VisualShaderNodeUVFunc in Godot – Complete Guide

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on utilizing the VisualShaderNodeUVFunc class in Godot 4. Whether you’re just starting out with shader programming or you’re a seasoned pro looking to enhance your skills, you’ll find this tutorial useful and enlightening. We’ll dive into how you can manipulate texture coordinates to create dynamic visual effects directly within Godot’s robust shader graph system. So, gear up for an exciting exploration of UV functions and discover the creative possibilities they unlock.

What is VisualShaderNodeUVFunc?

VisualShaderNodeUVFunc is a powerful class within the Godot Engine that offers functionality for modifying texture coordinates, typically referred to as UVs, within your visual shaders. Shaders control the final look of your materials, and UVs determine how textures are mapped onto 3D models. By adjusting these coordinates, you can create dynamic texture effects, such as animating a background or distorting images in real-time.

What is VisualShaderNodeUVFunc Used For?

The VisualShaderNodeUVFunc class is used when you wish to apply transformations to your texture coordinates within a shader. Transformations like panning, scaling, and other effects are essential for various visual outcomes. For example, you might want to create a flowing river effect by panning a water texture or provide the illusion of depth by scaling a texture based on distance.

Why Should I Learn to Use VisualShaderNodeUVFunc?

Learning to use the VisualShaderNodeUVFunc class is an investment in your capabilities as a game developer or visual effects artist. This tool empowers you to:

– Elevate the visual quality of your games by creating rich, dynamic textures.
– Enhance gameplay mechanics with visual cues, such as showing movement direction or highlighting interactive elements.
– Gain deeper understanding of shader programming and visual manipulation, which are sought-after skills in the game development industry.

By mastering UV functions, you’ll add a key skill to your set that can significantly impact the appeal and functionality of your game’s graphics.

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Basic Manipulations with VisualShaderNodeUVFunc

Understanding the basic operations you can perform with VisualShaderNodeUVFunc is crucial before we dive into more complex examples. Below are several code snippets showcasing fundamental manipulations such as shifting, scaling, and rotating texture coordinates.

Shifting Texture Coordinates
To shift or pan your texture across a surface, you will modify the UVs by adding to them. Here’s how to shift the texture right and up using VisualShaderNodeUVFunc.

var uv_func = VisualShaderNodeUVFunc.new()
uv_func.function = VisualShaderNodeUVFunc.FUNC_ADD
var vec_const = VisualShaderNodeVectorConstant.new()
vec_const.constant = Vector2(0.1, 0.1)
# Connect constant to the function
shader_graph.connect_nodes(vec_const, 0, uv_func, 0)

Scaling Texture Coordinates
To create a zoom-in or zoom-out effect on your textures, you can scale the UVs. The following example demonstrates scaling down texture coordinates:

var uv_func = VisualShaderNodeUVFunc.new()
uv_func.function = VisualShaderNodeUVFunc.FUNC_MUL
var vec_const = VisualShaderNodeVectorConstant.new()
vec_const.constant = Vector2(0.5, 0.5)
# Connect constant to the function
shader_graph.connect_nodes(vec_const, 0, uv_func, 0)

Rotating Texture Coordinates
For rotating the texture around a point, you’ll need to use a combination of functions to achieve this effect. Here’s a snippet for rotating UVs:

var uv_func_add = VisualShaderNodeUVFunc.new()
uv_func_add.function = VisualShaderNodeUVFunc.FUNC_ADD

var uv_func_rot = VisualShaderNodeUVFunc.new()
uv_func_rot.function = VisualShaderNodeUVFunc.FUNC_ROT

var time_input = VisualShaderNodeTime.new()
var vec_const_add = VisualShaderNodeVectorConstant.new()
vec_const_add.constant = Vector2(-0.5, -0.5)

var vec_const_rot = VisualShaderNodeVectorConstant.new()
vec_const_rot.constant = Vector2(0.5, 0.5)

# Connect nodes to create a rotation around the center
shader_graph.connect_nodes(time_input, 0, uv_func_rot, 1)
shader_graph.connect_nodes(vec_const_add, 0, uv_func_add, 0)
shader_graph.connect_nodes(uv_func_add, 0, uv_func_rot, 0)
shader_graph.connect_nodes(uv_func_rot, 0, vec_const_rot, 0)

Animating Textures Using VisualShaderNodeUVFunc

Animating textures can bring your scenes to life. The use of the VisualShaderNodeUVFunc allows us to change UV coordinates over time for effects like scrolling backgrounds or pulsating lights.

