Unity 2018’s beta was released earlier today and includes a number of exciting new features. One of them is a new visual shader editor called the Shader Graph. Shader Graph is a visual tool which allows you to connect nodes to define a shader without having to interact directly with code or understand anything about computer graphics.
While both Unity 2018 and the Shader Graph tool are both in beta we’re going to attempt to use them to build a simple shader without touching code once. We’ll take advantage of the Vernoi noise generation included with the tool and animate it over time. We’ll also explore importing a texture in the Shader Graph and using it to simulate lava or energy over a texture. The effect is simple but for a demonstration covers many of the normal things you’ll want to do.
Given that the tool is a beta still some of the hickups we encounter should be expected, however they do make taking advantage of the tool difficult. It’s far from perfect but, despite that, offers a powerful suite of tools for anyone looking to tinker with shaders or just prototype that new effect quickly before writing it out in code. It’s a good first step that hopefully grows over time. Additionally, since this tool is so new very little documentation for it exists, as this grows it should make the tool easier and easier to use as well.
Hopefully as it matures it becomes a powerful tool in the Unity toolbox.
What do you think? Is this something you’d like to use? Give it a try with the links below or let me know what you think in the comments!
Learn more about the Unity Shader Graph editor and how to get up and running with it here: https://forum.unity.com/threads/feedback-wanted-shader-graph.511960/
You can find more information about whats new in Unity 2018 including some of the things that are possible with the Unity Shader Graph in the release notes here: https://blogs.unity3d.com/2018/01/10/get-early-access-to-unity-2018-1-the-beta-is-out/