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Creating Graphics with DirectDraw Classes

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DirectDraw is the oldest component of DirectX - it is a library of classes that were created to fill the ever-increasing need for fast-drawing animations in games and multimedia in Windows. While it was the cornerstone of DirectX technology for most of its life, DirectDraw has now taken a back seat in DirectX 8. However, there are still many reasons to discuss DirectDraw.
This article is extracted from DirectX 8 and Visual Basic .NET Development.
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This article assumes some background knowledge of Visual Basic 6. Visual Basic .NET or DirectX experience is not required. This material is based on Beta2 release version of Microsoft's .NET technology.

DirectDraw is the oldest component of DirectX. Microsoft developers saw the need for fast-drawing animations in games and multimedia in the Windows future, so they developed an ever-increasing library of classes to DirectX called DirectDraw.

What Is DirectDraw?

DirectDraw is a technology that was the cornerstone of DirectX for most of its life. In DirectX 8, DirectDraw has taken a back seat, however, and much of its functionality has been absorbed into DirectGraphics. DirectDraw is accessible as part of the DirectX 7 dll only. However, when you install DirectX 8, you will also get the DirectX 7 dlls. Therefore, you still have access to these great libraries. Although most of its functionality has been put into Direct Graphics, you still have access to it because DirectX 8 is compatible with previous versions. There are many reasons to discuss DirectDraw, including the following:

  • DirectDraw can be used with standard VGA graphics cards. You do not need an accelerated 3D card.

  • Not all the DirectDraw features have been rolled into Direct Graphics, so there are some advantages to using DirectDraw.

  • DirectDraw is easier to use if you want to work with 2D graphics only, and you can get up to speed on basic animation techniques much more quickly with DirectDraw.

NOTE

DirectX 8 has a new technology called DirectGraphics, which is a combination of DirectDraw and Direct3D technologies—all rolled up into one class.

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