Monthly Talk Series: Real-Time and Interactive Graphics

Intro to HLSL

Wed, April 16th @ 7:30pm



Download a PDF of Brian's slides


The PS4 and Xbox One have ushered in the next generation of mainstream real-time rendering technology. With a combination of classic performance optimization tricks and new technology, these platforms are capable of rendering high quality 1080p visuals using physically-based shading models, running at 60fps.

In response, in-game cinematics are increasingly rendered in-engine, and even traditional production companies like Lucasfilm are rethinking their previz pipeline around realtime technology.


This talk will introduce the CG / HLSL programming language, which is used for programming GPUs. Using Unity, we’ll look at the fundamental real-time pipeline (DX9), including vertex and pixel shaders, forward and deferred rendering, and physically based lighting models.

At the end of the talk, we’ll look at DirectX 11, and how general purpose GPU architectures are reshaping the way developers think about the GPU.

CG / HLSL is a high level shading language developed by NVIDIA and Microsoft for programming GPUs. It is used for writing real-time shaders for games, or other GPU accelerated rendering views, such as Maya’s viewport 2.0.

About Brian

Before joining Psyop, Brian co-founded Muse Games in New York City, where he led product design and development, as well as directed gameplay for three titles:

  • Extreme Sledding (PC, iPhone)
  • Guns of Icarus Classic (PC via Steam & Mac App Store)
  • CreaVures (PC via Steam, Mac App Store, etc, iOS, Android)

Brian also produced and directed Guns of Icarus Online, a 32 player online, team-based, competitive airship combat game. He was personally responsible for client side development using Unity, as well as setting product direction and budget.

As a Creative Technologist at Psoyp, Brian looks for ways to use technology to design and build engaging experiences. He works alongside Psyop's directors on a wide variety of projects, including games, apps and interactive experiences for nascent hardware platforms.


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