

Also this http://www.ouidad.com/TressFX-Curl-Styling-Gel
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#10
TRWOV
by: theJesus
So is this something that will only work on AMD cards?
As it is based on DirectCompute it should work in every card that supports it but will run undoubtedly better on HD7000 cards due to their tremendous DC performance compared to other cards.
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#11
alienstorexxx
by: TRWOV
As it is based on DirectCompute it should work in every card that supports it but will run undoubtedly better on HD7000 cards due to their tremendous DC performance compared to other cards.
i agree
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#12
renz496
i wonder if this will give amd cards definite advantage for this game. just a few days ago they were claiming Crysis 3 was very optimized for their card. but any performance review that i can find shows that GTX680 are pretty much equal to 7970 Ghz Ed in term of performance.
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#13
RejZoR
All this fuss ONLY about hair? Are they fuckin shitting me? Not even a full fledged physics engine. Hair. Let me say it again. HAIR. Dafuck?
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#14
badtaylorx
by: RejZoR
All this fuss ONLY about hair? Are they fuckin shitting me? Not even a full fledged physics engine. Hair. Let me say it again. HAIR. Dafuck?
this is worth the effort... bad hair is just another immersion hindrance. the realer the better imo.

wonder how long it will take em to get a woman's "wet hair" look down???

try that with chains!!! lol
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#15
RejZoR
So hair is more important than a fully destructible world with physical environmental weather effects. I am amazed how can they waste so much potential on something as unimportant as hair.
Sure it's nice if it's realistic but c'mon!? Lara had physics affected hair in Tomb Raider, back in 1998 ?
It was basic and all but they did it on shit CPU's from that time and it sort of looked pretty good, Lara's hair tail swinging around...
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#16
SaltyFish
by: RejZoR
So hair is more important than a fully destructible world with physical environmental weather effects. I am amazed how can they waste so much potential on something as unimportant as hair.
Sure it's nice if it's realistic but c'mon!? Lara had physics affected hair in Tomb Raider, back in 1998 ?
It was basic and all but they did it on shit CPU's from that time and it sort of looked pretty good, Lara's hair tail swinging around...
Rendering good flow in CGI has always been difficult. Even today, take a look at characters with loose hair past their necks in a CGI cartoon or a video game. They don't do realistic flow, if any. That's why you often see ponytails and braids and really short hair in such works.

Personally, I think the hair flow is a bigger achievement than an engine with fully destructible environments and/or environmental effects. Fully destructible environments are limited by game developers not wanting to deal with the possibilities. How deep should a hole be allowed in the ground? Should the player be allowed to blow down a wall to enter any building? You can see how that's a less of a hardware limitation (even though it would be memory intensive). As for environmental effects, you can easily fake wet telephone poles with texture changes when it starts raining. Yeah, hair flow is not as "felt" on the gaming side. But it's still revolutionary when it comes to immersion and it's something future developers can easily use without affecting the more mechanical parts of their games.

If it makes you feel better, the hair flow effects can theoretically be applied to other things such as tall grass and animal fur.

Also, anyone have a video of TressFX in action rather than static screenshots?
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#18
omnimodis78
Isn't this exactly the same thing as Dawn's hair (nVidia's "A New Dawn" demo) - it looks amazing. Here's nVidia's description of that aspect of the demo (and especially pay attention to the very last sentence...)

"Another area of dramatic improvement is Dawn’s hair. The original Dawn had individual hair strands, but they were few and far between. A mere 1,700 adorned her head and the shader only modeled for specular reflections. The original Dawn also used a rock hard hairspray to ensure her hair never budged a millimeter; all the GPU's horsepower was directed at rendering her character as realistically as possible. New Dawn’s hair is a giant leap forward. Thanks to DirectX 11 tessellation, she has gone from a scant 1,700 strands to 40,000 soft locks of hair. Advanced shading allows her beautiful hair to move out of the jet-black color scheme. While still a brunette, you’ll see her hair gently flowing in the wind, reflecting and transmitting light from the environment.

Because hair is so thin, aliasing is a major problem. Traditional antialiasing doesn't work well here, as a strand is often smaller than a pixel and may not be picked up by any of the four-or-so sample points. To alleviate this problem, A New Dawn has a special hair smoothing shader that inspects each strand and blurs them in the combing direction. The final result looks soft and silky, as if she just jumped out of the shower after an extensive conditioner routine."

source: http://www.geforce.com/games-applications/pc-games/a-new-dawn/description
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#19
Solidstate89
It uses DirectCompute as its underlying API. Any DX11 card should be able to utilize this, and that includes nVidia's cards. It doesn't use a proprietary implementation like nVidia's Phys-X hair demos that they put out years ago.
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#20
Xzibit
Nvidias looks more like FiberFX from Lightwave. Not to mention they never brought it into a game all those years with there "THE WAY ITS MEANT TO BE PLAYED" campaing.

Got to atleast hand it to AMD for bringing it to a game less then a year into Gaming Evolved. Next step is to implement it into others and improve on it with time.
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#21
okidna
From Bit-Tech :
As we suspected, AMD's press release has been very carefully worded. 'TressFX is not exclusive to AMD,' a spokesperson for the company has told us. 'It works on any DirectX11 card, similar to some other AMD-built technologies - for example Order-Independent Transparency (OIT) or High Definition Ambient Occlusion (HDAO).' Thus is the truth revealed: any DirectX11-capable graphics hardware, including those from rival Nvidia, will be able to make use of AMD's hair-rendering know-how.

Devon Nekechuck, product manager for high-end discrete desktop graphics at AMD, offers a bit more detail - and a sneaky plug for his company's GCN-based Radeon HD products: 'TressFX will definitely work on any DirectCompute-enabled device. This has roots in the core of Gaming Evolved, where we want to enable technology for all gamers, and not create proprietary features that lock out gamers that use our competitor's products. That said, TressFX is very computationally intensive, and hence games that use TressFX will really be able to benefit from high DirectCompute performance. Because of that, you will see Graphics Core Next-based GPUs excel when it's enabled.'
Source : http://www.bit-tech.net/news/hardware/2013/02/26/amd-tressfx/1
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#23
Fluffmeister
The improvements when enabled are really rather stunning:
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#24
RejZoR
So they sticked some hair on a baldy who was designed to be bald to begin with. Whats next, making Lara hairy where she wasn't intended to be? Pathetic, like they are competing with NVIDIA who will make more retarded post processing physics effects and lock them down to one platform.
F**k that.

It looks patehtic as well. This guy looks like those eggs where you stuff them with cotton and plant some wheat seeds in them so they grow hair. An egg with wheat come over. Nice...
The guy looks better with a bald head. Period.

If anyone bothered to work with some art ANYONE could make some rather realistic har using CPU alone. You wouldn't have 3 billions of hair strands but if anyone would even bother to make clusters of hair taht move based on head movement, freakin CPU Havok could do that. But instead, no one even bothered to do that. Instead pretty much all games used 100% static hair.
So why 100% static or 100% super duper HW accelerated. Like no one knows how to fuckin make something in the middle. They always have to do it on one or another extreme...
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#25
okidna
by: RejZoR
So they sticked some hair on a baldy who was designed to be bald to begin with. Whats next, making Lara hairy where she wasn't intended to be? Pathetic, like they are competing with NVIDIA who will make more retarded post processing physics effects and lock them down to one platform.
F**k that.
Umm.. I think "the bald guy" was supposed to be a joke? :D

Anyway, check this out : http://forums.eidosgames.com/showpost.php?p=1866348&postcount=256
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