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Introduction to the shader programming language

2.0.3. Shader types

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To start creating a shader we must first create a new project in Unity. If you are using Unity Hub it is recommended to create the project in the most recent versions of the software (e.g. 2019, 2020 or 2021).

We are going to need 3D template with Built-in RP to facilitate the understanding of the graphics programming language. Once the project has been created, we must right click on our Project Window (ctrl + 5 or cmd + 5), go to Create and select the Shader option.

(Fig. 2.0.3a. We can achieve the same result following the Assets / Create / Shader path) 

As we can see, there is more than one type of shader, among them we can find:

  • Standard Surface Shader.
  • Unlit Shader.
  • Image Effect Shader.
  • Compute Shader.
  • Ray Tracing Shader

The list of shaders is likely to vary depending on the version of Unity used to create the project. Another variable that could affect the number of shaders that appear in the list would be Shader Graph. If the project were created in Universal RP or High Definition RP it may have the Shader Graph package included, which increases the number of shaders that can be created. 

For now, we will not go into too many details since we must understand some concepts before starting, we will simply limit ourselves to working with the Built-in RP default shaders. Before creating our first shader, we will do a little review of the different types that exist in Unity.

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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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