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DirectX Media

The foundation layer is the internal part of Microsoft DirectX. It is a set of low-level APIs that are the basis for performance media on Windows-based computers. DirectX Foundation provides unmatched access to hardware acceleration and opens the door to true device independence, enabling developers to boost multimedia performance for all types of applications and platform configurations.

The 5 DirectX Media APIs are:

Microsoft DirectShow ( formerly known as Microsoft ActiveMovie ) is a media-streaming architecture for the Microsoft® Windows® platform that enables the high-quality capture and playback of multimedia streams. The streams can contain video and audio data compressed in a wide variety of formats, including MPEG, Apple QuickTime, audio-video interleaved ( AVI ), and WAV files. Capture can be based on either Video for Windows ( VFW) or Windows Driver Model ( WDM ).

DirectShow is integrated with Microsoft DirectX technologies so that it automatically takes advantage of any accelerating video and audio hardware to deliver the highest possible performance. For developers of Internet and intranet applications and content, the ActiveMovie control included with DirectShow enables playback of a host of popular media types on the local computer and on the Internet. It also provides a comprehensive set of services for playback of MPEG movies and DVD-Video.

DirectAnimation provides unified, comprehensive support for animation, streaming, and integration of diverse media types, such as 2-D vector graphics, 3-D graphics, sprites, audio, and video. Because it is a COM API with an underlying engine/run time, DirectAnimation's functionality can be accessed by a wide variety of programmers and authors:

  • HTML authors can animate their Web pages without any programming. The DirectAnimation is includede as part of the IE4 minimum install
  • Scripting authors using Microsoft® Visual Basic® Scripting Edition ( VBScript ) or JScript can utilize Dynamic HTML to create animated Web page properties.
  • Programmers using Java, Visual Basic, and Microsoft® Visual C++® can develop ActiveX® controls or full applications with multimedia support and interactivity.

Direct3D Retained Mode
A high-level 3-D scene graph manager, Microsoft® Direct3D® Retained Mode gives developers a set of refined resources to manipulate objects and orchestrate entire scenes in 3-D.

Essentially, Direct3D is a drawing interface for 3-D hardware. The Retained Mode simplifies the building and animation of 3-D worlds with two new features: animation interpolators, enabling the blending of colors, smooth movement of objects, and many other transformations; and progressive meshes that allow the increasing refinement of a coarse mesh over time, helping with progressive downloads from remote locations. Direct3D Retained Mode's features let developers create high-quality 3-D applications without wading through low-level object structures.

Microsoft DirectPlay is a high-level software interface between applications and communication services that makes it easy to connect games over the Internet, a modem link, or a network. DirectPlay features a set of tools that provide well-defined, generalized communications capabilities. These tools allow players to find game sessions and sites to manage the flow of information between hosts and players.

A family of technologies that supports all types of gaming applications, DirectPlay provides a way for applications to communicate with each other, regardless of the underlying online service or protocol. DirectPlay also resolves many connectivity issues, leaving developers free to concentrate on producing great applications. With connection shortcuts, a new method of initialization, and improved security, DirectPlay leads the way for the next generation of online games.

Microsoft® DirectModel is a 3-D graphics toolkit designed to solve the problem of large model interaction. A key component of Microsoft® DirectX®, it gives developers added levels of geometry simplification and rendering sophistication, enabling the definition, interactive rendering, and querying of large 3-D models across a range of platforms. Developers who use DirectModel to build applications enable users to manipulate huge models at interactive display rates. The result is products that are more realistic and compelling than previously imaginable.

Together, these services offer a new world of opportunities for utilizing animation, behaviors, streaming, and more, in ways that were previously unimaginable.

DirectX Foundation
DirectX Foundation



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