A Beginner’s Guide to Vulkan


If you’ve been wondering what Vulkan is and how it works, this Vulkan tutorial will show you how. This article will go over the basics of the API and how to use it to program graphics. It will also cover the view system, frame buffers, queue, and multithreading capabilities.


The Vulkan graphics API is a cross-platform abstraction over GPUs. Unlike older graphics APIs, Vulkan allows developers to write code quickly that uses the advanced features of modern GPUs. Vulkan is supported on many platforms and supports the C programming language. Before you can write code, you should set up your development environment.

You should have some background knowledge about 3d graphics since the Vulkan guide focuses on using the graphics API. It isn’t intended for game developers who have never used OpenGL or DirectX. In addition, you need to have experience in 3d rendering. The code provided in this guide has been tested on the Nintendo Switch and should work in your games. The guide is divided into multiple chapters, each focusing on a specific feature of Vulkan.

To create a Vulkan application, you must first create a VkDevice object that describes the physical device. This object also specifies the queue families used for most Vulkan operations. This is useful for tile-based rendering or optimizing cache flushes.

Frame Buffers

To understand how Vulkan works, it’s essential to understand what a frame buffer is. Frame buffers contain a collection of Image Views bound to a specific render pass. These Image Views contain information about what will happen to the image during the rendering process. You can use more than one frame buffer to process multiple images.

Vulkan uses a concept called an instance to allocate memory. A Vulkan instance is a virtual machine that enables the software to query all the GPUs. It can also get information from these devices, such as their capabilities and properties.


When you’re writing Vulkan tutorials, you’ll want to register your code in a way that makes it easy for others to follow your example code. Most tutorials are straightforward, but adding logic clouds the examples and muddles the code. Fortunately, Vulkan supports multiple queues and allows you to choose which synchronization options to use.

The Vulkan API includes a queue that represents work. A line can hold one or more command buffers, each representing a different operation. For example, a graphics workload may be assigned to another queue family. In this case, the hardware can process the workload in parallel with a bit.

Multithreaded capabilities

Vulkan’s multithreaded abilities can benefit several situations, including games and apps that are bottlenecked on the CPU. This new feature allows applications to specify which CPU threads should render specific tasks and which should wait for the corresponding API call. It is also designed to minimize driver overhead by selecting which functions should be performed on the GPU.

Another benefit of Vulkan is its support for automatic multi-GPU features, similar to Direct3D 12. These features remove the need for Crossfire and SLI. In addition, the API multi-GPU automatically distributes workload to different GPUs and is capable of allowing integrated GPUs to be used alongside high-end dedicated GPUs for a slight performance boost.

View transitions

One of the critical features of Vulkan is its support for more precise control over draw calls. This allows developers to use more precise control over the behaviour of their games. This can be advantageous when optimizing for performance and reducing render time. However, Vulkan must have some limitations, including its lack of sensible defaults.

To implement smooth transitions, you must know how to use the Vulkan API to use this feature. For example, you cannot insert barriers easily unless you know how Vulkan works. This tutorial covers the basics of Vulkan.