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The NVIDIA Nsight Frame Debugger allows you to inspect render targets and textures, navigate through draw events, inspect pipeline states, monitor GPU and driver signals in real-time, and display performance markers for profiling.

When debugging OpenGL applications with NVIDIA Nsight, the HUD aspect remains the same as when you're debugging a Direct3D application. However, the host side within Visual Studio has several notable new features. The host now includes individual views in multiple, dockable Visual Studio windows.

Launching the Frame Debugger

Just as it does with Direct3D application, the NVIDIA Nsight Frame Debugger allows you to scrub through the frame by draw call, to get a sense of how the scene is constructed. While doing this, you can also inspect pipeline state, render targets, and textures, navigate through draw events, run a pixel history, and profile the captured frame.

The Frame Debugger includes a performance dashboard that shows as a heads-up-display (HUD) on the application being debugged. (If you used NVIDIA's PerfHUD software, this display will be familiar to you.)

To launch the Frame Debugger:

  1. Begin debugging your graphics project. To do so:
    1. Open your project in Visual Studio.
    2. Build the project.
    3. Make sure the Nsight Monitor is running on the target machine (the target machine can be either the localhost or a remote machine).
      For more information on configuring your target and host machines, see Target and Host Setup.
    4. From the Nsight menu, select Start Graphics Debugging and wait for your target application to launch.
    5. Once launched, navigate in your application to a location of interest that shows either a rendering or a performance problem.
  2. From the Nsight menu, select Pause and Capture Frame, and in Visual Studio, the Frame Debugger view will open. On the target application, the HUD toolbar and HUD scrubber will appear.

If you encounter debug GLSL compiler issues, the best way to work around it is to disable the shader debugger. To do so, see setting your Shader Debugger preferences. Note that this will disable all shader debugging features, including pixel history.


NVIDIA GameWorks Documentation Rev. 1.0.150630 ©2015. NVIDIA Corporation. All Rights Reserved.