Shader Reference - Lumberyard User Guide

Shader Reference

Open 3D Engine (O3DE), the successor to Lumberyard, is now available in Developer Preview. Download O3DE or visit the AWS Game Tech blog to learn more.

Lumberyard includes the following physically-based rendering (PBR) shaders, which use real-world physical rules and properties to describe how light interacts with the surface of objects. This means that game object materials look realistic under all lighting conditions.

To access a shader

  1. In Lumberyard Editor, click Tools, Material Editor.

  2. In the left tree pane, select a material to work with.

  3. Under Material Settings, Shader, make a selection.

  4. Locate shader-specific parameters under Shader Params and associated Shader Generation Params.


Some shader parameters become available (are visible) only if an associated shader generation parameter is first enabled. This is also true for certain texture map slots (file paths) under Texture Maps.

Shader Name Description
Common.Cloud Shader Use to render 3D clouds that use per-vertex gradient lighting and takes sun color, sky color, and viewer position into account.
DistanceClouds Shader Use to render cheap 2D clouds that are distantly placed in a sky scene.
Eye Shader Use to render realistic eyes that take sclera, cornea, iris, and eye moisture properties into account. Eyelash rendering is done using the Hair Shader.
GeometryBeam Shader Use to create volumetric light beams that feature dust and turbulence effects.
Glass Shader Use to render glass surfaces with various refractive, reflective, ripple, tint, and cracking effects.
Hair Shader Use to render all hair and fur, imparting different color, stranding, and animation effects. Use to render eyelashes and eyebrows along with the Eye Shader for realistic eyes.
HumanSkin Shader Use to render skin and it's various physical properties including color, oiliness, pores, stubble, and wrinkles.
Illum Shader The most common shader - use to create an extremely wide variety of render effects.
LightBeam Shader Use to create volumetric light beams that feature fog and other atmospheric effects.
Monitor Shader Use to create retro television screen effects such as grain, noise, chroma shift, and interlacing. Useful for in-game displays.
NoDraw Shader Use mainly for physics proxies, this shader does not render selected geometry.
ParticleImposter Shader Use to create particle effects that are not affected by light and hence do not cast shadows or cause reflections.
Particles Shader Use to render particle effects for fire, smoke, lightning, sparks, and fog that are affected by light and as such cast shadows and cause reflections.
Sky Shader Use to render cheap static sky (SkyBox) effects.
SkyHDR Shader Use to render realistic dynamic sky effects that change based on time of day in the level.
TemplBeamProc Shader Use to create cheap fog-like effects for light beams.
Terrain.Layer Shader Use for painting and blending terrain texture layers in a level.
Vegetation Shader Use to render trees, bushes, grass, and other vegetation, as well as imparting various bending motion effects.
VolumeObject Shader Use to render various volumetric objects such as clouds, fog, and smoke, and to impart realistic shading and self-shadowing effects.
Water Shader Use to render the ocean exclusively, and to impart various reflection, ripple, and foam effects.
Waterfall Shader Use to render waterfalls exclusively, and provides layering and tiling, as well as motion effects.
WaterVolume Shader Use to render volumetric bodies of water including lakes, pools, and rivers, and to impart various reflection, ripple, and foam effects.