Realism is the key with this approach.
By all accounts, what we’ve seen from Rise of the Tomb Raider has been pretty darn impressive. The game looks to be bringing a story that is going to be even more interesting that the reboot of this series and the graphics look top notch. We already know the game is going to be using the tressfx technology to make hair of various characters look more realistic. Now we’ve also found out that Async Compute is being used in order to bring more dynamic lighting to the game’s world.
Eidos Montreal divulged this particular piece of information at its SIGGRAPH 2015 presentation along with other rendering techniques that are going to employed in the game. In order to try and get the shadows and light just right, the company said it is using a resolution-agnostic voxel method. This method allows volumetric lights to be rendered using asynchronous compute after the rendering of shadows, with correctly handled transparency composition. All of that technical jargon means that shadows and light work in a way that is closer to the real world than we’re used to seeing in video games.
Eidos also reported that it used it’sown in-house SSAO technique dubbed ‘Broad Temporal Ambient Obscurance’ (BTAO). The technique is inspired by SAO (Scalable Ambient Obscurance) and it is apparently more impressive and more effective than what others in the industry have decided is the norm, HBAO. The in-house solution is apparently better when talking about performance and efficiency. Finally, Rise of the Tomb Raider is going to be using Sample Distribution Shadow Maps (SDSM) much the way that 1886: The Order did, in order to further get shadow mapping as perfect as possible.