Scrolling Background
Creating a scrolling background is useful for endless runners or background elements that suggest motion. Here, we pan the texture continuously to simulate a moving scene.

var uv_func = VisualShaderNodeUVFunc.new()
uv_func.function = VisualShaderNodeUVFunc.FUNC_FRAC
var time_input = VisualShaderNodeTime.new()
var vec_const = VisualShaderNodeVectorConstant.new()
vec_const.constant = Vector2(1.0, 0.0)

# Connect time to the panning vector to create a horizontal scroll
shader_graph.connect_nodes(time_input, 0, vec_const, 0)
shader_graph.connect_nodes(vec_const, 0, uv_func, 0)

Dynamic Distortion Effect
You can use VisualShaderNodeUVFunc to create dynamic distortion effects, such as waves or ripples. This example modulates the UVs based on a sine wave.

var uv_func = VisualShaderNodeUVFunc.new()
uv_func.function = VisualShaderNodeUVFunc.FUNC_ADD
var time_input = VisualShaderNodeTime.new()
var texture_sample = VisualShaderNodeTexture.new()
texture_sample.texture = preload("res://distortion_map.png")

var sine_func = VisualShaderNodeScalarFunc.new()
sine_func.function = VisualShaderNodeScalarFunc.FUNC_SIN

shader_graph.connect_nodes(time_input, 0, sine_func, 0)
shader_graph.connect_nodes(sine_func, 0, uv_func, 0)
shader_graph.connect_nodes(texture_sample, 0, uv_func, 0)

These examples provide the foundation to start experimenting with VisualShaderNodeUVFunc and create a variety of effects. Continued practice with these basic transformations can enable you to bring complex visual expressions to your Godot projects. As you gain familiarity with the class, you’ll be able to customize and combine these examples to produce unique results that enhance your game’s aesthetic.

Advanced UV Function Techniques

Moving beyond the basics, let’s explore some advanced techniques using VisualShaderNodeUVFunc. The code examples below showcase more sophisticated methods for achieving unique visual effects in your Godot 4 projects.

Complex UV Panning
Combining multiple UV transformations can create more intricate moving textures. Here’s how you can pan across both axes with varying speeds:

var uv_func = VisualShaderNodeUVFunc.new()
uv_func.function = VisualShaderNodeUVFunc.FUNC_ADD
var time_input = VisualShaderNodeTime.new()
var vec_const = VisualShaderNodeVectorConstant.new()
vec_const.constant = Vector2(0.2, 0.1) # Different speeds for X and Y

# Connect nodes to achieve complex UV panning
shader_graph.connect_nodes(time_input, 0, vec_const, 0)
shader_graph.connect_nodes(vec_const, 0, uv_func, 0)

Wave Motion Effect
Creating a wave motion effect involves manipulating the UV coordinates by a sine function over time and position. This can add a dynamic ‘wavy’ effect to your textures:

var uv_func_sin = VisualShaderNodeScalarFunc.new()
uv_func_sin.function = VisualShaderNodeScalarFunc.FUNC_SIN

var uv_input = VisualShaderNodeUV.new()
var time_input = VisualShaderNodeTime.new()
var scalar_mult = VisualShaderNodeScalarOp.new()
scalar_mult.operator = VisualShaderNodeScalarOp.OP_MUL

# Combine UV.y with time to affect vertical position over time
shader_graph.connect_nodes(uv_input, 1, scalar_mult, 0)
shader_graph.connect_nodes(time_input, 0, scalar_mult, 1)
shader_graph.connect_nodes(scalar_mult, 0, uv_func_sin, 0)

Radial UV Scaling
To create effects such as a vortex or a radial zoom effect, you might want to scale your UVs based on their distance from a center point.

var distance_func = VisualShaderNodeVectorFunc.new()
distance_func.function = VisualShaderNodeVectorFunc.FUNC_DISTANCE

var uv_input = VisualShaderNodeUV.new()
var uv_center = VisualShaderNodeVectorConstant.new()
uv_center.constant = Vector2(0.5, 0.5) # Center of the texture

var scalar_mult = VisualShaderNodeScalarOp.new()
scalar_mult.operator = VisualShaderNodeScalarOp.OP_MUL

var uv_scale = VisualShaderNodeVectorFunc.new()
uv_scale.function = VisualShaderNodeVectorFunc.FUNC_SCALE

