Rendering Sprites with Shaders


Sprite appearance can be modified through a number of properties including Texture, ColorOperation, and BlendOperation. Full rendering control can be achieved by using custom shaders, applied through an IDrawableBatch. This guide covers how to render a Sprite using a custom IDrawableBatch.

Adding Files to FlatRedBall

Before writing any code, we’ll add a few files to our project. This requires an existing FlatRedBall project with at least one Screen.

To add a shader file:

  1. Download this file: Shader.fx

  2. Add the file to your FlatRedBall screen (such as GameScreen)

To add an Image file:

  1. Right-click on your FlatRedBall screen's Files folder (such as GameScreen)

  2. Select Add File -> New File

  3. Select Texture (.png)

Both files should now be in your Screen so that we can reference them in the code below.

Creating an IDrawableBatch

Next we’ll create a IDrawableBatch which will handle our rendering. To do this:

  1. Add a new file to your project in Visual Studio

  2. Name the file CustomShaderSprite

  3. Replace your file with the following (you may need to change the namespace to match your project’s namespace:

using FlatRedBall;
using FlatRedBall.Graphics;
using Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Graphics;
using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Text;
using System.Threading.Tasks;

namespace ShaderProject
    public class CustomShaderSprite : PositionedObject, IDrawableBatch
        Sprite sprite;
        Effect effect;

        short[] indexData = new short[]

        public Texture2D Texture { get; set; }

        public bool UpdateEveryFrame
                return true;

        public CustomShaderSprite (Effect effect)
            sprite = new Sprite();
            sprite.TextureScale = 1;
            this.effect = effect;

        public void Destroy()


        public void Draw(Camera camera)
            camera.SetDeviceViewAndProjection(effect, relativeToCamera: false);

            var textureParameter = effect.Parameters["CurrentTexture"];

            effect.CurrentTechnique = effect.Techniques["TexturePixelShader_Point"];

            var graphicsDevice = FlatRedBallServices.GraphicsDevice;

            foreach(var pass in effect.CurrentTechnique.Passes)

                     // Render a triangle:
                     // The array of verts that we want to render
                     // The offset, which is 0 since we want to start 
                     // at the beginning of the verts array

        public void Update()
            sprite.Position = this.Position;
            sprite.RotationMatrix = this.RotationMatrix;
            sprite.Texture = Texture;


Adding CustomShaderSprite to your Screen

To add an instance of CustomShaderSprite to your screen, modify your Screen’s code so its methods are as shown in the following code:

public partial class GameScreen
    CustomShaderSprite customShaderSprite;

    void CustomInitialize()
        customShaderSprite = new CustomShaderSprite(Shader);
        customShaderSprite.Texture = TextureFile;


    void CustomActivity(bool firstTimeCalled)

    void CustomDestroy()

    static void CustomLoadStaticContent(string contentManagerName)