Shader Creation

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Revision as of 23:04, 29 January 2018 by Merlyn (talk | contribs) (Special shader file names)
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Shader file structure

Shaders are a programmable code for each of the OpenGL standard rendering pipeline stages. These are used to modify the geometry and per-fragment ("pixel") rendering of a given object.

In Overgrowth, they are programmed in the GLSL shader language.

They are generally stored in the Data/GLSL folder. Shaders that go together have the same base filename, but have a different extension for each shader stage.

.vert shader

.vert corresponds to the per-vertex shader stage.

This stage is always required

This comes first in the shader pipeline.

Vertex shaders are used most often for calculating interpolated data for the fragment shader to use (e.g. vertex coloring/lighting), or to calculate things in-shader, but once per vertex instead of once per pixel (which often makes it cheaper).

.frag shader

.frag corresponds to the per-fragment shader stage.

This stage is always required

This comes last in the shader pipeline.

Fragment shaders are used for calculating the color on a per-fragment ("pixel") basis.

Note: a "pixel" is a simple way to think about it, but if you're doing AA, or full-screen effects that span multiple pixels per single fragment, or rendering to a texture, than there isn't always a 1:1 mapping of "pixels on the screen" to fragments. This is useful to keep in mind in special cases, but generally for regular objects, a fragment is a "pixel".

other shader stages

.geom, .tess_eval, and .tess_ctrl are other shader stages that the engine supports. However, the engine only supports these stages in special cases. For the most part there's no need to worry about or try to work with these shader types.

The engine could be extended to support these in a more flexible way in the future, if use cases and a feature request were presented (Email [email protected], or post in the Wolfire Discord in the #suggestions channel).

Special shader file names

Right now the engine automatically substitutes certain shader strings with a different/expanded string with extra options in place.

This means, even if seems to be that an object is using one of the shaders set inside Data/GLSL, the engine is replacing it with another path making a reference to the shader based on envobject.

As of this writing, here is an exhaustive list of these substitutions:

  • cubemap -> envobject #TANGENT
  • cubemapobj or cubemapobjchar or cubemapobjitem -> envobject
  • cubemapalpha -> envobject #TANGENT #ALPHA
  • plant or plant_less_movement -> envobject #TANGENT #ALPHA #PLANT
  • plant_foliage -> envobject #TANGENT #ALPHA #PLANT #NO_DECALS
  • detailmap4 -> envobject #DETAILMAP4 #TANGENT
  • detailmap4tangent -> envobject #DETAILMAP4 #TANGENT #BASE_TANGENT
  • MagmaFloor -> envobject #MAGMA_FLOOR
  • MagmaFlow -> envobject #MAGMA_FLOW

Creation of your custom shader

To create or modify an existing shader:

  1. Copy the Envobject.* files and paste them on Data/GLSL folder inside your mod.
  2. Rename the envobject files to another name so it wont conflict with those from the game (we will use EnvobjectEx.* on this guide).
  3. Set the name of your shader. On this case our name will be CUSTOM_SHADER
  4. Write somewhere on the file your shader code by setting it inside an "if" statement.

For example: #ifdef CUSTOM_SHADER and then close it with #endif

  1. Now, you can easily put your shader to work on any object very easily. Just go to your object .XML file, and inside the ShaderName tags, set something like this

<ShaderName>EnvobjectEx #CUSTOM_SHADER</ShaderName> And now your shader will be used on that object.