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- PowerDraw -

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Greetings It''s usually hard to find time to post on the forums for me, but due to my great concern of the future of PowerDraw, I decided to ask you, People for help with opinions, ideas or anything you think would be helpful. I''m actually disappointed by PowerDraw performance (which also refers a lot to DirectXGraphics). At the moment PowerDraw has excellent effect rendering routines which are flexible and pretty fast. Besides that, PowerDraw has still major disadvantages / drawbacks, which should be solved (and that''s where I need your help): 1) "Normal" rendering is rather slow (at least it''s much faster with DirectDraw), for example if you want to draw a single image on the screen without any effect (for background, menus, etc). This can be tolerated though, since in modern games you''ll more commonly use images with effects (alpha-channels, light effects, etc), besides you have a freedom of defining 4-point coordinates for every image. 2) My biggest complain to DirectXGraphics is that any DXG application FAIL TO START on a machine without 3D accelerator. I''ve seen some machines like P2 333Mhz with Intel video card of 2Mb which supports nice DirectDraw hardware acceleration - some applications could still run on this machine with minimal quality settings, but DXG refuses to start, ''cuz there''s no hardware D3D. This is major drawback I see so far, even after the first one (1). I don''t see any possibility to fix it =( 3) Graphics primitives are VERY SLOW (Line, FrameRect, PutPixel, even QuadPixel), even when they''re done in hardware. I see two solutions - making software routines again, for DXG; or precaching all line / pixel calls into a single call (which will be basically X times faster, where X is the number of calls cached), although this is not flexible method. This drawback doesn''t concern me much, but what do you think is better? 4) I''ve noticed that on different machines the graphics of PowerDraw is different (sometimes different from what''s supposed to be), what''s actually hardware-dependence. And sometimes it cannot be "fixed" (or pre-determined). My question is, what do you suggest, should I go back to DirectDraw (directx 7) and Direct3D7 or should I stay with DirectXGraphics (and then how would I solve the problems listed above)? And finally, what do you think about the library? Is it successful / useless project? I''ve donated this library for public (completely free for any kind of project) so it is your power to choose its destiny With all the respect Lifepower

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Well I haven''t used PowerDraw much... Just little tests.
First of all you have done great job of providing cool effects API for community and best of all for free.

On the otherside... Microsoft dropped support for refence driver from the retail DX8. It''s still avaible in the SDK version. Microsoft says that everybody has an 3d card so there is no need for it. Bad move MS.

Here is my thought of where PowerDraw should go from now. You should try to make it as an general helper for D3D8. Add "camera" class, helper class for ID3DX8Effects. Some texture classes(Animated textures would be great).

And for thinking going back to DX7, I would not recomend it. Major part of us delphi game programmer has allready converted or started out project with DX8... so you would loose some users.

Sorry if there is some problems with the text above... It''s so early here... and I''m so sleepy...zzzzzz...zzz.zz..z

Pekka Heikura

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I''m writing a 2D Shoot''em up with DelphiX. I downloaded the first version of Powerdraw to do some 2D image effects and it was great. For me, this is a very useful project!

I am going to test the new powerdraw this weekend and include it in my game, does Powerdraw still work together with DelphiX in fullscreen (800x600x16bit)?

I hope so. Transparent effects are very slow with DelphiX, but pretty fast with Powerdraw.

If the new version is even better than the old one, I''m very glad about it. I don''t think it is a problem that DirectDraw does not work on non 3D Cards, because I think everybody who likes to play games, has already one...

Fine work, please continue!!

Firlefanz )

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My biggest complain is that you have to use pictures in power of two (32x32 or 32x64). (I found that I can load a 100x50 picture on a 128x64 texture, and just set pattern to 100x50 this work fine, except it uses some extra memory)

#1, I think the drawing is fast enough to except it, when looking at the nice effects :-)

#2, agree with firlefanz, (allmost) every one who want to play game have a 3D card.. (Anyway a requment of a 3D is standard on every game pack)

#3, I have not use this (much) yet, but a way of cacheing may be a good idea, like drawPixels(pixels:array of TPixels).. ?

#4, Some of this seems to come from the _NONE insted of _POINT initialization bug. At least on my test systems (p2@360 & TNT, P3@666 & GF2, P3@1000 (dualsystem), GF3)
When set to xxx_POINT they all beware the same (except on speed , but the set to _NONE the behave a little different..

I thing it is a successful project, special when it is with source code, so that is can be "tweeked"/learned/expand from!!
Nice, easy to use and fast :-)


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Thanks for opinions ;-)
2 Pexi: PowerDraw idea was indeed to be a helper of D3D and I do plan on adding cameras stuff. For what it is, PowerDraw provides nice way to "animate" textures - you just have to provide Pattern width & height and then use Pattern value to select which image you want to draw, just as you used in DelphiX.

2 Firlefanz: Newest versions of PowerDraw are standalone versions and run without DelphiX. The latest "plug-in" for DelphiX is 1.4 and it''s a part of PowerTools:
It''s out of the development though.

2 Snorga: Texture sizes is a hardware issue. You can economy more memory by putting a lot of these images on big texture (ex. u have 48x48, instead putting it onto 64x64, put many of these images onto a single 256x256 texture). Beware of textures bigger than 256x256, since 3dfx (and some other) video cards have 256x256 texture size limitation. If you need to use large image, divide it in several parts and draw them separately.

- Arcane Lifepower -

"Although the world would call me free
Each day the more her slave am I
For in her very way to be
There''s I don''''t know what, I don''t know why"

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Animated textures are there already I just had missed them....

I have a working "camera" class avaible(Based on an old Mr-Gamemaker tutorial). It''s written in Delphi 5 Ent for D3D8. I could send it to you. Contact me by email if you are interested.

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HI A.Lifepower,

yesterday I tried to link DelphiX (form Turbo with UndelphiX) with Powerdraw in fullscreen (800x600x16). But it didn''t work. The Initialize Method of Powerdraw just gave me a blank screen. I have a game that''s already finished and works with Powerdraw 1.4. If I can link Powerdraw 2.1 into it, this would be great. If I can''t, I think I will use Powerdraw for my next game, without using DelphiX, cause Powerdraw is really fast (I tried).

If there is any way to link Powerdraw 2.1 with DelphiX, please tell me how. If not, Powerdraw 1.4 does fine for DelphiX, and I will use Powerdraw standalone in the future, because the effects are great. I only miss a simple Draw-Method to put Sprites on the screen without any effects. I would like to use it to make a 2D game, something from the 80s, maybe Cauldron or wizball or Feud or Last Ninja maybe...

Thanks for support

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PowerDraw 2.1 and DelphiX cant be linked.. PowerDraw 2.1 uses DX8, and DelphiX uses DX7..
(The last version of PowerDraw usable with DelphiX is v. 1.4)

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Thanx for a great job about PowerDraw! I really like the effect stuff. Now it''s also easy to use your library, but I would also like to have an easy way to use Sprites and sprite collisions like in DelphiX.

One thing that I know for sure is documentation, but that''s always the hard part to make.

Please stay in DirectX8 becouse it''s the latest one and every one today has a 3d Card. I was very happy when you release your library and it supported the latest DirectX8.1a. and that you have PNG with alpha channel support, thanx!

How about sound support? And Internet Support? Or is your intention to make an game and effects library.

Thanx for makeing a good package!

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btw: How do I get PNG to work?
It seems like LoadFromFile only takes bmp, or is that just me?

Marco, for sound try: fmod (http://www.fmod.org/)
I have not tried it my self, but it is mentioned on

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