The Skia Viewer displays a series of slides that exhibit specific features of Skia, including the Skia GMs and programmed samples that allow interaction. In addition, the Viewer is used to debug and understand different parts of the Skia system:
- Observe rendering performance - placing the Viewer in stats mode displays average frame times.
- Try different rendering methods - it’s possible to cycle among the three rendering methods: raster, OpenGL and Vulkan (on supported platforms). You can use this with stats mode to see the effect that the different rendering methods have on drawing performance.
- Display and manipulate your own pictures.
Some slides require resources stored outside the program. These resources are stored in the
Linux, Macintosh and Windows
The Viewer can be built using the regular GN build process, e.g.
bin/gn gen out/Release --args='is_debug=false'
ninja -C out/Release viewer
To load resources in the desktop Viewers, use the
<skia-path>/out/Release/viewer --resourcePath <skia-path>/resources
--skps <skp-file-path> will load any
.skp files in that directory
for display within the Viewer.
Other useful command-line options: using
--match <pattern> will load only SKPs or slides
matching that name; using
--slide <name> will launch at that slide; and you can start up
with a particular rendering method by using
--backend vk, or
The desktop Viewers are controlled using the keyboard and mouse: left (←) and right (→) arrows to move from slide to slide; up (↑) and down (↓) arrows to zoom in and out; clicking and dragging will translate. Other display options and a slide picker can be found in the Tools UI, which can be toggled by hitting the spacebar.
|Move between the slides
|Zoom in / out
|Change render methods among raster, OpenGL and Vulkan
|Display rendering times and graph
|Toggle display of Tools UI
To build Viewer as an Android App, first follow the
Android build instructions to set up the
Android NDK and a ninja out directory. In addition, you will need the
Android SDK installed and your
ANDROID_HOME environment variable set.
( cd ~/android-sdk; unzip ~/Downloads/sdk-tools-*.zip )
yes | ~/android-sdk/tools/bin/sdkmanager --licenses
export ANDROID_HOME=~/android-sdk # Or wherever you installed the Android SDK.
If you are not using the NDK included with the Android SDK (at ~/android-sdk/ndk-bundle
in this example) you’ll need to set the environmental variable
The Viewer APK must be built by gradle which can be invoked on the command line with the following script:
platform_tools/android/bin/android_build_app -C <out_dir> viewer
<out_dir> is the ninja out directory (e.g.,
that you created. Upon completion of the script the APK
can be found at
<out_dir>/viewer.apk. Install it with
How to Use the App
Most app functions (except touch gestures and arrow buttons) are placed in the left drawer. Click on the upper-left hamburger button to open that drawer.
In the upper-right corner, there are two arrows: next slide, previous slide.
In the left drawer, you can directly select a slide from a list (spinner). Above that spinner, there’s a text filter that applies to the slide list. There are hundreds of slides so if you know the slide name, use that filter to quickly locate and show it.
Zoom / Translate
We support touch gestures on the slide so you can drag and pinch to zoom.
In the left drawer, you can select the backend from a list of OpenGL, Vulkan, and Raster.
Softkey / Stats
In the left drawer, there’s a list of softkeys. They correspond to the keyboard commands of a desktop Viewer app. For example, you can toggle color mode or stats window. These can be filtered like the slides.
For animation slides, we also show FPS (actually, it’s Seconds Per Frame) — frame refresh rate in milliseconds.
Loading resources / skps
TODO (https://issues.skia.org/295805469): This used to be possible with the instructions below, but they no longer work on recent versions of Android.
To load resources in the Android Viewer place them in
/data/local/tmp/resources; to load SKPs place them in
Viewer on iOS is built using the regular GN process, e.g.
bin/gn gen out/Release --args='target_os="ios" is_debug=false'
ninja -C out/Release viewer
Like other iOS apps it can be deployed either by using something like ios-deploy or by building within Xcode and launching via the IDE. See the iOS build instructions for more information on managing provisioning profiles for signing and deployment.
automatically bundle the
resources directory in the top-level Skia directory,
and will bundle an
skps directory if also placed in the Skia directory.
On iOS the Viewer provides basic touch functionality: you can view slides, swipe between them, pinch-zoom to scale, and translate via panning. There is not yet support for display options or selecting from a list of slides.