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Shaders question?

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The question is vague so I'm not sure how to answer it. I'll go with a shotgun approach...

You need to know about the hardware. You need to know how the graphics system works. You need to know about color and light. You need to know the language. You need to know how the software on the CPU and GPU interact. You need to know linear algebra. You need to how to program. That should do for the first pass ...

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Writing shaders is just like normal programming except that you put it in a different type of file, compile it within your program and that the input is vertex data and output is the final pixel data (if using vertex and pixel shader).

Two kings has a nice tutorial here

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