NVIDIA launches updated Dawn DirectX 11 demo

10 years ago, NVIDIA launched its in-house graphics demo, titled Dawn. It was a highly advanced benchmark for its time but today, NVIDIA decided to release a revamped version of Dawn that's designed to showcase the company's highest end graphics cards.

The new version is called simply A New Dawn and it can be downloaded from the company's GeForce.com web site.  As you might expect, the new demo is light years ahead of the original Dawn. While the 2002 version had the character in a giant textured cube map, the 2012 A New Dawn demo has a full 3D rain forest enviroment. NVIDIA states, "At its peak, over four million triangles are used to showcase Dawn's environment."

The character of Dawn had just 1,700 individual hairs on her head but A New Dawn has raised that number up to 40,000. The new Dawn's skin has also received an upgrade. NVIDIA states:

To smartly manage workload, the new skin shader dynamically selects the number of samples to filter, depending on how visible the surface is. Detail maps are used to capture fine hairs, bumps, and skin imperfections. Four independent textures describe the oil content of the skin.

Other graphical features in A New Dawn demo include environment-based lighting, local dynamic lights, perspective shadow maps, screen space ambient occlusion, depth-of-field rendering and support for FXAA antialiasing.

While the demo was made to showcase the hardware features of NVIDIA's high end GeForce GTX 690 graphics card, NVIDIA has also allowed owners of its lower end GTX 670 or 680 cards to check it out as well, although some of the more intensive graphical features have been disabled. Owners of two GTX 670 or GTX 680 in SLI mode can check out the full version of the demo.

Source: GeForce.com

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23 Comments

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Not impressed tbh, I certainly hope this doesn't showcase what $600 - $800 graphics card can do, if not i'm sure other developers could do a better job. Let's see something like a crysis 3 style demo.

togermano said,
Her tits are to far apart and she looks like a typical lesbian.... Has that Justin Beaver look to her

I will take a guess that you know nothing about women

I agree this looks too 'plastic/cartoonish', although from a technical mind's eye, the technology is impressive.

If you understand what the GPU is achieving with the details and particles and lights, it is impressive; however, they should have went with more of a 'lifelike' style, as this technology should be able to produce Avatar like content in realtime.

djdanster said,
I saw it states a 670 (SLI - optional) or 680 is "recommended", but I wonder... will it work on an AMD card?

Want to see if it will run better on ATI's cards, like it did back in the day when the first demo was released?
http://www.theinquirer.net/inq...143/nvidias-dawning-trouble
"Now, however, we know why Nvidia never released Dawn for any other video cards. Not only can the Radeon 9700/9800 render the little pixie just as well as any GF FX-equipped card, there's some unofficial evidence that suggests ATI's flagship products are even better at it then Nvidia's, even when using an OpenGL wrapper, which, as we all know, degrades video performance."

We still don't know what hardware Square Enix was running that demo on... although I will say it was quite the perty moving picture.

Also, this news of the Nvidia demo "A New Dawn" is kind of old... I saw it last month or earlier, unless their was an updated to this "new" demo??? Why is it being reported on so late?

On the dreaming for things that will prob never happen side of things... It would be cool if they do a sequence with Dawn, Dusk, Nalu and Luna all in one, cutting between scenes designed for each. Like some kind of mission impossible short. Awesome!

mranderson1st said,
We still don't know what hardware Square Enix was running that demo on... although I will say it was quite the perty moving picture.

Also, this news of the Nvidia demo "A New Dawn" is kind of old... I saw it last month or earlier, unless their was an updated to this "new" demo??? Why is it being reported on so late?

On the dreaming for things that will prob never happen side of things... It would be cool if they do a sequence with Dawn, Dusk, Nalu and Luna all in one, cutting between scenes designed for each. Like some kind of mission impossible short. Awesome!

Because a month ago you were not able to download the actual demo, only a video.

And to be completely honest, I just downloaded the demo and the video (the 1080p clip) and I gotta say, I prefer the original Dawn overall. She "looked" more realistic to me than this one does, this "New Dawn" just seems totally lifeless as a demo and the graphics aren't helping with the realism at all, sadly. You'd think things would improve after a decade but, doesn't seem all that realistic compared to the original, at least to me.

The body animation is really lacking in this. All the detail and concentration on this and no noticeable signs that she's even breathing. As a tech demo is wonderful, as an animation example it's quite lacking in some regards.

I saw the original Dawn demo "live" here at COMDEX in Las Vegas years ago and it pretty much blew my mind at what was possible even in those days. Of course, they never did much with the technology other than games, obviously. Years later they produced the Luna demo with a huge improvement in quality and this one looks even better. Can't wait to see a Luna 2 someday...