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In Part I of this series you will explore the fundamentals of 3D graphics rendering. The focus throughout these early lessons is on the core features of the DirectX 9 fixed-function rendering pipeline. This includes loading and drawing geometric objects, the use of lighting and textures to provide scene detail, developing camera systems for viewing simulation environments in real-time, and using alpha components for controlling object transparency to produce effects like glass and water.
Why should I take the course?
This DirectX9 Graphics Programming course was specifically designed to be the first course that a student takes at Game Institute following their C++ training. It represents the beginning of the core training you will receive here at Game Institute as you study to become a professional game developer. Although this is a targeted as a beginner/intermediate level course, even if you have some previous 3D graphics experience, you are likely to encounter a significant amount of useful information and learn some new techniques along the way. This is the first DirectX programming course in a multi-part series on 3D Game Engine Programming (and DirectX Graphics version 9). The application framework you build in this course will be greatly expanded in Module II and then further still in a set of targeted workshops dealing with advanced concepts. As such, to make sure that everyone is working from the same code base, this is a pre-requisite course if you intend to continue with the rest of the series.
What are some of the topics we will study in this course?
In Module I you will begin a detailed exploration of the basic features of the DirectX Graphics fixed-function pipeline. You will learn how to use each of the features individually and then in combination to render complex 3D scenes. The course will begin with an examination of all the 3D mathematics that you'll need for most of this series, so you can get started right away after your C++ training is complete. Then you'll learn how to create your own software transformation and rendering pipeline to ensure that you have a good understanding of the basics. From that point forward you will begin using the DirectX API to render your 3D scenes. The topics discussed include:
* 3D Mathematics * The Transformation and Lighting Pipeline * Initializing Direct3D * Vertex and Index Buffers * Single and MultiTexture Effects * Camera Management Systems * Compressed Textures * Texturing & the Texture Blending Cascade * Alpha Blending * Loading GILES™ Scenes * much, much more...
When you get to Module II in the series, you will temporarily wrap up your examination of the fixed-function pipeline with a look at some of the more advanced features in the D3DX library. Module II will also include a thorough foundation in core graphics engine technologies like collision detection, keyframe animation, skinning, spatial partitioning, optimal rendering algorithms, and more. The workshops that follow Module II will then draw your focus to the programmable pipeline, where you will explore shaders and advanced texturing and lighting concepts along with tools and game engine design and architecture. Although the fixed-function pipeline will still be revisited from time to time, after your first workshop, you will be primarily working with shader-driven engine technology. Please be sure to check out our Course Catalog for more information.
Who should take the course?
If you are already a C++ developer, then this is the course we recommend that you take first. Of course, anyone interested in creating state-of-the-art real-time 3D games will find this course an especially useful starting point. If you have used Direct3D (or another API) in the past and you would like to learn more about the inner-workings of DirectX Graphics 9, or if you wish to port your existing games to the latest version of the API, you will benefit from the information we will cover.
What are the prerequisites to understanding the course material?
Knowledge of C/C++ and object oriented programming is required. Experience compiling and running projects using Microsoft Visual C++ 7.0 or greater is a must. Students who are not yet comfortable with C++ should take the C++ Programming for Game Developers series before getting started with this series of courses.
What software do I need in order to take this course?
* Microsoft Visual C++ 7.0 (2002 .NET) or higher * Microsoft DirectX 9.0c SDK