Ben Cantrick (mackys) wrote,
Ben Cantrick
mackys

[k5] Pixel and Vertex shaders (sort of) explained.



If you program or play computer games or even recently attempted to purchase a video card, then you will have no doubt heard the terms "Vertex Shader" and "Pixel Shader". What do they mean, other than that marketdroids will never cease to invent crappy technology jargon? Hear all the noise about "Hardware T&L" a couple of years ago? It's all related and this article will attempt to describe it all neatly for you.


http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2003/10/28/9853/1617

This is not an uber-great article, but it's alright. He makes some good analogies that explain pixel and vertex shaders much better than most explanations I've seen before.

Look more closely at the water in the Half-Life 2 screenshot above. (192k, 1280x934 jpg) Notice the realistic dimming and distortion of color and pattern through the water. That's pixel and vertex shaders in action. Effects like that were previously almost impossible.
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