The Witcher 3 animals have next-gen fur

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Horse hair

Remember the attention we paid to Lara Croft’s new tress-FX, the stuff that made her hair look as natural as her re-proportioned body? Well, hair is serious business when it comes to rendering and effects, and fur on animals in games is about to look a whole lot better.

Here is the video from NVIDIA that shows off HairWorks.

One of the big showcases in the video is the wolf from The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt. This wolf has 200k strands of fur (weird thought, but okay) with a secondary motion of fur that brings it to life. Artists can control waviness, clumping and density. Horses also get the high-tech attention; the simulation includes multiple collision volumes to more realistically recreate the movement of the long hair in the mane and tail. Seeing as Geralt uses a horse to traverse that enormous world, we can assume this will look impressive as well. Finally, the video shows of Riley from Call of Duty: Ghosts – the dog in the game also used HairWorks for dynamic fur simulation.

It’s all designed to make the games more realistic and immersive. Gone are the days of polygon hair or rigid fur. These animals will move naturally, with fur that changes in its movement and clumping depending on the situation and environment. It might not sound like much, but it’s a huge jump forward in design and will hopefully help to improve the graphical experience within the game. It won’t be enough to make a game great on its own, but it can certainly enhance something that is already worthwhile – I’m keen to see how this adds to the already ridiculously beautiful Witcher franchise.

Last Updated: June 24, 2014

Zoe Hawkins

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. You can read more of my words over at www.borngeek.co.za, or just follow me on all the social networks to get the true range of my sarcasm and wit.

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