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Effects, Passes, Shaders and Parameters

As I promised in an earlier post, this is a short overview about shader support in the engine. Currently Merlin3D supports OpenGL and GLSL. DirectX support is not implemented yet.

Merlin3D uses its own effect files, that describes a particular shader set for the different rendering passes (it has some similarities to .fx files in DirectX, but in OpenGL world there is no effect file support at all). Effect files are in XML format. Each visible scene object has exactly one effect required to render the object in different rendering passes. Multiple scene objects can use the same effect. Anyway, it is the recommended way of effect usage, because the engine tries to group objects by the associated effects to reduce OpenGL state changes.
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