programmable shader research

Simon Harvey tronics80 at
Thu Jun 3 16:03:27 CDT 2004

hello all
I have put forward a project proposal outlining a
programmable graphics pipeline for optional use in

I submitted my proposal:
I intend to create a render pipeline who's shader(s)
can be selected by a user as being a programmable
shader created from source code which is then compiled
and then "executed" when a pixel is to be shaded OR
one of the current stock shaders from a drop down list
box in material settings.

I have still not yet decided wheather the shading
language should be a subset of python (at least
looking synthatically similar) or like C (similar to
RSL) however the many benifits of an RSL clone is that
people have experience with it, it is an industry
standard and the shaders runtimes and shader compilers
from pixie or aqsis can be used. 

What I hope to use are:
   The mailing lists - so other developers can have an
input on the syntax design as well as give help on
pipeline integration and coding techniques.
   The exposure - so people are aware of it.

This is a blender research project.

There is no agenda of infringing on the foundation's
long term plans.
It is naturally a big boost to one's own self-esteem
and happyness when ones own work gets regonised by the
wider community.

I am doing a masters in electronics, I do not have the
'promptness' and speed that other coders may have
because my thesis takes up so much of my time.
Therefore if the project is accepted it should be
expected that this is a *long term research project*.
With no results to be shown for the first 6-12 months
after initial acceptance.

My main interest is the shader virtual machine, shader
API's and the render pipeline, it will have to be for
others to give it a nice GUI if the programmable
shader subsystem has the required merit to warrant
futher development.

The shader type would be the surface shader in
renderman(tm), so there is no intention of providing
displacement, transformation, atmospheric, volumetric
and light shaders to blender's graphics pipeline.

and ton emailed me back asking me to put it on the
developer mailing list, just to see what you all
thought of it - ask for ideas and comments.

so here it is.

what do you think??


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