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I dont know about alot of you, but I've tried playing the demo both with the Soft Shadow option ON and OFF. On, of course, leads to a significant performance hit but visually 'softer' shadows.


In looking at the effect, the only thing I can notice about it is that it appears to project roughly 2 or 3 shadows whereas before 1 would be projected, each offset a bit from the next, with different layers of "blackness"..this gives the illusion of a softer edge.


Am I missing something here? By and large, the effect is "nice" but its hardly worth sacrificing 15-20fps over, at least in my mind. Turning the effect on and off in a given scene doesnt' really make me stand up and go "WOW thats Amazing!"..its more like "yeah..the shadows aren't as hard-edged and CPU looking"....but it didn't knock my socks off. (HDR I think is more impressive).


This effect reminds me of the first instances of Anti-Aliasing and Ansiotropic Filtering on the 3D cards of years gone by. A nice effect, but one that...at least for a few more generations of GPU's...wont truly be usable without a significant performance hit. Of coures there will always be people who will run a game at 20fps so long as they get all the eyecandy turned on. I'm not one of those peeps.


IE: The effect is nice but the GPU isn't quite up to the task of punching it out along with AA, AF and the varying shader models being employed.....or so it seems to be (on my lowly 6800GT :D).


Just curious what other people thought.


I'm also of the same conviction when it comes to HDR, which I consider more impressive. Its a nice feature to have turned on, but when it cuts your FPS in half I'm not so sure. When the framerates are 200fps and it cuts it down to 100, well, thats a different story.


But to go from 40 to 20, or 60 to 30fps.....the effect starts to be "not worth the cost" IMHO...
 

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I'll go further than that to say that shadows aren't usually worth it, i usually turn them off regardless of the performance hit :D to each his own i suppose, at least the option is there :p


Note: i assume your reffering to the fear demo? i wasn't too impressed with it myself..some neat effects but rather bland in the basics
 
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