Chapter 12. Samplers

VkSampler objects encapsulate the state of an image sampler which is used by the implementation to read image data and apply filtering and other transformations for the shader.

To create a sampler object, call:


VkResult vkCreateSampler(
    VkDevice                                    device,
    const VkSamplerCreateInfo*                  pCreateInfo,
    const VkAllocationCallbacks*                pAllocator,
    VkSampler*                                  pSampler);

The VkSamplerCreateInfo structure is defined as:


typedef struct VkSamplerCreateInfo {
    VkStructureType         sType;
    const void*             pNext;
    VkSamplerCreateFlags    flags;
    VkFilter                magFilter;
    VkFilter                minFilter;
    VkSamplerMipmapMode     mipmapMode;
    VkSamplerAddressMode    addressModeU;
    VkSamplerAddressMode    addressModeV;
    VkSamplerAddressMode    addressModeW;
    float                   mipLodBias;
    VkBool32                anisotropyEnable;
    float                   maxAnisotropy;
    VkBool32                compareEnable;
    VkCompareOp             compareOp;
    float                   minLod;
    float                   maxLod;
    VkBorderColor           borderColor;
    VkBool32                unnormalizedCoordinates;
} VkSamplerCreateInfo;

[Note]Mapping of OpenGL to Vulkan filter modes

magFilter values of VK_FILTER_NEAREST and VK_FILTER_LINEAR directly correspond to GL_NEAREST and GL_LINEAR magnification filters. minFilter and mipmapMode combine to correspond to the similarly named OpenGL minification filter of GL_minFilter_MIPMAP_mipmapMode (e.g. minFilter of VK_FILTER_LINEAR and mipmapMode of VK_SAMPLER_MIPMAP_MODE_NEAREST correspond to GL_LINEAR_MIPMAP_NEAREST).

There are no Vulkan filter modes that directly correspond to OpenGL minification filters of GL_LINEAR or GL_NEAREST, but they can be emulated using VK_SAMPLER_MIPMAP_MODE_NEAREST, minLod = 0, and maxLod = 0.25, and using minFilter = VK_FILTER_LINEAR or minFilter = VK_FILTER_NEAREST, respectively.

Note that using a maxLod of zero would cause magnification to always be performed, and the magFilter to always be used. This is valid, just not an exact match for OpenGL behavior. Clamping the maximum lod to 0.25 allows the $\lambda$ value to be non-zero and minification to be performed, while still always rounding down to the base level. If the minFilter and magFilter are equal, then using a maxLod of zero also works.

addressModeU, addressModeV, and addressModeW must each have one of the following values:


typedef enum VkSamplerAddressMode {
} VkSamplerAddressMode;

These values control the behavior of sampling with coordinates outside the range [0,1] for the respective u, v, or w coordinate as defined in the Wrapping Operation section.

The maximum number of sampler objects which can be simultaneously created on a device is implementation-dependent and specified by the maxSamplerAllocationCount member of the VkPhysicalDeviceLimits structure. If maxSamplerAllocationCount is exceeded, vkCreateSampler will return VK_ERROR_TOO_MANY_OBJECTS.

Since VkSampler is a non-dispatchable handle type, implementations may return the same handle for sampler state vectors that are identical. In such cases, all such objects would only count once against the maxSamplerAllocationCount limit.

To destroy a sampler, call:


void vkDestroySampler(
    VkDevice                                    device,
    VkSampler                                   sampler,
    const VkAllocationCallbacks*                pAllocator);