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Summary

In this chapter, you have traveled through a brief history of animation, examining the tools of the trade: model sheets, frames, cycles, storyboards, keyframes, and backgrounds. You have also seen how blits and sprites are used to transfer and store images, learned how drawing surfaces are used to produce real-time animation through primary, secondary, and offscreen surfaces. You also saw how backgrounds and palettes can be useful for creating full-screen scenery and fading effects.

Rectangles, you learned, are the foundation of measurements in DirectX, and are used to define the position of images and maintain their animations. Clippers are useful in restricting areas of the screen so that animations can appear to have depth to them. With billboards, you can create the illusion of large complex items, such as trees, without actually having to use the enormous processing power needed for high-end graphics.

Finally, you got an overview of the three main techniques in DirectX animation: blitting, the process of placing sprites or images on the surface you're assembling for display; page flipping (with the help of back buffers), used to move surfaces from front to back in rapid succession to create fast animation effects; and palette cycling, used to animate backgrounds for fading and psychedelic effects.

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