What is a Vertex Shader?

Oscar de la Hera Gomez
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In Computer Graphics, the term "vertex shader" refers to the four-dimensional (4D) program that defines how vertices are arranged in space.

A vertex shader is the part of a shader that defines the way that vertices are laid out within an experience.

An example of a plane whose vertices have been displaced through a shader.

Vertices can be displaced using a vertex shader.

Vertex shader programs can be used as a means to pass the vertex positional data of a geometry, model or object directly to the fragment shader or can additionally be used to animate or set the way the geometry, model or object's vertices/form behaves at instances or over time.

Vertex shader programs are capable of taking in variables defined by the software (i.e. attributes and uniforms) as well as passing vertex specific data to the fragment shader (i.e. varying or in/out).

Looking for tutorials on how to implement shaders?

For examples on how to implement shaders in WebGL and Metal (Apple), consult the guides below.

Looking to learn more about how computer graphics (CG) are rendered?

Consult our article below to learn more about how computer graphics are rendered.

Looking to learn more about Technology, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Mixed Reality or Spatial Computing?

Search our blog to find educational content on technology, A/R, V/R, M/R and spatial computing.

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