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Tomb Conditioner: Lara Has Real-Time Hair, Apparently

I'm not sure how amazeballs this really is in practice, as PC Tomb Raider code is being witheld until the end of the week because reasons, but I dig the concept. Game hair's not great, by and large - some engines certainly do OK by it, but the hair-helmet approach very much remains the norm. AMD's come up with some tech to try and make locks more lustrous. Instead of taking two anti-aliasing systems into the shower, they've devised TressFX (oof), intended to make hair flow and change more convincingly. This will apparently first be seen in the impending Tomb Raider re-reboot, which has "the world’s first real-time hair rendering technology in a playable game", it says here.

What we get, in theory, is the appearance of individual strands, rather than one fixed hair-hat or movable clumps. It can also change appearance if it's wet or wind-swept. My hair does that too, only the outcome of both is that it looks like I'm wearing a giant, fuzzy mushroom on my head.

Anyway, enough about what I shouldn't really but often do refer to as my Jewfro. What about that Lara? Well, here are some screenshots, and there's a bit more guff on how it was done here

As far as I can tell it will work on any GPU with sufficient grunt, rather than being locked to ATI cards, but we'll find out about that when PC TR code lands in a few days.

Following this, what I want to see is the world's first real-time beard and twirly moustache rendering technology in a playable game. That dude in the Witcher has a beard in the third game, you know. Just imagine the hairy, scratchy possibilities!

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Tomb Raider (1996)


Tomb Raider: Underworld

PS3, Xbox 360, PS2, Nintendo Wii, PC, Nintendo DS

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Alec Meer avatar

Alec Meer


Ancient co-founder of RPS. Long gone. Now mostly writes for rather than about video games.