“The Direct3D Graphics Pipeline”

I’ve been writing this book off and on for a number of years. I started with version 8.0 of Direct3D, the first version to introduce shaders. I don’t write books for a living. This is the first book I have ever attempted to write. I work on it in my “copious spare time”, as they say. My intention was never to make money, but to help other people.

To that end, I have made the current draft available for free as PDF chapters that you can download. Chapters 1-9 reflect the Direct3D 9.0 API. Chapters 10-24 reflect the Direct3D 8.1 API. What you have here is approximately 500 pages of printed material, resulting in quite a thick book. Silly me, I picked a gigantic scope for my first book. I wrote the book that I wished I had when I started learning Direct3D. I hope it helps you.

Front Matter & Table of Contents

Part I: Preliminaries

1. Introduction

1.1 Overview
1.2 Display Technology
1.3 Gamma Correction
1.4 Color
1.5 Basic Mathematics
1.6 Homogeneous Coordinates
1.7 Vectors
1.8 Coordinate Systems
1.9 Matrices
1.10 Aliasing
1.11 Style Conventions
1.12 COM Objects
1.13 Code Techniques
1.14 Previous Versions of Direct3D
1.15 Further Reading

2. Direct3D

2.1 Overview
2.2 A Minimal Direct3D Application
2.3 Direct3D Architecture
2.4 Direct3D HRESULTs
2.5 Windowed and Exclusive Mode
2.6 Device Types
2.7 Resources
2.8 IDirect3D9
2.9 Selecting a Device
2.10 Determining Available Resource Memory
2.11 Device Capabilities
2.12 Identifying a Particular Device
2.13 Creating the Device
2.14 Multiple Monitors
2.15 Adapter Group Devices

3. Direct3D Devices

3.1 Overview
3.2 IDirect3DDevice9
3.3 Capabilities
3.4 Resources
3.5 IDirect3DResource9
3.6 Destroying a Device
3.7 Miscellaneous Properties
3.8 Device Queries
3.9 Device States
3.10 Device State Blocks
3.11 Pure Devices

4. 2D Applications

4.1 Overview
4.2 Pixel Surfaces
4.3 Accessing Surface Pixel Data
4.4 Using GDI On A Surface
4.5 Swap Chains
4.6 Presentation
4.7 Lost Devices and Reset
4.8 Video Scan Out
4.9 2D Pixel Copies
4.10 Filling Rectangles
4.11 Window Messages
4.12 rt_2DApp Sample Application

Part II: Geometry Processing

5. Modeling

5.1 Overview
5.2 Modeling Scenes
5.3 Visibility
5.4 Render Targets
5.5 Primitive Types
5.6 Vertex Data
5.7 Flexible Vertex Formats
5.8 Vertex Declarations
5.9 Vertex Buffers
5.10 Indexed Primitives
5.11 The Vertex Shader
5.12 Drawing Primitives
5.13 Vertex Data Streams
5.14 Capabilities for Vertex Assembly
5.15 Enhanced Primitives
5.16 Higher Order Surfaces
5.17 Object Approximations
5.18 Further Reading

6. Vertex Transformations

6.1 Overview
6.2 Vertex Processing
6.3 Transformation Matrices
6.4 Order of Transformations
6.5 World Transformation
6.6 Transformation Hierarchy
6.7 Vertex Blending
6.8 Vertex Fog
6.9 Face Culling
6.10 Clipping
6.11 Screen Space and the Viewport
6.12 rt_VertexBlend Sample Application
6.13 Further Reading

7. Viewing and Projection

7.1 Overview
7.2 Viewing Through a Virtual Camera
7.3 Planar Geometric Projections
7.4 Projection Transformation
7.5 Further Reading
7.6 rt_Views Sample Application

8. Lighting and Materials

8.1 Overview
8.2 Transformed Vertices
8.3 Lighting Calculations
8.4 Surface Material Properties
8.5 Light Sources
8.6 The Illumination Model
8.7 rt_Lighting Sample Application

