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 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 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).
Object file specification
You set the shader you want to use for a given object by editing that object's XML file, and specifying the shader you want in the
This will tell the engine to use the
Data/GLSL/my_example_shader.frag programs to render this object.
Reusing shader programs
If you want to reuse common parts of a shader program (or make optional parts you can turn on or turn off, per-object) then you can pass a set of
#define flags to the shader.
Will automatically add this at the top of your shader files:
You can then use
#if defined(DO_SOMETHING) or
#ifdef DO_SOMETHING to block off optional code.
Overgrowth does this with most of its object shaders, putting a lot of common code inside the
Data/GLSL/envobject.* shader programs.
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 an object seems to be using one of the shaders inside the
Data/GLSL folder, the engine is actually replacing it with
envobject, with an extra set of flags.
As of this writing, here is an exhaustive list of these substitutions:
envobject #TANGENT #ALPHA
envobject #TANGENT #ALPHA #PLANT
envobject #TANGENT #ALPHA #PLANT #NO_DECALS
envobject #DETAILMAP4 #TANGENT
envobject #DETAILMAP4 #TANGENT #BASE_TANGENT
This means that even though there are
Data/GLSL/MagmaFlow.frag files, they aren't actually used by the game. The shader code for those is inside
Creation of your custom shader
To create or modify an existing shader:
- Copy the Envobject.* files and paste them on Data/GLSL folder inside your mod.
- Rename the envobject files to another name so it wont conflict with those from the game (we will use EnvobjectEx.* on this guide).
- Set the name of your shader. On this case our name will be
- Write somewhere on the file your shader code by setting it inside an "if" statement.
and then close it with
- 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.