How to make the Shader System work for you, a basic guide

In this document, we’re going to go over basic shader issues and definitions, how to write them as well as what you can and can’t do with shaders. I’ll be going over mostly basics, i.e.: getting things in game issues. Materials are the same as Shaders, and the term is used interchangeably throughout the Quake 4 SDK.

In this document you will find:

Please understand that this document covers the bare-bones of the shader system. Fortunately, the bare-bones is sufficient for a lot of what the artist needs to do and it’s the basics that can lead to more complex shaders.


Troubleshooting shaders can be a little bit like finding a needled in a haystack. Unfortunately, I can’t go through every instance of what can happen, because this document would be immense. So I’ll go over some stuff to look for in a shader:

  1. Make sure all of your shader passes have an open and close brace.
  2. Check your spelling
  3. Check your path names.
    1. Make sure path names don’t have spaces.
    2. Make sure the path actually exists.

The key to learning the shaders is experimenting, so the best thing to do is dive into the deep end and see what you get.

ArtReference Q4Shaders (last edited 2005-11-09 20:30:30 by MattVainio)