Masking is pretty easy and useful for adding some variety to your shaders. Masks are usually just some greyscale image that is turned into a float. In shaders floats have a very broad utility because you can add them just about anywhere. Super useful. And they can be used to blend textures or define areas in your material.
Adding a mask in code is the same as with any texture. The greyscale quality allows you to use a single channel of that greyscale as a representative of all the channels.
One of those things I wanted to make - and a big reason I think many people get involved in shaders - is water. If you've been following along and grabbing these shaders you have now almost all the parts you need to make a basic water plane. If you understand these parts then you can manipulate them to customize your water as you see fit. I'm going to spend a little time in explanation here.
In making this shader I start with the base shader and add a texture scroll effect on the normals (
Another simple shader technique is the skybox (or cubemap) reflection. Cubemaps are useful for creating quick and easy reflective surfaces for objects and work particularly well on curved surfaces or objects with bumpy normals. You can create an impression of a metallic, wet, or polished look quite easily (provided you have a way to generate cubemaps). In code, they are about as easy as fresnel, which gives them something of a broad utiity. Once you have the technique, you can treat it as a "par
If you took a bowl full of water and looked straight down into the bowl, the water would be clear. But if you were to then move the bowl up to your eye and look from the side along the surface of the water, you'd see it becomes highly reflective. That's fresnel.
It's a cool effect. And it's easy to code. You add a uniform vec3 cameraposition towards the top and a fresnel color, and then a fresnel effect is little more than this:
vec3 eyevec = normalize(cameraposition - ex_vertexp
Leadwerks 4 is one of the best purchases I've ever made. I've spent thousands of hours on it and most of that time has been spent dinking around with shaders. I'm not great at modeling and animation. I'm ok with scripts. What seems to draw me the most is shaders. I love shaders. I guess in some way here I just want a place to show off my accomplishments, but I also want to feel like I benefit other people, so my philosophy here is that it's cool to be one guy who can write shaders, but it's cool