NVIDIA HairWorks in FarCry 4
The latest FarCry 4 patch packs more NVIDIA Gameworks technology into the game with the addition of NVIDIA HairWorks. This tech was used to add simulated fur to most of the animals that populate the living world of Far Cry 4. The animals of Kyrat now look even more realistic to deliver a more immersive gameplay experience to the player. This is especially apparent when more than three animals are shown on-screen at the same time. Keep an eye out for wolf packs taking down prey!
There’s a wide variety of animals with HairWorks in FarCry 4. Twenty unique variations of fur were created for eight different types of animals to match their environment or support their role in the game. For example, simulated fur was added to the Tibetan wolf, the snowy Tibetan wolf, the black wolf and the leader wolf. The underlying guide curves were able to be used across all the wolves, and then different textures were used to influence the color of each wolf variation. The wolves in Far Cry 4 have about 315k individual strands of simulated fur.
Another great example is the yak with over 160k strands of simulated fur. The yak's long fur made it a great candidate for HairWorks. With even the simplest motion, the yak's simulated fur responds and moves around realistically. The fur on its tail swishes when it swats at flies, its forehead fur bounces when it rams predators, and even its forked beard fur swings when it tosses its head! The yak with simulated fur comes in three flavors in the game: yak, snowy yak, and a domesticated yak carrying a pack.
There are also several different variations of tigers in Far Cry4 including the orange Bengal tiger, the white Bengal tiger, and, of course the Shangri-La tiger. The tigers were also great candidates for HairWorks because of their long cheek fur. It really swings around when they move their heads or attack prey. Each tiger was authored with about 190k strands of simulated fur.
Each type of simulated animal fur only took an artist about 1-2 days to create. This speed was due to the short iteration time between changing the guide curves and seeing how those changes affected the fur simulation. How this works is that guide curves are created and edited within a standard digital content creation tool (like 3dsMax) and are then imported into the HairWorks Viewer, which displays and simulates the fur on top of the mesh with its animations and textures. This tool was critical for Far Cry 4 because it allowed the artists to see how their content would simulate without having to wait for the changes to show up in the next build of the game.
The HairWorks Viewer, DCC plug-ins and tutorials are available on: /hairworks-tutorials