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GlSL and per pixel lighting

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Seriously I've been looking at tutorials for GLSL and per pixel lighting, and all the code just looks scary. Anyone else agree? I have a few questions though. Can you do per pixel lighting without shaders/or GLSL? And What is the advantage of shaders anyways?

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Shaders give the programmer a firm control over the geometry transforms and the fragments color output.
Having said that, you don't need shaders to achieve some pretty nice perpixel visuals, if you have a GeForce card, chances are Register Combiners and Texture shaders can do the trick for ya.
You can even use Texture combiners such as the DOT3 extension to perform perpixel lighting as well.
Here's a link to a demo on ATI website that performs just what you want without using shaders at all:
Clicky

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