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Command-Line Capture Tool

Visual Studio 2013

DXCap.exe is a command-line tool for graphics diagnostics capture and playback. It supports Direct3D 10 through Direct3D 11.2 across all feature levels.

DXCap.exe [-file filename] [-frame frames | -period periods | -manual] -c app [args...]
DXCap.exe -p [filename] [-debug | -warp | -hw] [-config] [-rawmode]
DXCap.exe –p [filename] –screenshot [-frame frames]
DXCap.exe –p [filename] –toXML [xml_filename]
DXCap.exe –v [–file filename] [-examine events] [-haltonfail | -exitonfail] [-showprogress]
DXCap.exe -e [search_string]
DXCap.exe -info

-filefilename

Under capture mode (-c), filename specifies the name of the graphics log file that graphics information is recorded to. If filename is not specified, graphics information is recorded to a file named <appname>-<date>-<time>.vsglog by default.

Under validation (-v) mode, filename specifies the name of the graphics log file to be validated. If filename is not specified, the graphics log that was last validated is used again.

-frameframes

Under capture mode, frames specifies the frames that you want to capture. The first frame is 1. You can specify multiple frames by using commas and ranges. For example, if frames is 2, 5, 7-9, 15, then frames 2, 5, 7, 8, 9, and 15 are captured.

-periodperiods

Under capture mode, periods specifies the ranges of time, in seconds, during which you want to capture frames. You can specify multiple periods by using commas and ranges. For example if periods is 2.1-5, 7.0-9.3, then frames that are rendered between 2.1 and 5 seconds, and between7 and 9.3 seconds are captured.

-manual

Under capture mode, -manual specifies that frames will be captured manually by pressing the Print Screen key. Frames can be captured when the app starts; to stop capturing frames, return to the command line interface and press enter.

-capp [args...]

Capture mode. Under capture mode, app specifies the name of the app that you want to capture graphics information from; args... specifies additional command-line parameters to that app.

-p [filename]

Playback mode (-p). Under playback mode, filename specifies the name of the graphics log file to be played back. If filename is not specified, the graphics log that was last played back is used again.

-debug

Under playback mode, -debug specifies that playback should be performed with the Direct3D debug layer enabled.

-warp

Under playback mode, -warp specifies that playback should be performed using the WARP software renderer.

-hw

Under playback mode, -hw specifies that playback should be performed using GPU hardware.

-config

Under playback mode, -config displays information about the machine that was used to capture the graphics log file, if this information was recorded to the log.

-rawmode

Under playback mode, -rawmode specifies that playback should be performed without modification to the recorded events. Under normal operation, playback mode might make minor changes to playback to simplify debugging and speed up playback. For example, it may simulate swap chain output rather than executing swap chain commands. Usually this is not a problem, but you might need playback to occur in a way that's more faithful to the recorded events; for example, you can use this option to restore full-screen rendering behavior to an app that was captured while running in full-screen mode.

-toXML [xml_filename]

Under playback mode, xml_filename specifies the name of the file where an XML representation of playback is written to. If xml_filename is not specified, the XML representation is written to a file named the same as the file being played back, but given an .xml extension.

-v

Validation mode. Under validation mode, captured frames are played back on both hardware and WARP, and their results are compared using an image comparison function. You can use this feature to quickly identify driver issues that affect your rendering.

-examineevents

Under validation mode, events specifies the set of graphics events whose immediate results are compared. For example, -examine present,draw,copy,clear limits the comparison to only the events belonging to those categories.

Tip Tip

We recommend starting with -examine present,draw,copy,clear because this will reveal most issues but take significantly less time than a more extensive set of events. If necessary, you can specify a larger or different set of events to validate those events and reveal other kinds of issues.

-haltonfail

Under validation mode, -haltonfail halts validation when differences are detected between the hardware and WARP renderer. Validation resumes after a key is pressed.

-exitonfail

Under validation mode, -exitonfail exits validation immediately when differences are detected between the hardware and WARP renderer. When the program exits in this way, it returns 0 to the environment; otherwise it returns 1.

