Microsoft did not launch DirectX 4.0, but directly launched DirectX 5.0. This version has made significant changes to Direct3D, adding 3D special effects such as fog effects and alpha blending to enhance the sense of space and realism in 3D games, and also incorporating texture compression technology from S3. At the same time, DirectX 5.0 has also been enhanced in other components, including improvements in sound cards and game controllers, supporting more devices. Therefore, it was not until DirectX 5.0 that DirectX truly matured. At this point, DirectX's performance is not inferior to other 3D APIs, and there is a strong trend of catching up.
When DirectX 6.0 was launched, one of its biggest competitors, Glide, had gradually declined, and DirectX had gained recognition from most manufacturers. DirectX 6.0 has added technologies such as bilinear filtering and trilinear filtering to optimize 3D image quality, and 3D technology in games has gradually entered a mature stage.
The biggest feature of DirectX 7.0 is its support for T& L. The Chinese name is "Coordinate Conversion and Light Source". Any object in a 3D game has a coordinate, and when the object moves, its coordinates change, which refers to coordinate transformation; In 3D games, in addition to scenes and objects, lighting is also required. Without lighting, there is no representation of 3D objects. Whether it is real-time 3D games or 3D image rendering, 3D rendering with lighting is the most resource consuming. Although OpenGL already has related technologies, they have never appeared in civilian grade hardware before. In T& Before the release of L, both position conversion and lighting required a CPU for calculation, and the faster the CPU speed, the smoother the game performance. Used T& After the L function, the calculation of these two effects is performed using the GPU of the display card, which can free the CPU from busy labor. In other words, having T& L display card, using DirectX 7.0, can run 3D games smoothly even without a high-speed CPU.
The release of DirectX 8.0 triggered a graphics card revolution, introducing the concept of "pixel rendering" for the first time, which includes both pixel and vertex rendering engines, reflected in dynamic lighting effects. Same hardware T& Compared to the fixed light and shadow conversion achieved solely by L, VS and PS units have greater flexibility, making GPUs truly programmable processors. This means that programmers can greatly reduce the difficulty of building 3D scenes through them. Through VS and PS rendering, it is easy to create realistic dynamic ripple light and shadow effects on the water surface. At this point, the authoritative position of DirectX has finally been established.
At the end of 2002, Microsoft released DirectX 9.0. The rendering accuracy of the PS unit in DirectX 9 has reached floating-point accuracy, compared to traditional hardware T& The L unit has also been cancelled. The programming of the all-new VertexShader (VertexShader Engine) will be much more complex than before. The new VertexShader standard has added process control, more constants, and the number of coloring instructions per program has increased to 1024.
PS 2.0 has a fully programmable architecture that allows for real-time calculation of texture effects, dynamic texture mapping, and does not require graphics memory. In theory, it greatly improves the accuracy of material mapping resolution; In addition, PS1.4 can only support 28 hardware instructions and operate on 6 materials at the same time, while PS2.0 can support 160 hardware instructions and operate on 16 material quantities at the same time. The new high-precision floating-point data specification can use multiple texture maps, and the number of instructions that can be operated on can be arbitrarily long, making it easy to achieve movie level display effects.
VS 2.0 significantly improves the VS performance of older versions (DirectX8) by increasing the flexibility of Vertex programs. With the new control instructions, a universal program can replace the previously dedicated standalone coloring program, resulting in many times higher efficiency; Increase loop operation instructions, reduce working time, and improve processing efficiency; Expand the number of coloring instructions from 128 to 256.
Add processing capabilities for floating-point data. Previously, only integers could be processed, which improved rendering accuracy and resulted in the final processed color format reaching movie level. Breaking through the mathematical accuracy barriers that previously limited the quality of PC graphics and images, each rendering pipeline has been upgraded to 128 bit floating-point colors, making it easier for game designers to create more beautiful effects and making programming easier for programmers.
DirectX 9.0c Compared to the past DirectX 9.0b and Shader Model 2.0, the biggest improvement of DirectX 9.0c is the introduction of comprehensive support for Shader Model 3.0 (including Pixel Shader 3.0 and Vertex Shader 3.0 coloring language specifications). For example, the Shader Model 2.0 of DirectX 9.0b only supports a maximum of 256 Vertex Shaders and 96 Pixel Shaders. In the latest Shader Model 3.0, the maximum number of instructions for Vertex Shader and Pixel Shader has significantly increased to 65535. New technological features such as dynamic program flow control, displacement mapping, multiple rendering targets (MRT), subsurface scattering, soft shadows, environmental and ground shadows, and global illumination have enabled GeForce 6 The GeForce7 series and Radeon X1000 series immediately provide powerful impetus for next-generation games, as well as complex digital worlds and realistic characters with unparalleled realism and fantasy, to operate in a film and television quality environment.
Therefore, the launch of the DirectX 9.0c and Shader Model 3.0 standards can be said to be an important turning point in the development of DirectX. In DirectX 9.0c, Shader Model 3.0 not only eliminates the instruction limit and adds new features such as displacement maps, but also focuses more on improving game execution efficiency and quality. After the birth of Shader Model 3.0, people's attitude towards games has shifted from simply pursuing speed to balancing game graphics and running speed. Therefore, the impact of Shader Model 3.0 on the gaming industry can be said to be profound.
Microsoft DirectX 9.0c apr. 2007.
Microsoft DirectX 9.0c jun. 2007.
Microsoft DirectX 9.0c aug.2007.
Each version is divided into time periods, while the released version.