Graphic PIZiadas

Graphic PIZiadas

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Visual Introduction to Shaders and lighting models [ Blogs experimental ] [ Blender ]

Synthetic images, as we are calculating with Blender, are rendered with different types of algorithms; results vary the final representation of the objects in the scene.

We must distinguish between two different aspects when it comes to study in detail the process of image creation, from the point of view of the computer program that we use or we are programming, and that leads us to structure in computational techniques or methods.

From the point of view of a user, these notions allow us to understand the options afforded us a program and anticipate the effect thereof.

From a point of view of application programming your understanding is essential for its proper implementation.

  1. With respect to the idealization of the problem
    • Methods based on image space
    • Paths of x-ray techniques.
  2. The representation of a surface can be performed by projecting the surface on a projection plane or ray tracing and analyzing intersecting the collision of these rays with the elements of the scene. This allows us to propose two types of working methods:

  3. Regarding the ways of programming
  4. Programs can run on the host processor, or also on the graphics card and other specific systems for image processing. Again we can ask two lines of analysis:

    • Classical algorithms incorporated in programs
    • Modern shading languages, that can be compiled independently.

We distinguish between the model of idealization and implementation as algorithms, programs languages ​​and.

As always, we will do a first visual approach to the concepts; We will subsequently develop them by applying them to case studies with blender as a synthesized image generation tool and finally we will see practical calculation models.

The initial objective therefore is to get accustomed us to a new vocabulary (typical of these themes) In addition to creating a at the same time expectations that stimulate our creativity.

The first step is to see some examples to analyze differences that occur in images, as a technique that us close to the concept of “Shading”.

Suppose we have a simple model as a head consisting of a small number of polygons. (We will use the “Monkey” having how primitive blender)

We have added material to the object, in which you can define the same color. We will also indicate that surfaces softened to give it a more realistic look. The lighting and the background must be the same to better appreciate the differences.

What will we change then? Simply shading model. This is normally set associated with a concrete material, so the final image, If it contains multiple objects, It can be formed due to multiple “lighting models”.

Particularly in Blender is important n previously defined a material for the object and, then, Select the tab rendering algorithm “Shader” in mode of editing of materials.

The algorithm may affect the lighting in general, and particularly in the specular light, being able to perform different combinations depending on the effect that you want to get.

In the following examples the difference between one or another algorithm applied. The model used is specified in each one of the images and if at the same time, If the object is light emitter (autoiluminado)


It is the classic model of lighting, In addition didactically as a reference used in the study of shaders or Shaders. It can be implemented both at the level of basic as with shading languages programming, being the most simple of all models.

It provides the basic ideas of diffuse lighting to the object.

The first model has a more dark colour clearly determining the used lighting (see glitters)



The amount of diffuse reflected light depends on the angle of incidence of the light. The surfaces facing the light are dimmed, surfaces that are perpendicular to the direction of illumination therefore appear brighter.

Fresnel Emit


It uses the model of “Lambert” as in the shadows of more basic mattifying shine area, obscuring the Centre or by rinsing the edges.

Minnaert Emit

    Oren – Nayar

It implements a model of lighting which takes into account the microscopic behavior of the roughness of the material.

Oren Emit


It is a non-realistic rendering, in which few colors are used with boundaries between light and shadow very well defined. Its application in cartoons is common.

Toon Emit

An interesting page explaining each of these modes of shading is located in the Blender documentation: Diffuse Shaders

Shader (Wikipedia en)
Shader (Wikipedia is)