After Ten Years, Dawn Looks Better Than EverCategory: Manufacturers
Posted: July 23, 2012 02:34PM
In 2002 NVIDIA released the Dawn tech demo to show off the capabilities of the GeForce FX line. That demo was the first time a completely rendered and realistic humanoid was ever shown, and essentially that is all it showed because the hardware could not render an environment much more complex than a cube map. Modern GPUs though can do a great deal more than those of a decade ago, so NVIDIA has released A New Dawn to show off what is capable now.
The original Dawn never had a scene with more than 7000 triangles, but A New Dawn reaches 4,000,000. Originally Dawn's head only had 1700 strands of unmoving hair, but she has apparently decided to change how she has it cut as each of the 40,000 tessellated strands she has now are fully animated. She also did something with her skin as well by bringing in skin oil reflectance maps and multi-layered subsurface scattering.
A New Dawn is free to download and is targeted for the higher-end GTX 670, 680, and 690. Originally the demo was just going to be for the GTX 690, but the community requested support for single-GPU setups, so NVIDIA added a button to accommodate.