nVIDIA CG Compiler and CG Language Universally Embraced by the Graphics Community

NVIDIA® Corporation, the worldwide leader in visual processing solutions, today announced that the graphics community— including industry luminaries, game developers, middleware vendors, digital content creation (DCC) software vendors and rendering vendors—are overwhelmingly endorsing and adopting the Cg Language and the NVIDIA Cg Toolkit, unveiled earlier today. Industry-leading DCC tool providers, including: Alias|Wavefront, Discreet, Luxology and Softimage, are actively working with NVIDIA to incorporate Cg into their current development plans. The first Cg-based offerings – marily expected to be software plug-ins – l be available to DCC customers this summer directly within their favorite tools.

Untitled Document

What People Are Saying About Cg


“The biggest revolution in graphics in ten years, and the foundation for
the next ten.”

Kurt Akeley (on Cg and NVIDIA’s next generation GPU)
Graphics Architect, NVIDIA
Co-founder of SGI and designer of OpenGL

“ILM has utilised high level graphics languages for quite some time. NVIDIA’s
high level language for GPU programming is an important step in achieving an
NVIDIA hardware-based development environment suitable for ILM’s production

Andy Hendrickson
Senior Technology Officer
Industrial Light + Magic


“NVIDIA’s high level shader language will enable us to add enhanced
GPU programmability to our 3D game engine and add plenty of great looking built-in-
effects rather than a just handful. We just would not have had time to do all
this without Cg!”

Craig Allsop
Auran Jet Technical Director

“Most games out have been lagging behind what the NVIDIA GPUs can actually
do in terms of graphics processing. Writing visually exciting and optimised
shaders takes serious time—until now. Cg takes shader implementation to
the next level. It will be the standard for writing effects from now on.”

Todd Howard
Lead Programmer – Morrowind
Bethesda Softworks

“This revolutionises the way we write shaders and gives us unprecedented
control over the render pipeline.”

Jason Knipe
Lead Graphics Programmer

“We have been eagerly awaiting this next generation of shader technology.
Cg, with its compiler and associated toolkit, will be an indispensable tool
for the creation and implementation of pixel shaders and vertex shaders. By
abstracting the lower level assembly language, we are now free to spend more
time and programming resources on writing more powerful custom shaders for the
delivery of much more visually stunning effects on both OpenGL and DirectX.”

Dean Sekulic

“Cg will give us the power to be much more creative with cutting-edge
graphics features. It is a great step forward on the path to interactive photorealism.”

Bruce Rogers
Director of Technology
Cryptic Studios

“Cg will allow us to rapidly prototype advanced special effects, and easily
incorporate them into our future products. Not only will developers benefit
from the speedy prototyping and sharing of Cg shaders between their products,
but the consumer (gamer) will appreciate better looking games that come faster
to market. Everyone wins!”

Mark Davis
Lead Programmer
“Delta Force – Black Hawk Down”

“The performance and visual quality of Cg running on NVIDIA GPUs completely
destroys the barrier that we’ve always faced in bringing the highest level
of graphical realism to our games.”

Herb Marselas
Lead Programmer – Age of Mythology
Ensemble Studios

“Cg is the missing connector between the world of fast, hardware-driven
rendering and the detail-oriented world of software rendering. Cg provides the
artist the same rich toolbox of image possibilities previously only available
through slow software rendering or laborious assembly coding. Cg is the necessary
link that brings hardware-accelerated rendering to within a hair’s breadth
of the software-driven world — and once that linkage occurs, it will not only
revolutionise the experience for gamers and other end users of graphics, but
it will revolutionise the practice of animation in every corner of the industry
— by simplifying, unifying, and accelerating the image-development process,
right there at the artist’s desktop. I expect that the combination of Cg-driven
power and quick, interactive rendering will quickly come to surpass almost all
other forms of rendering for artistic purposes in every venue — games, TV,
and movies.”

