The Trees The Fork Maple Day16 - Paths

Worked on adding arbitrary paths to the renderer


I didn't finish an entire chunk of work today, but I did get a big portion of the path rendering started. The plan is to use a crate I've used before called Lyon which is a path tessellator. It takes arbitrary svg style paths and converts them to vertices. It does this with a lot of fancy algorithms which let it pump out tons of vertices pretty quickly without much overhead.

I worked on adding a render pass which takes paths described as path commands from the scene layers and runs them through the tessellator and puts the result into a vertex buffer. This required a bunch of new logic as the other existing render passes (quads and glyphs) use uniform buffers instead of classic vertex buffers.

#[derive(Deserialize, Debug)]
pub enum PathCommand {
    QuadraticBezierTo {
        control: Vec2,
        to: Vec2,
    CubicBezierTo {
        control1: Vec2,
        control2: Vec2,
        to: Vec2,

#[derive(Deserialize, Debug)]
pub struct Path {
    start: Vec2,
    commands: Vec<PathCommand>,

I can get away with no vertex buffers with the quad and glyphs because they only ever have a set duel triangle quad shape that is reused for every primitive. In fact the position of the quad is generated shader side from the vertex ids.

In contrast, the tessellated paths are more traditional triangle lists, so I needed to specify the vertex and the vertex buffer layout. One of the benefits of the uniform buffer approach is that the exact structure of the instance data doesn't need to be communicated to the graphics hardware. Vertex buffers need to know the internal structure for reasons that I don't fully understand. To mitigate this extra complexity, I added a layout function to the PathVertex struct so that the structure is co-located with the layout rather than being split up.

#[derive(Copy, Clone)]
    not(target_arch = "spirv"),
    derive(bytemuck::Pod, bytemuck::Zeroable, Default)
// NOTE: Keep the ATTRIBS array in sync with this struct
pub struct PathVertex {
    pub color: Vec4,
    pub position: Vec2,
    pub _padding: Vec2,

impl PathVertex {
    #[cfg(not(target_arch = "spirv"))]
    // NOTE: Keep PathVertex struct in sync with this array
    const ATTRIBS: [VertexAttribute; 3] =
        vertex_attr_array![0 => Float32x4, 1 => Float32x2, 2 => Float32x2];

    #[cfg(not(target_arch = "spirv"))]
    pub fn layout<'a>() -> VertexBufferLayout<'a> {
        use std::mem;

        VertexBufferLayout {
            array_stride: mem::size_of::<Self>() as BufferAddress,
            step_mode: VertexStepMode::Vertex,
            attributes: &Self::ATTRIBS,

I've yet to finish the path drawable implementation, so I'll likely complete that tomorrow and get some cursor shapes drawing to the screen. Either way though, this implementation feels good as it adds a bunch of flexibility without a ton of new concepts. It's possible that doing this work on the cpu will become too expensive long term, but I think for now it will get my Neovide integration unblocked and I can work on more complicated solutions if needed later.

Till tomorrow,