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transparent edges / depth buffer?

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hey all. I have written a simple 2D engine in DX/Cpp and it works fine. Only one thing i don''t like. When i draw a sphere or some sort of texture with transparant color areas on the edges, all the panels that have to be placed in the backbuffer afterwards and come ''behind'' that sphere, the overlapping area is simply cutt off that panels. result: a sphere with a transparent square around it and the parts of the underlying panels that do not overlap the spere panel... Could anyone tell me how to solve this little problem? So the panels that are lying ''behind'' my sphere are still visible through the transparent parts of the forelying sphere panel??? PS : At the beginning of each render, you have to set your depth_buffer to a certain value(like 1.0f) What is this value for? W!LLiE W@cKo!

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