Kevin Bjorke
Imaging Supervisor
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within

“Shaders have never been this easy to create. Vertex and pixel shaders
have quickly become indispensable tools in creating games with state of the
art graphical effects. Yet the barrier of entry has been the difficulty of creating
and debugging these effects using the tools available. Cg gives developers the
ability to rapidly prototype pixel and vertex shader effects in a high level
C-like language. It is a perfect environment to quickly test algorithms and
their performance prior to optimising them. The new tools make debugging and
maintaining shader code much easier. Cg makes code much easier to share between
development groups and greatly aids in understanding code received from other

Michael Heilemann
Vice President & Chief Technology Officer
Fox Interactive

“Cg is a bright light for a black art. Finally, cryptic shader tricks
can be explored and applied by mere mortals.”

Mike Biddlecombe
Programmer – Dungeon Siege
Gas Powered Games

“Using Cg, NVIDIA’s high level language for GPU programming, allows
me to concentrate on my algorithm instead of the low-level implementation, thus
giving me more opportunity to fine-tune my effects. The end result is more compelling
content in our titles.”

Brett Bourbin
Director of Technology
High Voltage Software

“Cg will not only help us shave time off our development schedules, it
will also allow us to maintain a consistency of quality across multiple graphic
cards and platforms. This is the next logical step in graphics development.
We are excited that NVIDIA and Microsoft are making this possible for us.”

Jesse Helton
Vice President of Software Development
High Voltage Software

“NVIDIA’s developer support has been fantastic. We have a great working
relationship that provides a lot of value to Monolith. Cg is an enabling technology.
We have a few graphics gurus at Monolith that can write assembly code shaders,
but Cg allows mere human programmers with graphics interest like myself to write
shaders. The inclusion of Cg in our next graphics engine will enable our future
games to have an unprecedented amount of detail.”

Kevin Stephens
Direct of Engineering

“Cg will demystify the process of developing vertex and pixel shaders,
and the NVIDIA Cg Compiler will greatly reduce shader development time.”

J. Scott Hofmann
Senior Graphics Programmer
Mythic Entertainment, Inc.

“Even today, game developers are either unable to realise the full potential
of high performance hardware in real world game apps or need to expend tremendous
effort to optimise them. With the advent of Cg, we look forward to pushing hardware
to its limits and developing games much faster than before.”

Toru Ogawa
Group Leader, Technical Group
Contents & Technology Company

“NVIDIA’s understanding of graphics development goes beyond the advancement
of 3D hardware. They understand that it takes software support to intelligently
drive these systems. Cg is another brilliant offering that empowers us to build
the worlds we imagine. The encompassing vision of Cg (art tool integration,
debugging, and platform compatibility) is something that developers like us
have been yearning for. Finally being able to replace complicated shader systems
with a simple unified language will greatly simplify our work. Relic prides
itself on its artistic and technical presentation, and anything that can bring
us closer to our vision is something we are ready to embrace.”

Ian Thomson
Lead Programmer – Impossible Creatures
Relic Entertainment

“The Cg technology will allow us to implement powerful and complicated
shader programs quickly and efficiently. We can now support newer hardware technology
faster than ever before. The Cg technology will directly result in Ritual bringing
more visually astounding and higher performing games to market in significantly
less time.”

Steve Nix
Ritual Entertainment

“NVIDIA’s programmable shaders had enabled us to render advanced
shaders in real time using assembler-like codes. Now with the new Cg Compiler,
we are able to drive the power of NVDIA GPUs using familiar C language-like
codes, which is a significant advantage for us. The fact that the leader in
graphics processors is now also putting strong emphasis in providing a robust
software development environment is very reassuring to software developers like
us, and our expectations are higher than ever as a result.”

Yu Suzuki
Representative Director, CTO
Sega-AM2 Co., Ltd.

“Cg Compiler is what we have been waiting for a long time. The recent
hardware evolution had brought amazing visual expression at our hand, but at
the same time, the low level implementation to drive this hardware became painfully
complicated. With this new Cg Compiler, very sophisticated visual expression
can be coded with simple and comprehensible language. We see NVIDIA opening
up the dawning of a new era where human creativity is directly driving the hardware.”

