Tag Archives: cg

Saturate function in GLSL

During the conversion of shaders written in Cg/HLSL, we often find the saturate() function. This function is not valid in GLSL even though on NVIDIA, the GLSL compiler accepts it (do not forget that NVIDIA’s GLSL compiler is based on Cg compiler). But ATI’s GLSL compiler will reject saturate() with a nice error. This function allows to limit the value of a variable to the range [0.0 – 1.0]. In GLSL, there is a simple manner to do the same thing: clamp().

Cg code:

float3 result = saturate(texCol0.rgb - Density*(texCol1.rgb));

GLSL equivalent:

vec3 result = clamp(texCol0.rgb - Density*(texCol1.rgb), 0.0, 1.0);

BTW, don’t forget all float4, float3 and float2 which correct syntax in GLSL is vec4, vec3 and vec2.

Lors de la conversion de shaders écrits en Cg/HLSL, on trouve souvent la fonction saturate(). Cette fonction n’est pas valide en GLSL bien que sur les NVIDIA le compilateur l’accepte (n’oublions pas que le compilateur GLSL de NVIDIA repose sur le compilateur Cg). Mais le compilateur GLSL d’ATI générera une belle erreur à la vue de saturate(). Cette fonction sert à limité la valeur d’une variable entre 0.0 et 1.0. En GLSL il y un moyen tout simple de faire la même chose: clamp().

Code Cg:

float3 result = saturate(texCol0.rgb - Density*(texCol1.rgb));

Equivalent GLSL:

vec3 result = clamp(texCol0.rgb - Density*(texCol1.rgb), 0.0, 1.0);

Au passage lors des conversions, n’oubliez pas les float4, float3 et float2 qui s’écrivent en GLSL en vec4, vec3 et vec2.


Today two new differences between Radeon and Geforce GLSL support.

1 – float2 / vec2
vec2 is the GLSL type to hold a 2d vector. vec2 is supported by NVIDIA and ATI. float2 is a 2d vector but for Direct3D HLSL and for Cg. The GLSL compilation for Geforce is done via the NVIDIA Cg compiler. Here is the GLSL version displayed by GPU Caps Viewer: 1.20 NVIDIA via Cg compiler. That explains why a GLSL source that contains a float2 is compilable on NVIDIA hardware. But the GLSL compiler of ATI is strict and doesn’t recognize the float2 type.

2 – the following line:

vec2 vec = texture2D( tex, gl_TexCoord[0].st );

is valid for NVIDIA compiler but produces an error with ATI compiler. One again, the ATI GLSL compiler has done a good job. By default, texture2D() returns a 4d vector. The right syntax is:

vec2 vec = texture2D( tex, gl_TexCoord[0].st ).xy;

Conclusion: always test your shaders on both ATI and NVIDIA platforms unless you target one platform only.