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Intro to Unity Shader Programming

Russell Campbell

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Course Information

Course Fee

$1,755 (approx. £1,300) per student.

Seating is limited to ensure each student has time with the instructor, and registration for these courses will be closed when capacity is reached. Purchasing a GDC Masterclass pass also gives you full access to the AI Summit during London Tech Week. 

Course Description

Commonly used data structures in programming bring solutions to problems otherwise not possible without them. However, many data structures are designed with an object-oriented approach where it is not trivial to pass them to shader code. This course will combine the advantages of both data structures together with the powerful processing available in GPUs. We will design data structures that can be passed to shader code in order to achieve graphical effects that can, for example, involve collision detection and work together with Unity's Physics engine.

Course Type

In-person, one-day course: This is a single course that takes place at the AI Summit in London over one full eight-hour day with breaks.

Intended Audience

Those familiar with C# scripting in Unity, and basic understanding of vector math for 3D.

Key Takeaways

After completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Understand the mathematics to manipulate 3D data in real-time
  • Be capable of designing data structures that can be used in shaders
  • Combine graphical effects to customize shader code
  • Increase the efficiency of shader code to control computational resources


Students will need to:

  • Have a computer that supports 3D graphics in at least Unity 2020 LTS
  • Be confident in scripting in Unity 2020 LTS using C# (will not be covering the topic of Unity Jobs)
  • Understand the programming concept of recursion
  • Be comfortable working with 3D coordinate spaces
  • Have a discrete graphics card, and not an integrated one

Instructor Bio

Dr Russell Campbell is a computer science instructor having taught at universities in the Vancouver, British Columbia area over the past four years. In the Fall 2020 Semester, Dr Campbell designed and taught a 4th-year game programming course at Vancouver Island University and managed eight teams of students creating their own games using various game engines. In Fall 2021, Dr Campbell supervised a 4th-year student's capstone project to develop an RPG action game in Unity.


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