NEW DIRECTX 11 TECHNOLOGY DEMOS SHOW FUTURE OF GAME GRAPHICS

by Ashu Rege

We are always working to help improve the visual quality of games. At the Game Developers Conference (GDC) last week in San Francisco, we showed some of the latest demos featuring DirectX11. Game developers saw realistic hair, water and grass demos, and learned how they could include them in their upcoming games.

In the DirectX 11 hair demonstration, long flowing hair is realistically simulated, generated and rendered on our next-generation GeForce GTX 480 using its unique parallel tessellation engines. By moving the model and applying a simulated breeze, the hair billows and cascades naturally with accurate physical properties.

Hair has been one of the most challenging objects to create in video games, due to the computational complexity of realistically rendering thousands of individual strands as they interact with light and each other. In our DirectX 11 technology simulation, long flowing hair is rendered in amazing detail with realistic physics properties in real time.

Our DirectX 11 island demo depicts a large scene that includes terrain and water with realistic, physically simulated waves. The terrain uses DirectX 11 tessellation and supports both static and dynamic tessellation. Very little data is sent to the GPU—with default settings the GPU creates 11 million primitives out of 20,000 that it gets from the application. At maximum tessellation settings the simulation can draw nearly 1.6 billion triangles per second. The demo runs at over 40 frames per second on the GeForce GTX 480 GPU.

Island before and after: These two images show the dramatically enhanced details provided by DirectX 11 tessellation. The before view shows the minimal level of detail included in the actual simulation; the after view shows how DirectX 11 tessellation adds millions of triangles to make the simulation come to life with photorealistic water and non-repeating waves. Island before and after: These two images show the dramatically enhanced details provided by DirectX 11 tessellation. The before view shows the minimal level of detail included in the actual simulation; the after view shows how DirectX 11 tessellation adds millions of triangles to make the simulation come to life with photorealistic water and non-repeating waves.  
 
The grass demonstration portrays up to 3.5 million blades of grass billowing and waving in the wind. Simulations like this put NVIDIA’s next-generation GPU to the test as it renders up to 48 million triangles in a single frame. This simulation also uses DirectX 11 tessellation to deliver more detail when viewing the grass up close.

The NVIDIA DirectX 11 grass simulation depicts more than 3.5 million blades of grass waving and billowing in the wind. The physical properties of the grass are affected by objects placed upon them. Once again, DirectX 11 tessellation adds greater visual fidelity when viewing the grass close up.

These simulations illustrate the kind of scenes that can be depicted using the highly scalable tessellation engines in GeForce GTX 480. With NVIDIA’s newest GPU, game developers can incorporate an extraordinary level of geometric detail in their upcoming games.