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Pixel and Vertex Shaders?

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I just have to ask this, What exactly are Pixel and Vertex shaders? Everything I have read and everyone I have talked to have only given me dodgy answers similar to "they allow primitives to be drawn with more colors" or something to that effect. I am looking for a more detailed explanation, and I''m confident that the people on this forum can give me what I''m looking for. Thanks, roekai

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They allow you to "reprogram" the graphics pipeline. normally, you use the dafualt rendering pipeline and you set states so that default processing takes place.

For instance, in a Vertex shader, you would have to manually transform the coordinates to world/view space.

In a pixel shader, you would have to texture or color each pixel maunally.

This custom programing allows for faster processing (by eliminating unnessary steps) and lets you perform more advandced techniques.

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i know how he feels..

explaining shaders is really hard to do unless the person unless some 3d background to how things work now.

I really do not fully understand it myself. I am busy with other things at the moment but when I get a geforce5 I will start looknig more into it cause it seems like a good time.

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I am interested in reading further on this. I would like to find out what these unnecesseary steps are, and all of the other normal steps. Where can I find more information on this topic?

roekai

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There''s a rather in-depth explanation of the rendering pipeline (at least for Direct3D) and the architecture of your average pixel shader written by Wolfgang Engel: http://www.gamedev.net/reference/articles/article1820.asp. A similar series concerning vertex shaders is located at http://www.gamedev.net/columns/hardcore/dxshader1/.

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angrytofu,

Are you insinuating that I am a dummy? Do you have a more complicated answer you would like to give me? I believe I stated in my original post that I am looking for a more detailed explanation.

johnnie2,

I thought that these Pixel and Vertex shaders were hardware implemented features. So, reading about an API's pipeline would be different from reading about the chip itself's pipeline would, right?

roekai

[edited by - roekai on September 4, 2002 3:58:25 PM]

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