Take a Look At This Biome Uber Shader in Halo Infinite

Surface Artist Evan Liaw showed the shader used for biome creation in Halo Infinite.

Evan Liaw, a Surface Artist at 343 Industries, who developed shaders for the Halo Infinite biome team, shared a look at Biome Uber Shader. 

"Most of the work was nodegraph based, but sometimes had to go in and add/fix things by hand," said Liaw, "This is by far not all of the features, but this shader had multilayer support, height based blending, UV set and projection toggles, object scale, fake fresnel (credit to Chiyo), camera fades, detail and macro layers, terrain inheritance, gradient overlay, gradient/color mapping toggles, wetness, and more. Shader also had branching support, which we used to avoid the Eye of Sauron that comes when you check too many boxes."

The artist mentions several people and thanks them:

  • Richard Sherry and Kurt Diegert – for being a resource and taking time to answer questions and help with investigations.
  • Nate Castronovo – for a lot of the prototype work that laid the foundation.
  • Chiyo Lai – for helping out, especially with optimization.

Liaw notes that almost all biome assets in the game used some variation of the Biome Uber Shader. Here are some examples:

According to Liaw, the team predominantly used 3 color gradient mapping instead of a full albedo. They saved a texture sample and a bit of memory. "In most cases, there's not much difference, but when we want to push color, we enable full albedo."

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