luminance 0.1.0

Stateless and type-safe graphics framework

What is this? License

luminance is an effort to make graphics rendering simple and elegant. The aims of luminance are:

  • making unsafe and stateful APIs (e.g. OpenGL) safe and stateless ;
  • providing a simple API, that is, exposing core concepts without anything extra – just the bare stuff;
  • abstract over the trending hardware interfaces (i.e. OpenGL up to now) and provide several backends to pick through different packages ;
  • easy to read with a good documentation and set of tutorials, so that new comers don’t have to learn a lot of new concepts to get their feet wet.

What’s included?

luminance is a rendering framework, not a 3D engine. As so, it doesn’t include stuff like lights, materials, asset management nor scene description. It only provides a rendering framework you can plug in whatever libraries you want to.

luminance ecosystem

Because I think it’s important to KISS, luminance is split in very several, very simple packages. The idea is that the luminance package is the core package of the library. It provides all the interface, common algorithms and the overall architecture and how you should interact with a GPU. However, you need a backend to interpret that code and make it run – one could even imagine a backend making it run on a CPU!

Feel free to search for luminance-* packages and pick the one you need ;).

Features set

  • buffers: buffers are way to communicate with the GPU; they represent regions of memory you can write to and read from. There’re several kinds of buffers you can create, among vertex and index buffers, shader buffer, compute buffer, and so on and so forth… ;
  • framebuffers: framebuffers are used to hold renders. Each time you want to perform a render, you need to perform it into a framebuffer. Framebuffers can then be combined with each other to produce nice effects ;
  • shaders: luminance support five kinds of shader stages:
    • tessellation control shaders ;
    • tessellation evaluation shaders ;
    • vertex shaders ;
    • geometry shaders ;
    • fragment shaders ;
  • vertices, indices, primitives and tessellations: those are used to define a shape you can render into a framebuffer
  • textures: textures represent information packed into arrays on the GPU, and can be used to customize a visual aspect or pass information around ;
  • blending: blending is the process of taking two colors from two framebuffers and mix them between each other ;
  • and a lot of other cool things like GPU commands.

Current backends

Here’s a list of backends for luminance. If you’ve written one and like to make it appear in that list, feel free to contact me on github or push a PR ;).


luminance does not provide point a way to create windows because it’s important that it not depend on windowing libraries so that end-users can use whatever they like. Furthermore, such libraries typically implement windowing and events features, which have nothing to do with our initial purpose.

How to dig in?

luminance is written to be fairly simple. The documentation is very transparent about what the library does and several articles will appear as the development goes on. Keep tuned! Online documentation is planned but in the waiting, feel free to generate the documentation on local and browse it with the projects you’re linking luminance against! (cargo doc).