RenderDoc

RenderDoc is a standalone open-source graphics debugger that enables you to perform single-frame captures and inspect them.

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RenderDoc is a free standalone open-source graphics debugger that enables you to perform single-frame captures of an application, such as Unreal Engine 4 (UE4). The capture is loaded into RenderDoc to inspect what is happening on the GPU through the events, API, and much more in full detail.

Installing RenderDoc

RenderDoc is an open-source graphics debugger that is freely available to download and install from RenderDoc.org.

The list of supported operating systems and APIs below reflect what RenderDoc currently supports, which may differ from what UE4 supports. For the latest updates, see RenderDoc's FAQ page.

Supported Operating Systems

Windows 7 and 10

Linux

Android

Google Stadia

Nintendo Switch

Supported APIs

Vulkan

D3D11

D3D12

Open GL3.2+

Open GL ES 2.0 - 3.2

Enabling RenderDoc Plugin

It is not required that the RenderDoc plugin be enabled to use RenderDoc with an UE4 Project. The standalone RenderDoc works with the UE4 executable. See RenderDoc Documentation to follow their setup guide.

Unreal Engine 4 provides a plugin that enables you easily perform a next frame capture from within the Editor and automatically open that in RenderDoc. Use the steps below to enable it in your project:

  1. Navigate to the main menu and select Edit > Plugins to open the Plugins browser.

  2. You can find the RenderDoc Plugin under the Rendering category, or simply use the search bar at the top of the Plugins browser window.

    EnablingRenderDoc_1.png

  3. Place a check in the box next to Enabled.

  4. Restart the Editor when prompted.

Once the Editor restarts, the Level Viewport contains a new UI button (top right) to perform a capture:

EnablingRenderDoc_2.png

Performing a Frame Capture

The steps below describe at a high-level how to perform a single-frame capture with your UE4 project using the integrated RenderDoc plugin or directly from RenderDoc application.

Further details on functionality and use of RenderDoc can be found in RenderDoc Documentation.

RenderDoc Plugin

The following steps are used to capture a frame using UE4's RenderDoc Plugin:

  1. Enable the RenderDoc plugin for your project.

  2. Open your project and scene where you want to perform a capture.

  3. Click the RenderDoc Capture button in the Level Viewport.

    Click image for full size.

RenderDoc Application

The following are the high-level steps required to capture a frame using UE4 with the standalone RenderDoc executable:

  1. Configure RenderDoc to launch your game or the UE4Editor.exe with the appropriate command line arguments.

    Enable Capture Child Processes when launching with the UE4Editor.exe.

  2. Launch the executable.

  3. Press the F12 hotkey to perform a frame capture.

For full details of setting up RenderDoc, launching an application and performing a frame capture, see the RenderDoc Getting Started Guide

Project Settings

Use the Project Settings window to set additional RenderDoc Plugin settings. From the main menu, select Edit > Project Settings and then under the Plugins category, select RenderDoc.

RenderDoc_ProjectSettings.png

Property

Description

Frame Capture Settings

Capture all activity

When enabled, RenderDoc captures all activity in all viewports and Editor windows for the entire frame instead of only the current viewport.

Capture all call stacks

When enabled, RenderDoc captures call stacks for all API calls.

Reference all resources

When enabled, RenderDoc includes all rendering resources in the capture, even those that have not been used during the frame.

Enabling this property will significantly increase capture size.

Save all initial states

When enabled, RenderDoc always captures the initial state of all rendering resources, even if they are not likely to be used during the frame.

Enabling this property will significantly increase capture size.

Advanced Settings

Show help on startup

When enabled, a help window with RenderDoc is shown on Editor startup.

Use the RenderDoc crash handler

If enabled, the RenderDoc crash handler is used if a crash occurs.

This should only be used if you know the problem is with the RenderDoc application and would like to notify the RenderDoc developers.

RenderDoc executable path

Sets the path to the RenderDoc executable to use.

This should automatically fill in when with the correct path when RenderDoc is installed.

Additional Notes and Resources

  • See RenderDoc Documentation for further reading on RenderDoc use and analysis of frame captures.

  • The RenderDoc Plugin was created and developed by Fredrik Lindh ("Temaran") for UE4. For additional information, see the RenderDoc GitHub respository.

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