środa, 7 listopada 2018

Few words about HLSLexplorer


HLSLexplorer started as a hobby project (which still is!) and was never meant to be "Godbolt for shaders" nor any "competition" for already available solutions (see Shader Playground by Tim Jones for example). I just realised during its development that someone might find it useful - that's all.

Today I am happy to say that new version of HLSLexplorer is done and now it's open source!
Let's go through the most important changes.

HLSLexplorer 1.0 in action

Support for modern DirectX compiler and AMD GCN ISA
There are three tabs on the right window. DXBC (d3dcompiler_47.dll for Shader Model 4.0-5.1) and new ones: DXIL (for modern DirectX shader compiler) and AMD GCN ISA

Real-time Pixel Shader Preview
I thought it would be nice to have an option to visualize the result of pixel shader in real time, so I made a tool to do it.

If you click Insert -> Insert simple PS, a dummy pixel shader appear on the left.
Press F7 to start pixel shader preview window:

The left window is rendering output. The right panel is a place to load textures. You can load dds textures, also png/jpg/bmp are supported. Load any texture to texture0 channel... Huh, no result. To see it, switch back to main window, tap F5 to compile shader, and you should see the output in preview window:

Let's go back to dummy pixel shader. There are some differences comparing to previous version of the application:
 cbuffer cbData : register (b12)  
     float elapsedTime;  
     uint  numFrames;  
     float2 pad;  
     float2 viewportSize;  
     float2 viewportInvSize;  
 SamplerState samplerPointClamp  : register (s0);  
 SamplerState samplerPointWrap   : register (s1);  
 SamplerState samplerLinearClamp : register (s2);  
 SamplerState samplerLinearWrap  : register (s3);  
 SamplerState samplerAnisoClamp  : register (s4);  
 SamplerState samplerAnisoWrap   : register (s5);  

Now you have access to some values which are usually available in typical scenarios, like elapsed time (in seconds), viewport / invViewport size and various samplers, you can use them in your pixel shaders and see the effect without closing HLSLexplorer. Pressing F5 updates shader in preview (assuming there is no errors of course). Please note that this feature currently works only with Shader Model 4.0 - 5.0.

HLSLexplorer goes open source
Source code is available on GitHub. If you look just for binary release, click here (Google Drive).

If you would like to build it by yourself:
HLSLexplorer is linked statically against wxWidgets 3.1.1. The compilation of wxWidgets for debug/release configurations should be easy, but please note that I use environmental variable (WXWIN) in HLSLexplorer's solution configuration (additional library directories).

Other improvements worth mentioning
- The program asks if user wants to save HLSL source from the left window when user wants to close the application,
- User can load external hlsl files into the program
- User can save disassembled shaders (DXBC, DXIL, AMD GCN ISA) to hard drive. Just switch to proper window and tap Ctrl+S. The title of saving window tells what you attempt to save.
- Slight UI tweaks
- Improved "About" window ;)

I hope you like it. Go now and disassemble some shaders! :)

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