Compute Shaders

Compute shaders are a special type of shader that allow you to dispatch work in a non-drawing context. You can use compute shaders to do things like:

  • Generate meshes
  • Generate textures
  • Do physics calculations
  • Do AI calculations
  • Do any other kind of calculation that can be parallelized

compute(groupCount: int3, shd: shader)

Compute shaders are dispatched by providing a group count and a shader. The group count defines how many groups of threads will be dispatched. Each group has a size of threads defined in the shader block (shader <16, 16, 1> will have 16x16x1 threads per group).

In other words:

If we define a shader with: shader<16, 16, 1>, and call compute((2, 1, 1), shader <16, 16, 1> { ... }):

  • 16x16x1 threads will be dispatched in the first group on the x axis
  • 16x16x1 threads will be dispatched in the second group on the x axis