Build Your Own Pixel Shader Snail
Written by David Conrad   
Sunday, 03 January 2016

How hard is it to create an animated 3D realistic snail? If you use ShaderToy and have lots of imagination it's not as difficult as you might think. See how it was made and try it out. 

ShaderToy is an interactive graphics environment that runs in the browser and lets you try out ideas. If you take a look at the demos on the site then you should be impressed, but it can take some time to work out exactly what is going on. 

Inigo Quilez, one of the people who implemented ShaderToy, has a nice example for you. Take a look at the following video of a snail:



You should be impressed. The video is of the realtime graphics that the program generates. If you want to see it for real visit:

and see if you can run it.

If you are running Windows then this might not be as easy as you suspect because both Firefox and Chrome have WebGL disabled by default. So far I have only managed to make it work on Firefox which was done by typing about:config in the address box and searching for webgl. I found I had to set webgl.force-enable to true - even though this should be unnecessary.




If everything works after this you should be able to load the demo, see the code and the graphics that it produces in the top left-hand window:




Once you get it to work you can also make changes to the code and generally explore. 

Finally there is a video that shows how the snail was made, which is just as amazing as the program itself:



Let's be honest - it is very rare to be so impressed by just a snail!




More Information 

Impressive Pixel Shader of a Snail (Geeks3D)

Related Articles

Watching Paint Dry - GPU Paint Brush

WebGLStudio.js - 3D Development For The Web

FIrst Person Engine In 256 Lines - The Simplicity Of Raycast

Unified Particles Make Better Graphics

LiquidFun Is Fun!

Water In WebGL - One You Have To See


To be informed about new articles on I Programmer, sign up for our weekly newsletter, subscribe to the RSS feed and follow us on, Twitter, FacebookGoogle+ or Linkedin



Apache Superset 4 Updates Reports

Apache Superset 4 has been released with improvements to the reporting module and redesigned alerts. Superset is a business intelligence web application. It is open source, provides data exploration a [ ... ]

Can C++ Be As Safe As Rust?

Herb Sutter is a well known and respected C++ champion and he thinks that the language only needs a few tweaks to make it as safe as Rust. Can this be true?

More News


raspberry pi books



or email your comment to:



Last Updated ( Sunday, 03 January 2016 )