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DirectDraw9 + Alpha Blending!

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I have noticed some Video cards support ALL the hardware GUI 2D operations (capabilities) used by WindowsXP, and to my knowledge, this includes the alpha blending bits such as the transparent fade-ins and mouse shadows. Therefore this means the majority of video cards that will be released after WinXP''s launch will support all the XP Gui operations, and in turn, will result in an updated DirectDraw in DX9 that will support alpha blending and other advanced features by default... right? Or am I just dreaming...

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I can''t find it now, but I had seen a message from Phil Taylor somewhere that said that DD will not be back, although (my interpretation) that doesn''t rule out 2D helpers like D3DXSprite.

If you think about it, if you took the DirectDraw API, added all the features for scaling, alpha, pixel shaders, and everything else, you would have something that looked very much like DX8 graphics.

There''s two things here - DD as an API, and DD as a mechanical approach to dealing with image data. I can see them returning to a more user friendly API, but I can''t see them going back to a blitting engine that bypasses the pipeline.

According to some talk at the PDC last week, it seems like there''s something in the works to move the GDI to DX. I wasn''t there, but I heard there wasa demo showing real alpha blended windows (not the alpha GDI functionality that exists now).

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