Rise of the Tomb Raider uses async compute to render breathtaking volumetric lighting on Xbox One

Rise of the Tomb Raider gets more details during E3 2015 Square Enix Conference

During its presentation at SIGGRAPH 2015, Eidos Montreal revealed some interesting technical details regarding its forthcoming action adventure game, Rise of the Tomb Raider. The developer gave an overview of the advanced rendering techniques that are being used in Lara Croft’s latest outing.


Of all the rendering techniques used in the game, the most fascinating is its use of asynchronous compute for the generation of advanced volumetric lights. For this purpose, the developer has employed a resolution-agnostic voxel method, which allows volumetric lights to be rendered using asynchronous compute after the rendering of shadows, with correctly handled transparency composition.

The developer has also used its own in-house SSAO technique dubbed ‘Broad Temporal Ambient Obscurance’ (BTAO). The technique is inspired by SAO (Scalable Ambient Obscurance), and is claimed to be vastly superior to the industry leading ambient occlusion technique i.e. HBAO, in terms of both quality and performance. According to the developer, this new ambient occlusion technique is temporally stable and provides both near and far occlusion.tombraider

Like The Order: 1886 on the PS4, Rise of the Tomb Raider will also make use of the Sample Distribution Shadow Maps (SDSM) algorithm in order to allow efficient shadow map rendering. By adjusting itself to scene and camera position, the technique will enhance the overall shadow quality in the game.

Lastly, the game features procedural snow deformation that leverages compute shaders and hardware tessellation for fast and detailed results. Due to the agnostic nature of this approach, the developer believes that this technique will have many other applications in the future.


In addition to discussing these advanced rendering techniques, the developer also talked about the challenges it has faced during development, as well as the successful and failed approaches it took.

For a more in-depth overview, follow the link here to go through the course publication. Stay tuned for further updates on Rise of the Tomb Raider as they become available.

Muhammad Ali Bari

Editor and PR Manager at GearNuke

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  • Molokow chewbacca

    What a scam. Async Computer and Async Shaders are completely different. You people fall for the marketing machine again !!! You are getting tricked, and still believe it.

  • Katana Man

    Impressive considering xbone has only two asynchronous compute engines. Ps4 has eight.

  • Reclaimer13

    Is this game using DX12?

  • Mark

    A-sync Compute just gets more juice outta the GPU that otherwise would lay dormant and unused. More of our games will def look better because of it.

    • hvd hvd

      thats why amd gpu’s are doing better then nvidia gpu’s right now with dx12.amd has Asynchronous Compute and nvidia doesnt. and the consoles use amd gpu which uses Asynchronous Compute.

  • Sam

    That’s some awesome work Eidos. Rise of the Tomb Raider looks more and more impressive.

  • Truthhurts24

    The Best Box Won

  • $ony derps are salty

    Superior Async + Superior Cloud offloading = The One and only superior console
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> more ACE = P.O.S.4

    • Zarbor

      You jokers are as bad as the Sony sheep. Superior console? These machines are more alike than different and I have yet to see one game on either console that is superior to the other. I have both of the consoles and the best looking (graphics) game but clearly one of the worst playing game is the Order 1886.

      MS hasn’t delivered all year so not sure how you come to superior console. That may change this coming fall/winter with Halo 5, Forza 6, Tomb Raider and for some but not me, Fable.

      I can’t wait for Tomb Raider since I prefer it over Uncharted but I’m sure when that game launches, its going to be quite the battle. The battle should be between games not consoles. Without games the console is a doorstopper.

    • hvd hvd

      imo they just released it to early if all this came out in the xbox one from the start xbox one would have
      easily out sold ps4 by far.

    • Katana Man

      Two ace vs ps4 8, Ps4 wins.

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