Specifying OpenGL version to Qt Quick 2

UPDATE (24th May, 10.20pm EST): Corrected some errors below.

I was looking at how to integrate custom OpenGL content inside a Qt Quick 2 application. Qt Quick 2 has several solutions, and settled on a custom OpenGL underlay. However, one stumbling block was that I wanted to use OpenGL 4.3 core profile. On my test machine, the driver supports OpenGL 4.4 and I discovered that by default Qt Quick 2 created a 4.4 compatibility profile context.

After much searching, I finally found the solution I was looking for. I am not sure if it is the only way or the optimal way, but it worked for me. You can specify the OpenGL propeties including the desired profile by creating a QSurfaceFormat object and passing it to QQuickWindow object using setFormat before Qt Quick’s scene graph begins rendering, i.e. before you invoke QQuickWindow::show either in C++, or before you set “visible” property of the window to true in QML.

The next question was, how to get to the window. Here is how to do so in some scenarios:

  •  If you have a handle to any QQuickItem inside the window, then simply call the “window” method.
  • If you have created your application using Qt Quick Controls ApplicationWindow, and are using QQmlApplicationEngine to load the QML, make sure “visible” property of the ApplicationWindow is set to false in the QML. Then, simply get the first root object from the engine using something like engine->rootObjects().first(). This is your window object and you can simply cast it to QQuickWindow.
  • If you have created your application using QQuickView, well then your are in luck because QQuickView is a QQuickWindow so just  call setFormat on the QQuickView.

Once you have done setFormat, you are then free to call “show” on the QQuickWindow and it will make your window visible.


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