About the Shader Examples
The shaders contained in this book are primarily short programs that illustrate the capabilities of the OpenGL Shading Language. None of the example shaders should be presumed to illustrate the "best" way of achieving a particular effect. (Indeed, the "best" way to implement certain effects may have yet to be discovered through the power and flexibility of programmable graphics hardware.) Performance improvements for each shader are possible for any given hardware target. For most of the shaders, image quality may be improved if greater care is taken to reduce or eliminate causes of aliasing.
The source code for these shaders is written in a way that I believe represents a reasonable trade-off between source code clarity, portability, and performance. Use them to learn the OpenGL Shading Language, and improve on them for use in your own projects.
All the images produced for this book were done either on the first graphics accelerator to provide support for the OpenGL Shading Language, the 3Dlabs Wildcat VP, or its successor, the 3Dlabs Wildcat Realizm. I have taken as much care as possible to present shaders that are done "the right way" for the OpenGL Shading Language rather than those with idiosyncrasies from their development on the very early implementations of the OpenGL Shading Language. Electronic versions of most of these shaders are available through a link at this book's Web site at http://3dshaders.com.