Compiling and Linking GLSL-ES Shaders from asset file

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The Assets folder is the most common place to store your GLSL-ES shader files. To use them in your OpenGL ES application you need to load them to a string in the first place. This functions creates a string from the asset file:

private String loadStringFromAssetFile(Context myContext, String filePath){
    StringBuilder shaderSource = new StringBuilder();
    try {
        BufferedReader reader = new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(myContext.getAssets().open(filePath)));
        String line;
        while((line = reader.readLine()) != null){
        return shaderSource.toString();
    } catch (IOException e) {
        Log.e(TAG, "Could not load shader file");
        return null;

Now you need to create a function that compiles a shader stored in a sting:

private int compileShader(int shader_type, String shaderString){
    // This compiles the shader from the string
    int shader = glCreateShader(shader_type);
    glShaderSource(shader, shaderString); 

    // This checks for for compilation errors
    int[] compiled = new int[1];
    glGetShaderiv(shader, GL_COMPILE_STATUS, compiled, 0);
    if (compiled[0] == 0) {
        String log = glGetShaderInfoLog(shader);

        Log.e(TAG, "Shader compilation error: ");
        Log.e(TAG, log);
    return shader;

Now you can load, compile and link your shaders:

// Load shaders from file
String vertexShaderString = loadStringFromAssetFile(context, "your_vertex_shader.glsl");
String fragmentShaderString = loadStringFromAssetFile(context, "your_fragment_shader.glsl");

// Compile shaders
int vertexShader = compileShader(GL_VERTEX_SHADER, vertexShaderString);
int fragmentShader = compileShader(GL_FRAGMENT_SHADER, fragmentShaderString);

// Link shaders and create shader program
int shaderProgram = glCreateProgram();
glAttachShader(shaderProgram , vertexShader);
glAttachShader(shaderProgram , fragmentShader);

// Check for linking errors:
int linkStatus[] = new int[1];
glGetProgramiv(shaderProgram, GL_LINK_STATUS, linkStatus, 0);
if (linkStatus[0] != GL_TRUE) {
    String log = glGetProgramInfoLog(shaderProgram);

    Log.e(TAG,"Could not link shader program: ");
    Log.e(TAG, log);

If there are no errors, your shader program is ready to use:


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