-showprogress

Under validation mode, -showprogress displays progress information about the validation session. WARP progress is displayed on the left; hardware progress is displayed on the right.

-esearch_string

Enumerates the Windows Store apps that are installed. You can use this information to perform command-line captures with Windows Store apps.

-info

Displays information about the machine and capture DLLs.

DXCap.exe operates in three modes:

Capture mode (-c)

Capture graphics information from a running app and record it to a graphics log file. The capture capabilities and file format are identical to those of Visual Studio.

Playback mode (-p)

Play back previously captured graphics events from an existing graphics log file. By default, playback occurs in a window, even when the graphics log file was captured from a fullscreen app. Playback occurs in full-screen only when the graphics log file was captured from a fullscreen app and –rawmode is specified.

Validation mode (-v)

Validates rendering behavior by playing back captured frames on both hardware and WARP, then comparing their results by using an image comparison function. You can use this feature to quickly identify driver issues that affect your rendering.

In addition to these modes, dxcap.exe performs two other functions that do not perform capture or playback of graphics information.

Enumeration function (-e)

Displays details about the Windows Store apps that are installed on the machine. These details include the package name and appid that identify the executable file in a Windows Store app. To capture graphics information from a windows store app using DXCap.exe, use the package name and appid instead of the executable filename that's used when you capture a desktop app.

Info function (-info)

Displays details about the machine and capture DLLs.

Use –c to specify the app from which you want to capture graphics information.

DXCap.exe –c BasicHLSL11.exe

By default, graphics information is recorded to a file named <appname>-<date>-<time>.vsglog. Use –file to specify a different file to record to.

DXCap.exe –file regression_test_12.vsglog –c BasicHLSL11.exe

Specify additional command-line parameters to the app that you're capturing from by including them after the app's filename.

DXCap.exe –c "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplorer.exe" "www.fishgl.com"

The command in the example above captures graphics information from the desktop version of Internet Explorer while viewing the webpage located at www.fishgl.com which uses the WebGL API to render 3-D content.

NoteNote

Because command line arguments that appear after the app are passed to it, you must specify the arguments intended for DXCap.exe before using the –c option.

You can capture graphics information from a Windows Store app.

DXCap.exe –c Microsof.BingMaps_2.1.2914.1734_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe,AppexMaps

Using DXCap.exe to capture from a Windows Store app is similar to using it to capture from a Windows desktop app, but instead identifying a desktop app by its filename, you identify a Windows Store app by its package name and the name or ID of the executable inside that package that you want to capture from. To make it easier to find out how to identify the Windows Store apps that are installed on your machine, use the –e option with DXCap.exe to enumerate them:

DXCap.exe -e

You can provide an optional search string to help find the app that you're looking for. When the search string is provided, DXCap.exe enumerates the Windows Store apps whose package name, app name or app IDs match the search string. The search is case-insensitive.

DXCap.exe –e map

The command above enumerates Windows Store apps that match "map"; here is the output:

Package "Microsoft.BingMaps":
    InstallDirectory : C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\Microsoft.BingMaps_2.1.2914.1734_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe
    FullName         : Microsoft.BingMaps_2.1.2914.1734_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe
    UserSID          : S-1-5-21-2127521184-1604012920-1887927527-5603533
    Name             : Microsoft.BingMaps
    Publisher        : CN=Microsoft Corporation, O=Microsoft Corporation, L=Redmond, S=Washington, C=US
    Version          : 2.1.2914.1734
    Launchable Applications:
        Id   : AppexMaps
        Exe  : C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\Microsoft.BingMaps_2.1.2914.1734_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe\Map.exe
        IsWWA: No
        AppSpec (to launch): DXCap.exe -c Microsoft.BingMaps_2.1.2914.1734_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe,AppexMaps

The last line of output for each enumerated app displays the command you can use to capture graphics information from it.

Use –frame to specify the frames that you want to capture using commas and ranges:

DXCap.exe –frame 2,5,7-9,15 –c SimpleBezier11.exe

Or, use –period to specify a set of time ranges during which to capture frames. Time ranges are specified in seconds, and multiple ranges can be specified:

DXCap.exe –period 2.1-5, 7.0-9.3 –c SimpleBezier11.exe

Use –manual to capture frames interactively. Press the Enter key to start capture, and press the Enter key again to stop.

