A decade ago, gamers were floored by Nvidia's "Dawn" tech demo, today, the company has released the sequel, "A New Dawn." Check it out below:
In the last decade, Dawn has gone from 1,700 strands of hair to 40,000. Advanced shading allowed her hair to move out of the jet-black color scheme, now she's a brunette, you’ll see her hair gently flowing in the wind, reflecting and transmitting light from the environment.
Dawn's skin has also been changed significantly too. Here's the description, from Nvidia's site:
"Dawn's skin has also received a complete overhaul. Human skin is one of the trickiest materials to simulate. Unlike a concrete object that only absorbs or transmits light, human skin is more akin to a block of jelly; light enters, jiggles around in multiple layers of skin and flesh, and exits in a new direction. The technique used to simulate this complex series of interactions is called sub-surface scattering.
The original Dawn demo used a very simple but effective technique to simulate one aspect of skin shading called rim lighting. It worked by isolating the silhouette of the character and letting light from behind the character bleed through, giving an illusion of translucent skin. This worked well for the silhouette when exposed to strong light, but was less convincing for other portions of the character.
A New Dawn uses a complex but efficient sub-surface scattering shader, first pioneered with the Luna demo introduced with the GeForce 7800 GTX. To smartly manage workload, the new skin shader dynamically selects the number of samples to filter, depending on how visible the surface is. Detail maps are used to capture fine hairs, bumps, and skin imperfections. Four independent textures describe the oil content of the skin."
Check out our gallery of images from New Dawn too!
For more on New Dawn, check out the New Dawn post on geforce.com.