Lara Croft will have believable-looking hair that is capable of reacting to water and snow in Rise of the Tomb Raider, developer Crystal Dynamics has announced. Thanks to improvements to the game's use of TressFX technology, which is developed alongside AMD, the studio has been able to make new strides in "hair tech" for the upcoming Xbox One game.
"We definitely believe the hair technology we developed with AMD was a foundation for the way we believe hair will be rendered in the future video game graphics," game director Brian Horton said on the official Tomb Raider Tumblr. "And, as pioneers of this--there's not many people to look at for reference other than films--we have been pushing that technology to find ways to make it even better."
"The hair is now in clusters, so the way hair naturally falls is that hair wants to be next to a adjacent hairs that create shapes. Now, the hair splines can follow these guide hairs and these formerly physics-grown hairs, so it feels a little bit more natural when it moves," he added.
One specific hair-themed improvement for Rise of the Tomb Raider is a new "zero-gravity" effect for underwater scenes. Horton explains: "When she goes underwater, her hair will float and it's important- when it comes out of the water--it will feel heavier and feel more clumped and obviously look wet and darker."
Horton also reveals that, during Rise of the Tomb Raider's snowy scenes, Lara's hair will accumulate snow.
The 2013 Tomb Raider reboot did not feature the new TressFX hair technology, but it was later made available for the PC version, along with the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 Definitive Edition. Below is a comparison, but note that this is for the 2013 game, not Rise of the Tomb Raider.