What is a shader?

May 11 2006



Clearly, shaders play a crucial creative role in defining the appearance of a CG production. RenderMan has been adopted by many leading studios because it allows special purpose shaders to be added to those that already exist.

Individual shaders are small sub-routines (functions) written in a specialised programming language called the Pixar Shading Language. The language enables new shaders to extend the creative possibilities of the renderer; it allows computer artists to find endless ways of controlling the appearance of a 3D scene through the use of custom shaders. The only limit is their imagination, their ability to write new, or adapt existing shaders and their creative flare at adjusting the parameters that control the visual effect of a shader.

In some respects RenderMan shaders are analogous to plugins for, say, PhotoShop and AfterEffects. Plugins for those applications provide extra functionality to their host program. Likewise, shaders “work” within the environment of a renderer.


Specular highlight @ wikipedia對於第二段的最後一句的感受很強烈,強烈到一種像是被給了一巴掌似的,那種明明早就知道的情況,但卻無力做好,然後被指著說還沒有反駁的立足點。我想成為一位夠擔當的 TD(Technical Director),於是常常徘徊在「技術 spec 的瞭解與專研」和「美感 sense 與選對工具並好好活用」之間,這感覺十足惱人,非常惱人。管它的,就是學好學精一樣東西就對了。

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