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Hello all! Welcome to the Livecode Shaders Workshop page!

Taught by: Char Stiles ( @charstiles

In this workshop, you will learn how to livecode shaders, how to create a visual composition with code, and a little bit of math. You will be introduced to GLSL, GLSL is the OpenGL Shading Language, a C-like programming language that allows you to code powerful graphics programs (called shaders) directly on your computer’s graphics card. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to livecode GLSL shaders using an online software. Livecoding is a method of programming in which one’s changes to the code are realized immediately and in real-time. This is an ideal way to create real time graphics (music visualizers) for audiovisual performances, or any interactive abstract graphics of the sort. I will go over how to use the shader in Unity, p5 & touch designer. There will be a workshopping time where you are given materials to explore while I am around to answer any questions.



4:00 – 4:30 EST, 1:00 – 1:30 PST (30 min) Introduction, short artist talk.

4:30 – 5:15 EST, 1:30 – 2:15 PST (45 min) We will go through the checkpoints for part 1 together (see below).

5:15 – 5:30 EST, 2:15 – 2:30 PST (15 min) Break

5:30 – 5:45 EST, 2:30 – 2:45 PST (15 min) We will go through the checkpoints for part 2 together (see below).

5:45 – 6:00 EST, 2:45 – 3:00 PST (15 min)  I will take questions and present my 4 tips and some steps going forward to learn more about shader coding.

6:00 – 7:00 EST, 3:00 – 4:00 PST (60 min)  I will go over how to use the project in Unity, p5 and Touch designer.

7:00 – onward EST, 4:00 – onward PST   Start homework, or play around in I will hang out to answer any questions.


👋 The Force by Shawn Lawson the editor we are using:

🎞 Link to my presentation slides:


🧰 Here you can find the glsl sticker sheet

👯‍♂️👯‍♀️ Shader place is a collaborative shader editing tool, good for sharing creations online. The main difference is that time is passed in as u_time.

🎨here is Inigo Quilez’s page for 2D SDF:

🧮 Here is an online graphing calculator, very helpful when writing shaders:


Checkpoint 0: Fundamental

Here we will learn polar coordinate, color channel, scale, sin, cos and time.

Checkpoint 1: Beat

Here is the first checkpoint, here we learn about making it respond to music (its okay if we just get up to here):

Checkpoint 2: Final

This is the last checkpoint. here we learn using palette and combining colors to explore a bit:

Part 2

Here is the first checkpoint (its okay if we just get up to here):

Here is the second checkpoint:

Here is the final checkpoint:


Part 3

Touch designer





Create an object in Unity or any other environment of your choosing and color it using shaders in a way that “makes sense”

“Makes sense” can be interpreted broadly. Some options:

  • Make a lava lamp where the inside blobs are driven by a shader.
  • Make some bubbling soup or a cauldron.
  • Make washing machine where the window part is a shader.

Think about something that can’t be created easily without a shader. Think about a shader’s strengths and weaknesses.

This homework is most of all meant to be a prompt to encourage exploration, which is why its left to broad interpretation.

Next Steps

These are some specific suggestions from me if you want to continue learning but don’t know how to start.

💜Join a community!

Shader.Zone is a a safe and inclusive discord to talk about shaders, tools, generative art, and more! Started by my friends Conner Bell and Patricio Gonzalez Vivo:

💙Watch the Twitch stream Curiously Minded!
It was started by two former students of mine who met at a workshop that was just like this one!: This is their stream:

💚Learn the maths from The Book of Shaders

If you haven’t looked at this already, look through it! Its wonderfully paced and has a lot of versatile useful information:

🔢More online math

🌟Learn more about GLSL shader functions:

📽Learn more math that is relevant from an awesome YouTube channel

📈Some easing functions if sin & cos get boring 🙂