# Calculate UV distance from the center, scale and apply
shader_graph.connect_nodes(uv_input, 0, distance_func, 0)
shader_graph.connect_nodes(uv_center, 0, distance_func, 1)
shader_graph.connect_nodes(distance_func, 0, scalar_mult, 0)
shader_graph.connect_nodes(scalar_mult, 0, uv_scale, 1)
shader_graph.connect_nodes(uv_input, 0, uv_scale, 0)

UV Tiling
You might want to repeat a texture across a surface without stretching it. This involves a modulus operation on the UVs.

var uv_func_mod = VisualShaderNodeUVFunc.new()
uv_func_mod.function = VisualShaderNodeUVFunc.FUNC_FRAC

var vec_const = VisualShaderNodeVectorConstant.new()
vec_const.constant = Vector2(2.0, 2.0) # The tiling factor

# Apply modulus to tile the texture
shader_graph.connect_nodes(uv_func_mod, 0, vec_const, 0)

UV Clamping
Sometimes, you’ll need to prevent the texture from repeating across a surface, which requires clamping the UV coordinates.

var uv_func_clamp = VisualShaderNodeUVFunc.new()
uv_func_clamp.function = VisualShaderNodeUVFunc.FUNC_CLAMP

var vec_const_min = VisualShaderNodeVectorConstant.new()
vec_const_min.constant = Vector2(0.0, 0.0) # The minimum UV boundary

var vec_const_max = VisualShaderNodeVectorConstant.new()
vec_const_max.constant = Vector2(1.0, 1.0) # The maximum UV boundary

# Clamp UV coordinates to the given boundaries
shader_graph.connect_nodes(uv_func_clamp, 0, vec_const_min, 1)
shader_graph.connect_nodes(uv_func_clamp, 0, vec_const_max, 2)

Using these advanced techniques, you can leverage the power of VisualShaderNodeUVFunc to craft textures that interact and behave in complex ways, offering endless creative potential for your Godot projects. Remember, the key to mastery is experimentation and practice, so don’t hesitate to tweak these examples and combine them in unique ways to achieve the exact effect you’re envisioning.Utilizing the VisualShaderNodeUVFunc unlocks a plethora of effects for your textures in Godot. In the following section, we’ll provide a series of code examples that demonstrate more intricate techniques and creative uses for this class.

Creating a Mirror Effect
Creating a mirror effect with your UVs can be a visually striking way to enhance symmetrical designs or to create reflections:

var uv_func = VisualShaderNodeUVFunc.new()
uv_func.function = VisualShaderNodeUVFunc.FUNC_ABS

# Apply the ABS function to create a mirrored effect along one axis
shader_graph.connect_nodes(uv_func, 0, 0)

Mixing Textures with UVs
Mixing two textures can be controlled by UVs to create transitions or animated effects on surfaces. Here’s how you might mix textures based on a dynamic UV mask:

var texture_one = VisualShaderNodeTexture.new()
texture_one.texture = preload("res://texture_one.png")

var texture_two = VisualShaderNodeTexture.new()
texture_two.texture = preload("res://texture_two.png")

var uv_mask = VisualShaderNodeTexture.new()
uv_mask.texture = preload("res://uv_mask.png")

var lerp_node = VisualShaderNodeVectorInterp.new()

# LERP between textures using a mask
shader_graph.connect_nodes(texture_one, 0, lerp_node, 1)
shader_graph.connect_nodes(texture_two, 0, lerp_node, 2)
shader_graph.connect_nodes(uv_mask, 0, lerp_node, 0)

UV Offsetting for Pulse Effects
Use UV offsetting to create a pulsing effect that can convey energy fields or magical auras:

var uv_func = VisualShaderNodeUVFunc.new()
uv_func.function = VisualShaderNodeUVFunc.FUNC_ADD

var time_input = VisualShaderNodeTime.new()
var sine_func = VisualShaderNodeScalarFunc.new()
sine_func.function = VisualShaderNodeScalarFunc.FUNC_SIN

# Connect time to sin function to create a pulse
shader_graph.connect_nodes(time_input, 0, sine_func, 0)

# Offset UVs using the pulsing value, binding them to the sin function
shader_graph.connect_nodes(sine_func, 0, uv_func, 0)

