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Effect Architect - a real-time Direct3D effect editor

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A month ago I started working on a real-time effect editor. The goal is to create an editor which brings a lot of the features we expect from our coding IDEs (syntax highlighting, folding, auto-complete, etc), as well as some features that are more specific to shader code.

In it's current form it only works for 2D effects or effects which can only be represented by a fullscreen pass. Eventually I'll be adding support for loading 3D models, but for now I'm focusing on the coding aspect.

The project can be found at [url="http://fxarchitect.codeplex.com/"]Effect Architect CodePlex page[/url]

Note that the layout has changed a lot since I recorded the demonstration video that's linked to on the home page of the project. I recently changed to using VS2010 (for the improved SharpDevelop APIs), so only the basic features are available in the current version (live preview, syntax highlighting, folding, and sampler state configuration).

If you have any input or questions, feel free to post them on the CodePlex page (I only check the forums here weekly, so that's a better place).

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Looks interesting. Have you seen the [url="http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh315733(VS.110).aspx"]Shader Designer[/url] in the next version of visual studio? It's a node-based designer, but also has real-time preview of effects. It's currently limited to pixel shaders, but does both full 3D effect and image processing shaders. Each node has a preview of the effect up to that point, so that you can visualize how the effect is built up.

I've been thinking alot about how shaders could be created more interactively as well, and also how they can be made more approachable for people who aren't graphics specialists. Good luck!

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