Sunday, 18 January 2009

Shaderzzz!



The last two days I was working on the new OpenGL demo framework and I am happy it's ready. Today I was reading some GLSL tutorials and I am very happy to finally have managed to code something that works. In the screenshot you can see an ugly plasma and a distortion. I don't think I will use them in my planned demo of course (enough with the plasmas :) they are just tests to check how things are working. Yey!

I am impressed by the shader power, that plasma was several lines of random sines, floats and divides and it just updated at far too many frames in my ATI. You can write a lot of maths per pixel and don't be afraid about speed. I am wondering what is the real bottleneck with shaders and if as a careless programmer I could reach it (since I remember demos with heavy shaders being too slow here). Another thing that made me happy was a program called Shader Designer. It was so easy to use, I just changed some values and I could instantly see the result. Really helped me coding anything without wondering what happening and nothing gets rendered.

And there are still a lot to see and understand about shaders. It's a bit different logic than what I am used. Now I'll just have to think of a theme for my next demo and start planning about the scenes and effects. When? Hopefully at Breakpoint..

4 comments:

  1. Optimus, you are the plasmas king. You should continue doing plasmas. Maybe several layers plasmas (plasmas in a voxel) or whatever... I believe you should continue. Now that you have a lot of power, it would be nice to see what you can do with it...

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  2. Hehe, if I find some good use of plasma that looks well then I'll try something. A 3D plasma would be a nice idea.

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  3. Shaders rule and they're very fast. Have I shown you my realtime raytracing test? http://nuclear.dnsalias.com/shots/gpuray_test1.png

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  4. Hmm yes, I think you had showed it to me. I am really wondering, why we haven't seen a shader demo with a raytracing engine at least as good as Heaven7 or FAN demos? Are there some obstacle to overcome when writting a complete raytracing engine on shaders or people are just lazy? I feel like there are a lot of neat stuff we still have to see on shaders.

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