3D Glossary--Procedural Shaders
PROCEDURAL SHADERS are surfacing controls that create maps based on values entered by the user. Maps created by procedural shaders can be used on any surfacing parameter--diffuse color, specular reflection, luminosity, transparency, etc.--in just the same manner that bitmaps created outside the application can be used.
Procedural shaders are used to create both regular patterns (such as grids or checkerboards) and more random patterns (typically simulating wood grain, marble-type patterns or a cloudy diffusion.) Most procedural shaders create 3-D patterns. In other words, the pattern follows logically inside the volume just as wood grain carries inside a wooden object if the object is cut open. This avoids many of the difficulties attributable to mapping a bitmap around the surface of an irregular object.
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Created: Mar. 18, 1997
Revised: September 2, 1997