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FortKnox's Journal: Learning DirectX 9

Journal by FortKnox
What's a really good book on learning DirectX (the newer the version, the better. I don't want to learn directX3 or 5... preferably 8 or 9).

Any good books that were easy to read and simple to learn?
Also keep in mind that I'm not much of a Windows API person. I know C++, just haven't dealt a lot in windows.

A side question is if anyone knows any good Java graphic books (J3D)
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Learning DirectX

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  • In a nutshell, print out and read the docs that come with the tools (thats for DX and J3D). My experience is that that is the best bang for the buck and time reading for quality documentation. I'll elaborate:

    I'm also interested in finding good DirectX books, but after toying around with it since I dove deep into DirectDraw and DirectPlay back in 97-98 (If I remember right, that was dx versions 5-6) and periodically reviewing open source dx projects and reading the DirectX books in the bookstores since '98,
  • by JMZero (449047)
    I learned the basics of DirectX 8 here [drunkenhyena.com]. Between this quick tutorial and the SDK documentation, I learned enough to write Jumpman Zero (which is just finishing up testing - should be ready for release in a couple weeks).

    It's really not all that hard to get started with Direct3d. Quit reading. Just do it.
    • by ralico (446325)
      Are you enlightend in the pros/cons of immediate vs retained mode?

      I've played around with D3D 8 samples tenticle and helicopter, mostly helicopter, ripping the demo animation out and putting key and mouse controls in. Its been a few months since I played with that thou.
      But can't remember offhand which api they used.
      • It's really not all that much effort to maintain a list of objects to draw and draw them every frame (which is really all you're getting from retained mode). Retained mode might be a quick way to do some things, but I don't think it's viable for even a medium scale project, and I don't think Microsoft is supporting it at all now or down the road.

        I'm far from an expert on this, but my experiences using regular DirectX 8.1 (which is immediate) in C++ have been real positive. Things work the way I expect, a
  • by ralico (446325)
    Now, for something to get more familiar with the Win 32 API, I recommend Win32 Programming [accu.org] by Brent Rector and Joeseph Newcomer.
    While a bit old, published in '97, it helps get a solid foundation in the win32 API for 9x and NT. I've used it for some work on W2k too.
  • don't learn DirectX. Learn OpenGL instead. It is easy to learn, well documented, and portable. I wrote a game in C++ using OpenGL in college and have been able to easily port it to both Windows and Linux since then.

    • don't learn DirectX. Learn OpenGL instead. It is easy to learn, well documented, and portable. I wrote a game in C++ using OpenGL in college and have been able to easily port it to both Windows and Linux since then.


      I'm inclined to agree. Not only can you use SDL for cross-platform development, but OpenGL is easy to work with. Completely cross-platform, and makes a lot of sense.
  • I picked up The Zen of Direct3D Game Programming not too long ago and have, for the most part, enjoyed the book. It's been a while since I've gotten to touch the book, but I had basics down decently.

    The book is pretty hefty, and it does carry a decent price. There's a lot of stuff in it though, and not all of it is just the code stuff but instead there's some explanation of the math and such. (Most of which I've gotten more than my fill of in Computer Vision this semester... but in reverse.)

    Most of the book

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