HairWorks

Technology

Traditionally, fur and hair in games is created by adding polygon strips and transparent textures to a character. Though this is a simple and cheap implementation, the resulting fur and hair appears completely static and visually uninteresting. With dynamic fur and hair, hundreds of thousands of hair strands can be added to characters, each reacting realistically to a character’s movements and external forces. These dynamic hairs also allow for richer color gradients, and interact with light and shadows more naturally than was previously possible. World and local lighting permeates through each layer, with the deepest layers being naturally shadowed, significantly improving image quality.

Using DirectX 11 technology, NVIDIA has developed NVIDIA HairWorks, a platform agnostic tessellated hair technique that adds dynamic volume in place of static meshes comprised solely of detailed textures. In Call of Duty: Ghosts, the first title to feature NVIDIA HairWorks, the protagonist’s dog is seen without body armor, resulting in the rendering of 470,000 individual hairs, which create an accurate, realistic simulation of a German Shepherd.

NVIDIA HairWorks is the the result of years of research and development, going back to the "Nalu Demo." A more complete history on the technology behind HairWorks can be read here.

NVIDIA HairWorks will enable the realistic rendering of characters with dynamic hair and fur in future games.