So you want to write code for a living, but you also have a wee bit of graphic artist in you? Maybe shaders are your glovely medium!
Here’s a small sample of the insanity on display at ShaderToy.
Garage – I haven’t parsed this completely, but I think that entire scene – including the cars – may be a single shader. Note that the car goes both up AND down the decks.
Tentacle Thing – More traditional, akin to the hair shaders supposedly used on the Monsters movies from Pixar, but still amazing to see it running in realtime in a browser.
Seascape – What can I say, except maybe why the hell aren’t there games that have this as part of their experience???
Flame – Simple, but also easy to mess with (try changing the numbers in the mainImage function and hit the Play button below the code window to see what I mean).
It’s hard to imagine the world of the elder statesmen in this field; they were stuck decoding research papers from a variety of obscure journals. But it’s also nice to know that there is such an incredibly rich ocean of knowledge out there to scour while learning to do cool things.