Nvidia Shows GeForce GTX 480 ''Hair'' Rendering

When new GPUs are in development, it's not uncommon for there to be a myriad of tech demos that show all the new realism features afforded by the new technology.

One such steady improvement seen by increasingly powerful graphics hardware is more realistic hair. No longer is hair just a few triangles stuck together, giving 3D characters a look that can only be achieved in real life with an entire can of hairspray.

Netbooknews captured this Nvidia tech demo at GDC, which shows off Fermi's fancy hair rendering prowess.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • N.Broekhuijsen
    wow look: nVidia's first attempt at creating any bit of a hype around Fermi!
  • cryogenic
    I really like cool features on a card (if this is one), but the question that burns us since Fermi was announced is:

    What's the real world performance of Fermi cards today ?

  • leo2kp
    xbeaterwow look: nVidia's first attempt at creating any bit of a hype around Fermi!
    They've been doing nothing but creating hype as far as I'm concerned, but this is one of the first attempts at showing off some of its capability, not that it means a lot right now. How much of that was being calculated on the CPU I wonder?
  • tipoo
    Just like the Human Head demo, games will never look that good on the card, because it has to render...You know...The rest of the freaking game? Wouldn't be very interesting if it just rendered hair for a couple of hours, then the game ended.
  • Well shoot, this changes everything. Time to mortgage the house to buy one.
  • cablechewer
    I just wonder how much processing power it is consuming. How many characters can you have running around in a given area with their hair blowing in the wind before you bring even a high end card to its knees.

    Somehow I had expected to have this level of realism a couple graphics card generations ago. I suppose I vastly underestimated the complexity of the problem and the computing power needed to solve it.
  • randomizer
    Did she say "500 feps"? :lol:

    The hair doesn't animate very realistically IMO. It moves like it's under water or in low gravity. It's not so bad with wind, it's when she's just moving the model that it looks wrong. Still better than static hair though, of course.
  • belardo
    And like all cool tech demos, as impressive as it is... when playing an online game with dozens of characters and hundreds of things happenings, bullets, explosions, etc. That much hair detail won't be seen... not even in a hollywood movie.

    No porn-video games... that would make more sense. :)
  • stratplaya
    Big deal. I remember when I got my FX5700 nVidia had a demo with some pixi character walking on a tree. The demo would zoom in on her arm hair. It looked nice but that type of detail never really made it to video games. I guess because, as another poster writes, there are lots of other things to render as well.
  • SpadeM
    Do u guys remember Nalu or Luna? and Fairy tech demos from nvidia back in the days of FX5xxx series and the 7xxx series .. now those were some really good looking demons back then, and they still are now .. the thing is .. not even today's game characters look remotely close to those tech demos.