Hair is one of the most difficult things to render in real time in video games. Developers are getting closer to capturing realistic facial capture and lighting effects but hair rendering is still bland in most games. Even with the advent of PS4 and Xbox One, this problem has been not been resolved yet.
Jonathan Cooper, who is an animator at Naughty Dog talked a bit about the difficulties that the developers faced while rendering hair and how this could be potentially resolved in the future.
“A major reason so many last-gen characters sported crew cuts was we couldn’t do hair easily. I expect much more hairstyles this generation,” he tweeted. He further stated the reasons behind the same. “Primarily because engines couldn’t support realistic lighting on alpha (see-through) textures, not to mention physics on long hair.”
He further revealed that new technologies are incoming that will help them create realistic characters. “There are more technologies incoming that will release us from the homogenisation of game characters,” he tweeted.
Perhaps he is hinting that the new technology might be used in Uncharted 4: The Thief’s End after all Drake’s hair looked pretty realistic in the E3 trailer.