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Living without D3DX

direct3d, dxsdk

Originally posted to Chuck Walbourn's Blog on MSDN,

Over the past few years, I’ve been working on a number of projects in part motivated by the need to replace legacy D3DX functionality. As noted on Microsoft Docs, all versions of D3DX are deprecated and are not shipped with the Windows 8.x SDK. This includes D3DX9, D3DX10, and D3DX11. There are plenty of options for moving existing code over to newer, more supportable solutions most of which are now shared-source.

I’ve built a number of porting notes tables for each of these topics, and then realized today I don’t have a single place to see it all. So here it is, the “D3DX porting mega-table” for Direct3D 11.

Direct3D 9: There are not many good replacements for the functionality in D3DX9 if you are still using Direct3D 9. You can make use of D3DCompile APIs directly with the legacy DirectX SDK, but newer versions of the D3DCompile DLL in the Windows 8.x SDK are not compatible with Windows XP for runtime use. You can use DirectXMath/XNAMath for Direct3D 9 instead of D3DXMath. The DDSWithoutD3DX sample supports Direct3D 9, and you can use DirectXTex and DirectXMesh when preparing content for use by Direct3D 9.

Direct3D 10: The best option for Direct3D 10.x applications is to update them to use Direct3D 11, and then utilize all the options here to replace legacy D3XD10. Porting the API is very straightforward, and Direct3D 11 is available on all supported platforms that have Direct3D 10.

Direct3D 12: There is a header that ships in the DirectX 12 samples on GitHub called d3dx12.h. It is all inline utility header which has no DLL or redistributable dependency, and can be used under the MIT license. It is not included in the Windows SDK. If you are looking for additional functionality, see the DirectX Tool Kit for DirectX 12, DirectXTex and DirectXMesh.

Related: Where is the DirectX SDK?, Where is the DirectX SDK (2013 Edition)?, Where is the DirectX SDK (2015 Edition)?, DirectX SDKs of a certain age, DXUT for Win32 Desktop Update, DirectX SDK Samples CatalogDirectX SDK Tools Catalog

CodePlex: All CodePlex links below will redirect to the Microsoft organizational section of GitHub as CodePlex has been shutdown.

General Helpers

The DirectX Tool Kit provides a number of helpers that are designed to simplify Direct3D 11 programming in the tradition of the original D3DX library. You can find the library on CodePlex and GitHub.

ID3DX10Sprite SpriteBatch
ID3DX10Font SpriteFont, SpriteBatch
ID3DX10Mesh Model, ModelMesh, ModelMeshPart
D3DXCreateBox D3DXCreateCylinder D3DXCreateSphere D3DXCreateTeapot D3DXCreateTorus GeometricPrimitive
D3DX11CreateShaderResourceViewFromFile CreateXXXTextureFromFile
D3DX11CreateShaderResourceViewFromResource D3DX11CreateShaderResourceViewFromMemory CreateXXXTextureFromMemory
D3DX11CreateTextureFromFile CreateXXXTextureFromFile
D3DX11CreateTextureFromResource D3DX11CreateTextureFromMemory CreateXXXTextureFromMemory
D3DX11SaveTextureToFile SaveXXXTextureToFile

The DXERR library is another helper that shipped in the legacy DirectX SDK. In Windows 8.x or later, you can just use FormatMessage to use the built-in error descriptions which support DirectX. Otherwise, the best replacement is to compile your own version of DXERR.

DXGetErrorString DXGetErrorDescription DXTrace See Where's DXERR.LIB?

HLSL Functions

The HLSL compiler, shader reflection API, and related functionality has been broken out into it’s own D3DCompile DLL for some time. D3DCompile is in the Windows 8.x SDK and is included with VS 2012 and VS 2013 Preview.

D3DXCompileShaderFromFile D3DX10CompileFromFile D3DX11CompileFromFile D3DCompileFromFile
D3DXCompileShader D3D10CompileShader D3DX10CompileFromMemory D3DX11CompileFromMemory D3DCompile
D3DXCompileShaderFromResource D3DX10CompileFromResource D3DX11CompileFromResource No direct equivalent. Can use resource APIs and then D3DCompile above.
D3DXPreprocessShader D3DXPreprocessShaderFromFile D3DXPreprocessShaderFromResource D3D10PreprocessShader D3DX10PreprocessShaderFromFile D3DX10PreprocessShaderFromMemory D3DX10PreprocessShaderFromResource D3DX11PreprocessShaderFromFile D3DX11PreprocessShaderFromMemory D3DX11PreprocessShaderFromResource D3DPreprocess
D3DXDisassembleShader D3D10DisassembleShader D3DX10DisassembleShader D3DDisassemble
D3D10ReflectShader D3DX10ReflectShader D3DReflect D3D11Reflect
ID3DXBuffer ID3D10Blob ID3DBlob
D3DXCreateBuffer D3D10CreateBlob D3DCreateBlob
D3D10GetInputSignatureBlob D3D10GetOutputSignatureBlob D3D10GetInputAndOutputSignatureBlob D3D10GetShaderDebugInfo D3DGetBlobPart

Texture Functions

The DirectXTex library is primarily intended for texture processing offline with tools, although it can also be used at runtime for doing texture block compression, mipmap generation, or handling more general image processing needs. DirectXTK is intended for use at runtime with light-weight helpers and image loaders, but does not provide support for general runtime texture format conversion. You can find both libraries on CodePlex and GitHub.

