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Pixels Logo

A tiny hardware-accelerated pixel frame buffer. πŸ¦€

But why?

Rapidly prototype a simple 2D game, pixel-based animations, software renderers, or an emulator for your favorite platform. Then add shaders to simulate a CRT or just to spice it up with some nice VFX.

pixels is more than just a library to push pixels to a screen, but less than a full framework. You're in charge of managing a window environment, event loop, and input handling.

MSRV Policy

The Minimum Supported Rust Version for pixels will always be made available in the MSRV.md file on GitHub.

Features

  • Built on modern graphics APIs powered by wgpu: Vulkan, Metal, DirectX 12, OpenGL ES3.
    • DirectX 11, WebGL2, and WebGPU support are a work in progress.
  • Use your own custom shaders for special effects.
  • Hardware accelerated scaling on perfect pixel boundaries.
  • Supports non-square pixel aspect ratios. (WIP)

Examples

Troubleshooting

Driver issues

The most common issue is having an outdated graphics driver installed on the host machine. pixels requests a low power (aka integrated) GPU by default. If the examples are not working for any reason, you may try setting the WGPU_POWER_PREF=high environment variable to see if that addresses the issue on your host machine.

You should also try to keep your graphics drivers up-to-date, especially if you have an old Intel integrated GPU. Keep in mind that some drivers and GPUs are EOL and will not be supported.

Logging

You may want to use the RUST_LOG environment variable (see env_logger for full documentation) to gain additional insight while troubleshooting the examples. RUST_LOG=trace will spew all logs to stderr on debug builds:

$ RUST_LOG=trace cargo run --package minimal-winit

And also on release builds when default features are disabled:

$ RUST_LOG=trace cargo run --package minimal-winit --release --no-default-features

Comparison with minifb

The minifb crate shares some similarities with pixels; it also allows rapid prototyping of 2D games and emulators. But it requires the use of its own window/GUI management, event loop, and input handling. One of the disadvantages with the minifb approach is the lack of hardware acceleration (except on macOS, which uses Metal but is not configurable). An advantage is that it relies on fewer dependencies.

Comparison with softbuffer

There is a more recent project called softbuffer. It provides similar capabilities to what pixels offers, but is intentionally limited to software-only (not hardware-accelerated) rasterization.