Pane: Render Target Viewer

The  Render Target Viewer pane shows the list of all render targets associated with the loaded frame.

When you load the frame capture file, the Render Target Viewer pane is populated with the final render target. You can use the following components of the viewer to inspect any render target of the frame:

Render Target View
Render Target Thumbnail List
Visualization Options
View Thumbnail List
Zoom in and Zoom out Buttons
Image Information Bar

Render Target View

The Render Target View pane shows:

  • ergs that you selected based on the currently enabled visualization options

  • the current state of the render target based on any changes (state, texture, shader, etc) that were made with the Graphics Frame Analyzer, and visualized according to the display mode options that you selected

When you move the cursor over a render target, the cursor changes to a red crosshair showing the current mouse position. A tooltip shows the current coordinates within the image. When you click on a pixel, a gray crosshair shows the previously selected pixel’s position.


You can maximize the view by clicking the button at the top right-hand corner of the Render Target Viewer pane.

Right-click the image to save it on your system. You can save it in PNG, JPG, or BMP format.

Render Target Thumbnail List

The Render Target Thumbnail List contains thumbnail images that correspond to the unique render targets for the current frame.

Below each thumbnail, you can see the render target ID and the ergs associated with this render target. For example, the screenshot above shows that RT8 contains the ergs from 84 to 114.

When you select any ergs in the Visualization pane, a yellow bar appears next to the render target that includes these ergs. A thin yellow bar indicates that only some ergs of the render target are selected, while a thick bar shows that you selected the whole render target. The render target currently displayed in the Render Target View receives a blue background.

Visualization Options

You can use the following visualization configuration options in order to analyze your application:

  • Selected ergs drop-down list - enables you to choose one of the following ways to render the selected ergs:

    • Normal - render all selected ergs with no modification
    • Highlighted - set all selected ergs to a pink solid color fill mode
    • Wireframe - set all selected ergs to wireframe rendering mode
    • Highlighted Wireframe - set all selected ergs to wireframe rendering mode with a pink line color
  • Other ergs drop-down list - enables you to change how the non-selected ergs are shown in the Render Target View pane. The following drop-down menu options are available:
    • Normal - render all non-selected ergs with no modification
    • Wireframe - renders all non-selected ergs in wireframe mode
    • Hidden - do not render all non-selected ergs

Use the following check boxes to control the drawing settings:

  • Clear before drawing - clear the buffer each time you switch between different viewing modes
  • Draw only to last selected - stop drawing when you reach the last selected erg
  • Flip RT - flip the current Render Target vertically.

View Thumbnail List

The View Thumbnail List enables you to switch between the following view options:

    • The Color option shows the color buffer for the render targets.
    • The Overdraw option shows all render targets with a grayscale overdraw visualization; the lighter the area, the more overdraw for those pixels, with darker areas denoting minimal overdraw.

    • The Depth option shows the depth buffer for the render targets.


      On Microsoft DirectX* 9, the Depth option is available only if the INTZ format is supported.

    • The Stencil option shows the stencil buffer for the render targets; it shows 256 levels of gray, corresponding to the value of an 8-bit stencil buffer; use this option if you want to render projected shadows.

    • The Pixel Hotspots option shows the most expensive pixels of the frame buffer by calculating the GPU time spent for each rendered pixel in the scene. The brighter the pixel, the more expensive is this pixel to process. Hover the mouse over the scene to see the pixel cost.

    • The Heatmap option shows a grayscale overdraw visualizing the time each erg took to draw. This view helps you identify the most expensive draw calls in the frame buffer. The brighter the erg, the more time it took to draw.


Graphics Frame Analyzer only shows these options if they are available for the currently selected frame. The Pixel Hotspots and the Heatmap options are only available for Microsoft DirectX* 11 frames captured on 3rd generation Intel® Core™ processor family or higher.

Zoom in and Zoom out Buttons

Use these buttons to zoom in/out the image; you can also use the mouse wheel.

Image Information Bar

The Image Information Bar shows:

  • the image format

  • the image resolution

  • the color of the pixel under the mouse pointer

  • the pixel history coordinates for the currently selected pixel (X, Y coordinates).


The Render Target Viewer pane contains the histogram of the image. To open the histogram, pull the slider from the rightmost side of the image to the left, or double-click on the right slider.

The histogram enables you:

  • to visualize the color data within the frame buffer

  • to set the highlight and shadow clamping points for viewing the buffer by using the Shadow and Highlights sliders at the bottom of the histogram

  • to increase the dynamic range of the buffer you are viewing, so you can better see the data inside by linearly scaling the colors between the clamp ranges

  • to distinguish more quickly between small bars and zero-height bars: the histogram bars that have zero height have light gray below them

Histogram Color Channel Selection Drop-down List

This drop-down list enables you to configure the channels viewed for the selected frame buffer.

  • RGB mode - ignores the alpha channel if one is present

  • RGBA mode - weights the color values by the alpha channel; if all the alpha values of the image are 0, then no color information will be visible, so the image will appear white

  • Grayscale - a grayscale conversion of the RGB data that was present in the buffer

  • Red/Green/Blue Color Channels - shows the image information in red/green/blue color

  • Alpha Channel - a grayscale conversion of only the alpha data of the buffer


Selecting ergs and changing highlighting colors lead to the image and histogram changes.

Auto Clamp Button

This button automatically adjusts the Shadow and Highlighted sliders of the current histogram; they will clamp the view of the buffer to the lowest and highest data points in the histogram respectively. Note that a Grayscale version of the image is used for this clamping, so for some data sets the clamping will produce non-obvious results.
Highest/lowest point refers to the rightmost/leftmost histogram data values that contain non-zero data.

For more complete information about compiler optimizations, see our Optimization Notice.