Shaders

The following shaders can be applied to objects in a scene. For information about how to apply these shaders to an object, please see Materials editing and shaders.

Examples_shaders.png
Example usage of StandardStandard+Alpha Mask, and Standard+Emissive shaders.

Shader weights

Shaders in Sansar fall into the following weight categories, according to their potential impact on performance:

  • Feather weight - Lowest performance impact. Use these shaders as much as you like.
  • Light weight - Moderate performance impact. Use these shaders in specific cases to achieve a desired effect, but try to avoid applying them to objects that don't require them.
  • Heavy weight - Substantial performance impact. Use these shaders sparingly! If overused, these shaders can cause a significant drop in performance.

Shader descriptions

Note: Alpha mask shaders should not be used for transparent assets such as water or glass. The alpha mask threshold and softness values are used to remove artifacts and jagged edges from the opaque portions of the masked texture. Alpha masks are meant to create areas of 100% or 0% transparency and nothing in between. Instead, use Transmissive + Emissive, Transparent, or Transparent + Multibump when intermediate transparency is needed.

Standard

  • Light weight
  • A basic, high performance, general shader. Suitable for most objects in a scene.

Standard Two Sided

  • Light weight
  • Slightly heavier than the Standard shader, but suitable for single-sided planes that can be viewed from both sides.

Standard + Alpha Mask

  • Light weight
  • Allows fully transparent and opaque areas on a surface. Useful for details on objects such as hair, leaves, or chain-link fences.

Standard Two Sided + Alpha Mask

  • Light weight
  • Allows both sides of an alpha shader to render. Use cases include grass, bushes, or chain-link fences that are visible from both sides.

Standard + Emissive

  • Heavy weight
  • Similar to the Standard shader, but additionally allows portions of the texture to glow. Examples include texture with glowing lights, such as a car with glowing headlamps.
  • Because emissive lighting affects scene lighting, emissive shaders should be used sparingly.

Billboard

  • Feather weight
  • A surface with a single emissive or alpha texture that always faces the camera, regardless of viewing angle. Can use UV animation such as UV scrolling, or stepped frames such as a sprite sheet.
  • Has the following editable properties:
    • Brightness: Controls how brightly the emissive map glows.
    • Flipbook - Frame: Choose which frame the step animation begins on.
    • Flipbook - Step Rate: Defines the number of frames per second to animate. Television and movies most often animate at 24 frames per second. If you set this value to 0, the textures will not animate and shows only the first frame.
    • Flipbook - Loop: Toggle to restart the flip book at the first frame after the number of frames in ‘Loop’ have been displayed. Useful when the number of frames in a flip book cannot be evenly divided across two or more rows of a texture.
    • Flipbook - UV Frames: When equally divided into rectangular frames, define the number of frames your texture contains from left to right (X) and top to bottom (Y). For example, a 10-frame animation that has two rows of five frames would have an X value of 5.0 and a Y value of 2.0.
    • UV Scroll - Rate: For scrolling animation only; define the speed at which you would like the texture to scroll over the surface of the object in the X and Y directions.
    • Lollipop: Causes the surface to face the camera on the horizontal axis only; does not turn to face the camera vertically.

Standard + Detail

  • Light weight
  • Similar to the Standard shader, but includes a detail normal map. This allows close-up, repeatable details to be displayed. Useful for including details such as clothing threads, divots on golf balls, or wood grain.

Standard Two Sided + Detail

  • Light weight
  • Similar to Standard + Detail, but renders on both sides. Useful for inspection of close-up objects that can function as 2D assets, such as a piece of paper.

Standard + Detail + Alpha Mask

  • Light weight
  • Allows close-up detail inspection of objects that also have transparent and opaque sections of the texture, such as plant leaves.

Standard Two Sided + Detail + Alpha Mask

  • Light weight
  • Similar to Standard + Detail + Alpha Mask, but allows both sides of a 2D asset to display the texture.
  • This is the heaviest of the Standard shaders.

Subsurface + Detail

  • Heavy weight
  • Allows a different color to shine through a texture's diffuse colors. Bright areas of the surface begin to inherit the bleed tint colors. Useful for surfaces such as skin, stones such as jade or quartz, or other assets that display a subsurface color when exposed to bright light.
  • This is a performance-intensive, specialty shader that should be used only as needed.
  • Has the following editable properties:
    • Bleed Distance: How strongly the subsurface color appears when a light shines directly on the surface.
    • Bleed Tint: The subsurface color that appears in bright light.

