An Interactive Interface for Shader Programming
In order to distinguish essays and pre-prints from academic theses, we have a separate category. These are often much longer text based documents than a paper.
Shader programming is an efficient way to render graphics yet can be complex to understand for emerging computational artists who are new to the world of creative programming. Since shaders are an important part of visual programming, making them easier to use should be considered an important factor in teaching basic to advanced concepts in the rendering pipeline of computer graphics. Though some tools like shader editors and interactive graphical interfaces have been designed to aid in the understanding of these concepts, they still fall behind in some areas in meeting the requirements of emerging computational artists.
In this thesis we present and explore the usability of a new Shader Mode tool developed for an open-source software called Processing, widely used in education and production for digital arts and design, and discuss how it can aid shader programming for emerging computational artists. This tool was inspired by a project the author did for Google Summer of Code in 2018. The tool was tested with Processing users who have some familiarity with shader programming. The analysis of the tool was done using a mixed method research technique: combination of quantitative and qualitative analysis. Since we were unable to get enough users for the study, the results could not be generalized to all Processing shader users. However, relevant user feedback is discussed.