#graphics #glsl #shaders #creative #vulkan

bin+lib pilka

Another live-coding tool for creating shaders demos

5 releases

0.3.0 Feb 24, 2021
0.2.9 Feb 20, 2021
0.2.8 Feb 20, 2021
0.2.7 Feb 20, 2021
0.2.6 Feb 20, 2021

#19 in Rendering


892 lines

pilka 🔩

Pilka is a cross-platform live-coding tool for creating shader* demos, similar to Bonzomatic or KodeLife. Supports hot-reloading, which means resources is checked and updated in the background.

Available features:

  • Hot-reload
  • Saving shaders
  • Taking screenshot
  • Record video



In current state pilka tries to seek shaders folder with the files shader.vert and shader.frag, on fail pilka will generate default setup for you. Then open shader in your favourite code editor (VS, emacs, vim, ed etc.) and pilka would fetch changes recompiling shaders after each save.


  • F1: Print help
  • F1: Toggle play/pause
  • F2: Pause and step back one frame
  • F3: Pause and step forward one frame
  • F4: Restart playback at frame 0 (Time and Pos = 0)
  • F5: Print parameters
  • F10: Save shaders
  • F11: Take Screenshot
  • F12: Start/Stop record video
  • ESC: Exit the application
  • Arrows: Change Pos



name type range
position vec3 (-∞, ∞)
time float [0, ∞)
resolution vec2 [0, a]
mouse vec2 [-1, 1]
spectrum float [-1, 1]
prev_frame texture


Vulkan SDK is required.

On recent macOS, to allow sound input to be captured (for FFT textures to be generated), you need to: Open up System Preferences, click on Security & Privacy, click on the Privacy tab then click on the Microphone menu item. Make sure pilka is in the list and ticked... erm, probably. I don't have macOS.


cargo install pilka

You also can install the application by to downloading the source code and build locally.

# or through ssh git@github.com:pudnax/pilka.git
git clone https://github.com/pudnax/pilka.git
cd pilka
cargo install --path .


winit is the "default" window library in Rust ecosystem. And it covers the most of cross-platform issues for you.

RustFFT is used to perform Fast FFT for generating sound textures.

cpal is used to capture sound from microphone and probably MIDI devices in the future.

png is used to encode screenshots into png files.

notify is a file watcher and maintains the hot-reload.

shaderc is used to compile GLSL shaders on the runtime instead of opening a process with glslc or glslangValidator. I hope to switch to naga soon, when it's mature enough.

ash is a Vulkan bindings. I choose ash because I see pilka as a learning project and want to touch the maximum untouched Vulkan. For the same reason I didn't use vulkano, erupt, vulkanism, etc.

Ffmpeg is used to record and save to video. For my concerns it's temporary solution after which I switch to rav1e on it's release.

Places of inspiration (from where I steal code):


~839K SLoC