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Helius

Is Direct3D a 3D engine ??

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Yep, I want to start with 3D programming and I have this huge dude: Is Direct3D a 3D engine? I mean, can you make shapes and render with D3D? Or you have to make your own visualization engine? I know that D3D RM can do that, but IM? Help please, I''m very confused. Thanks in advance!!

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Yep, D3DIM can render 3d Primitives, with textures, and lots of other stuff, sorry for the Breifness, Could someone please complete his

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Ya know, OpenGL is supposedly a lot easier than D3D. I''ve looked at some OGL, and I must say it is remarkably easy. I''ve never taken a look at D3D, but I did hear that it is really hard to learn. However, since DX 6 (I think), D3D was supposedly cleaned up a lot and is now almost decent to use.

Commander M
http://commanderm.8m.com
cmndrm@commanderm.8m.com

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I''ve done a bit of work with both OpenGL and Direct3D, and I can honestly say that neither is perfect. Both are relatively easy to get into if you follow SDK examples (and both really require you to download some tutorials, or buy some books), and they are increasingly similar. OpenGL is definitely better documented overall, although my experience is that most of the GL documentation applies to Direct3D (in the sense that the GL docs explain enough theory that is equally applicable with different function calls).

Many OpenGL drivers are poorly optimized for anything other than Quake, and my experience with the GLSetup project is that it makes computers unstable. OpenGL doesn''t work properly with DirectDraw. It is portable. It handles a lot of the "messy" things like texture memory allocation for you (albeit with a loss of control often bemoaned by people like Tim Sweeny from Epic).

Direct3D requires a bit of extra work when setting it up, and gives you relatively fine grained control over what goes on. It doesn''t always make sense, though! It works well with DirectDraw. With DirectX 7 (and even more so with DirectX 8), you no longer have to do the extra work. Direct3D is non-portable.

Neither Direct3D nor OpenGL is a "complete" 3D engine solution. They are both little more than transformation, lighting and polygon rasterizing pipelines. You are still on your own with scene/world/level management, although utility functions exist to help. Neither handles BSPs, portals or other polygon culling systems (other than hardware z-buffer). [This is a good thing, IMO - if either tied itself to a specific world management system, they would cease to be sufficiently general to support lots of diverse projects].

Which is worth learning? Difficult question. Most likely, both are around to stay. OpenGL seems to be relatively feature-frozen, at least until Silicon Graphics and Microsoft patch up their differences enough to resume work on Farenheight (or whatever they call it). Direct3D remains something of a moving target. Honestly, the best approach if you have time is to learn as many of the underlying fundamentals as you can (even working with primitive software renderers, etc.), and then see how these APIs can accelerate what you want to do.

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In my opinion, DX7 is just as easy to work with as OpenGL, at least when you go beyond the spinning cube thing. With D3DX library it's also just as easy to initialize, which has been a major part of people's reluctance against using DX before.

Neither Direct3D or OpenGL are 3D engines though, they are APIs (Application Programming Interface). I guess you could call D3D RM a 3D Engine but unfortunately further development of D3D RM has been terminated. So yes you will have to make your own visualization engine. D3D/OGL help you do the actual rendering, but the engine must do the positioning of objects, lights etc.

(I'm sorry for the redundant information here, Bracket sent his answer as I was typing mine.)

Edited by - Spellbound on 3/12/00 5:07:57 PM

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I think "engine" is turning into too much of a buzzword these days... Best to specify what type of engine. Technically I''d say that D3D and OpenGL are low-level APIs that support polygon-level rasterization. Management beyond the polygon level (object, world) requires software like a scene graph. There are plenty of those available, though, and enough are open source that I''m sure you could modify one to suit your needs.

- Defiant

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Ok, thank you all friends!!

The last question:
Where do you think I should start from? (web or document about D3D if possible)

Regards,

Someone in Spain

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Man, you people can turn any questin into a direct3d/opengl war. Is anybody every going to stop this? Use what you want to use. Decide for yourself.

*** Triality ***

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Esap1: Direct3D does not render primitives, it renders polygons. But when it comes to OpenGL, you can in some cases say it renders primitives like glBegin(GL_QUADS);

============================
Daniel Netz, Sentinel Design
"I'm not stupid, I'm from Sweden" - Unknown

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Well, to start off, you should get yourself a copy of the DirectX SDK from Microsoft''s DirectX Developer Center (http://msdn.microsoft.com/directx/). Unfortunately, the SDK is a whopping 128 MB, so unless you''ve got broadband access, it will take quite some time to download. You can also order it on CD.

Full documentation and samples with source code are included in the SDK. The documentation is also accessible online through MSDN. Good luck!

zerwit: I see no holy war here. And if it is, it''s more mature than most.

- Defiant
http://www.flyingtemple.com

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