Thursday, October 12, 2006


I've been working on a really cool project for the last few months. It's called ShaderFX. It's a plugin for 3ds Max that allows artists to create FX shaders for Max's viewport. I'm creating it together with Kees Rijnen who has been a lead tech artist at Bioware.

In the past, FX shaders have been out of the reach of most 3d artists since the only way to make them was by coding them in HLSL - DirectX's High Level Shading Language - and that generally required begging a programmer friend for help. ShaderFX changes that. It uses a visual interface for building shaders by wiring nodes together to get the effect that you want. It's designed to have a similar workflow as the Material Editor in Max, so that artists who are familiar with making materials for Max's software renderer can pick up the tool and start creating real-time shaders quickly.

Kees formed a new company to market ShaderFX as well as several other plugins for Max that he has been creating. You can find out more information about ShaderFX and his other tools at We're about to start beta testing the plugin. I'll post more information here as things develop.