GPU 2016 — Homework #2

GPU 2016 — Homework #2

GPU Programming for Video Games

Summer 2016

Homework #2: Now You Are Thinking with Shaders

Due: Friday, June 24 at 23:59:59 (via T-square)

Late policy: The homework will be graded out of 100 points. We will
accept late submissions up to Saturday, June 25 at 23:59:59; however,
for every day that is it is overdue,
we will subtract 30 points from the total.

We understand that sometimes multiple assignments hit at once, or other
life events intervene, and hence you have to make some tough choices. We’d
rather let you turn something in
late, with some points off, than have a “no late assignments
accepted at all”
policy, since the former encourages you to still do the assignment
and learn something from it, while the latter just grinds
down your soul. The
somewhat late penalty is not
intended to be harsh – it’s intended to
encourage you to get things in relatively on time (or just punt if you have
to and not leave it hanging over you all
semester) so that you can move on to
assignments for your other classes.

homework will guide you through a series of tasks that explore various
creative possibilities of shader programming. Each task will involve modifying
code from the “GPU16IntroShaders”
demo on the class website.
For each problem, you will want to create
a duplicate of the shader you are modifying so you have the original
shader available.
The problems are not meant to be cumulative; i.e. if two problems ask you to
add some effect to some shader, start with a fresh copy of
the original shader for each problem so you can study each effect individually.

Use a different free model downloaded from the Unity Asset Store for
each problem. Be sure you choose models that have “base” (aka “diffuse”)
textures (this will probably be most of the available models).

As you work through the problems, paste your code and screenshots into
single Microsoft Word or PDF document.

You only need to provide
the parts of code that you modify; i.e. you don’t necessarily have to paste
in an entire function. Include enough information so
that I can tell what part of the program the line
of code you show are
included in, perhaps including a few lines of code
before or
after to provide context.
You may use something that isn’t
Microsoft Word as long as it can output PDF files.

1) Modify “GPUXXSpecmapVertexLit.shader”
and “GPUXXSpecmapPixelLit.shader” — to
employ a simple form of
Gooch shading attempts to mimic some
techniques that artists use,
particularly in technical illustrations, where
the goal is to convey information, and not necessarily be “photorealistic.”
Instead of the usual diffuse lighting,
select the vertex color
(in the case of “VertexLit”) or pixel color (in the case of “PixelLit”)
by linearly interpolating between blue (0,0,1)
and yellow (1,1,0) according to the formula (1+L.N)/2, where L is the light
direction, N is the surface normal, and the period indicates a dot
Implement the interpolation using the
function. Note this formula varies between 0 and 1; 0 should give blue,
1 should give yellow. Note that unlike with usual diffuse shading, surfaces
will be visible (as blue) even if no light impacts it. Please deactivate
(however you wish) the specular and ambient components of the lighting.
Note we will also ignore the textures in this problem;
you may delete or comment out the
tex2D lines, however you see fit.
(If you dig into
Gooch’s paper, you will see that what I have described and ask you to
implement is the simplest and most jarring form of Gooch shading; the paper
discusses combing this with the usual diffuse shading term and other
interesting tricks. You need not
do any of that here, but you may find it interesting reading).

Take a screenshot that shows one of your objects
that shows two instances of your object at the same orientation, one using
your vertex-lit Gooch shader and one using your pixel-lit Gooch shader.

Ungraded, optional experiment:
Check out Section 8.4.4 of

half-Lambertian shading; this is used extensively on face textures
in games like
Half-Life 2, Portal, and Left4Dead. It’s a simple way to avoid less-lit
parts of models looking too dark without having to crank up the ambient
light. Modify the
and “GPUXXSpecmapPixelLit.shader” programs to use half-Lambert diffuse shading
instead of the standard Lambert diffuse shading. Leave the specular component
as is.

2) Modify “GPUXXTexturedTileCorrectly.shader” to implement a simple
of “depth cueing.”

Like Gooch shading, depth cueing is a nonphotorealistic technique that
may help CAD designers when, for instance, viewing complex wireframe models
(although here we’re not using wireframe models). Here, we will make
parts of the object that are further away appear darker than those that
are close. Instead of just
painting the texture, found from
multiply it by a depthFactor originally
calculated in the vertex shader by a line like:

output.depthFactor = max(0,min(1,(;

where e and s
represent the starting and ending coordinate of
the depth cueing effect (i.e. anything beyond e is not seen, anything
closer than s looks the same).
Note my use of the word “originally” above — here, we
will do this computation
in the vertex shader, and then have the hardware automatically interpolate
these depth factors for us and pass these interpolated values on to the pixel
shader. So you’ll need
to add another line to the v2f
structure, that “repurposes” a register such as
TEXCOORD1 to pass this information along.

Add the starting and ending variables to the shader properties so you can
change them in the inspector.

Take a screenshot that clearly shows the depth cueing effect.

<!–3) Make the “OneLightTeapotHLSL” demo moodier by
incorporating a spotlight effect.

