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save a shader as 3d object

fonofono Posts: 45Member


maybe this question is totally silly or out of contest, but i'm asking myself if is possible to save a shader as a
static 3d object. If yes where should i look? Let's say i want to save what i currently see on the screen (only shader content
as a 3d object. Maybe deciding first a capture Volume that save the current 3d structure generated by the shader



  • SIsilicon28SIsilicon28 Posts: 693Moderator

    Sorry, I don't understand the problem. A shader isn't a 3D object by itself. Concerning graphics APIs, a shader is just a program that runs on mesh data (vertices, triangles, etc...).

  • fonofono Posts: 45Member


    so is impossible to use a 3d shader as terrain / levels generator.
    Sorry if the question maybe sound stupid. I'm currently exploring what can be done
    with shader and reading a book about them. Really at the beginnning.


  • MegalomaniakMegalomaniak Posts: 2,580Admin

    Well, not a shader alone, no. But if you google there's plenty of tutorials on generating a terrain and even some opensourced plugins around that add a new node that can be created in the node tree.

  • SIsilicon28SIsilicon28 Posts: 693Moderator

    Yes, usually it's more mesh work than shader work.

  • cyberealitycybereality Posts: 928Moderator

    Saving a shader might be possible if you can format that data as a fullscreen image (for example a height map for a terrain). Then get the viewport as a texture and save that to a file. I think that could work.

    The other option would be to use MeshDataTool, which is not a shader, but you can modify a mesh, move vertices around, change properties like normal or vertex color, etc. This would be in the scripting code (like GDScript), so you should be able to save that to a sort of text file and load it up later.

  • ZylannZylann Posts: 31Member
    edited May 2020

    The terrain generator from my plugin works exclusively using shaders, it uses a Viewport node to then capture the results back into images (which is actually the only thing you can get back from a shader atm).
    In Godot 4 you may be able to do more general stuff with compute shaders.

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