D3DX11ComputeNormalMap DirectXTex library, ComputeNormalMap
D3DX11CreateShaderResourceViewFromFile D3DX11CreateTextureFromFile DDSTextureLoader: CreateDDSTextureFromFile WICTextureLoader: CreateWICTextureFromFileDirectXTex library (tools), LoadFromXXXFile then CreateShaderResourceView or CreateTexture
D3DX11CreateShaderResourceViewFromMemory D3DX11CreateTextureFromMemory DDSTextureLoader: CreateDDSTextureFromMemory WICTextureLoader: CreateWICTextureFromMemoryDirectXTex library (tools), LoadFromXXXMemory then CreateShaderResourceView or CreateTexture
D3DX11CreateShaderResourceViewFromResource D3DX11CreateTextureFromResource No direct equivalent, can use Win32 resource functions and then the 'from memory' APIs above.
D3DX11FilterTexture DirectXTex library, GenerateMipMaps and GenerateMipMaps3D
D3DX11GetImageInfoFromFile DirectXTex library, GetMetadataFromXXXFile
D3DX11GetImageInfoFromMemory DirectXTex library, GetMetadataFromXXXMemory
D3DX11GetImageInfoFromResource No direct equivalent, can use Win32 resource functions and then the 'from memory' APIs above.
D3DX11LoadTextureFromTexture DirectXTex library, Resize, Convert, Compress, Decompress, and/or CopyRectangle
D3DX11SaveTextureToFile ScreenGrab: SaveDDSTextureToFile or SaveWICTextureToFile DirectXTex library, CaptureTexture then SaveToXXXFile
D3DX11SaveTextureToMemory DirectXTex library, CaptureTexture then SaveToXXXMemory

Geometry Functions

The DirectXMesh library is intended for geometry processing offline with tools, although it can be used at runtime. You can find the library on CodePlex and GitHub.

D3DXCleanMesh Clean
D3DXComputeNormals ComputeNormals
D3DXComputeTangent D3DXComputeTangentFrame D3DXComputeTangentFrameEx ComputeTangentFrame
ID3DX10Mesh::GenerateAdjacencyAndPointReps GenerateAdjacencyAndPointReps
ID3DX10Mesh::GenerateGSAdjacency GenerateGSAdjacency
ID3DX10Mesh::Optimize AttributeSort OptimizeFacesEx OptimizeVertices ReorderIB FinalizeIB FinalizeVB
D3DXOptimizeFaces OptimizeFaces
D3DXOptimizeVertices OptimizeVertices
D3DXValidMesh Validate
D3DXWeldVertices WeldVertices CompactVB


The legacy D3DXMath library has been replaced by DirectXMath. The library is in the Windows 8.x SDK or later, as well as being available on GitHub. You may also want to take a look at the SimpleMath wrapper.

