HLSL is based on the C programming language and introduces a developer-friendly programming environment that delivers simplicity and flexibility across the full range of 3-D graphics, from art creation to effects programming. HLSL is seamlessly integrated into and complemented by enhancements to Microsoft’s current developer toolset to give developers even more power from an easier-to-use solution. In addition, HLSL is compatible with DirectX-compliant graphics processing units (GPUs), allowing developers to define a similar visual effect for the widest range of graphics hardware.
DirectX 9.0 offers the following new benefits for developers:
- High-level shader language library that supports patch meshes and traditional polygonal meshes
- Improved real-time animation capabilities that allow separate animations on the same mesh to be blended
- Enhanced low-level graphics programmability with new programmable vertex and pixel shader 2.0 models in the Direct3D® API
- Full integration, including debugging, of new programmable shader models with the Microsoft Visual Studio® .NET development system
- Enhanced DirectShow® video rendering hardware acceleration
- A new version of DirectMusic® Producer, enabling support for DirectMusic enhancements such as low-latency playback
- New wizards for creating DirectX Media Objects (DMOs) for audio effects and DirectMusic tools for MIDI processing
- Improved DirectPlay® performance for multiplayer games
- Availability of DirectPlay for Pocket PC 2002
Microsoft DirectX 9.0 beta 1 is now available at no charge to registered DirectX beta sites (connect-time fees may apply). The final release of the DirectX 9.0 Software Development Kit (SDK) and DirectX 9.0 runtime is scheduled for fall 2002.