An OF addon to ease the use of well-known shaders
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ofxShadersFx Preview


3D shader effects made easy in openFrameworks

ofxShadersFX is an addon for openFrameworks (0.8.3+) to ease the use of common-used shaders in 3D scenes.

It is currently focused on lighting and mapping-based effects.

The addon is supposed to be both OpenGL 2 (fixed pipeline) and OpenGL 3 (programmable pipeline) compatible.

If you notice a compatibility issue or any other bug, please report!


  • Lighting (both in vertex and pixel shader versions)

    • Phong
    • Blinn-Phong
  • Mapping

    • Displacement mapping
    • Alpha blending
    • Color key mapping

Coming soon(er or later):

  • Lighting
    • Toon
    • Flat
    • Oren-Nayar
    • Cook-Torrance
    • Ward anisotropic reflection
  • Mapping
    • Normal mapping


  • openFrameworks 0.8.3+ (may be compatible with older releases, that's not guaranteed)


Example of a lighting shader:

// In header file...

#include "ofxShadersFX.h"

class ofApp {
ofxShadersFX::Lighting::LightingShader m_lightShader; // creates a pixel-shaded Blinn-Phong shader by default
// ...


// In .cpp file...

void ofApp::setup() {
     // Let's say you want to change the lighting effect to some vertex-shaded Phong lighting

     // Use your lights, material and camera configuration of choice.
     m_lightShader.useLight(&pointLight); // ofLight pointLight
     m_lightShader.useMaterial(&mat); // ofMaterial mat
     m_lightShader.useCamera(&cam); // ofEasyCam cam
     // ...

void ofApp::draw() {
     // Let sphere be a ofSpherPrimitive you want to light.
     // If sphere is textured, you can tell the shader to blend the texture color with the lighting:
     m_lightShader.useTexture(&myTexture); // ofImage myTexture


For a complete example, please check the bundled examples projects (example_Lighting and example_Mapping). These projects should work out-of-the-box after the installation of the addon, if you download their folder in the apps/myApps folder of your OF installation and compile them with the IDE of your choice.

To use the ofxShadersFX addon in your own projects:

  • Download or clone the ofxShadersFX git repository in your openFrameworks addons folder.
  • Create a new openFrameworks project using the project generator, make sure ofxShadersFX is enabled and selected from the list of addons shown.
  • Open your project with you IDE of choice.
  • Now select your ofApp.h file, and add #include "ofxShadersFX.h" under #include "ofMain.h".
  • You'll have access to all ofxShaderFX functions. Note you can also include only a particular namespace if you're not interested in others (e.g. #include "ofxShaderFX_Lighting.h")

Note 1: you normally only have to setup your ofxShadersFX shader once (e.g. in the ofApp::setup function), and the shader will remember your settings when it works. If you're changing parameters during runtime, the shader will automatically reload itself.

Note 2: most of ofxShadersFX functions parameters are pointers, so you have to pass the address (with the &) of objects. If these are dynamically allocated objects (with new), that's your job to delete them when you want to discard them. Be careful to remove them from the shader when you delete them, otherwise the shader relies itself on freed memory.