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PIX with callstack patch

Tool name: PIX with callstack patch
Rating: 4.0 (1 vote)
Author: arc_                        
Website: http://www.woodmann.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12696
Current version:
Last updated: May 1, 2012
Direct D/L link: Locally archived copy
License type: Free
Description: MSDN describes the DirectX tool "PIX" as follows (at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb173085(VS.85).aspx):
"PIX is a debugging and analysis tool that captures detailed information from a Direct3D application as it executes. PIX can be configured to gather data, such as the list of Direct3D APIs called, timing information, mesh vertices before and after transformations, screenshots, and select statistics. PIX can also be used for debugging vertex and pixel shaders, including setting breakpoints and stepping through shader code."

Thus, a highly useful tool right from the MS DirectX SDK for e.g. finding the cause of a rendering problem: for any captured frame, you can click through the executed DX API functions and see how the frame is being built up, eventually finding out what part is to blame.

But what about reversing a closed source application's renderer? PIX does not store a call stack; it merely logs *what* DX functions are called, but not from *where*. Therefore it is not very useful for reversing by default.

I didn't want to let such a great tool go to waste. After some reversing work I ended up patching PIX to log and show (part of) the call stack for each DirectX call that the target program makes. Each call stack entry has both the virtual address and the module name.

Example usage of the resulting modified tool is finding out about and messing with a game's renderer, or more simply locating the HUD rendering code and quickly finding the data that it represents (e.g. health, money) rather than having to resort to memory scanning.
Related URLs: No related URLs have been submitted for this tool yet


Screenshot:
Screenshot of PIX with callstack patch


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