# How to locate the correct texture within a texture atlas using a shader?

Hi, I am beginning to learn shader programming. I have been doing some stuff with vertex, geometry and computational shaders. But in god’s name, I can’t understand and couldn’t find a clear, concise answer to that simple thing: how to locate a specific texture within a texture atlas, inside a shader?

I have found questions and answers about how to access a specific texture from an atlas outside shaders. I have found extensive discussions on tiling, wrapping, etc. But I did not find a simple explanation of simply how to locate a texture within an atlas inside the shader code.

For instance, suppose I have 4 textures of 128x128 each. Displayed in an atlas in a 2x2 fashion (so the atlas has 256x256). What is the correct way to make the shader access each of these 4 pieces of the atlas (let’s call them A, B, C and D, starting at the left-up, and then gong clockwise).

Thanks for any help!

Generally, this is done through the texture coordinates in the vertex shader. You can shift and scale them as needed. So, in your example, you would pass in texture coordinates for the whole texture: (0,0) (1,0) (1,1) (0,1), then in the vertex shader, scale and offset them. For example, the top right image would be (0.5, 0) (1,0) (1,0.5) (0.5, 0.5). Or, it could be represented by the following equation:

``````newX = (srcX / numImgX) + (offsetX * 1/numImgX);
newY = (srcY / numImgY) + (offsetY * 1/numImgY);
``````

But, you’ll need to pass in that information about the texure atlas (how many images it contains, etc), as well as information telling the shader which image to use.