Michio Saito
Director, Corporate Operations
Silicon Studio Corporation

“One of the major difficulties in adopting advanced shader technology
has been the complexity of writing custom shaders in assembly code and the difficulty
trying to share these resources between developers. Now, with Cg technology,
powerful and flexible shaders can easily be expressed in a high level language
accessible to the entire development community, not just a handful of assembly
language gurus.”

John Ratcliff
Senior Technology Architect – Planetside
Sony Online Entertainment

“Due to the higher level nature of Cg, Ubi Soft’s creative teams
will be able to streamline shader development in less time by writing pixel
and vertex shaders that are easily modified and enhanced. By leveraging this
technology, Ubi Soft can achieve the most stunning visual effects and get to
an even higher degree of realism using different APIs for a wider variety of
games and platforms.”

Julien Merceron
Worldwide Technical Director
Ubi Soft Entertainment

“It just isn’t possible to write a modern application, a game or
an operating system without having something like C. And Cg is going to have
a similarly liberating impact on graphics.”

Gabe Newell
Managing Director
Valve Entertainment.


“Today’s gamer expects the same richness, reality and immersivity
in their gameplay as they do with other entertainment media, so the pressure
is on the development community to challenge their existing creative boundaries
and deliver truly astounding graphics effects. Criterion has always been committed
to empowering individual developers with the tools to realise their creative
vision, and we fully support NVIDIA’s new Cg Compiler as a positive step
towards realising a real-time REYES/Renderman-style architecture and help narrow
the gap between non-real time and real-time graphics.”

Adam Billyard
Criterion Software

“Our business revolves around enabling game developers to mesh their game
code with the intricacies of complex and powerful graphics hardware platforms.
Cg fits our philosophy perfectly, with its high level abstraction and low level
access, we’ll be able to deliver the optimisation benefits of NVIDIA’s
Cg Compiler to the many users of Alchemy. Cg can integrate very nicely with
future versions of our ArtistPack, and thereby deliver control over programmable
GPUs right into game artists’ hands.”

Remi Arnauld
Director of Technology
Intrinsic Graphics

“Cg is a major step forward in terms of writing effects with vertex and
pixel shaders. Having a high-level language for GPUs, especially one that is
already deeply familiar to all in the game industry, will open up shaders to
a wide range of developers. From the point of view of a commercial 3D game engine,
there are real benefits from not only the features it provides, but also the
forward compatibility that it provides ¾ and the chance to have a shipping,
released product look better and faster on newer hardware, beyond just scaling
with clock-speed.”

Lars M. Bishop
Chief Technology Officer
Numerical Design Limited
“Cg couldn’t have come along at a better time. Alias|Wavefront’s
focus on hardware rendering makes the high-level language especially attractive
to our company and Maya® customers. The NVIDIA Cg Compiler and toolset will
change the way that graphics programming is done here at Alias|Wavefront and
we’re thrilled to be teamed up with the industry leader in this arena.”
Bob Bennett
General Manager

“Discreet is excited how a language like Cg makes it possible for 3ds
max game artists and programmers to single-source their shader assets between
tool and game – something that should enable and encourage the exchange of cutting-edge
shading techniques across the industry. Discreet is pleased to be working with
NVIDIA to ensure these custom shaders are easily used within 3ds max, giving
3D artists the power to bring the realism of their creation environment ever
closer to that of their final output.”

Phillip Miller
Vice President of Animation Products
Discreet, a division of Autodesk, Inc.

“The new NVIDIA Cg development solutions represent a huge step forward
in graphics programming. Finally, we’ll be able to achieve incredible realism
without tying our applications to low-level hardware features that restrict
the lifespan of the software. Programmer productivity will skyrocket and DCC
technology users are going to love the proliferation of high-fidelity visualisations.
LightWave users should applaud the efforts by NVIDIA that have brought us to
this point.”

