Revised Reality (Revision 2022 4Kb Graphics Demo)

I’ve been watching graphics demos for many years now, and never thought that one day I’d actually make one myself. But this year I finally plucked up enough courage to create an entry for the awesome Revision 2022 competition.

I figured the best category for me would be ‘4Kb Executable Graphics’. The challenge is to write a single executable in less than 4096 bytes (which is tiny!) which produces a single static image.

To put this into perspective, if you were to take a screenshot of the image it would come in at over 6,000,000 bytes. So the code that creates the image must be over 1,500 times smaller than the image itself!

As frame rate is not a problem here I had to use different techniques to make this image – I actually only get 2 FPS on my machine!
Instead of performance I had to keep in mind code compressibility. That means firstly writing a small amount of code (obviously), and secondly reusing terms so the data compressor can do a better job of compressing.

I came in 8th place, which I’m extremely happy with. It was awesome to compete with such great coders!

The GLSL shader source can be found here.

Demozoo link
Pouët link

GLSL Shader Shrinker

I have been writing a tool over the last few months which will take GLSL shader code and optimize it in a variety of ways.

It can apply a range of changes from simply code reformatting, optimizing maths and function calls, all the way to GOLFing code.

‘Code golf’ is where you make attempts to make the source code as small as possible. Making a tool do this automatically (without breaking the code!) is quite a challenge, but the latest incarnation of my app has got the ‘The Small Step‘ shader code down to a little over 2Kb.

GLSL Shader Shrinker – Feel free to check it out – It’s free!
https://github.com/deanthecoder/GLSLShaderShrinker

Aliens (Scanner scene)

GLSL Shadertoy Shader

Another Aliens-themed shader, motivated by me watching this clip from the movie.

I try to add add something new each time I make a shader, and this time it was the ‘frost’ effect on the cryo pod and the noise in the ‘laser’.

The reflective helmet glass and laser effect were calculated using ray-sphere ray-plane intersections, allowing me to keep the ray-marching loop simple and fast.

The GLSL shader source can be found here.

The Exorcist (1973)

GLSL Shadertoy Shader

This is my first black and white shader, and also the first time I’ve mixed 2D and 3D content.

As ever, in an attempt to keep the code small and frame rate fast I make heavy use of domain repetition. For example, there’s actually only one window pane, and that makes all the windows on both walls!

The man is defined using 2D functions, and has a subtle animation to add some realism.

The GLSL shader source can be found here.

Happy New Year!

Innerspace (1989)

GLSL Shadertoy Shader

I challenge anyone to not like the Innerspace movie!

There’s a lot of new (to me) lighting effects in this shader. The headlights of the ‘pod’ are light cones with analytically solved ray start/end points, used to calculate the amount of ‘glow’ to apply.

I also make heavy use of domain repetition (where you use math to ‘duplicate’ regions of space) to make a whole stream of blood cells using only three modelled originals.

This is one of my longer shaders, running in at just under a minute.

The GLSL shader source can be found here.

The Alien

GLSL Shadertoy Shader

Another shader based on Alien, this one was an exercise in modelling and animation.

I started off with the dome of the head and the texture on it. It’s actually a simple gyroid pattern with a few colors mixed into it, but quite effective!

My awesome cousin (Check out his art here) gave me some tips for the animation – I added some ‘anticipation’ before the alien strikes. This means the head pulls back before striking forward, showing a build up of ‘energy’ and really improving the effect.

The GLSL shader source can be found here.

The Abyss (1989)

GLSL Shadertoy Shader

Continuing the trend of making GLSL Shadertoy shaders from my favourite films, the next on my list was The Abyss (1989).

I was stretching myself a bit with this one, practising my reflection/refraction/caustics skills whilst (as always) trying to keep a decent frame rate.

I would have loved to make the ‘face’ as good as the one in the movie, but alas the effort needed to model out far outweighed my GPU.

The GLSL shader source can be found here, and a 360° VR view here.

Dune (Sand Worm)

GLSL Shadertoy Shader

There’s a new Dune movie coming out soon, so I thought I’d make a ‘Dune’ shader (based on the 1984 version).

Nothing too complex in this scene. It’s the first time I’ve used polar coordinates in an SDF (for the teeth and mouth segments), but the landscape is just a simple FBM noise. Ripples are added outside of the SDF to keep the frame rate higher.

The GLSL shader source can be found here, and a 360° VR view here.

Silence of the Lambs

GLSL Shadertoy Shader

For this shader I wanted to write something that used textured stone walls, as I hadn’t really tried writing that effect before. The cell scene Silence of the Lambs movie seemed to lend itself as inspiration, as it would also allow me to add some cool reflections from the cell glass.

The stone pattern was made using a voronoi pattern with a couple of layers of noise on the material to add roughness. All the walls are completely flat, but when applying the material I tweak the normal vector to add dynamic highlights and shadows as the camera moves.

I’m quite pleased with the outcome, although it would have been good to add some pencil-drawn artwork onto the cell walls. Technically doable, but the scene was making my GPU groan, and I like to keep the frame rate reasonable for the majority of people.

The GLSL shader source can be found here, and a 360° VR view here.

The Fly

GLSL Shadertoy Shader

The challenge for this shader was to a) pay tribute to an awesome movie, and b) to add some animated content. I actually got quite attached to the little Fly – It was fun working out how to make a dot move like a fly, and go through the ‘transporting’ process with a bit of character.

The textures are based on FBM noise – In the case of the wood, once axis is squashed much more than the other. Even the plain walls have some subtle noise added to them, making them look a but more realistic than they would if perfectly flat.

I cheated with the vertical drain pipe – It is actually infinitely long to keep the code simple. It definitely looked strange when the scene was viewed in VR, so I had to add some distance fog when looking up.

The GLSL shader source can be found here, and a 360° VR view here.