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VSShader Lib – Very Simple Shader Library

Shaders are the core of the rendering process. OpenGL core profile requires us to provide our own shaders, no more fixed function.

Using shaders means more flexibility, but it also implies more work. This is where this lib steps in.

VSShaderLib was designed to make our life easier. It allows to create programs, load shaders from files, associate vertex attribute names with locations, and work with uniforms, including blocks. It also provides access to the info logs.

In Action

/** ———————————————————-
* \class VSResourceLib
* Lighthouse3D
* VSResourceLib – Very Simple Resource Library
* \version 0.1.2
* The library can be made independent of DevIL (without texturing capabilities though)
* \version 0.1.1
* Added virtual function load cubemaps
* Added virtual function to set a preloaded texture
* Added a virtual clone method
* version 0.1.0
* Initial Release
* This abstract class defines an interface
* for loading and rendering resources (models)
* This lib requires the following classes from VSL:
* (
* VSMathLib
* VSLogLib
* VSShaderLib
* and the following third party libs:
* GLEW (,
* DevIL ( (optional)
* Full documentation at

#ifndef __VSRL__
#define __VSRL__

#include <string>
#include <vector>
#include <map>
#include <fstream>

#include <GL/glew.h>


// include DevIL for image loading
#include <IL/il.h>

#ifdef _WIN32
#pragma comment(lib,"glew32.lib")
#pragma comment(lib,"devil.lib")

// Include other VSL
// vsMathLib is required for rendering and matrix manipulation
#include "vsMathLib.h"
// vsLogLib is required for logging errors and model info
#include "vsLogLib.h"
// VSShaderLib is required to enable and set the
// semantic of the vertex arrays
#include "vsShaderLib.h"

class VSResourceLib {


/// helper structure for derived classes
struct Material{

float diffuse[4];
float ambient[4];
float specular[4];
float emissive[4];
float shininess;
int texCount;


/// material semantics
enum MaterialSemantics {

} MaterialComponent;


/** clones the resource – must be implemented
* by the subclasses to take effect
* \param res the instance to be cloned into this
virtual void clone(VSResourceLib *res) {res = NULL;};

/// load the resource
virtual bool load(std::string filename) = 0;

/// render the resource
virtual void render() = 0;

/// virtual function to be implemented in derived classes
/// assigns a texture (from an image) to a unit
virtual void addTexture(unsigned int unit, std::string filename) {};
virtual void addCubeMapTexture(unsigned int unit,
std::string posX, std::string negX,
std::string posY, std::string negY,
std::string posZ, std::string negZ) {};
virtual void setTexture(unsigned int unit, unsigned int textureID,
GLenum textureType = GL_TEXTURE_2D) {};

/// const to ease future upgrades
static const int MAX_TEXTURES = 8;
/// Sets the shader’s material block name
void setMaterialBlockName(std::string);

/// set the semantics of the uniforms inside the named block
void setUniformSemantics(MaterialSemantics field, std::string);

/// returns errors found when loading the resource
/// it is up to the derived classes to add meaningfull
/// information
virtual std::string getErrors();
/// returns information about the loaded resource
/// it is up to the derived classes to add meaningfull
/// information
virtual std::string getInfo();
/// returns the scale factor to display the model in a unit cube
/// note: may not apply to all subclasses
float getScaleForUnitCube();

/// helper function for derived classes
static unsigned int loadRGBATexture(std::string filename, bool mipmap = true,
bool compress = false,
GLenum aFilter = GL_LINEAR, GLenum aRepMode = GL_REPEAT);
static unsigned int loadCubeMapTexture( std::string posX, std::string negX,
std::string posY, std::string negY,
std::string posZ, std::string negZ);
static GLenum faceTarget[6];

virtual void renderBB();


static VSLogLib mLogError, mLogInfo;
/// set the material uniforms
void setMaterial(Material &aMat);

std::map<std::string, MaterialSemantics> mMatSemanticMap;

/// shader’s material block name
std::string mMaterialBlockName;

/// keep a pointer to VSMathLib singleton
VSMathLib *mVSML;
/// Logs for errors and model Information

/// center of the model
float mCenter[3];
/// scale factor for the model to fill a unit cube (-1, 1)
float mScaleToUnitCube;

void initBB();

GLuint bbVAO;
bool bbInit;
float bb[2][3];



Version 0.2.1

  • Added more attribs, namely tangents, bitangents, and 4 custom attribs

Version 0.2.0

  • Added methods to set uniforms
  • Added methods to set blocks
  • Renamed to VSShaderLib

Version 0.1.0

  • Initial Release


To download go to VSL Downloads page.

2 Responses to “VSShader Lib – Very Simple Shader Library”

  1. Sorry, I can not reproduce the above problem now.

    When I posted the last message, I was using Nvidia Quadro 4800 and driver 304.64. One day q4800 was burnt and the driver got updated. Now I am using Nvidia GeForce GTX 570 and driver 304.88. vsShader works like charm.

    Thanks for the lib. And sorry for the noise.

  2. I use assimp.cpp as a start of one demo. It works.
    But I encounter a problem with multiple sampler in frag shader. Suppose I have these lines in frag shader:
    uniform sampler2D colorTex;
    uniform sampler2D depthTex;
    And these lines for binding texture unit:
    glBindTexture(GL_TEXTURE_2D, g_color_tex);
    glBindTexture(GL_TEXTURE_2D, g_depth_tex);
    And the following for set uniforms:
    shaderQuad.setUniform(“colorTex”, 0);
    shaderQuad.setUniform(“depthTex”, 1);

    The problem is only the texture in texture unit 0 is valid. All textures will be valid if I use glUniformi directly:
    glCreateProgram, glCreateShader, glShaderSource, glAttachShader, glLinkProgram … tons of code
    glUniform1i(glGetUniformLocation(quad_prog_id, “colorTex”), 0);
    glUniform1i(glGetUniformLocation(quad_prog_id, “depthTex”), 1);

    So please help me with multiple textures in shader and vsShaderLib.

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