Subsurface + Detail + Alpha Mask

  • Heavy weight
  • Similar to Subsurface + Detail, but additionally allows transparent areas.
  • Performance-intensive, and should only be used when absolutely necessary for a specific object.

Standard + Detail + Emissive

  • Heavy weight
  • Allows detail and emissive textures to be used on the same object. For example, a flashlight with a detailed handle.

Four Layer Non-Specular

  • Heavy weight
  • The most basic texture blender. Allows up to four diffuse + normal maps to be blended using one blend texture that uses red, green, blue, and black to determine where to place the diffuse textures. Most commonly used for terrain, such as to blend grass into dirt to create trails.
  • The colors for the blend map are as follows:
    • Black: Layer 1
    • Red: Layer 2
    • Green: Layer 3
    • Blue: Layer 4

Standard Three Layer + Detail

  • Heavy weight
  • Similar to Four Layer Non-Specular, but allows the inclusion of rough, metal, and detail maps in addition to diffuse and normal maps. The blend map allows three layers: Red, Green, and Blue.

Emissive (+ UV animation)

  • Feather weight
  • The most basic light-emitting texture. Allows you to control areas of the object that appear to emit light, and areas that remain dark. Useful for skyboxes, custom-shaped lights, or neon signs.
  • Has the following editable properties:
    • Mask map: Behaves like an alpha mask, except for the RGB channels of the emissive material.
    • Emissive Intensity: Toggle to set the brightness or dimness of the emissive map.
    • Absorption: Determines how much of the light coming from behind the material is prevented from being transmitted through the material (i.e. absorbed). A value of 1.00 means 100% is absorbed - thus 0% is transmitted through the material and the material will appear ‘opaque’.
    • Uv Scale - Sets the size of the UV texture. Repeats the texture if higher than 1.0.
    • Flipbook - Frame: Choose which frame the step animation begins on.
    • Flipbook - Step Rate: Defines the number of frames per second to animate. Television and movies most often animate at 24 frames per second. If you set this value to 0, the textures will not animate and shows only the first frame.
    • Flipbook - Loop: Toggle to restart the flip book at the first frame after the number of frames in ‘Loop’ have been displayed. Useful when the number of frames in a flip book cannot be evenly divided across two or more rows of a texture.
    • Flipbook - UV Frames: When equally divided into rectangular frames, define the number of frames your texture contains from left to right (X) and top to bottom (Y). For example, a 10-frame animation that has two rows of five frames would have an X value of 5.0 and a Y value of 2.0.
    • UV Scroll - Rate: For scrolling animation only; define the speed at which you would like the texture to scroll over the surface of the object in the X and Y directions.
    • Scroll option: Toggle which maps will be subject to the scrolling effect.

Transmissive + Emissive

  • Heavy weight
  • Allows partially see-through areas on emissive surfaces. Does not force transparent areas to become fully transparent (such as with the Alpha Mask shaders). Useful for creating surfaces that can be seen through while adding some color and emissive glow, such as stained glass.

Standard + Emissive + Stereographic

  • Heavy weight
  • Allows side-by-side or top-and-bottom 3D images to be viewed in VR. In desktop mode, only the image for the left eye is shown.
  • Orientation of the left and right images can be adjusted using the Rotation Factor property. The Rotation Factor setting is multiplied by 90 degrees as follows:
    • 0: "Wall-eyed" orientation, where the left image is meant for the left eye and the right image is meant for the right eye.
    • 1: Orientation where the top image is meant for the left eye and the bottom image is meant for the right eye.
    • 2: "Cross-eyed" orientation, where the right image is meant for the left eye and left image is meant for the right eye.
    • 3: Orientation where the bottom image is meant for the left eye and the top image is meant for the right eye.

