shaders explained?

#1BossBangPosted 7/3/2011 12:18:54 PM
So I've got a couple of questions. i've heard everywhere that the 3ds is a pretty powerful machine capable of displaying decent quality textures but present console gen shaders.

i know what textures are but could somebody explain what shaders are, what they do, and how they work?

I was playing through Resident Evil mercenaries and thought it looked pretty good, very very close the 360 version. The demo for Revelations on there looked FANTASTIC though, and I'm guessing it's because of these shaders.
---
"Everybody has an opinion. Just some people try harder to shove it down your throat than others."
#2crynryanPosted 7/3/2011 12:41:17 PM
From what I remember from my friend who's told me a couple of times, shaders let you dump all the graphical processing to the GPU, or something like that, so it takes it off the CPU and lets the CPU do more game logic processing. The better the shader, the more work the GPU can do instead of the CPU, so the better the games can look.
---
Help us make a Paper Mario Flash game! Go here for details: http://www.papermarioflash.proboards.com
Current progress: http://megaswf.com/serve/1030223
#3ManokadoboPosted 7/3/2011 12:52:57 PM(edited)
Shaders are basically fancy effects developers can apply to a game to make it look more detailed and pretty. This link shows how Capcom's MT Framework game engine looks on the 3DS with and without certain shader effects.

http://www.andriasang.com/e/blog/2010/09/13/3ds_mt_framework_detailed/

One of the key shaders is the "Normal Maps" shader. It modifies how light appears to fall on the models and environment by creating extra shadows and highlights to give the illusion of finer details. If you look at the link, you can see that without it, Chris looks pretty okay, but he looks a bit too smooth. With it, he seems to get more muscle definition, and you can even see wrinkles on his face and on Jill's suit.

Edit: And as crynryan said, it's less work for the system. GPU's these days are built with these shaders in mind, and so are optimized in using them.
---
"The fault finder will find fault even in paradise." - Henry David Thoreau
#4WiiFan77Posted 7/3/2011 12:46:50 PM
This is a very interesting topic.
---
Official Godot of the Wright vs Layton board.
Picarats: 40, Made Franzy cry: 1
#5Muljo StphoPosted 7/3/2011 6:42:38 PM
http://www.andriasang.com/e/blog/2010/09/13/3ds_mt_framework_detailed/

Why is it that I like most of the shots where the effect is off better than the ones with the effect on?
---
"This ain't like fieldwork. You never have to notarize a man and kill him in triplicate. Well... Almost never..." - Ruby
#6plagamesforevaPosted 7/3/2011 7:12:32 PM
^
I agree!
---
CAPCOM needs to make a 3rd Capcom Classics Collection (Include Super Street Fighter II), Mega Man: Powered Up 2 & Mega Man: Powered Up 3 for the N3DS!
#7baconcow1812Posted 7/3/2011 7:28:08 PM
Muljo Stpho posted...
http://www.andriasang.com/e/blog/2010/09/13/3ds_mt_framework_detailed/

Why is it that I like most of the shots where the effect is off better than the ones with the effect on?


Because they are screenshots and many of those effects look better with video in-motion. If you have Oblivion for the PC, you can mess around with some of those effects. You will see the effect they make with motion.
---
"the hell!?"
#8ManokadoboPosted 7/3/2011 10:17:49 PM
^ What bacon said.

If the "on" shot makes the scene too dark or undetailed, it's because the effect in question is meant to be dynamic. For HDR lighting, it simulates your eyes adjusting to light, like making dark rooms seem darker after just having been in a bright area, and vice versa. For Self shadowing, it really accentuates the animation of a character, seeing how light is obscured by the motions of his/her own body.

If it's any other effect, then chalk it up to personal opinion.
---
"The fault finder will find fault even in paradise." - Henry David Thoreau
#9BossBang(Topic Creator)Posted 7/6/2011 12:08:56 AM
Ahhh i get it that makes a lot of sense. So better shaders can make amazing looking games with less processing power. It seems appropriate that game developers focused on these for handhelds.

I feel like lighting effects can make even a meh looking game fantastic. Textures have been the biggest focus up to now for handhelds, so I'm glad devs are finally paying more attention to lighting.

So shaders are software then? That would mean better coding could mean even better looking games in the future. The 3ds is a bit limited in the resolution department, so knowing that graphics will continue to improve over time given hardware limitations is fantastic.
---
"Everybody has an opinion. Just some people try harder to shove it down your throat than others."
#10Blood_NightsPosted 7/6/2011 12:13:47 AM
Shaders allow prettier graphics. A good example for this would be play a computer game that has the option for shaders, such as Star Craft II. When you turn the shaders on gradually, you'll notice that lighting is forced up to the next level. On top of that, bump mapping, shadows, and textures are instantly forced up.

This means shaders control everything. They control the filtering of textures, the bump maps, the normal maps (which are more fancy bump maps), the lighting, the shading, the shadows, and the overall graphical quality.
---
3DS F/C: 4038-6005-9214 Bryan
PM after adding. I require you to do work, but I'm not just adding aimlessly hoping someone else adds me. I'll add if requested.