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lunkhound

is there a free tool for debugging HLSL shaders?

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You can use the Visual Studio 2013 Express for Windows for debugging shaders from your desktop app. Use Open Project from VS2013 for Windows to open the executable (probably the Debug build) and you will be able to use the Debug|Graphics option just fine. I.e. the twist is that you develop using one VS version and debug using another.

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You can use the Visual Studio 2013 Express for Windows for debugging shaders from your desktop app. Use Open Project from VS2013 for Windows to open the executable (probably the Debug build) and you will be able to use the Debug|Graphics option just fine. I.e. the twist is that you develop using one VS version and debug using another.

 

Are you sure that works with VS2013 Express?  Perhaps I'm missing something because I couldn't get it to work, and according to http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/vstudio/hh873207.aspx:

 

"Visual Studio 2013 Express for Windows Desktop does not support Graphics Diagnostics features."

 

@Mona2000: Thanks, I'll look into that!

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Each card manufacturer provides a tool that lets you debug on the GPU. You may need to check that you are compiling for 32-bit as some don't work with 64-bit apps.

 

nVidia nSight

GPU PerfStudio 2 (AMD)

and as mentioned Intel's GPA

and also already mentioned, Crytek have released "RenderDoc" a free graphics debugger for DX 11/11.1

Edited by spazzarama

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You can use Visual Studio 2013 for Windows (not for Windows Desktop) but you can still use it with executables built with VS for Windows Desktop.  Take a look at this link http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh708964.aspx.

 

 

To enable the capture of graphics information without loading a project or solution
  1. On the menu bar, choose File, Open, Project/Solution. The Open Project dialog box appears.

  2. Instead of a project or solution file, specify the executable file for the app that you want to capture graphics information from, and then choose Open.

  3. On the menu bar, choose Debug, Graphics, Start Diagnostics.

After you start the app and it is rendering frames, you can capture graphics information.

 

 

This technique works with executables build with VS for desktop.

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