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16. May 2014

 

The following is a collection of modern shader programming resources.  I intend to improve my knowledge of shader programming and intended to gather all the current resources I could access together in one place.  This resource (mostly) ignores HLSL ( Direct3D ) and custom implementations, like Unity3D.

Please note, this resource is only about shader programming only.  There exist tons of resources that are about OpenGL programming, which as a subset includes GLSL.  I covered many of these resources in my previous Modern OpenGL Resources round-up.  So if you are looking for tutorials, samples and books on OpenGL programming, you should start there.

 

Sites

 

Kick.js Shader Editor

Online shader editor tool with realtime preview and samples as well as error console.

 

Shadertoy

An absolute must visit.  Think of it as the gitbhub for shaders.  Create, share and view hundreds of others shaders.  The site is awesome, but a warning.  It will absolutely kick the crap out of your browser, as the home page, somewhat dumbly, opens dozens of shaders at once. 

 

Shdr

Online GL shader editor/validator/preview similar to Kick.js.  Open sourced MIT license.

 

GLSL Sandbox

Another site for discovering and sharing shaders, including a simple editor.

 

For tutorials links see the Modern OpenGL Resources round-up.

 

Tools

 

nVidia Nsight / CUDA Toolkit

Among other functionality, Nsight provides a GLSL/HLSL shader editor and enables shader debugging.  For Mac/Linux it’s available for Eclipse, but on Windows it’s a Visual Studio plugin.  Unfortunately, Visual Studio 2013 isn’t supported yet and Express versions do not support plugins, so I have not tried it yet.

 

AMD GPU PerfStudio

AMD’s GPU toolset.  Includes a shader editor and debugger, but sadly it’s currently HLSL only.  Worse, its DX11 only, meaning the converter probably wont work.

 

AMD GPU ShaderAnalyzer

Tool for analysing shader performance, doth GLSL and HLSL.

 

GLSL Hacker

Cross platform tool for 3D prototyping.  Load a 3D object and see your shader in action.

 

HLSL2GLSL

Convert DirectX9 HLSL shaders to GLSL.  Was originally released by AMD, then forked by someone on the Unity team.  Useful if trying to support both renderers, or using a tool that exports only HLSL shaders.  It’s open source and apparently the source is pretty awful.

 

nVidia FX Composer

nVidia’s shader IDE.  Abandoned, doesn’t directly support GLSL. :(

 

Rendermonkey

AMD/ATI’s shader IDE.  Also abandoned, a long time ago. :(

 

ShaderDesigner

GLSL IDE.  It’s old but seemingly was updated last year.  Didn’t run due to need to install component that required a license server.  I hate installing license servers to my machine.

 

Apple OpenGL Shader Builder

Apple include a development environment for developing and testing GL shaders.  It is however OS/X only and you need to log in to their developer portal to download.  The Guide is available without logging in.

 

qshaderedit

An open source, cross platform shader editor inspired by Apple’s Shader Builder.

 

Shazzam Shader Editor

First off, this exports HLSL to GLSL ( see HLSL2GLSL above ) and is aimed at XAML/Silverlight developers.  It does however include a shader editor and the ability to preview the results.  Last updated July 14th, 2012.

 

Glman

A simple tool for learning shader programming.  Includes the course work the tool is meant to supplement.  Last updated Dec 7, 2011.

 

GLShaders for Eclipse

Eclipse plugin for developing shaders ( vertex and pixel ) inside the Eclipse IDE.  Provides syntax colouring and error/warnings.

 

Books ( Shader specific )

 

GLSL Essentials

Dec 2013, Packt

SafariLink

116 Pages

 

OpenGL 4 Shading Language Cookbook 2nd Edition

Dec 2013, Packt

SafariLink

394 Pages

For some reason, Safari version is Second Edition, while on Amazon I can only find the first edition published in 2011.

 

Graphics Shaders: Theory and Practice, 2nd Edition

Nov 2011, CRC Press

SafariLink

518 Pages

 

OpenGL Shading Language, 3rd Edition

July 2009, Addison-Wesley

SafariLink

792 Pages

Once again, the above are simply books *dedicated* to shader programming and GLSL in specific.  Any modern OpenGL text will have a great deal of content on shader programming.  In fact, if it doesn’t you probably shouldn’t touch it, as it is heavily out of date.

Programming

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