9.2. Graphics Pipelines

Graphics pipelines consist of multiple shader stages, multiple fixed-function pipeline stages, and a pipeline layout, and are created by calling vkCreateGraphicsPipelines:

 

VkResult vkCreateGraphicsPipelines(
    VkDevice                                    device,
    VkPipelineCache                             pipelineCache,
    uint32_t                                    createInfoCount,
    const VkGraphicsPipelineCreateInfo*         pCreateInfos,
    const VkAllocationCallbacks*                pAllocator,
    VkPipeline*                                 pPipelines);

The VkGraphicsPipelineCreateInfo structure includes an array of shader create info structures containing all the desired active shader stages, as well as creation info to define all relevant fixed-function stages, and a pipeline layout.

The VkGraphicsPipelineCreateInfo structure is defined as:

 

typedef struct VkGraphicsPipelineCreateInfo {
    VkStructureType                                  sType;
    const void*                                      pNext;
    VkPipelineCreateFlags                            flags;
    uint32_t                                         stageCount;
    const VkPipelineShaderStageCreateInfo*           pStages;
    const VkPipelineVertexInputStateCreateInfo*      pVertexInputState;
    const VkPipelineInputAssemblyStateCreateInfo*    pInputAssemblyState;
    const VkPipelineTessellationStateCreateInfo*     pTessellationState;
    const VkPipelineViewportStateCreateInfo*         pViewportState;
    const VkPipelineRasterizationStateCreateInfo*    pRasterizationState;
    const VkPipelineMultisampleStateCreateInfo*      pMultisampleState;
    const VkPipelineDepthStencilStateCreateInfo*     pDepthStencilState;
    const VkPipelineColorBlendStateCreateInfo*       pColorBlendState;
    const VkPipelineDynamicStateCreateInfo*          pDynamicState;
    VkPipelineLayout                                 layout;
    VkRenderPass                                     renderPass;
    uint32_t                                         subpass;
    VkPipeline                                       basePipelineHandle;
    int32_t                                          basePipelineIndex;
} VkGraphicsPipelineCreateInfo;

The parameters basePipelineHandle and basePipelineIndex are described in more detail in Pipeline Derivatives.

pStages points to an array of VkPipelineShaderStageCreateInfo structures, which were previously described in Compute Pipelines.

Bits which can be set in flags are:

 

typedef enum VkPipelineCreateFlagBits {
    VK_PIPELINE_CREATE_DISABLE_OPTIMIZATION_BIT = 0x00000001,
    VK_PIPELINE_CREATE_ALLOW_DERIVATIVES_BIT = 0x00000002,
    VK_PIPELINE_CREATE_DERIVATIVE_BIT = 0x00000004,
} VkPipelineCreateFlagBits;

It is valid to set both VK_PIPELINE_CREATE_ALLOW_DERIVATIVES_BIT and VK_PIPELINE_CREATE_DERIVATIVE_BIT. This allows a pipeline to be both a parent and possibly a child in a pipeline hierarchy. See Pipeline Derivatives for more information.

pDynamicState points to a structure of type VkPipelineDynamicStateCreateInfo.

The VkPipelineDynamicStateCreateInfo structure is defined as:

 

typedef struct VkPipelineDynamicStateCreateInfo {
    VkStructureType                      sType;
    const void*                          pNext;
    VkPipelineDynamicStateCreateFlags    flags;
    uint32_t                             dynamicStateCount;
    const VkDynamicState*                pDynamicStates;
} VkPipelineDynamicStateCreateInfo;

The VkDynamicState enumerants are defined as:

 

typedef enum VkDynamicState {
    VK_DYNAMIC_STATE_VIEWPORT = 0,
    VK_DYNAMIC_STATE_SCISSOR = 1,
    VK_DYNAMIC_STATE_LINE_WIDTH = 2,
    VK_DYNAMIC_STATE_DEPTH_BIAS = 3,
    VK_DYNAMIC_STATE_BLEND_CONSTANTS = 4,
    VK_DYNAMIC_STATE_DEPTH_BOUNDS = 5,
    VK_DYNAMIC_STATE_STENCIL_COMPARE_MASK = 6,
    VK_DYNAMIC_STATE_STENCIL_WRITE_MASK = 7,
    VK_DYNAMIC_STATE_STENCIL_REFERENCE = 8,
} VkDynamicState;

If tessellation shader stages are omitted, the tessellation shading and fixed-function stages of the pipeline are skipped.

If a geometry shader is omitted, the geometry shading stage is skipped.

If a fragment shader is omitted, the results of fragment processing are undefined. Specifically, any fragment color outputs are considered to have undefined values, and the fragment depth is considered to be unmodified. This can be useful for depth-only rendering.

Presence of a shader stage in a pipeline is indicated by including a valid VkPipelineShaderStageCreateInfo with module and pName selecting an entry point from a shader module, where that entry point is valid for the stage specified by stage.

Presence of some of the fixed-function stages in the pipeline is implicitly derived from enabled shaders and provided state. For example, the fixed-function tessellator is always present when the pipeline has valid Tessellation Control and Tessellation Evaluation shaders.

For example: