AMD have now released more details.
Since the dawn of the 3D era, characters in your favorite games have largely featured totally unrealistic hair: blocky and jagged, often without animation that matches your character’s movements. Many games have attempted to disguise the problem with short haircuts, updos, or even unremovable helmets. But why? Simply: realistic hair is one of the most complex and challenging materials to accurately reproduce in real-time. Convincingly recreating a head of lively hair involves drawing tens of thousands of tiny and individual semi-transparent strands, each of which casts complex shadows and requires anti-aliasing. Even more challengingly, these calculations must be updated dozens of times per second to synchronize with the motion of a character.
It is actually pretty amazing what they have shown. The source has now been updated with a lot more detail and some comparison screenshots and is worth a look.
AMD have released a vague, teaser style image on their blog for something call TRESSFX which is being touted as 'a new frontier of realism in PC gaming'. That's pretty much it! However, if we do a bit of investigating we can learn a bit from this. Tress is defined as a long lock of a woman's hair which leads us to believe that TRESSFX is a new way of rendering hair to make it look realistic. Details have been cut short but are detailed enough so we don't brush them off.
We would imagine hair would be pretty complex to render in a realistic fashion and if this new technique is in fact a good follicle renderer and it can do hair well (seeing as though that is it's mane focus), then perhaps it will also be an advanced particle renderer for realistic clothing, fog and materials etc. Anyway, this is all speculation at the moment and we are assured that we will learn more about this on the 26th of February. We almost missed getting this to you before, it certainly was a close shave.
What do you think of it could be and how far it could go? Is this something you've been longing for or will you part with it? Feel free to nit pick.