Here`s the video:
This actually is an interview with Matt Wilde, one of the VFX developers at Valve working on Alyx. He is the mastermind behind the Pixel Shader of the bottles. The shaders were added after the game launched.
What are Shaders?
Some of you may not know what shaders are so here is an explanation.
If you already have experience making drawings with computers, you know that in that process you draw a circle, then a rectangle, a line, some triangles until you compose the image you want. That process is very similar to writing a letter or a book by hand – it is a set of instructions that do one task after another.
Shaders are also a set of instructions, but the instructions are executed all at once for every single pixel on the screen. That means the code you write has to behave differently depending on the position of the pixel on the screen. Like a type press, your program will work as a function that receives a position and returns a color, and when it’s compiled it will run extraordinarily fast. – thebookofshaders.com
Wilde`s Half-Life: Alyx liquid explanation
Moreover the developer says he did some research before the launch of the game, but as we`ve seen he wasn`t able to finish in time. That made the game lack some transparency, realistic outer shine and also the liquid effect.
On the other hand, March 23 was the day of the game release and also the day Washington state went into lockdown. Valve workers were working from home and Wilde was also one of them. This meant he got more time to finish. He states that the most time spent was for finding the bottles. His goal was understanding details. Movement of the water, how the surface of the bottle reacted to light were just some of them.
All the fuss ended in a huge success. The game is looking stunning and every player enjoys it at full potential. It`s one of the top VR games we shall say.
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