Ray-box setup

Ray setup and useful intersections with a bounding box in model space, ideal for ray marching. You may build on this code to cast rays.

I couldn’t find any examples that support orthographic and VR mode out of the gate, so here you go. It can be an annoying roadblock when you just want to implement your ray based algorithm and get results.

The shader is designed for use in Godot 4.


  1. Add a new MeshInstance3D node into the scene
  2. Assign it a BoxMesh
  3. Set the width, height and depth to 2
  4. Set flip_faces=true
  5. Use the shader!

I hope this helps someone. Please let me know if you find a better approach!



The ray-box intersector is lifted from https://iquilezles.org/articles/intersectors/

I did derive my own, but the formula ended up being identical to iq anyway…

Shader code
shader_type spatial;

render_mode unshaded;

// axis aligned box centered at the origin, with size boxSize
vec2 boxIntersection( in vec3 ro, in vec3 rd, vec3 boxSize, out vec3 outNormal )
    vec3 m = 1.0/rd; // can precompute if traversing a set of aligned boxes
    vec3 n = m*ro;   // can precompute if traversing a set of aligned boxes
    vec3 k = abs(m)*boxSize;
    vec3 t1 = -n - k;
    vec3 t2 = -n + k;
    float tN = max( max( t1.x, t1.y ), t1.z );
    float tF = min( min( t2.x, t2.y ), t2.z );
    if( tN>tF || tF<0.0) return vec2(-1.0); // no intersection
    outNormal = (tN>0.0) ? step(vec3(tN),t1) : // ro ouside the box
                           step(t2,vec3(tF));  // ro inside the box
    outNormal *= -sign(rd);
    return vec2( tN, tF );

void fragment() {
	// construct the ray in view space
	vec3 rd = -VIEW;
	vec3 ro = VERTEX - rd * VERTEX.z/rd.z;

	// transform ray to model space
	mat4 inv_modelview = inverse(VIEW_MATRIX * MODEL_MATRIX);
	ro = (inv_modelview * vec4(ro,1)).xyz;
	rd = normalize( mat3(inv_modelview) * rd );

	// intersect with the box
	vec3 n;
	vec2 result = boxIntersection(ro, rd, vec3(1), n);

	// get the first point along the ray that is inside of the box
	float t = max(result.x, 0.0);
	vec3 p = ro + rd * t;


	// discard any rays that made it all the way through the box
	if(result.y < t) discard;

	// debugging
	ALBEDO = vec3(p);
box, godot 4, ray, raymaching, template
The shader code and all code snippets in this post are under MIT license and can be used freely. Images and videos, and assets depicted in those, do not fall under this license. For more info, see our License terms.

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1 year ago

thank you so much =)