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Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Nvidia Updates Software Developing Tools

Nvidia has developed a complete suite of applications that helps developers save time and money creating and optimising their games.

"Today's big-budget PC games are enormously complicated to create and tune for maximum performance," said Niklas Westberg, Technical Director at Massive Entertainment. "The NVIDIA Developer Toolkit is a lifesaver ? there's a wide variety of tools that help us accomplish more with less effort. The NVIDIA tools help us spend more time focusing on gameplay in World in Conflict, so that we can deliver the best possible experience for gamers."

Today?s release of new versions of NVIDIA FX Composer 2 and NVIDIA PerfKit 5 gives developers new tools to create groundbreaking game content in less time. These two widely used tools permit rapid, low-cost development of visual effects as well as performance tuning for games and other real-time applications.

The first of these new tools, FX Composer 2, is an integrated development environment for shader authoring, enabling fast creation of real-time visual effects. It can be used to create shaders for HLSL, COLLADA FX Cg, and CgFX in DirectX and OpenGL. FX Composer 2 features Shader Library integration, ShaderPerf analysis, animation support, COLLADA support, scripting, effect and project wizards, customisable toolbars and layouts, Microsoft XNA support, and much more. FX Composer 2 has evolved into the de facto industry standard for shader authoring across multiple target platforms, including Sony Computer Entertainment?s PLAYSTATION 3 and Microsoft Windows.

The release also bundles mental mill Artist Edition from mental images, which allows users to create shaders visually by connecting nodes. Users can export shaders from mental mill Artist Edition to FX Composer, where they can be applied to real-world geometry and used for more complex operations.

FX Composer 2 will be demonstrated in booth #315 at the Siggraph 2007 conference, and is available for download at:

The other tool that NVIDIA released today is NVIDIA PerfKit 5, a complete performance toolkit for real-time games and applications that now includes support for Microsoft Windows Vista and DirectX 10.

At the core of PerfKit is NVIDIA PerfHUD 5, a heads-up display for Microsoft DirectX 9 and 10 applications that provides real-time interactive debugging and profiling capabilities, allowing developers to monitor GPU signals, debug frames and analyse frames automatically to find performance bottlenecks.

New features in PerfHUD 5 include:

- Microsoft DirectX 10 and Vista support
- Support for the new GeForce? 8 Series GPUs
- Shader edit-and-continue: edit shaders on the fly
- More GPU and driver counters: a greatly expanded set of GPU and driver signals to help pinpoint bottlenecks
- Improved look-and-feel: cleaner layout with user-friendly touches like tooltips; improved texture viewing for 2D, 3D, and cube map textures; and a colour picker for texture examination
- More than 20 other features requested by developers

PerfKit 5 will be demonstrated in booth #315 at Siggraph, and is available for download at:

In addition to FX Composer 2 and PerfKit 5, the complete suite of NVIDIA developer tools includes:

- SDK 10: all-new DirectX 10, OpenGL and CUDA code samples for the latest GPUs
- Texture Tools: Powerful libraries and plug-ins for working with textures?now with DirectX 10 support and approximately 10x faster than before
- ShaderPerf 2: detailed shader performance information with support for new drivers
- Shader Library: the world?s largest collection of GPU shaders featuring more than 100 different shader effects and support for external submissions

All of these tools are available at the NVIDIA Developer Web Site:

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