Brad Peebler
Luxology, developers of NewTek LightWave 3D

“Right Hemisphere will support the Cg tools. We see Cg as another important
step in bringing the 3D experience to the world with the highest possible impact.
Our Deep Exploration product is a powerful gateway application that enables
3D assets from almost any source to take advantage of NVIDIA’s advanced
capabilities and we see Cg as another method to improve the 3D experience.”

Michael Lynch
Right Hemisphere

“The Cg Toolkit is an excellent step in the pursuit of a standard for
achieving heightened interactive realism. This technology will make it easier
for software vendors to improve realism in the viewport and further blur the
distinction between hardware and software rendering. We look forward to working
closely with NVIDIA to advance this important technology.”

Paul Salvini
Chief Technology Officer
Side Effects Software, developers of Houdini 3D animation software

“NVIDIA and Softimage took the market by storm at last year’s SIGGRAPH
through our introduction and subsequent delivery of real-time shader capabilities
in SOFTIMAGE|XSI. We’re thrilled to see NVIDIA once again advancing real-time
3D rendering technology with their new Cg Toolkit and look forward to working
with them to provide Softimage customers with unique creativity and productivity
enhancing tools.”

Michael Stojda
Managing Director
Softimage, a subsidiary of Avid Technology, Inc.


“Digital Immersion Software has a history of creating 3D visualisation
and authoring packages that lead the way in advanced real-time display technology.
Being one of the few companies to successfully establish such products in the
DCC (Merlin 3D) and CAD (Presenter 3D) markets, our customers are empowered
by tools that take advantage of the latest photo-realistic rendering techniques
being used today. Features like radiosity, ray tracing, global illumination,
and advanced shaders such as Clear Coat style automotive paint, cloth and leather,
anisotropic materials, and other complex surface finishes have not only been
successfully transitioned from DCC to CAD, but have been found to be dependable,
production level tools used daily by our professional users. With the use of
Cg, not only are we able to take many of these advanced tools and move them
from ‘off-line rendering’ to real time, but Cg significantly shortens
our development time in creating them. This is especially important to our Presenter
3D users, as they can define materials that follow through initial component
development and manufacture through to final assembly, and see the exact representations
in real-time – significantly reducing their time to development and eventually
their bottom line.”

Terry Cotant
Vice President, Product Development
Digital Immersion Software

“High-quality programmable shading has long been a key technology for
creating cinematic imagery for film and television. Cg is a huge and long-awaited
step forward that brings similar flexibility and quality to real-time graphics.
I expect an enormous impact on the visual richness
of games, as well as the development of revolutionary interactive tools for
development of film and other media.”

Larry Gritz
Creator of BMRT and one of the primary engineers for Exluna’s Entropy renderer

“As the leading supplier of rendering solutions to the CAD industry, we
at LightWork Design are very excited by the launch of Cg because it will allow
us to apply more of our high-level shading technology to hardware-assisted rendering.
Cg will be especially useful in the LightWorks Real-time product, which provides
our customers (CAD application developers) and their users with high-quality
interactive photorealism.”

Andy Chapman
General Manager – LightWorks
LightWork Design

“Cg is a major breakthrough that effectively eliminates the barrier between
hardware and software shading. It allows us to leverage the amazing performance
of NVIDIA’s next-generation graphics hardware within our rendering software,
mental ray®, for dramatic speed increases for use in numerous applications
without compromising mental ray’s industry-leading functionality, flexibility,
scalability and power. mental images’s OEM and end-user customers will
greatly benefit from mental images’ commitment to support the NVIDIA graphics
hardware capabilities for the acceleration of photorealistic rendering. In the
forthcoming release 3.2 of mental ray, writing mental ray hardware shaders in
Cg will integrate smoothly with mental ray software shaders written in C/C++.
Our use of Cg in the new extended mental ray shader API will effectively hide
the underlying hardware/software boundary from the end-user and from the developer
who is integrating mental ray into an application. Hence, portability across
a large range of future supported graphics hardware generations and capabilities
is automatically ensured. This will protect the investment made by our OEM partners
and end-users in hardware and software based mental ray shader development.”

Rolf Herken
President and Director of R&D
mental images