Version: 2020.3
Optimizing shader runtime performance
Debugging DirectX 12 shaders with PIX
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Debugging shaders using Visual Studio

You can use Visual Studio to debug shadersA program that runs on the GPU. More info
See in Glossary
in a Unity application on Windows platforms using DirectX 11 or 12. This page contains information on how to do this.

Note: If you are using DirectX 12, Microsoft recommends that you use PIX to debug shaders instead of Visual Studio. For information on using PIX on Windows with Unity, see Debugging shaders using PIX.

Preparing your shaders

To debug shaders, you must compile them with debug symbols included. To do that, insert the #pragma enable_d3d11_debug_symbols directive into the source code of each shader that you want to debug.

Warning: This pragma directive can negatively affect performance. Remove it from your shader code before you make a final build. For more information on this pragma directive, see Shader compilation: pragma directives.

Creating a placeholder Visual Studio project for Windows Standalone

If you build your application for Windows Standalone, you must create a placeholder Visual Studio project. If you build your application for Universal Windows PlatformAn IAP feature that supports Microsoft’s In App Purchase simulator, which allows you to test IAP purchase flows on devices before publishing your application. More info
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, Unity generates a Visual Studio project for you.

  1. Launch Visual Studio.
  2. Go to File > New > ProjectIn Unity, you use a project to design and develop a game. A project stores all of the files that are related to a game, such as the asset and Scene files. More info
    See in Glossary
    > Visual C++ > Empty Project.
  3. Go to Project > Properties > Configuration Properties > Debugging
  4. In the Command field, replace $(TargetPath) with the path to your Windows Standalone application (for example, C:\MyApp\MyApp.exe)
  5. If you want to force the project to run under DirectX 11, select Command Arguments and type -force-d3d11.

Using Visual Studio to debug shaders

For instructions on setting up Visual Studio, see the Microsoft documentation: Install Visual Studio.

For instructions on setting up and using Visual Studio’s graphics debugging tools, see the Microsoft documentation: Visual Studio Graphics Diagnostics.

Optimizing shader runtime performance
Debugging DirectX 12 shaders with PIX