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akhin

Shader development tools ( hlsl )

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Hi all ,

I am new to shader development , and currently at least for HLSL , I am using
a former DX SDK tool called `EffectEdit` to be able to see compilation errors.

I want to ask you what is being used widely when trying to compile them ( except application source code ofcourse )
, to develop them with features like Intellisense ( VS integration ? ) ?

And I guess , again for HLSL it is only PIX for debugging shaders line by line ?

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I got a lot of mileage out of ATI's rendermonkey until we went with the auto-written cpu generation that put that out of reach. I still use it for prototyping complex shaders though - it does everything needed.

The text editor doesn't have much in the way of special features (syntax colouring etc) but in reality you spend far more time pissing about with textures and sliders and it handles this stuff very well indeed.

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The tool selection for graphics debugging and shader prototyping gets better with higher versions of DX (10 and up).

So here is list of tools that I used or used:

DX9:
Rendermonkey - prototyping shaders quickly
PIX
Nvidia perfHud - more for frame analysis

DX10 and up:
Nvidia Nsight - VS integration, great interface, shader debugging
PIX - still very useful for some things
ATI GPU PerfStudio - Good interface, good information

So there you go. Mind you that for Nvidia products you need nvidia card, ATI perfstudio works on my Nvidia card

Also, I use Intel GPA for whole game analysis

Edit: I think the programs you might be interested in most are Nvidia FX composer with Nvidia Shader Debugger, but I haven't tried those yet

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