Writing DirectX Shaders


Hey, this is not a good place to ask this kind of question, but here it goes:

I am going to be building a new character, and instead of rendering it inside of Mental Ray, I want to see if I can write a DirectX shader that will emcompass the use of real time reflections as well, as diffuse, specular, normal mapping…and possibly skin shaders, and I want to know if the nVidia FX composer is good for this task.

Thanks in advance.

P.S.: I have no programming experience, but I want to learn a bit about it. Will be displayed inside of XSI


Try Mental Mill or Shader FX. Both have pretty good interfaces. Ther is alos a forum on the shaderfx site if you get stuck.



Hey Gary,

Thanks for your reply, I already have FX Composer2 installed, just haven’t had time to toy with…will it be able to do the same thing…?


I don’t have much advice to offer about shader programming, but I will tell you what I learned quickly about them. I also had no programming experience and thought that it might be pretty easy to learn this shader thing.

Direct X Shaders are written in a C-like syntax using a lot of Assembly instructions. You need to be able to understand vectors and matricies, so linear algebra is a must. I don’t want to dissuade you from jumping in, just be prepared for a steep learning curve. Get a good programming book from the library and start reading. Then practice practice practice. Starting with C or Java might not be a bad idea, but a warning, I’ve found C programming forums to be particularly hostile and unhelpful.

I have a good game-shader book at home but I forget the title, I’ll try to remember to post it for you so you can try to find a starting reference.

Good luck!


I am looking at Shader FX and it looks sweet…but it is for 3dmax…I am going to check out the Mental Mill Artists Edition


Hey, thanks dude…I am ready for a steep learning curve…i am doing this so that I can learn how to show my models in a real time setting and also have an all purpose shader to display real tme things like reflective swords or skin that actually looks really good…

I will set out to read books and tutorials…


P.S.: I will be writing my real time shader in FX Composer 2:thumbsup:


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