Twisting UVs for Swirling Effects
To create a swirling effect, such as a vortex or a twister, UVs can be twisted around a pivot point:

var uv_twist = VisualShaderNodeUVFunc.new()
uv_twist.function = VisualShaderNodeUVFunc.FUNC_ROT

var time_input = VisualShaderNodeTime.new()
var vec_const_center = VisualShaderNodeVectorConstant.new()
vec_const_center.constant = Vector2(0.5, 0.5) # Pivot center

# Connect time node to create rotation over time
shader_graph.connect_nodes(time_input, 0, uv_twist, 1)

# Set the pivot point for the twist
shader_graph.connect_nodes(vec_const_center, 0, uv_twist, 2)

Animated Noise Texture UVs
Animating noise textures can create a more natural and less repetitive effect for materials such as water, clouds, or fire:

var uv_noise = VisualShaderNodeUVFunc.new()
uv_noise.function = VisualShaderNodeUVFunc.FUNC_ADD

var noise_texture = VisualShaderNodeTexture.new()
noise_texture.texture = preload("res://noise_texture.png")

var time_input = VisualShaderNodeTime.new()
var vec_const = VisualShaderNodeVectorConstant.new()
vec_const.constant = Vector2(0.01, 0) # Control the speed of the noise 

# Apply time-driven movement to the noise texture UVs
shader_graph.connect_nodes(time_input, 0, vec_const, 0)
shader_graph.connect_nodes(vec_const, 0, uv_noise, 0)
shader_graph.connect_nodes(noise_texture, 0, uv_noise, 0)

UV Filtering for Blur Effects
To produce a blur effect, filtering operations can be applied to the UVs, averaging nearby pixels to soften texture details:

var uv_filter = VisualShaderNodeUVFunc.new()
uv_filter.function = VisualShaderNodeUVFunc.FUNC_LINEAR_INTERP

var blur_amount = VisualShaderNodeScalarConstant.new()
blur_amount.constant = 0.1 # Blur intensity

# Apply linear interpolation to soften the UV details
shader_graph.connect_nodes(blur_amount, 0, uv_filter, 1)

These advanced code snippets are provided to spark your creativity and further your skills with VisualShaderNodeUVFunc in Godot. Exploring these examples will broaden your understanding of how UV functions can manipulate textures, allowing you to add complexity and polish to your projects. By mastering these techniques, you enhance not only the visual appeal of your games but also your versatility as a developer in creating immersive and dynamic environments.

Continue Your Game Development Journey

Now that you’ve delved into the intricacies of the VisualShaderNodeUVFunc class in Godot 4, you might be wondering how to build upon the knowledge you’ve gained. The journey in game development is continuous, and there’s always more to learn and explore to bring your creative visions to life.

To further your skills in Godot 4 and game development as a whole, we encourage you to check out our Godot Game Development Mini-Degree. This program offers an array of courses that will guide you through building cross-platform games using the powerful yet lightweight Godot 4 engine. Whether you’re just starting out or refining your expertise, our mini-degree covers essential aspects of game development, including 2D and 3D assets, GDScript programming, UI systems, and various game mechanics, allowing you to create your own complete games and add impressive projects to your portfolio.

For those looking to broaden their horizons even further, be sure to check out our comprehensive collection of Godot courses. With over 250 supported courses, Zenva provides a flexible learning path that fits your schedule and skill level, arming you with modern, industry-relevant skills. Start your journey today and unlock the full potential of your game development career with Zenva.

Conclusion

Armed with the power of VisualShaderNodeUVFunc and the broader capabilities of Godot 4, the door is wide open to crafting stunning visual effects that will captivate your audience. We’ve just scratched the surface, and there’s a universe of potential waiting to be harnessed in your projects. By combining your imagination with the technical skills acquired here, you’re well-equipped to take on the challenge of creating games that are not only fun to play but also a spectacle to behold.

As you continue on your game development odyssey, remember that the merge between knowledge and practice is where true mastery lies. We invite you to deepen your expertise and join a community of like-minded developers with our Godot Game Development Mini-Degree. Let your creative journey be limitless, and push the boundaries of what’s possible in game design. The next groundbreaking game could very well be yours, and we at Zenva are here to help you make it a reality.

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