Shaders are special programs that interact directly with graphics hardware for special effects using light, darkness, and color within a model's appearance.
A programmable shader allows authors to directly specify how an object is rendered by providing a method of programmatically modifying sections of the rendering pipeline. This allows replacement of the traditional fixed-function graphics API pipeline to support visual effects that typically cannot be implemented using other node components in this standard.
These example scenes illustrate the X3D Programmable Shaders Component. Unfortunately, unlike X3D, shader languages are typically hardware-specific and not interoperable across different platforms. Mutually compatible X3D interfaces and syntax are defined for the OpenGL shading language (GLSL) binding, Microsoft high level shading language (HLSL) binding and the nVidia Cg shading language binding.
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