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Offline saviilsy  
#1 Posted : Friday, March 16, 2012 9:31:55 PM(UTC)

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Yo all,

What's the status on shaders? Can we somehow write our own (of course some platforms such as WP7 cannot support this)? I read that there could be some sort if UDK like shader editor, but I am more interested of writing my own (because editor are so-so for making complex things).

My next project would use shaders so I am asking this feature now with a good head start :)

And of course if we could write shaders I could add occulsion cullion for rendering phase on the scenegraph (which by the way is progressing nicely, preview hopefully coming this weekend).

Maybe You could incorporate the cg toolkit into the pipeline as it can output glsl(both normal and es profile) and hlsl...?

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Offline Benjamin  
#2 Posted : Sunday, March 18, 2012 10:13:46 AM(UTC)

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Hi Santtu,

Sorry for the late answer, was sick all day yesterday in bed (still not fully back, but it is boring in bed).

Currently you can do 2 things:

- There is a ShaderFeatureEditor included in the ContentManager v0.9.4, which allows you to click together some basic (basic texturing, lighting, coloring, etc.) and advanced shaders (normal maps, parallax maps, post screen shaders (not done yet however), etc.). Currently there is not much customization, but more and more simple features can be added there if people just ask for it. The advantage of this approach is that it will always work on all platforms and you don't have to worry much about performance, compatibility, optimizations, 3d model support, etc. because we take care of that.

- The Arena Wars 2 Game Team has build their own shaders. They limited the game to OpenGL (basically just the PC right now) and wrote very advanced shaders for 3D models, post screen, ambient occlusion, blur, etc. that go far beyond what we could support on mobile devices. This obviously has the disadvantage that you would need to write a shader for each platform. There are two ways to do this: 1. Load the shader on your own (OpenTKShader has all the functionality to do so, just pass in the vertex and fragment shader programs as strings) or 2. Modify .DeltaShader files with a text editor or a little tool (the ShaderData class shows the internal structure) and edit them this way. E.g. for testing hlsl shaders I like to use Max or Maya and to compose them I still think FxComposer is the best tool out there.

And some time in the future when we have much more time and focus on high quality graphics the Shader Node Editor might be continued. It won't be as low level as most other shader node editors (like Unreal, Hypershade, etc.) because it is just building blocks, which you can code in a simple language (or drag together) and then save. Basically all the Shader Feature Flags are already such building blocks, but we did not have the time to finish customizing this (probably months of work to make it work out really nicely).

Hope that helps!
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