|Khuutra screenshots. Left: Cel-shading. Right: No shader|
The last time I blogged about this game, I introduced Khuutra, the fastest character in the game. I'm going to use his model to explain what shaders are. The model is the 3D object in the game engine, while the shader applied to the model affects the way light will be reflected off the model, which of course will affect its appearance in the game. Think of it like the filters you apply to pictures on Instagram or within most modern image editing apps. The difference here is that shaders can affect only specific objects (or even just a portion of the total object), while filters affect the entire picture. There's a way to apply shaders to the entire video that the game shows too (that's called scene shading) but let's talk about model shading first.
I made the mistake of conceptualizing a fairly large project as my first game. I should have made a few simple 2D games for starters, but now that I've already invested so much time in this one, I decided to go ahead and finish it up. I've been using the free edition of 3D Gamestudio to make the game but recently, I decided to purchase the commercial edition because I needed access to some features, like shaders, that weren't available in the free version. Anything worth doing is worth doing right, right? To show you how much of a difference shaders make to the game's graphics, I'll let pictures do the talking. Just look at the exact same model with different shaders applied.
|Khuutra model with a Wireframe Shader|
|Khuutra model with a Chrome Reflection Shader|
|Khuutra model with a Chrome Bumpmapping Shader|
|Khuutra model with an Environmental Glass Shader (meant for glass walls and similar stuff)|
|Khuutra model with a Water Realtime Mirror Shader|
|Khuutra model with an Environmental Water Shader|
|Khuutra model with an Occlusion Shader|
|Khuutra model with Toon/Cel Shader|
|Monochrome Scene Shader|
|Sabel Scene Shader|
|Posterize Scene Shader|
|Hyper Dynamic Rendering Scene Shader (Compare the sun in this picture to that in earlier pictures)|