Version: 2020.3
Language : English
ShaderLab: defining material properties

ShaderLab: defining a Shader object

To define a ShaderA program that runs on the GPU. More info
See in Glossary
object in ShaderLab, use a Shader block. This page contains information on using Shader blocks.

For information on how a Shader object works, and the relationship between Shader objects, SubShaders and Passes, see Shader objects introduction.


A Shader object is a Unity-specific concept; it is a wrapper for shader programs and other information. It lets you define multiple shader programs in the same file, and tell Unity how to use them.

A Shader object has a nested structure; it organizes information into structures called SubShaders and Passes.

Render pipeline compatibility

Feature name Built-in Render Pipeline Universal Render Pipeline (URP) High Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP) Custom SRP
ShaderLab: Shader block Yes Yes Yes Yes

Using the Shader block

Inside the Shader block, you can:

Signature Function
Shader "<name>"
    <optional: Material properties>
    <One or more SubShader definitions>
    <optional: custom editor>
    <optional: fallback>
Defines a Shader object with a given name.

Legacy shader names

Prior to Unity 5.0, some of the functionality of a shader was determined by its path and name. This is still how Unity’s Legacy Shaders work. Changing the name of these shaders can affect their functionality.


This example code demonstrates the basic syntax and structure of a Shader object. The example Shader object has a single SubShader that contains a single pass. It defines Material properties, a CustomEditor, and a Fallback.

Shader "Examples/ShaderSyntax"
    CustomEditor = "ExampleCustomEditor"

        // Material property declarations go here
        // The code that defines the rest of the SubShader goes here

           // The code that defines the Pass goes here

    Fallback "ExampleFallbackShader"

For example custom shaders that are compatible with different render pipelines, see Example custom shaders

ShaderLab: defining material properties
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