I am in trouble at trying to pass a big amount of variables needed for my pixel shader computations.

After trying and failing to link my struct to a cbuffer (data alignement mismatch) I tried passing my variables first to the vertex shader (with an D3D11_INPUT_ELEMENT_DESC / CreateInputLayout) with the intent to link them to the pixel shader through semantics but I hit the 32 shader inputs limit.

I am really stuck (and quite a noob at DX). What is a common / standard way to do this ? Can I only rely on a cbuffer ? Is creating a D3D11_INPUT_ELEMENT_DESC / CreateInputLayout even possible for the pixel shader ?

Example struct I want to pass to my pixel shader :

struct SceneParamsInterface {
    bool DEAOEnabled;
    double DEAOPow;
    bool lightEnabled;
    XMFLOAT4 lightColor;
    XMFLOAT3 lightDirection;
    bool lightMultiply;
    double lightMultiplyFactor;
    bool ambiantLightEnabled;
    XMFLOAT4 ambiantLightColor;
    bool HSEnabled;
    int HSSpread;
    bool fogEnabled;
    XMFLOAT4 fogColor;
    double fogDistanceMax;
    bool glowEnabled;
    XMFLOAT4 glowColor;
    double glowRadius;
    XMFLOAT4 skyColor;
    bool skyBoxEnabled;
    //uniform sampler2D skyBoxTexture;
    int skyBoxScheme0; // top
    int skyBoxScheme1; // left
    int skyBoxScheme2; // front
    int skyBoxScheme3; // right
    int skyBoxScheme4; // back
    int skyBoxScheme5; // bottom
    int skyBoxRotate;
    double skyBoxRotateSpeed;
    XMFLOAT3 skyBoxRotateAround;
    bool orbitTrapsEnabled;
    int orbitTrapsId;
    XMFLOAT4 objectColor;


  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you tell us what the parameters are that you are passing and what you are doing with them in the shader? \$\endgroup\$
    – Alan Wolfe
    Aug 16, 2015 at 0:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ stackoverflow.com/questions/14711763/… \$\endgroup\$
    – Ali1S232
    Aug 16, 2015 at 1:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AlanWolfe I didn't write the pixel shader code yet (I am porting GLSL code to HLSL) but I need all these variables (63+) available in my pixel shader for raytracing computation. I have 4 C++ structs for that purpose - see the one I posted up there. \$\endgroup\$
    – PinkTurtle
    Aug 16, 2015 at 12:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ Seeing nobody answered yet - I dont know much about dx11, but if you used openGl you could use texture or a buffer where usually geometry is stored. \$\endgroup\$
    – wondra
    Aug 16, 2015 at 21:51
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ This is the classic "Direct3D 9" design where you had to use a global set of constants. This is an extremely inefficient way to use Direct3D 11 Constant Buffers. See Windows to Reality: Getting the Most out of Direct3D 10 Graphics in Your Games--yes this is a Direct3D 10 era talk but it 100% applies to Direct3D 11 too. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 18, 2015 at 3:02

1 Answer 1


Use several constant buffers and group variables together based on how often they change.

If your variables are fairly static ( or just huge ) you may be better off converting values into a texture and extracting them in the shader.


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