9. Vertex Shaders

9.1 Overview
9.2 Vertex Shader Architecture
9.3 Vertex Shader 1.1 Architecture
9.4 Vertex Shader 2.0 Architecture
9.5 Vertex Shader 2.x Architecture
9.6 Vertex Shader 3.0 Architecture
9.7 Shader Instruction Syntax
9.8 Execution Model
9.9 Software Vertex Processing
9.10 Vertex Shader 1.1 Instructions
9.11 Vertex Shader 2.0 Instructions
9.12 Vertex Shader 2.x Instructions
9.13 Vertex Shader 3.0 Instructions
9.14 Manipulating Shaders
9.15 Drawing Multiple Instances
9.16 Shader Design
9.17 Common Computations
9.18 Fixed-Function Processing
9.19 Beyond Fixed-Function Processing
9.20 rt_VertexShader Sample Application
9.21 Vertex Shader SDK Samples

Part III: Pixel Processing

10. Rasterization and Shading

10.1 Overview
10.2 Shading and Filling
10.3 Scanline Rendering
10.4 Source Pixel Generation
10.5 Source Pixel Data
10.6 rt_Rasterize Sample Application

11. Basic Texturing

11.1 Overview
11.2 Direct3D Multitexture Architecture
11.3 Texture Resources
11.4 Texture Formats
11.5 Texture Coordinate Processing
11.6 Texture Sampling
11.7 Texture Stage Processing
11.8 Examples
11.9 Specular Addition
11.10 Textured Primitives
11.11 Further Reading
11.12 Sample Applications

12. Advanced Texturing (not available)

12.1 Overview
12.2 Multiple Texture Stages
12.3 Environment Mapping
12.4 Bump Mapping Techniques
12.5 Texturing Sample Applications

13. Pixel Shaders

13.1 Overview
13.2 Pixel Shader Architecture
13.3 Pixel Shader Architecture Versions
13.4 Instruction Set
13.5 PS 2.0 Instructions
13.6 PS 2.x Instructions
13.7 PS 3.0 Instructions
13.8 Manipulating Pixel Shaders
13.9 Texture Stage States
13.10 Examples
13.11 Debugging a Pixel Shader

14. The Frame Buffer

14.1 Overview
14.2 Fog Blending
14.3 Alpha Test
14.4 The Z Buffer and Visibility
14.5 Stencil Test
14.6 Alpha Blending
14.7 Dithering
14.8 Multisampling
14.9 Writing to the Render Target
14.10 rt_FrameBuffer Sample Application

Part IV: The D3DX Library

15. The D3DX Utility Library

15.1 Overview
15.2 Headers and Libraries
15.3 Data Types
15.4 Helper Objects
15.5 Meshes
15.6 Resources
15.7 Resource Image Information
15.8 Resource Requirements
15.9 Format Conversion
15.10 Creating Texture Resources
15.11 Loading Resources
15.12 Saving Resources
15.13 Filling Textures
15.14 Filtering Textures
15.15 Creating Normal Maps
15.16 Miscellaneous
15.17 Error Handling
15.18 ID3DXBuffer
15.19 Vertex Declarations
15.20 Intersection Testing
15.21 Shader Assembly
15.22 Further Reading

16. D3DX Concrete Types

16.1 Overview
16.2 Colors
16.3 Vectors
16.4 Matrices
16.5 Planes
16.6 Quaternions

17. D3DX Helper Objects

17.1 Overview
17.2 Matrix Stacks
17.3 Fonts
17.4 Sprites
17.5 Surface Rendering
17.6 Environment Map Rendering

18. High Level Shaders and Effects (not available)

18.1 Overview
18.2 Visual Effects
18.3 Sample Applications

19. D3DX Mesh Objects

19.1 Overview
19.2 Use of const Qualifiers
19.3 Triangle Adjacencies
19.4 Vertex and Triangle Remapping
19.5 Base Mesh
19.6 Mesh
19.7 Progressive Mesh
19.8 Simplification Mesh
19.9 Skin Mesh
19.10 rt_D3DXSphere Sample Application
19.11 SDK Samples
19.12 Further Reading

