Game Development Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional and independent game developers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am looking for resources that can provide me with a better understanding of what kind of things shaders are used for in games, what they can do, and maybe even more importantly, what they cannot. I understand how the graphics pipeline works and all that, and I have made some very basic shaders in GLSL (mostly just to replace the fixed-function pipeline functionality), but I don't yet fully understand which things are only possible with custom shaders, which things can be done more efficiently, etc. I have been able to find some examples of certain techniques, most notably lighting, but I am looking for a more higher-level overview of their usage.

Links to and explanations of certain interesting techniques, as opposed to an overview, are also appreciated (but less than an overview ;) ), preferrably in GLSL or pseudocode.

share|improve this question
up vote 5 down vote accepted

You can find something here and also here. And if you want, you can find a lot of information in GPU Gems 1, 2, 3 and Shaders for Game Programming and Artists (I think, it's not about GLSL, but about HSL and shaders and games generally).

share|improve this answer
Those are some excellent resources! – stephelton Apr 11 '11 at 20:55
They certainly are, thanks! – Jonesy Apr 13 '11 at 14:52

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.