PVRTrace allows developers to capture and analyze the OpenGL ES and EGL API calls made by an application, allowing them to inspect the data without having to sift through source code. This allows quick and easy identification of redundant calls and errors within your code. PVRTrace consists of two main components: the recording libraries and a GUI analysis tool.

Recording Libraries

The PVRTrace recording libraries act as a bridge between an application and the host OpenGL ES drivers. As the libraries intercept data sent to the GPU driver, PVRTrace will work with any application that uses the Khronos OpenGL ES APIs to render images and it does not require custom application or driver builds. The libraries can also be used with PVRVFrame emulation, removing the need to have access to a device with a PowerVR GPU for OpenGL ES analysis.

GUI Analysis Tool

PVRTraceGUI provides an easy-to-use interface for navigating through captured OpenGL ES calls, which helps in identifying redundant calls and viewing captured data (e.g. shader source and textures). The tool also contains an integrated playback window that can display a render of the captured content in a variety of useful modes, including modes that allow the user to isolate a single draw call, display a wireframe render of the scene, view the depth complexity and many more.

Key Features

  • Record OpenGL ES (2.0 & 3.0) API calls and associated data
  • Record on Android or Linux devices (note that Android devices must be rooted)
  • Record on development machines using PVRVFrame emulation libraries
  • Analyze recordings to identify errors and redundant calls
  • Playback the recording frame by frame alongside the captured OpenGL ES calls
  • Capture the framebuffer during recording for verification purposes



Further Reading

User Manuals

Architecture Guides


 Profiling and Debugging Mobile Graphics with the PowerVR SDK Video

Blog Articles

PowerVR Graphics SDK tools explained: PVRTraceGUI basics

PowerVR Graphics SDK tools explained: Capturing a render with PVRTrace

PowerVR Graphics SDK tools explained: Advanced features in PVRTraceGUI

Mastering regular expression searches inside PVRTraceGUI

Micro-benchmark your render on PowerVR Series5, Series5XT and Series6 GPUs

Understanding OpenGL ES: Multi-thread and multi-window rendering

Optimizing Graphics Applications for PowerVR GPUs

Identifying GPU bottlenecks using PVRTrace in Fantasy Warrior 3D

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