20. D3DX Animation Objects (not available)

20.1 Overview

Part V: The Application

21. X Files

21.1 Overview
21.1 X File Structure
21.3 Text Encoding
21.4 Binary Encoding
21.5 Predefined Templates
21.6 Headers, Libraries and Interfaces
21.7 IDirectXFile
21.8 IDirectXFileEnumObject
21.9 IDirectXFileObject
21.10 IDirectXFileData
21.11 IDirectXFileBinary
21.12 IDirectXFileDataReference
21.13 IDirectXFileSaveObject
21.14 Reading Scene Data
21.15 Writing Scene Data
21.16 Exporting and Conversion
21.17 Example X Files
21.18 rt_MakeScene Sample Program

22. Debugging

22.1 Overview
22.2 Version Control Systems
22.3 C++ Debugging
22.4 Debugging Windows Applications
22.5 Debugging With Visual C++ 6
22.6 Debugging With Direct3D
22.7 DirectX Diagnostic Tool
22.8 DirectX Control Panel Applet
22.9 Getting Help
22.10 Filing Bug Reports

23. Performance (not available)

23.1 Overview
23.2 Pipeline Bottlenecks
23.3 Optimization Techniques
23.4 Strategies
23.5 Image Compositing
23.6 Vertex Buffers
23.7 Texture Map Size
23.8 Scalable Shading
23.9 Model Simplification
23.10 Alpha Test
23.11 Stencil Test
23.12 Z Buffer Test
23.13 Guard Band Clip

24. Installation and Setup

24.1 Overview
24.2 Determining the DirectX Version
24.3 DirectSetup
24.4 Windows Installer
24.5 Logo Requirements
24.6 AutoRun Enabled Installations
24.7 Testing Installation Programs
24.8 Sample Program

16 Responses to ““The Direct3D Graphics Pipeline””

  1. Nate Zaugg Says:

    I’ve been reading the first couple of chapters. I like the format you are using, it looks like it’s ready to print. Did you write this in Word or is there some professional book-writing software?


  2. legalize Says:

    The entire book is written in LaTeX, using the MiKTeX distribution which you can download for free.

    I chose LaTeX because I knew I was going to have lots of formulas in the text and TeX/LaTeX excels at typsetting formulas. I also knew I wanted a format for the book that was a text source file for diffing, grepping and using a code editor like Visual Studio for modifying.

    Word uses a binary format. Word is terrible at formulas, even though its much better now than it used to be. Word is not text editor/diff friendly.


  3. kapil Says:

    it’s awesome buddy thanks for this material.


  4. Blairhartley Says:

    Really enjoying reading this. Any news on the availability of chapter 12?


  5. Todd Says:

    I really like this book.


  6. Mr E Says:

    I like this… is there a full document with all the chapters? Even better if it was in some iBook format… Converting from PDF is a drag!


  7. archer Says:

    Great job!
    I really like it!
    And I really want to know when release chapter 12 & 23?
    It’s important to me.


    • legalize Says:

      I feel that advanced texturing and performance are better addressed by other books than the single chapter I had planned in my initial book outline.

      Advanced texturing is now the topic of not just one book, but whole series of books, such as GPU Gems 3 and ShaderX7: Advanced Rendering Techniques, to name just two.

      Specific performance suggestions are ephemeral by their very nature. General guidelines and algorithms can be found in Real-Time Rendering, Third Edition along with an extensive bibliography into the existing literature. The authors have really done an excellent job in keeping up with the state-of-the-art in real-time rendering; much better than I could do in a single chapter.

      Performance guidelines specific to Direct3D can be found in Microsoft’s GameFest presentations.


  8. Sergio Says:

    Thanks for sharing your book! It has some pretty good information in a very easy to understand format that complements the SDK documentation.


  9. Harshal Says:

    Started reading the book.
    What an awesome book. Written in so simple language.

    Please release chapter 23 ASAP…
    Thanks for all your effort


  10. Barry Says:

    Your book seems to no longer be available? It looks perfect for what I’m trying to do. Is there somewhere else it is available?


  11. MSc Computer Games & Entertainment » Blog Archive » Maths&Gfx1: Coursework1: L-Systems Says:

    […] material: Direct 3D Gfx pipeline from the “Legalize Adulthood” […]


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