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I am writing a game engine for Linux. It has a sufficiently large number of effects that can be turned on / off. Effects are defined before compiling with #ifdef. But the problem is that I literally have to “wrap” each variable in #ifdef. Another problem is that when adding new effects, I have to rewrite the conditions, since one variable can refer to several effects at once. For example:

#if defined ALGINE_LIGHTING_MODE_ENABLED || defined ALGINE_SHADOW_MAPPING_MODE_ENABLED
uniform vec3 viewPos;                       // Camera position
#endif

#ifdef ALGINE_DOF_MODE_ENABLED
uniform float focalDepth;
uniform float focalRange;
#endif

How could I reduce the amount of re-write needed when adding new effects?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't think you need to conditionally disable uniforms. Any half-decent shader compiler will optimize them away if they're not used. And you don't have to conditionally disable writes to them: When using glGetUniformLocation with glUniform*, non-existing uniforms (including those that were optimized away) are silently ignored. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 27, 2018 at 19:40

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If you are using macros for defining the variables, then there is really no way around it. You could, however, do something like this:

// constants.h
#if defined ALGINE_LIGHTING_MODE_ENABLED || defined 
ALGINE_SHADOW_MAPPING_MODE_ENABLED
uniform vec3 viewPos;                       // Camera position
#endif

#ifdef ALGINE_DOF_MODE_ENABLED
uniform float focalDepth;
uniform float focalRange;
#endif

And then include this file in your shader code:

// vertex-shader.glsl
#include "constants.h"
// [...]
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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for the advice, but I decided to entrust the optimization of this code fragment to the compiler (as @HolyBlackCat advised), since I have a lot of these variables \$\endgroup\$
    – congard
    Oct 29, 2018 at 18:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Alright. If you do decide to use this though (or someone else does), then please refer to this answer for a description of how this can be achieved. Since glsl has no understanding of your file system, you will have to invent a small hack to manually load all the #include'd files together, and then do some string concatenation. But it is definitely possible. \$\endgroup\$
    – alexpanter
    Nov 1, 2018 at 17:03

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