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Nvidia Updates FX Composer 2, PerfKit 5

Nvidia has announced the release of the latest versions of two of its developer kit tools -- NVIDIA FX Composer 2 and NVIDIA PerfKit 5 -- which it says will permid "rapid...
Nvidia has announced the release of the latest versions of two of its developer kit tools -- NVIDIA FX Composer 2 and NVIDIA PerfKit 5 -- which it says will permid "rapid, low-cost development of visual effects as well as performance tuning for games and other real-time applications". The company describes FX Composer 2 as an "integrated development environment for shader authoring, enabling fast creation of real-time visual effects." The software can create shaders for HLSL, COLLADA FX Cg, and CgFX in DirectX and OpenGL. Features in the latest version of FX Composer include Shader Library integration, ShaderPerf analysis, animation support, COLLADA support, scripting, effect and project wizards, customizable toolbars and layouts and Microsoft XNA support. The release also includes mental images' mental mill Artist Edition, which allows users to create shaders visually by connecting nodes, which are exportable to FX Composer. The latest version of PerfKit 5, the company's complete performance toolkit, providing real-time interactive debugging and profiling capabilities, allowing developers to monitor GPU signals, debug frames and analyze frames automatically to find performance bottlenecks, now includes support for Microsoft Windows Vista and DirectX 10. Other new features include support for the new GeForce 8 Series GPUs, on the fly shader editing, a greatly expanded set of GPU and driver signals to help pinpoint bottlenecks, a cleaner layout with user-friendly touches like tooltips; improved texture viewing for 2D, 3D, and cube map textures; and a color picker for texture examination, as well as "20 other features requested by developers." "FX Composer 2 facilitates and simplifies 'look development' for my team as we explore next-generation rendering techniques," said George Borshukov, a CG Supervisor at Electronic Arts who received an Academy Scientific and Technical Achievement Award for the image-based rendering technology used in The Matrix. "FX Composer 2 allows us to prototype complex rendering techniques with stunning results. Nothing else out there provides the capability, scriptability, and ease of use that FX Composer gives us." These two components make up a larger group of developer kit tools that includes Texture Tools, ShaderPerf 2, and a Shader Librar, with more than 100 different shader effects and support for external submissions. "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."

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