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Special Effects Editor
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Chris Offline
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Post: #1
Special Effects Editor
I'm very happy to see the special effects editor on the roadmap, and think it's great timing for Esenthel to raise the bar to its competitors. Hemi mentioned having a discussion on the Special Effects Editor in a previous thread; I think it would be good for this community to share its thoughts, but respect Esenthel's final decision.

My request for a "Special Effects Editor" would be that it focuses on three areas; performance, user-sharing, and functionality improvements to the current shader-pipeline. I think CryEngine 3 is behind now in the DX11 scene, but Unreal is striving forward at a scary pace: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSXyztq_0uM while Uniginie remains heavily noticed thanks to their displacement tesselation (i'm so glad to see this so high on the roadmap too!). Anyway, I think there’s a gap to be filed, and these points are how I'd like to see this realized:

  1. Add a new abstraction mode of the Code Editor:"Shader Editor" (re-use some of the hardworked functionality) to support a next-gen shading language. E.G. look into the possibility of not having to compile shaders, rather having it modifying existing shader params with well-designed modular super-shaders where possible.
  2. Fill the gaps with EE's current disadvantages. Here’s a scenario: I want to write a custom rim-lighting shader, or add rain effects to the surface of a characters skin. But I don't want to have to re-write a relief, parallax, normal mapping, displacement mapping, skinning shader etc to get it working for my existing game modes. Let's say i'm feeling generous; I want to give it to the community - I want to post a file which people can easily apply, without modification, to their games. Later have a sub-forum just for submissions of various shaders to get lots of nice effects & images of the engine flying around the web quickly.
  3. Below, I collected some screenshots of existing technology. There's a large trend for these horizontal node-based GUI shader editors. Looking at advantages and disadvantages, it’s clear to see why this approach has been standardized: easy to implement high-level aspects, easy for people "afraid of code" to adopt, easy for graphics artists to "install" and setup - without visual studio etc, and easy to integrate directly into game worlds. But also there are many disadvantages: In the later images it becomes spaghetti - good OOP code would be much easier to understand than this kind of spaghetti. Therefore: Can the advantages of both be combined? Can we have a high-level visual editor, with the ability to expand the nodes and dive into low-level code/visualizations?
  4. Solid Integration to World Editor with Realtime-Profiling - I think this is where Unreal & Cryengine really shine - people can quickly see where their shaders need to be optimized and how heavy they are.

Existing Work:

http://img832.imageshack.us/img832/4351/clip.png - Seems okay.
http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/6397/capture2omc.jpg - Unreal
http://i401.photobucket.com/albums/pp94/...rSetup.jpg - Unreal again
http://artisaverb.info/Garage/ClockShader.jpg - continued
http://www6.incrysis.com/screenshots/cry..._setup.jpg - CryEngine 3
http://i707.photobucket.com/albums/ww76/...Shader.jpg - Crysis
http://img509.imageshack.us/img509/3734/...aderui.png - Crysis Shader generate UI params
http://www.stereofinland.com/wp-content/...ry3_05.jpg - Crysis Profiler
http://tysoes.com/SFXL.jpg - Shader FX
http://www.creativeobserver.com/img/2199...max_lg.jpg - Helpful Icons
http://developer.amd.com/gpu_images/Full...ey_lrg.jpg - Render Monkey
http://www.keenleveldesign.com/pimp/prot...3/ui02.jpg - another style. But can quickly go over the top:
http://www.keenleveldesign.com/pimp/prot...mbo_01.jpg - does this make any sense to you?
http://www.keenleveldesign.com/pimp/prot...aph_01.jpg - *shudder,surely any code is better than this?*
http://www.hmrengine.com/img/0.7/shot04.jpg - this keeps getting done
http://www.3dworldmag.com/files/2010/12/...mage6_.jpg - SoftImage
03-24-2011 09:29 PM
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runewake2 Offline
Member

Post: #2
RE: Special Effects Editor
That third to last picture looks complicated.

I have never done anything with shaders before. Still, an effects editor would be a very nice addition.
03-24-2011 09:42 PM
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Dandruff Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Special Effects Editor
First screen looks nice
03-25-2011 12:06 AM
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Zervox Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Special Effects Editor
Unity - Fusion Shader Editor
I really like this one.
Node based shader tools really has gotten a breakthrough lately it seems. pfft
I hope the effect editor planned isn't only an improved particle editor but extended with node/graphical shader editor tool, this would seriously add alot to the engine value! smile
(This post was last modified: 04-11-2011 09:44 PM by Zervox.)
04-11-2011 09:40 PM
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Driklyn Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Special Effects Editor
My experiences with node-based editors has never been too good. They seem way to confusing and complex, like it would be easier just to code it. Although I suppose my opinion could change with time.
04-11-2011 10:33 PM
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runewake2 Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Special Effects Editor
I would prefer a node based editor.
04-14-2011 02:25 AM
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