DXCap.exe –manual -c SimpleBezier11.exe

Use -p to play back a previously captured graphics log file.

DXCap.exe –p regression_test_12.vsglog

Leave out the filename to play back the graphics log that was captured most recently.

DXCap.exe –p

Use -rawmode to play back captured commands exactly as they occurred. Under normal playback, certain commands are emulated, for example, a graphics log file captured from a full screen app will play back in a window; with raw mode enabled, the same file will attempt to play back in full screen.

DXCap.exe –p regression_test_12.vsglog -rawmode

You might want to force play back of a graphics log file captured on a hardware device to use WARP, or force playback of a log captured on WARP to use a hardware device. Use -warp to play back using WARP.

DXCap.exe –p regression_test_12.vsglog -warp

Use -hw to play back using hardware.

DXCap.exe –p regression_test_12.vsglog -hw

Under validation mode, the graphics log file is played back on both hardware and WARP, and their results are compared. This can help you identify rendering errors that are caused by the driver. Use –v to validate correct behavior of graphics hardware against WARP.

DXCap.exe -v regression_test_12.vsglog

To reduce the amount of comparisons, you can specify a subset of commands for validation to compare and other commands will be ignored. Use –examine to specify the commands whose results you want to compare.

DXCap.exe -v regression_test_12.vsglog –examine present,draw,copy,clear

To view or analyze frames from a graphics log file, DXCap.exe can save captured frames as .png (Portable Network Graphics) image files. Use -screenshot to under playback mode to output captured frames as .png files.

DXCap.exe -p BasicHLSL11.vsglog -screenshot

Use –frame with –screenshot to specify the frames that you want to output.

DXCap.exe -p BasicHLSL11.vsglog -screenshot –frame 5, 7-9

To process and analyze graphics logs using familiar tools like FindStr or XSLT, DXCap.exe can convert a graphics log file to XML. Use -toXML under playback mode to convert the log to XML instead of playing it back.

DXCap.exe –p regression_test_12.vsglog –toXML

By default, the XML output is written to a file with the same name as the graphics log, but which has been given a .xml extension. In the example above, the XML file will be named regression_test_12.xml. To give the XML file a different name, specify it after -toXML.

DXCap.exe –p regression_test_12.vsglog –toXML temp.xml

The resulting file will contain XML that looks similar to this:

<Moment value="67"/>
<Method name="CreateDXGIFactory1" >
    <Return type="HRESULT" value="S_OK" />
    <Parameter name="riid" type="IID" value="770AAE78-F26F-4DBA-A829-253C83D1B387" />
    <Parameter name="ppFactory" type="void" handle="1" isOutput="true" />
</Method>

<Moment value="167"/>
<Method name="D3D11CreateDevice" >
    <Return type="HRESULT" value="S_OK" />
    <Parameter name="pAdapter" type="IDXGIAdapter" handle="34" />
    <Parameter name="DriverType" type="D3D_DRIVER_TYPE" value="D3D_DRIVER_TYPE_UNKNOWN" />
    <Parameter name="Software" type="HMODULE" value="pointer" />
    <Parameter name="Flags" type="UINT" value="0" />
    <Parameter name="pFeatureLevels" type="D3D_FEATURE_LEVEL" arrSize="1" >
        <Element value="D3D_FEATURE_LEVEL_11_0" />
    </Parameter>
    <Parameter name="FeatureLevels" type="UINT" value="1" />
    <Parameter name="SDKVersion" type="UINT" value="7" />
    <Parameter name="ppDevice" type="ID3D11Device" handle="35" isOutput="true" />
    <Parameter name="pFeatureLevel" type="D3D_FEATURE_LEVEL" value="D3D_FEATURE_LEVEL_11_0" isOutput="true" />
    <Parameter name="ppImmediateContext" type="ID3D11DeviceContext" value="nullptr" isOutput="true" />
</Method>
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