Utility Shaders (Legacy)

Though Utility Shader development has been put on the backburner for now (waiting for the SGE to stabilize a bit before I move it into Unity 2018/2019 now that Shader Forge is out of active development) it’s worth looking at the effects possible.


The first set is a blur/distortion pack.  Abusing mip mapping to grab bilinear-filtered copies of the image, and applying additional blur taps on top of the pre-computed ones in the mips.  Additional UV map distortion (frac, addition, remapping, etc) makes easy work of pixelating or refracting the image.  Motion or directional blur isn’t quite as fancy, relying more on the number of taps offset in the required direction.  One handy effect that seems to be popular is the cooldown timer, with the image grayed out and a dark rotating mask controlled by a value set in the material inspector.

Loading and Levels can be useful in many circumstances.  From assuring players the game hasn’t frozen to visualizing audio output levels, displaying health bars or debugging user inputs like throttle or brake application.


As the scriptable render pipelines develop further, and users gain access to some of the core forward rendering values (lighting information in the SGE), work on the next packs will continue.  They may include new lighting models, both physically based like spectal rendering (IR, UV, night vision, etc), and non-physical rendering (toon, hand-drawn, CAD-shader, etc).

As a quick example, this is the user guide, scripting reference for one of the utility shaders.  It’s a bit of an anomaly (due to it being unlit) in that it’s compatible with so many versions and render pipelines; a lit version would be usable in fewer versions/pipelines.




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