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Introduction to the shader programming language

1.0.1. Properties of a polygonal object

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The word polygon comes from Greek πολύγωνος (polúgōnos) and is composed of poly (many) and gnow (angles). By definition, a polygon refers to a closed flat figure bounded by line segments.

(Fig. 1.0.1a)

A primitive is a three-dimensional geometric object formed by polygons and is used as a predefined object in different development software. Within Unity, Maya or Blender, you can find other primitives. The most common are:

  • Spheres. 
  • Boxes.
  • Quads.
  • Cylinders.
  • Capsules.

All these objects are different in shape but have similar properties; all have:

  • Vertices. 
  • Tangents.
  • Normals.
  • UV coordinates.
  • Color.

Which are stored within a data type called Mesh

All these properties can be accessed independently within a shader and kept in vectors. This is very useful because you can modify their values ​​and thus generate interesting effects. To understand this concept better, here is a simple definition of the properties of a polygonal object.

(Fig. 1.0.1b)

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Jettelly Team

We are a team of indie developers with more than 9 years of experience in video games. As an independent studio, we have developed Nom Noms in which we published with Hyperbeard in 2019. We are currently developing The Unity Shader Bible.

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