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help me in HLSL

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hi friends what's the best way to use shaders in DX 9? HLSL? so we should forget the assembly old days? is there any general article or tutorial exploring HLSL right from the start? how about other APIS, like cg, renderman or rendermonkey?

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Start with HLSL workshop in DirectX SDK help.It will give you pretty good basics... After that, you can start downloading samples from Nvidia/ATI developer pages. You can also get a good book like GPU Gems, etc...
Yes, forget ASM... :)
CG is almost same as HLSL, so you can reuse samples, but there is no sense in using it in DirectX, as HLSL/FX API is integrated in DirectX...
Rendermonkey is not API, it`s helping tool for developing shaders... I prefer Nvidia FX composer because you actually write directly .FX file, no need to export later like in Rendermonkey...

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