Running commentary on Shader Production
This isn't a normal review as I haven't seen the whole DVD yet. I will try to update it when something comes to mind while watching it as it tends to give a more accurate opinion than a collected one at the end.
Right, so here goes.
I have pretty much no knowledge of CGFX or HLSL code. However, I can wrangle out all kinds of shaders in both UDK and other nodebased systems. I know the theory behind how shaders work and so on. I have in the past done some mel scripting and studied some Java so I also know the basics of how programming works. The reason I bought this DVD is to learn to actually write the shaders from scratch. Learn the syntax, semantics and whatnot. After looking at the trailer for the DVD and reading the description it sounded like it was pretty much made for me.
I am currently at chapter 3 on the DVD and he is about to show how to add lighting to the shader. However, I still have no idea how to do the basic setup of it. There are files included with heavily commented shaders to read. I may be thick but it doesn't quite explain why something is written like it is.
Example from the first shader: