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An alleged screen capture of the ATI version of Rydermark (saved and reposted to preserve metadata)

An alleged screen capture of the NVIDIA version of Rydermark (saved and reposted to preserve metadata)

A difference map of the two images
"Rydermark developers" make bold claims which turn out to be nothing more than a Photoshop hoax

It would appear The Inquirer was quick to jump the gun on a story accusing NVIDIA of lying about full DirectX 9 support. The story accused NVIDIA of not allowing developers to use 24-bit or 32-bit shader precision. Instead it claims NVIDIA forces developers into using 16-bit shader precision as the technique is faster. This is a problem as DirectX 9 compliancy requires 24-bit shader precision or better.  "Rydermark" is not a commercially shipping application yet, and has had very little information published to confirm its authenticity.

The original story lacked any type of physical evidence and The Inquirer claimed its sources were developers for the program. Images allegedly proving that NVIDIA forces developers into using 16-bit shader precision were posted on The Inquirer. The posted images compared a rendered scene in Rydermark 2006 between ATI and NVIDIA graphics cards.

It turns out the images "proving" NVIDIA’s wrongdoings were nothing more than poorly done Photoshopped images.  The NVIDIA rendered image appeared to have blurrier water while the ATI rendered image had sharper water detail. However, the ATI rendered image just didn’t look right with poor cut offs and a creation date three minutes after the NVIDIA rendered image.  A difference image of the two JPG files can be seen to the right, with the outline of the modified  area clearly visible in the ATI image.  This would suggest the NVIDIA image was the original source image, and that the ATI version was modified afterwards.

A difference of the metadata from both images reveals that the NativeDigest delimiter is identical for both images, but has two different InstanceIDs.  This would be consistent with an image that was modified and saved twice.  In the author's defense, images that are created and saved on his computer have distinct metadata tags that are very easily identifiable.  These are not present in the two images supplied by The Inquirer for "Rydermark" -- suggesting the images may not have been modified by the author.

There’s been an outcry of The Inquirer images on various forums including Ace’s Hardware, AnandTech and Beyond3D.

Update 07/19/2006: The Inquirer has posted something resembling a rebuttal to this article. Incredibly, a user from the forums managed to track down some of the stock art used in the screen renders, and believes the entire image is actually fraudulent.

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Quite Obvious
By Sunday Ironfoot on 7/19/2006 9:12:40 AM , Rating: 3
If you look closely at the two pictures and quickly flip between them you can quite obviously tell the ATI one has had a Photoshop Sharpening brush effect applied to it, where the person has applied it by dragging a mouse over the water area.

You can tell this coz there's a small area where they accidently slipped and ended up sharpening a guys feet standing in the distance, outside the water. And the sharpen effect doesn't smoothly follow the waters edge, but bobs in and out, if though some old guy with Arthritis did it.

RE: Quite Obvious
By shamgar03 on 7/19/2006 10:45:31 AM , Rating: 2
LOL, your totally right. Once you flip between them you can literally see the line of where the sharpening was done. Thats freaken hilarious.

RE: Quite Obvious
By Master Kenobi on 7/19/2006 12:20:10 PM , Rating: 2
Indeed, if it could be more blatantly obvious I don't know how.

RE: Quite Obvious
By johnsonx on 7/19/2006 4:38:18 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, that is pretty blatant. Load both images, flip back and forth and you can see exactly what was done. Looks like someone did it in about 30 seconds... you'd think if you're trying to pull off a hoax you'd spend maybe 10 to 15 minutes following the water line as exactly as possible.

This whole story is quite bizarre.

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