In particular, see
the “Spotlight Effect” slide in the “Lighting & Rasterization” lecture.
We will
multiply the intensity from the max(dot(normal,light),0)
calculation already given
in the code by this spotlight term.
For a spotlight, we
need to think of it as pointed in a particular direction; we’ll assume the
spotlight is always pointed at (1,0,0) in world coordinate space,
so the spotlight is aimed a little to the side. (In this
assignment, for simplicity,
you can “hard code” the
spotlight aim point into your shader code; the right software engineering
thing to do would be to include this information in the Lights class, but
that’s overkill for what we need here.)
In the spotlight formula in the lecture slides, the vectors must be normalized,
so you’ll need to do another call to normalize. Choose a power sufficiently
high that the spotlight effect is quite dramatic. I found that I had to use
a very high power, on the order of three digits!

Take a screenshot that clearly shows the spotlight effect.

3) Modify one of the GPUXX shaders that uses a “base” (aka “diffuse”)
texture (I don’t care which,
as long as it uses the v2f structure)
to make the base texture wave in a strange
mirage-like fashion.

Instead of just using
in the texture lookup in the pixel shader,
you should first add a time-varying function
of the form
A*sin(B**sin(C*_Time.x) to the the xcoordinate of and
D*sin(E**sin(F*_Time.x) to
the ycoordinate of
Be sure to use += and = so that you add,
and not overwrite.
Unity sets the uniform _Time variable for you; the different components
hold _Time with different scale factors, but here, we will multiply by
our own scale factor.
the deformation in x is determined by the y coordinate, and the deformation
in y is determined by the x coodinate.
A and D control the amount of
B and E sort of set the distance
between “deformation valleys”,
C and F control the speed. Pick A to be
different than D, B to be different than E, and C to be different than F.
(These parameters can be “hard coded” into your shader code.)
You will need to experiment a lot with those settings
to get something interesting and useful.
When you run it, you should see the picture morph in strange oscillatory
ways. Experiment with various values of the parameters.

Take a screenshot that illustrates the wavy effect.

4) Modify one of the shader programs that uses vertex normals
so that the object pulses like a
creepy staypuff marshmellow.

OK, what in the world do I mean by that? Here,
instead of varying the texture coordinates with time,
we will vary the vertex positions.
Before the line that performs
the UNITY_MATRIX_MVP transformation,
put in a line like this:

input.v += _Amplitude * input.n * (1+sin(_Rate*_Time.x))

This will make each vertex bulge out along the direction of its normal in a
creepy pulsating staypuff marshmellow sort of way. Experiment with
your Amplitude and Rate parameters (which you will want to make accessible
in the inspector by putting them in the Properties list)
until you get something that you think look
awesome. (As an aside, it’s also fun to drop the “1+” in the equation above,
which will cause the teapot to kind of implode in on itself during half of the sine

Take a screenshot of the awesome marshmellowiness.

5) Modify
“GPUXXSpecNormMap.shader” so that it accepts two normal maps as input,
and linearly crossfades between the (X,Y) values of one and the (X,Y)
values of the other.

(The recreation of Z will ensure that the resulting normal vector
still has unit length.) Using something like
0.5*(1+sin(_Rate*_Time.x)) as an argument to lerp so the
fading between normal maps varies with time, with a “Rate” variable
in the inspector controlling how fast it morphs back and forth. Grab
a couple of normal maps to show off the effect; they don’t have to necesarily
be the normal maps that came with your demonstration object.

Assemble your shader code and screenshots in an orderly
fashion into a single Microsoft
Word document or PDF file (using whatever tools you wish to create a PDF).
For each problem above, give the code, then give the screenshot. You only
need to show code for shaders that you modified; i.e. if you had to modify
the vertex shader but not the fragment shader, you need only show the vertex
shader (and vice-versa).
Include “HW2” and as much
as possible of your full name in the
filename, e.g., HW2_Aaron_Lanterman.doc. (The upload
procedure should be reasonably self explanatory once
you log in to T-square.)
Be sure to finish sufficiently in
advance of the deadline that you will
be able to work around any troubles
T-square gives you to successfully
submit before the deadline. If you have
trouble getting T-square to work,
please e-mail your compressed
file to Prof. Lanterman at,
with “GPU HW #2” and your full
name in the header line;
please only
use this e-mail submission as a last resort if T-square isn’t working.

Ground rules:
You are welcome to discuss
high-level implementation issues
with your fellow students,
but you should avoid actually looking at
one another student’s
code as whole, and
under no circumstances should you be copying
any portion of another student’s code.
However, asking another student to
focus on a few lines of your code discuss
why a you are getting a particular
kind of error is reasonable.
Basically, these “ground rules” are
intended to prevent a student from
“freeloading” off another student,
even accidentally, since they
won’t get the full yummy nutritional
educational goodness out of the assignment if they do.

Looking at
code from homeworks done in previous years is strictly prohibited.