This is an old revision of the document!
Shader Builder is a tool included with the Advanced and Pro editions of DAZ Studio 4.x. It provides a visual development environment for generating custom shaders based on the RenderMan® Interface Specification (RISpec). The intended audience for this tool is a shader developer, or an aspiring shader developer, being someone who is familiar with or wants to become familiar with RenderMan® Shading Language (RSL) and the shader development process. The goal of Shader Builder is to make the process of creating RSL shaders and the scripts that build the interface between them and DAZ Studio, easier and less prone to syntactical errors.
Aside from providing a visual means of constructing RSL shaders, Shader Builder ultimately generates a compiled shader (i.e. *.sdl - for the 'current' version of the 3Delight renderer) and the appropriate scripts (*.dsa) that connect it to DAZ Studio. It allows you to visually define any of the 5 RenderMan shader types (Surface, Displacement/Bump, Light, Volume, and Imager) and that shader's interface to the user, whether that be yourself, or your customer.