Experimenting With Shaders

Experimenting with Shaders is an elective course in the MFA DT program at Parsons. In this course students will explore the potential of graphics programming with shaders, specialized programs that run on GPUs. This course will cover the basics of shader programming, GPU graphics pipelines, common shader environments and applications, and mathematics common in shader programming.
This class will utilize an experimental format. The first half of the course will include a Saturday crash-course followed by a standard course structure with faculty-led lectures and activities and weekly homework assignments. In the second half, students will work on an independently proposed long-term project and will design and lead hands-on class activities related to their projects.

Course Materials


Assignment Zero

Example Proposal



Introduction Unit

Lesson Plan Topics
Week 1, January 22 Thinking in Shaders
Crash Course, January 25 Crash Course
Week 2, Januray 29 Shaders in WebGL + 2D Techniques
Week 3, February 5 Shaders in Unity + 3D Techniques
Week 4, February 12 Working with Textures
Week 5, February 19 Vertex Shaders or TBA

Independent Study Unit

Lesson Plan Topics
Week 6, February 26 Guest: Char Stiles
Week 7, March 4 Student Workshops
Week 8, March 11 Student Workshops
Week 9, March 18 Spring Break
Week 10, March 25 Student Workshops
Week 11, April 1 Student Workshops
Week 12, April 8 Student Workshops or TBA
Week 13, April 15 Student Workshops or TBA
Week 14, April 26 No Class
Week 15, April 29 No Class
Week 16, May 6 No Class