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OpenGL DirectX / C++ Programming?

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Well I have VERY basic knowledge of C++, but I was wondering if there is anyway to learn how to create workable graphics in DirectX without knowing how to program? Or do they go hand in hand? Also, I have some more questions that some of my searches did not turn up: -Does DirectX require any prerequisite knowledge? -What programs are required? -Are there any good online sites to learn from? -Are there any good books to learn from? -Does a game that runs DirectX, automatically run DirectX graphics? -What are the pros/cons of DirectX vs. OpenGL? And some topics a bit farther off, but I'm hoping some may answer: -What are some graphics jobs other than modeler, texture-izer(?), landscaper? -Are these doable in DirectX? -I have mediocre art skills, what would be the best area to head into, as they all interest me? -How did you learn your profession, how long did it take, and what do you recommend doing/differently? Thanks, if anyone answers one of these questions, I will consider it a success. I'd love to learn graphic art, and I am willing to spend 2-3 hours per day doing it to achieve my goals.

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Just to follow up...I just saw below that there is a more relevant section to what I feel this post is about.

Up to the mods though, as I am sure both forums will be very helpful.

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Quote:
Original post by Gallivan
Or do they go hand in hand?

Yes they do, acctually i think you should really learn programming first and the jump to game developmemt

Quote:
Original post by Gallivan
-Does DirectX require any prerequisite knowledge?

yes, you have to know how to programm
Quote:
Original post by Gallivan
-What programs are required?

A text editor and a compiler, but you will help yourself alot if you use a IDE like Visual Studio, to do the art, well you use blender, maya, 3D Studio max, photoshop, paintshop pro, ms paint or many many others
Quote:
Original post by Gallivan
-Are there any good online sites to learn from?

yes, in fact you are in the best one.
also check The Zbuffer, and many more, just to a search in google for "DirectX Tutorials"
Quote:
Original post by Gallivan
-Are there any good books to learn from?

yes. you should have a look to Frank Luna's Introduction to 3D Game Programming with DirectX 9.0 it s great
Quote:
Original post by Gallivan
-Does a game that runs DirectX, automatically run DirectX graphics?

nop, directX is a set of libraries, but a game can choose to use other thing ( like OpenGL) to do the graphics stuff
Quote:
Original post by Gallivan
-What are the pros/cons of DirectX vs. OpenGL?

the only one i really understand is that, you can program for OpenGL and use it on several plataforms ( Linux, windows, mac,... ) but directX only on Windows
And some topics a bit farther off, but I'm hoping some may answer:
Quote:
Original post by Gallivan
-What are some graphics jobs other than modeler, texture-izer(?), landscaper?

you should look in gamedev.net game jobs section to see if there is something you like
Quote:
Original post by Gallivan
-Are these doable in DirectX?

i dont undertand what you are asking.
Quote:
Original post by Gallivan
-I have mediocre art skills, what would be the best area to head into, as they all interest me?

that really deppends on you.. you should look close to see what is about each one of the areas, and then make a informed desition.
Quote:
Original post by Gallivan
-How did you learn your profession, how long did it take, and what do you recommend doing/differently?

im in college, i recommend you do the same.

Edit: fixed some things, an realized this is my biggest post :D

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I think you misunderstand what DirectX is. DirectX is an API; a collection of (programming) interfaces designed to aid in the development of various game-related "things" (such as audio, input and graphics). Direct3D is the subset of the DirectX API that is concerned with graphics.

Direct3D is not a "tool" in the traditional sense of a program like Maya or 3DS Max. You must write programs to be able to use it, and you must do a lot more than just make calls to the Direct3D API to yeild a workable game or other application.

To answer some of your specific questions:
Quote:
I was wondering if there is anyway to learn how to create workable graphics in DirectX without knowing how to program?

No. If you mean "graphics" like "3D models," there are tools (actual applications) like Maya, or 3DS Max (both expensive) or Milkshape (much more affordable).
Quote:
Does DirectX require any prerequisite knowledge?

Yes. You should be pretty comfortable writing C++ (or C#) code. Familiarity with the mathematics and theory going on under the hood of the API (geometry, linear algebra, the graphics pipeline, et cetera) is required in some way shape or form once you move beyond trivial demos.
Quote:

Does a game that runs DirectX, automatically run DirectX graphics?

This is pretty much a nonsensical question regardless of what you are defining "graphics" to be. A game using Direct3D to render images can use geometry data (models) defined in any format. A game can use other aspects of DirectX (viz., DirectInput) without using Direct3D.
Quote:
What are the pros/cons of DirectX vs. OpenGL?

DirectX effectively limits you to a single platform. Other than that, it depends on which API's interface style you prefer.
Quote:

I have mediocre art skills, what would be the best area to head into, as they all interest me?

Consider applying to an art school; practice and improve your skills. It sounds like you want to be the guy creating textures/models for a game (the artist) rather than doing programming (the programmer) and dealing with DirectX.

Quote:
How did you learn your profession, how long did it take, and what do you recommend doing/differently?

Would you like my life's story while I'm at it? :)
Stay in school, study hard. You get out of education what you put into it, and your education and how you apply it (viz., demos or a portfolio) is your best springboard into the industry.

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Thank you for the very well written and informative answers!

I think you are right in assuming that I understood DirectX wrong. What I'd like to do is create the art for games. Character models, buildings and the like.

Would I use 3DSMAX for this? Or this this not so much a field, as programming DirectX is?

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Quote:
Original post by idloco
Quote:
Original post by Gallivan
-What are the pros/cons of DirectX vs. OpenGL?

the only one i really understand is that, you can program for OpenGL and use it on several plataforms ( Linux, windows, mac,... ) but directX only on Windows
And some topics a bit farther off, but I'm hoping some may answer


That is the case. Functionally, they are equivalent at this point. Outside the core, however, is D3D's standard library D3DX. It has quite a few things that aren't included in OpenGL (or GLUT), like mesh loading / manipulation, animation, global illumination (PRT), etc.

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