Chapter 3. Tools of the Trade

Graphics programmers have access to a variety of excellent tools to assist in shader authoring, application development, debugging, and asset creation. Happily, many of these are free to use, so you can explore the subject without having to make a large investment. This chapter introduces some of the best tools currently on the market.

Microsoft Visual Studio

Microsoft Visual Studio is an integrated development environment (IDE) for writing software on Microsoft platforms. It supports a large number of programming languages and hardware platforms, including Windows Phone, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. Of particular interest to us is Visual Studio’s support for C++ and HLSL, along with the integrated Visual Studio Graphics ...

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