Search Unity

What Shader editor to use?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by kalamona, Jun 10, 2018.

  1. kalamona

    kalamona

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2011
    Posts:
    725
    Hello all,
    I am doing an effect package for the Asset Store, and I'd like to add some custom shaders for effects like power shields, fire, etc. I am not really good in programming so I'd like to use a node based shader editor.

    The problem is, that the shader editor I used (Shader Forge) is deprecated, I guess in response to Unity's new Shader Editor. I don't really want to use a tool that is not supported, since my customers can use my effects in a wide range of projects, so I want to use as standard, reliable and long-term solutions as possible.

    That leaves us with Unity's own shader editor. However that seems to require some kind of "lightweight rendering path". I am not really familiar with this. Does it need it only for the editing process, but the built shaders can be used in any project, or the created shaders won't be working in other projects, for example in ones that were created using the standard "3d" settings?

    Or is there any other long-term reliable shader editor I could use? Amplify Shader for example, how long will that last?

    I feel kinda lost and I could use some help with this issue. I did some googling but I did not came up with anything, however if this issue was discussed somewhere, feel free to point that out.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Murgilod

    Murgilod

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2013
    Posts:
    6,512
    Amplify is apparently getting support for the new pipelines and has promised long-term support. Plus it's just a really good product all around.
     
    theANMATOR2b and kalamona like this.
  3. ASFghost

    ASFghost

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2016
    Posts:
    10
    It's unfortunate that Shader Forge is no longer being supported, although it is now free and open-source. I think either Amplify or Unity's new shader graph feature would be the best options right now; choosing the best editor would depend.

    Since you're creating an asset package, I think going with Amplify would be best. It's rather pricey at $60, but will allow you to make custom shaders (even complex multi-pass shaders), which would be very easy to share. Unity's shader graph feature is still in beta, only supports lightweight render pipelines and right now isn't as well documented as Amplify, nor has the same amount of tutorials or examples available from what I've seen. It is free and does support basic shaders, but anyone who uses a shader made with the graph would have to switch to the lightweight render pipeline when using your package. It might be best to try using the shader graph feature before deciding, however. I believe both editors will continue to be supported for at least a couple years, especially shader graph.

    It's very easy to set up a lightweight rendering pipeline in Unity 2018 if you want to try it; here's a good tutorial for installing and using the feature:
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018
    kalamona likes this.
  4. kalamona

    kalamona

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2011
    Posts:
    725
    Thanks for the responses! Since both of you mentioned it, I purchased Amplify. Seems like a solid product.
     
    ASFghost likes this.
  5. N1warhead

    N1warhead

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Posts:
    3,542
    Wow Shaderforge is no longer supported and free? wow.
    Is that official that it is no longer 'supported'?
     
  6. iamthwee

    iamthwee

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2015
    Posts:
    2,156
    i think you're not 100% safe using any 3rd party asset, as the developers are always playing catch up with the latest and greatest unity versions (well ensuring it is compatible that is)

    that choice hinges on whether ROI justifies keeping it up to date.

    best bet is to wait until unity polishes up their shader graph imo. it is interesting if shader forge is now opensource though, i might check it out.

    because i love playing with toolsets i'll prolly never use!
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
    Ryiah likes this.
  7. Ryiah

    Ryiah

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    Posts:
    15,017
    This is precisely why you should almost always stick to assets that include source code and why third parties need to consider carefully whether withholding the source is a smart decision when selling on the store.
     
  8. iamthwee

    iamthwee

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2015
    Posts:
    2,156
    True, i always enjoy wading through 150 files of someone else's code just in case they drop support down the line and getting it compatible for unity 20.x.x. Gives me that warm and fuzzy feeling.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
  9. ASFghost

    ASFghost

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2016
    Posts:
    10
    I believe that is official, probably due to Unity's new shader graph feature.
     
    N1warhead likes this.
  10. Lurking-Ninja

    Lurking-Ninja

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2015
    Posts:
    4,645
    It's better than just standing there and trying to cut out the entire solution and replace a new one which will be discontinued later, when it is even harder to do that.

    BTW, you really should not update your stable Unity environment in mid-production. If you do, you can count on this kind of problems.
     
    theANMATOR2b likes this.
  11. Joe-Censored

    Joe-Censored

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Posts:
    7,253
    We're in an interesting spot right now. I would think that Unity's Shader Graph would be the way to go in a couple of years. By then Shader Graph will be out of the preview state, will support all the included scriptable rendering pipelines, and Unity will begin the process of deprecating the old rendering pipeline. Unity will not add support to Shader Graph for the legacy pipeline.

    Right now though I expect a good portion of new projects are still going to start with the legacy pipeline until the new pipelines get more feature complete and more testing.
     
unityunity