NVIDIA Editor's Day 2014 - Ubisoft is a very close partner of NVIDIA, with the hardware giant helping the software giant in most of its games, including the soon-to-be-released Far Cry 4. In Monterey Bay last week, we were greeted with an early peek at the GeForce GTX 980, as well as a slew of games, one of which was Far Cry 4.
We found out that Far Cry 4 will be utilizing a bunch of NVIDIA technologies, with an injection of features that will ensure that the PC version of Far Cry 4 will stand far and away from the console versions, current-generation consoles included. We have HBAO+, PCSS, TXAA, God Rays, Fur, and Enhanced 4K Support, as well as NVIDIA's just-announced MFAA, DSR and much more.
Starting with HBAO+ or horizon-based ambient occlusion, a technology that improves on ambient occlusion, which provides a much more realistic shadow around objects that occlude rays of light.
Above, you can see the difference between no AO, and HBAO+, which is a big difference.
PCSS, or percentage closer soft shadows, provides "an effective solution for developers wanting to add contact-hardening, realistic soft shadows to their games". PCSS shadows will soften as the distance from the casting object increases, something that increases realism. PCSS also features high-quality shadow filtering technique, something that reduces the prominence of shadow aliasing.
Another technology that will be baked into Far Cry 4 is TXAA, or temporal anti-aliasing. TXAA helps create a "smoother, clearer image than any other anti-aliasing solution", something that is done by "combining high-quality MSAA multi-sample anti-aliasing, post processes, and NVIDIA-designed temporal filters".
God Rays, oh yeah. God Rays are simply light rays, light shafts, or to the gaming and technology community: God Rays. They are "crepuscular rays coming from strong light sources where bright shafts of light are visible within the environment of the game, all delivered with less impact on performance by NVIDIA". This means you can have beautiful streams of light coming through leaves on a tree, without taking a huge performance hit on GeForce-powered PCs.
NVIDIA HairWorks is something that will amplify the already impressive graphics within the world of Far Cry 4, where the technology will be used to provide animals with a very realistic look, with "physical accuracy of hair and animal fur".