Author Topic: Accelerated Path Rendering in OpenGL with NVIDIA Path Rendering SDK  (Read 6413 times)

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NV Path Rendering
NVIDIA's Release 275 drivers for Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, and Solaris provide full GPU-acceleration of a style of 2D graphics known as path rendering.  Path rendering specifies a scene as a sequence of resolution-independent outlines, known as paths, that can be filled or stroked.  Such paths can be painted with constant colors, linear or radial gradients, or images.  Unlike bitmap images, apath rendering content can be arbitrarily zoomed and rescaled without pixelized results.  Path rendering contents are also easy to edit and animate because an artist can manipulate or edit the underlying paths that make up the scene instead of having to manipulate individual pixels

Mark Kilgard

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Re: Accelerated Path Rendering in OpenGL with NVIDIA Path Rendering SDK
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2011, 06:09:06 PM »
A few notes...

Use the latest 280.19 beta drivers for best results.  Get them from:

For those who want to "try out" the GPU-accelerated path rendering:
1)  get the 280.19 or later driver installed (if you already have 275.xx installed that works too)
2)  download the Windows demos from
3)  run any of the 14 demos; the nvpr_svg is the most elaborate demo

Hints about using nvpr_svg:
0)  see the ReadMe_nvpr_svg.txt file for complete details
1)  space bar animates the current scene, rotating & zooming, with a frames/second
2)  the 'f' and 'F' keys advance through SVG scenes (you can also pick them from the pop-up menu, right click for it)
3)  you can pan/zoom/rotate the scene; left click and drag zoom/rotates (up/down zooms in/out; left/right rotates clockwise/counter-clockwise), middle click & drag pans (Ctrl+middle click & drag does a "slow" drag to see antialiasing quality)
4)  'C' (capital C) toggles "warp" points that let you projectively warp any scene; left click and drag the warp points
5)  'c' (lowercase C) toggles the control points that you can also drag around with the mouse; showing the control points for the scene gives you some idea of the path complexity ('i' prints scene statistics)
6)  The "Antialiasing..." pop-up menu item lets you control samples per pixel; you need the 280.11 driver for this to work right (oops, a driver bug got fixed... expect a crash on 275.xx drivers)
7)  Use the 'n' key toggles a "comparison" window that lets you compare the NV_path_rendering speed to Cairo, Skia, Qt, and Direct2D (on Windows Vista/7 systems).  Once the window appears, there's a pop-up menu to select between different renderers.  The space bar animates the current window (GPU-accelerated or alternative) and both report frames/second numbers.

For non-Windows users, the task is a little more involved since you have to build the demos from the NVprSDK source code found at:

You'll need a C++ compiler, GNU make, and the Cg Toolkit to compile the demos.  See the ReadMe.txt for details.  But you'll get the same demos as in NVprSDK.  Windows programmers can likewise build the demos from source code.  They'll need the DirectX SDK (for nvpr_svg's Direct2D support) and the Cg Toolkit.  Windows programmers can build from the provided Visual Studio 2008 or 2010 projects.

I hope this helps.

- Mark