Taking a look at setting up and using RenderDoc with UE4 projects.


RenderDoc is a standalone open-source graphics debugger that allows you to quickly capture and inspect a single frame that is run on the GPU. RenderDoc supports any application that uses Vulkan, D3D11, OpenGL & OpenGL ES or D3D12 across Windows 7 - 10, Linux, or Android. In the following How-To will go over how to set up and use RenderDoc to profile your Unreal Engine 4 (UE4) project.


Below you will find instructions that go over setting up and using RenderDoc to profile the rendering performance of your UE4 project.

For the best possible results, you should use RenderDoc with a cooked version of your UE4 project. If you are not sure how to cook your UE4 project please see the UE4 Deployment documents for information on how to do this.

  1. First, download the RenderDoc standalone program using the following link:

  2. When RenderDoc has finished downloading, install RenderDoc to your development PC.

  3. Once RenderDoc has finished installing, locate qrenderdoc.exe and double-click on it to launch it.

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  4. When the RenderDoc program opens, from the main toolbar, select ToolsSettings.

  5. By default, RenderDoc only creates temporary capture files when you capture. To make sure the capture files are saved for future use, set the Directory for temporary capture files and the Default save directory for captures to a directory on your PC.

  6. Next, from the main toolbar, select Launch Application.

  7. Click on the ellipsis next to Executable Path and then locate the .EXE you want to profile.

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  8. In the Capture Options, make sure that Capture Child Processes is enabled or you will not be able to attach to your project.

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  9. Next, go to the Actions section and then press the Launch button. This will launch the project that was entered into the Executable Path.

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    Depending on the size of your project you could have to wait for several minutes for the project to launch.

  10. When your project launches, you should see the RenderDoc generated text overlayed in the upper lefthand corner of the screen. 

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  11. Make sure the project is the active window and press F12 to initiate a capture. Each time you press F12 a new capture will take place. Once you have all of the captures you need close the project as you normally would.

  12. From the RenderDoc main menu, go to FileOpen Capture and from the displayed window select the capture you want to view, pressing the Open button to open the capture.

    If you did not set the directory for RenderDoc captures to be saved, you can find the captures in the following location: C:\Users\YourUserAccount\AppData\Local\Temp\RenderDoc

  13. You can now view how the frame was constructed by clicking on the Texture Viewer and then clicking on the Read/Write events in the Timeline.

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End Result

With a RenderDoc capture now loaded up, you can see how the screen was constructed by clicking on the different Read/Write events in the Timeline as demonstrated in the video below.

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