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Splinter Cell shaders analysed

Splinter Cell shaders analysed

Sam Fisher was too quick for us to photograph.

There is an engrossing technical article over at Beyond3D this morning, which goes into the detail of the Shader Model differences in top game title of the moment, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory.

Splinter Cell has long been a darling of the PC gaming community, with its outrageously good graphics the perfect show-off for all the expensive graphics cards that PC gamers buy.

The game originated on the Xbox, and its heritage has shown through in the past two games with better performance and graphics quality on Nvidia cards, especially when looking at shadows.

Beyond 3D have deconstructed the two shader paths offered in the game, 1.1 and 3.0. Obviously, ATI hardware will use 1.1, at least until R520 hits, and current Nvidia hardware will run 3.0.

1.1 Has plenty of features: translucency, filtered soft shadow maps, uncompressed character normal maps, specular lighting. 3.0 ads parallax mapping, better shadows and high dynamic range rendering. 3.0 also provides better performance in some areas, with more sophisticated rendering routines and polygon cuts.

Anyone who's played the game knows that it's an absolute beauty, and this guide will help the more technical amongst you understand what's going on under the hood. Take a look at it.