The following features have changed in the April 2006 DirectX SDK update:

Direct3D 10 Technology Preview

The Direct3D 10 Technology Preview showcases the newest set of graphics API's for games and other high-performance multimedia applications on next-generation graphics hardware. This technology preview provides reference material, conceptual content, developer libraries, tutorials and samples that demonstrate how to use Direct3D 10. Additional content will provided in upcoming SDK releases. 

HLSL Shader Compilation

In the Direct3D10 February 2006 Tech Preview, a preview version of the new HLSL compiler targeting downlevel (Direct3D9) shader models was included. The compiler preview has been updated this SDK with a series of shader-code-generation improvements.

Using FXC10.exe included in this SDK, you can try out the new HLSL compiler (with new language features such as Improved Flow Control Management) on Shader Model 3.0 and below. Keep in mind that not all HLSL optimizations and new features are active in this release. Generated shaders will not be fully optimized.

New Samples

A new sample illustrating displacement mapping on dynamic objects using geometry-shader prism extrusion and pixel-shader raytracing has been added. This technique adds significantly more surface and silhouette detail to an object, and is scalable across levels-of-detail.

A new sample illustrating multi-stream rendering has been added. This sample supports both Direct3D 9 and Direct3D 10. The Direct3D 10 version also illustrates multi-stream rendering with multiple index buffers.

Windows Vista Game Explorer (Beta)

The Windows Vista Game Explorer documentation has been updated for April with new information about using the Game Definition File Editor.

XInput

The XInput API has been updated with the following features for this release:

·         Support for arcade sticks and wheel controls through subtypes.

·         A new function, XInputEnable, which can activate or deactivate XInput processing to respond to focus change events.

Additionally, the name of the XInput DLL has been changed to XInput1_1.dll.

Microsoft Cross-Platform Audio Creation Tool (XACT)

XACT has been updated for April with the following new feature:

·         The Prepare and Play methods of the IXACTSoundBank interface have been updated to support seeking to a specified time offset for playback.

Tools

PIX

Texture/Surface viewing support has been improved.

  • Use the texture viewer to select which mip level/face/texture to view
  • View image channels separately or together using the channel(s) combo box.
  • Adjust image brightness and contrast, and see high-dynamic range image information using the channel levels control
  • The depth and stencil channels are viewed via the Render tab, or by viewing depth/stencil surfaces directly

 

Vertex/Index Buffer Viewing Support

·         The contents of vertex buffers and index buffers can now be displayed, using a user-specifiable format

 

Improved Direct3D10 support

·         ID3D10Device state can be viewed

·         ID3D10StateBlock contents can be viewed

·         ID3D10Buffer contents can be viewed

·         ID3D10Texture contents can be viewed in more ways

DX9 Improved UVAtlas Partitioning Algorithm

In this version of D3DX9, the UVAtlas partitioning algorithm has been significantly improved to produce better results (including fewer charts) for a given stretch threshold.  The new algorithm in April is more computationally intensive, so the UVAtlas API's will revert to the previous algorithm for input meshes with more than 25,000 faces. The new algorithm also does not support signal specialized parameterization, so if IMT is specified, the old algorithm is always used.

Additional user control over performance vs. quality, as well as support for signal-specialized parameterization, is planned for a future release.

Technical Article Updates

A variety of new articles have been added to the SDK:

·                  64-bit programming for Game Developers

·                  Optimizing DVD performance for Windows Games

·                  Patching Methods in Windows XP and Vista

·                  Taking Advantage of High DPI Mouse Movement

·                  Top Tools and Techniques for Making More Robust Windows Games

Installation Points:

DirectX SDK - (April 2006)

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=7AB978B5-5F1A-4F6A-88EB-FC646138BECA&displaylang=en

DirectX SDK (April 2006) Symbol Files

http://mscompub/dmt/dialogs/preview/preview.aspx?d=preview&user=madkins&familyid=562d72fc-61c8-41a3-8bff-509466f3d6aa&languageid=f49e8428-7071-4979-8a67-3cffcb0c2524

DirectX End-User Runtimes (April 2006)

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=FB73D860-5AF1-45E5-BAC0-9BC7A5254203&displaylang=en

DirectX Websetup (April 2006)

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=2DA43D38-DB71-4C1B-BC6A-9B6652CD92A3&displaylang=en