Skia on PlayBook

We are excited to announce that a new library is available for use by PlayBook developers. Skia, an open-source 2D graphics library for drawing text, geometry and images can now be found at our Skia GitHub repository. One key feature of this version of the library is the inclusion of hardware acceleration for many drawing operations.

To showcase how to use Skia on the PlayBook, we have created a sample application as a part of the Skia GitHub repository (see image below). In addition, for a more extensive overview of Skia’s capabilities a detailed wiki page has also been added.

The remaining portion of this article looks at the steps involved in getting the Skia sample application up and running on a BlackBerry PlayBook.


You will need to make sure that you have a copy of the BlackBerry Native SDK as well as a debug token.

Building the Sample

1. Obtain the Source

Download Skia from GitHub by either cloning the repository or downloading the source as a ZIP archive.

WARNING: Do not clone or unzip the source files into the NDK workspace directly. This will result in compilation errors when building the samples.

2. Import Projects into Momentics

Open the QNX Momentics IDE that was bundled with the BlackBerry NDK.
Import the grskia project into Momentics by selecting File -> Import. The project can be found inside of the Skia folder that you checked out from GitHub.
Similarly, import the SkiaSample project into Momentics. The project can be found inside Skia/rim_samples/SkiaSample.

3. Set up Author Information for the sample

Open the bar-descriptor.xml for the SkiaSample project. Click the Set from Debug Token button located on the General tab and save the file.

4. Enable/disable hardware acceleration in SkiaSample (Optional)

Open SkiaSample/main.cpp and find the USE_SKIA_OPENGL define near the top of the file.
To use hardware-accelerated Skia, set USE_SKIA_OPENGL to 1.
To use software Skia, set USE_SKIA_OPENGL to 0.

5. Build the Projects

Before proceeding, make sure that both the grskia and SkiaSample projects are set to use the same build configuration (Device-Release or Device-Debug). You can do so by right-clicking on each project in the Project Explorer tab and selecting Build Configurations -> Set Active.

Build the grskia project first, by right-clicking on it and selecting Build. Next, build the SkiaSample project.

6. Deploy SkiaSample to PlayBook

Deploy the executable to the device by selecting  Run-> Run As -> BlackBerry Tablet OS C/C++ Application from Momentics.

This entry was posted in Native, PlayBook and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Skia on PlayBook

  1. Pingback: Skia 2D library now available to PlayBook developers | - OSBB

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