Standard + Emissive + UV Animation

  • Heavy weight
  • Allows flip frame or smooth scrolling of a texture that can also emit light. Useful for animating texture lights that blink on and off or flickering neon signs.
  • The relevant settings are as follows:
    • Flipbook - Frame: Choose which frame the step animation begin
    • Flipbook - Step Rate: Defines the number of frames per second to animate. Television and movies most often animate at 24 frames per second. If you set this value to zero, the texture will not animate and will show only the first frame.
    • Flipbook - Loop: Toggle to restart the flip book at the first frame after the number of frames in ‘Loop’ have been displayed. Useful when the number of frames in a flip book cannot be evenly divided across two or more rows of a texture.
    • Flipbook - UV Frames: When equally divided into rectangular frames, define the number of frames your texture contains from left to right (X) and top to bottom (Y). For example, a 10-frame animation that has two rows of five frames would have an X value of 5.0 and a Y value of 2.0.
    • UV Scroll - Rate: For scrolling animation only; define the speed at which you would like the texture to scroll over the surface of the object in the X and Y directions.
    • Scroll option: Toggle which maps will be subject to the scrolling effect.
    • Fix Shimmering: Addresses shimmering artifacts that  can occur when bright emissive materials are scrolling at high speed on thin objects.

Standard + Alpha Mask + UV Animation

  • Heavy weight
  • Allows flip frame or smooth scrolling of a texture that allows Alpha Masks. Useful for making sprite-based assets.
  • The relevant settings are as follows:
    • Flipbook - Frame: Choose which frame the step animation begin
    • Flipbook - Step Rate: Defines the number of frames per second to animate. Television and movies most often animate at 24 frames per second. If you set this value to zero, the texture will not animate and will show only the first frame.
    • Flipbook - Loop: Toggle to restart the flip book at the first frame after the number of frames in ‘Loop’ have been displayed. Useful when the number of frames in a flip book cannot be evenly divided across two or more rows of a texture.
    • Flipbook - UV Frames: When equally divided into rectangular frames, define the number of frames your texture contains from left to right (X) and top to bottom (Y). For example, a 10-frame animation that has two rows of five frames would have an X value of 5.0 and a Y value of 2.0.
    • UV Scroll - Rate: For scrolling animation only; define the speed at which you would like the texture to scroll over the surface of the object in the X and Y directions.
    • Scroll option: Toggle which maps will be subject to the scrolling effect.

Media Surface

  • Heavy weight
  • A streaming surface used to display video media. Useful for theater or television screens.

Media Surface + Stereographic

  • Heavy weight
  • Similar to Media Surface, but capable of displaying stereographic video for a 3D effect while in VR. When in desktop mode, only the image for the left eye is shown.
  • Orientation of the left and right images can be adjusted using the Rotation Factor property. The Rotation Factor setting is multiplied by 90 degrees as follows:
    • 0: "Wall-eyed" orientation, where the left image is meant for the left eye and the right image is meant for the right eye.
    • 1: Orientation where the top image is meant for the left eye and the bottom image is meant for the right eye.
    • 2: "Cross-eyed" orientation, where the right image is meant for the left eye and left image is meant for the right eye.
    • 3: Orientation where the bottom image is meant for the left eye and the top image is meant for the right eye.

Transparent

  • Light weight
  • Accepts an albedo map, UV scale, and tint inputs. Creates an object that appears to be transparent. The amount of transparency is determined by the brightness of the colors in the albedo map; a totally white albedo map results in a colorless, totally transparent object whereas a totally black albedo map results in a black, opaque object. Scene lighting may still affect how the surface of the object looks while visiting the scene.

Transparent + Multibump

  • Heavy weight
  • Similar to Standard with an Albedo map, Normal map, and Roughness map, but is transparent and overlays and scrolls the Normal map at 3 additional perceived depths for a flowing water-like effect.
    • Uv Scale - Sets the size of the UV texture. Repeats the texture if higher than 1.0.
    • Bump Scale - Sets the "roughness" of the normal map. Low values look nearly smooth, and high values look exceptionally rough or bumpy.
    • Octave Wavelength Decay - Set the perceived depth of the three scrolling normal maps. At low values the lower layers appear to be deep below surface, and at high values all three layers appear to be near the surface.
    • Octave Bump Decay - Controls how "rough" the sub-layers appear. At low values the layers appear smoother, and at high values they appear rougher.
    • Uv Scroll Rate - Sets how fast to scroll the normal map across the surface in the X and Y directions.
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