Visual parameter exploration in GPU shader space

Peter Mindek, Stefan Bruckner, Peter Rautek, M. Eduard Gröller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The wide availability of high-performance GPUs has made the use of shader programs in visualization ubiquitous. Understanding shaders is a challenging task. Frequently it is difficult to mentally reconstruct the nature and types of transformations applied to the underlying data during the visualization process. We propose a method for the visual analysis of GPU shaders, which allows the flexible exploration and investigation of algorithms, parameters, and their effects. We introduce a method for extracting feature vectors composed of several attributes of the shader, as well as a direct manipulation interface for assigning semantics to them. The user interactively classifies pixels of images which are rendered with the investigated shader. The two resulting classes, a positive class and a negative one, are employed to steer the visualization. Based on this information, we can extract a wide variety of additional attributes and visualize their relation to this classification. Our system allows an interactive exploration of shader space and we demonstrate its utility for several different applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-234
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of WSCG
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2013


  • Parameter space exploration
  • Shader augmentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Computational Mathematics


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