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February DirectX 10 SDK Update Released

Microsoft has released a new update of the DirectX 10 SDK. The February revision marks the final release of XACT, Microsoft’s cross-platform audio creation tool. Addition...
Microsoft has released a new update of the DirectX 10 SDK. The February revision marks the final release of XACT, Microsoft’s cross-platform audio creation tool. Additional features and improvements in the update include a Direct3D 10 Technology Preview, D3DX9, a Game Definition File schema for the Windows Vista Game Explorer (Beta) and additional tools for developers to improve workflow with PIX. XACT is no longer in beta, and the final release contains new feature: ADPCM compression has been added, which allows built wave banks to take up significantly less space on disk. Information on using the X3DAudio API has also been added. The HLSL compiler included in this update to the Direct3D10 Tech Preview now targets downlevel shader models. Using FXC10.exe included in the SDK, developers can try out the new compiler on Shader Model 3.0 and below. Only a subset of HLSL optimizations and new features are active in this release, and generated shaders will not be fully optimized. A new Direct 3D 10 sample illustrating object-space motion blur (MotionBlur10) has been added. No filter kernels are used: High-quality motion blur is achieved via fin extrusion in the Geometry Shader and accumulated in the frame buffer using Alpha-To-Coverage. Texture-space motion blur is achieved using anisotropic filtering. A new tutorial illustrating manipulation of Direct3D10 rendering state has also been added. A series of improvements have been made to the ID3DX10Sprite interface. Sprites now take advantage of additional Direct3D10 features (geometry shader, texture arrays) to achieve higher performance. The D3DX interfaces for multithreaded [asynchronous] resource loading and processing have been improved in this release. Additional pipeline and parameter validation has been added to the Direct3D10 Debug Layer. However, Direct3D 10 support is only available on Windows Vista. UVAtlas now supports texture parameterization for polygonal meshes. By providing a list of false edges to the UVAtlas APIs, meshes comprised of quads or N-sided polygons can be atlased. False edges will not be split during parameterization. The Windows Vista Game Explorer has been updated for February with new features: applications can now take advantage of Rich Save Games in Windows Vista, and the Game Definition File schema now includes a required manifest of the executables that a game installs or extracts. PIX has been updated with a few workflow improvements: PIX now supports single-frame capture and playback of Direct3D10 applications, and the display of Direct3D10 texture resources, including the back buffer, support is included in the update. Image data can be viewed with or without the alpha channel. CreateObject and DestroyObject events are now added to PIXRun files, to more clearly indicate when Direct3D objects are created and destroyed.

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