View Full Version : DX scene shaders question

05 May 2008, 07:51 PM
In order to achieve the editing viewport shader effect in the attached image, I am told that:

'Max supports scene effect DX shaders which operate on the whole scene. Chromadepth looks like a good candidate for a Z-depth based scene effect. Of course, somebody has to write it, but otherwise it would be easily possible.'

Chromadepth is color-keying a scene so that it can be viewed in 3D stereo using Chromatek 3D glasses.
My question is:
What do I need to learn/do to write such a realtime shading preset effect for the 3DS Max editing viewport, or for any other 3D app you may know of that this is possible for? This is for the realtime viewport, not post work.

05 May 2008, 11:33 PM
It really depends on if you just want to write that one shader and that's it or if you are interested in building good Real-Time shader (HLSL) knowledge.

I'll asume that you want the good foundation and don't mind spending a bit of money to get it. (If that is not the case, ignore everything I said)

ShaderFX ( ( is good for starting with shaders without any knowledge of the code that is required. It creates all the code for you.
So that is a good starting point to mess around with Real-time shaders inside the 3dsMax viewport. It does not however create scene shaders. It creates pixel (and vertex) shaders (they are fundamentially VERY similar to scene shaders as far as HLSL knowledge goes).

From there you can beef up your actual knowledge of writting shaders manually.
Good training material (DVDs) is by Ben Cloward (who also co-wrote shaderFX)
(there are 2 HLSL dvds there)

Once you've done all that, you probably have a pretty good understanding of how to write shaders and you can use the existing Scene shaders of 3dsMax (in the Maps / FX / Scene folder) as a guide to write your own scene shader.

Now if you just want free stuff and it doesn't have to work directly inside 3dsMax, there are some free tools available like FX Composer from Nvidia and Render Monkey from ATI.

Hope that helps.
Take care,

05 May 2008, 11:56 PM
Actually, I need only that sequence of Z-depth running from red foreground to blue for furthest away in a radial fashion from the viewport camera. I'll never have to write another scene effect shader. I need it to appear all the time and for any scene I am editing. Which of the options you mention will get me there?

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05 May 2008, 11:56 PM
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