Adobe’s CSS Shaders proposal, which will bring high-quality cinematic effects to the web through some new CSS tools, has been accepted by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
That means CSS Shaders will become a web standard, though not on their own; instead the W3C is going to roll CSS Shaders into the CSS Filter Effects specification. The feature formerly known as Shaders will now be referred to as Custom Filters
The original name “Shader” has its roots in the 3-D graphics world and roughly describes what “Custom Filters” will do, namely create 3-D effects, like the rippling motion in a waving flag, by “shading” regions.
In the end the name isn’t that important; just know that Custom Filters will allow web developers to easily apply cinema-style filter effects to any HTML content. Think grayscale-to-color transitions, animated shadows, photo-realistic warping and other mainstays of the 3-D animation world.
You’ll still need a special build of WebKit that Adobe put together to see Custom Filters in action. You can grab the experimental browser from the GitHub page, where you’ll also find plenty of examples and sample code that show how shaders, er, Custom Filters work. Also be sure to check out Adobe’s earlier write-up on how Filters work and how you can use them.
Now that Shaders are an official part of CSS, hopefully web browsers will begin adding support.
[Update:The original title of this post was Adobe’s CSS Shaders Now an Official Web Standard, wherein I intended “Official Web Standard” to mean “a part of the web standards process”, not actually a published W3C recommendation. Judging by the comments that’s how most of you took it, but of course it was definitely possible to read it as something more than it actually is, so the headline has been updated to clarify that point.]