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Pixel Encoding Formats?

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I''m currently making a 2D sprite engine game and have two questions on the tip of my tongue that I just can''t find answers for, concerning pixel formats. Q1. When setting the display mode to RGB 16bit colour, I know that to find out how many bits are used per pixel for the RGB components you check the value of the dwRGBBitCount member of a DDPIXELFORMAT structure. My question is this, if the hardware is using 5.5.5 bit encoding for 16bit RGB pixels, will dwRGBBitCount return the value 15 or 16. Q2. When loading in 16bit .bmp files, how can you tell whether the pixels for the bitmap being loaded have been encoded in a 5.5.5 or 5.6.5 pixel format. Thankz level10boy

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