VR ShadersImmersive experiences featuring bespoke shader effects

Shader Development

Using the Shader Forge platform to prototype and develop, I've built a number of bespoke shaders for Vectorform and clients. Especially when dealing with VR productions, the effects in Unity 3D often simply do not work or do not exist, requiring the creation of entirely custom systems. I've been able to implement a number of unique experiences, including viewpoint alignment based stereoscopic textures to procedurally animated elements that react to a user walking around the room.

Butteryfly conservatory

Water shaders are a lot of fun to play with, and for a butterfly conservatory project I developed a new shader with a number of features designed to help improve the realism. Material controls included shoreline blending, continuous multilayered ripple animations, refraction effects and falloff, and absorption and diffusion colouration.

I also created a post processing shader to handle the grading of the experience, with shadow and highlight preserving contrast, soft HDR value rolloff, split-tone colouration, and more. A particularly special feature is a mode that allows users to experience compound eye visuals! Though too disorienting and distracting for extended use, it's a pretty fun effect.

Volumetric fog

Helping a colleague on a stylised outer space production, I developed and implemented a simple UV flow map system along with pseudo-volumetric fog. Though largely a pretty standard effect, what I'm particularly proud of is the procedural animation system that utilised a single RGB texture to drive the patterning. Distorting and flowing along the ground, it's surprisingly fun to walk through in VR. I implemented false volumetric lighting along with the standard speed and distortion controls as well.

Stylised environments

Heavily influenced by Tron, one of Vectorform's client productions required a set of non-photoreal shaders. I created initial look development for the production in Lightwave 3D, iterating through changes and requests until the final art direction was decided on. I then ported the pre-rendered looks to Unity 3D using Shader Forge. The environmental pieces included terrain with incidence based normal mapping, multiple road layers, trees, and other elements.

The Results

My work in Shader Forge has become a critical part of the Vectorform VR and realtime 3D pipeline, creating custom effects for the majority of our productions, and bridging the gap between design (is it possible to do this?) and development (yes it is!).