Similar to Tomb Raider’s use of the new TressFX hair rendering technology, DICE and AMD have teamed up on Battlefield 4 to use AMD’s new PecksFX bird rendering technology as seen in the newly released trailer.
“Since the dawn of the 3D era, your favorite games have largely featured totally unrealistic flocks of birds that destroyed your immersion into the environment,” says AMD CEO Rory Read, “We understood the disappointment players felt when they saw only one or two birds in the sky so we took it upon ourselves to solve this problem.”
“Many games have attempted to disguise this problem either through explaining that birds have gone extinct to using pre-rendered birds or even simply placing characters in environments where birds cannot exist,” Read continues, “Realistic flocks of birds is one of the most complex and challenging animations to accurately reproduce in real-time.”
“Battlefield 3’s realism was largely hampered by the lack of birds,” says DICE technical director Henrik Karlsson, “We did a survey and found that when players first entered Sulaymaniyah, Iraq, many complained about the lack of birds. Our partnership with AMD has allowed us to render up to 500 unique birds at once without any slowdown.”
“Battlefield 4’s flocks of birds is not just for appearances as they will also provide new gameplay mechanics,” he continues, “Birds will obscure player’s vision as they try to snipe an enemy from afar. The added realism has allowed us to create AI that is distracted by the flocks of birds which can be used as a tactic to surprise enemies. PecksFX will become a defining technology for years to come.”
Karlsson concludes, “Hair is what defined Tomb Raider; birds are what will define Battlefield 4.”