As the next generation of consoles draws closer, publisher EA and developer DICE have released a couple of new videos that show some of the staggeringly impressive new rendering techniques.
Specifically, EA has been demoing the hair rendering techniques that have been implemented in the Frostbite Engine. The Frosbite Engine, of course, is what EA uses to power most of its games, including FIFA, Battlefield, and the upcoming Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
While I didn’t think I’d ever find myself seriously impressed by the way hair looks in a tech demo, what EA showed off is absolutely unreal, and nearly indistinguishable from real life, which is obviously the publishers ultimate goal.
Besides offering a nice look a salon fresh hair, this is also probably our first indication of how we can expect next-gen games to look from EA and DICE to look, as the publisher and developer will surely work to incorporate these rendering techniques into future games.
The videos (which you can see above and below) show off a number of techniques that get the hair looking (terrifyingly) real, including dynamic changes of the hair melanin, and volume preservation. The fact it looks so damn lifelike makes it all the more unsettling when the “models” turn around to reveal they don’t actually have faces. Shudder.
I’ve always found hair to be one of the areas that can let a video game down, graphically speaking, but that’s because it’s infamously tricky to pull off properly. Even a game as stunning as The Witcher 3 has some pretty lifeless, unbelievable hair which seems to move as one hive mind, instead of individual strands that would traditionally sit atop a real bonce.
EA and DICE will be showing more videos that display just what the Frostbite Engine will be capable of in the coming generation over the next few weeks, and I’m honestly as curious as I am scared.
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.