Spark: Modular, Composable Shaders
for Graphics Hardware



Proceedings of SIGGRAPH 2011




In creating complex real-time shaders, programmers should be able to decompose code into independent, localized modules of their choosing. Current real-time shading languages, however, enforce a fixed decomposition into per-pipeline-stage procedures. Program concerns at other scales - including those that cross-cut multiple pipeline stages - cannot be expressed as reusable modules.

We present a shading language, Spark, and its implementation for modern graphics hardware that improves support for separation of concerns into modules. A Spark shader class can encapsulate code that maps to more than one pipeline stage, and can be extended and composed using object-oriented inheritance. In our tests, shaders written in Spark achieve performance within 2% of HLSL.




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Posted 18th April, 2011