D3DXQUATERNION D3DXPLANE D3DXCOLOR ``XMVECTOR`` is used rather than having unique types, so you will likely need to use an ``XMFLOAT4``
D3DXVECTOR4 ``XMFLOAT4`` (or if you can guarantee the data is 16-byte aligned, ``XMVECTOR`` or ``XMFLOAT4A``)
D3DXToRadian ``XMConvertToRadians``
D3DXToDegree ``XMConvertToDegrees``
D3DXBoxBoundProbe ``BoundingBox::Intersects(XMVECTOR, XMVECTOR, float&)``
D3DXComputeBoundingBox ``BoundingBox::CreateFromPoints``
D3DXComputeBoundingSphere ``BoundingSphere::CreateFromPoints``
D3DXSphereBoundProbe ``BoundingSphere::Intersects(XMVECTOR, XMVECTOR, float&)``
D3DXIntersectTriFunction ``TriangleTests::Intersects``
D3DXFloat32To16Array ``XMConvertFloatToHalfStream``
D3DXFloat16To32Array ``XMConvertHalfToFloatStream``
D3DXVec2Length ``XMVector2LengthEst``
D3DXVec2LengthSq ``XMVector2LengthSq``
D3DXVec2Dot ``XMVector2Dot``
D3DXVec2CCW ``XMVector2Cross``
D3DXVec2Add ``XMVectorAdd``
D3DXVec2Subtract ``XMVectorSubtract``
D3DXVec2Minimize ``XMVectorMin``
D3DXVec2Maximize ``XMVectorMax``
D3DXVec2Scale ``XMVectorScale``
D3DXVec2Lerp ``XMVectorLerpV``
D3DXVec2Normalize ``XMVector2NormalizeEst``
D3DXVec2Hermite ``XMVectorHermiteV``
D3DXVec2CatmullRom ``XMVectorCatmullRomV``
D3DXVec2BaryCentric ``XMVectorBaryCentricV``
D3DXVec2Transform ``XMVector2Transform``
D3DXVec2TransformCoord ``XMVector2TransformCoord``
D3DXVec2TransformNormal ``XMVector2TransformNormal``
D3DXVec2TransformArray ``XMVector2TransformStream``
D3DXVec2TransformCoordArray ``XMVector2TransformCoordStream``
D3DXVec2TransformNormalArray ``XMVector2TransformNormalStream``
D3DXVec3Length ``XMVector3LengthEst``
D3DXVec3LengthSq ``XMVector3LengthSq``
D3DXVec3Dot ``XMVector3Dot``
D3DXVec3Cross ``XMVector3Cross``
D3DXVec3Add ``XMVectorAdd``
D3DXVec3Subtract ``XMVectorSubtract``
D3DXVec3Minimize ``XMVectorMin``
D3DXVec3Maximize ``XMVectorMax``
D3DXVec3Scale ``XMVectorScale``
D3DXVec3Lerp ``XMVectorLerpV``
D3DXVec3Normalize ``XMVector3NormalizeEst``
D3DXVec3Hermite ``XMVectorHermiteV``
D3DXVec3CatmullRom ``XMVectorCatmullRomV``
D3DXVec3BaryCentric ``XMVectorBaryCentricV``
D3DXVec3Transform ``XMVector3Transform``
D3DXVec3TransformCoord ``XMVector3TransformCoord``
D3DXVec3TransformNormal ``XMVector3TransformNormal``
D3DXVec3TransformArray ``XMVector3TransformStream``
D3DXVec3TransformCoordArray ``XMVector3TransformCoordStream``
D3DXVec3TransformNormalArray ``XMVector3TransformNormalStream``
D3DXVec3Project ``XMVector3Project``
D3DXVec3Unproject ``XMVector3Unproject``
D3DXVec3ProjectArray ``XMVector3ProjectStream``
D3DXVec3UnprojectArray ``XMVector3UnprojectStream``
D3DXVec4Length ``XMVector4LengthEst``
D3DXVec4LengthSq ``XMVector4LengthSq``
D3DXVec4Dot ``XMVector4Dot``
D3DXVec4Add ``XMVectorAdd``
D3DXVec4Subtract ``XMVectorSubtract``
D3DXVec4Minimize ``XMVectorMin``
D3DXVec4Maximize ``XMVectorMax``
D3DXVec4Scale ``XMVectorScale``
D3DXVec4Lerp ``XMVectorLerpV``
D3DXVec4Cross ``XMVector4Cross``
D3DXVec4Normalize ``XMVector4NormalizeEst``
D3DXVec4Hermite ``XMVectorHermiteV``
D3DXVec4CatmullRom ``XMVectorCatmullRomV``
D3DXVec4BaryCentric ``XMVectorBaryCentricV``
D3DXVec4Transform ``XMVector4Transform``
D3DXVec4TransformArray ``XMVector4TransformStream``
D3DXMatrixIdentity ``XMMatrixIdentity``
D3DXMatrixDeterminant ``XMMatrixDeterminant``
D3DXMatrixDecompose ``XMMatrixDecompose``
D3DXMatrixTranspose ``XMMatrixTranspose``
D3DXMatrixMultiply ``XMMatrixMultiply``
D3DXMatrixMultiplyTranspose ``XMMatrixMultiplyTranspose``
D3DXMatrixInverse ``XMMatrixInverse``
D3DXMatrixScaling ``XMMatrixScaling``
D3DXMatrixTranslation ``XMMatrixTranslation``
D3DXMatrixRotationX ``XMMatrixRotationX``
D3DXMatrixRotationY ``XMMatrixRotationY``
D3DXMatrixRotationZ ``XMMatrixRotationZ``
D3DXMatrixRotationAxis ``XMMatrixRotationAxis``
D3DXMatrixRotationQuaternion ``XMMatrixRotationQuaternion``
D3DXMatrixRotationYawPitchRoll ``XMMatrixRotationRollPitchYaw`` (Note the order of parameters is different: D3DXMath takes yaw, pitch, roll, DirectXMath takes pitch, yaw, roll)
D3DXMatrixTransformation ``XMMatrixTransformation``
D3DXMatrixTransformation2D ``XMMatrixTransformation2D``
D3DXMatrixAffineTransformation ``XMMatrixAffineTransformation``
D3DXMatrixAffineTransformation2D ``XMMatrixAffineTransformation2D``
D3DXMatrixLookAtRH ``XMMatrixLookAtRH``
D3DXMatrixLookAtLH ``XMMatrixLookAtLH``
D3DXMatrixPerspectiveRH ``XMMatrixPerspectiveRH``
D3DXMatrixPerspectiveLH ``XMMatrixPerspectiveLH``
D3DXMatrixPerspectiveFovRH ``XMMatrixPerspectiveFovRH``
D3DXMatrixPerspectiveFovLH ``XMMatrixPerspectiveFovLH``
D3DXMatrixPerspectiveOffCenterRH ``XMMatrixPerspectiveOffCenterRH``
D3DXMatrixPerspectiveOffCenterLH ``XMMatrixPerspectiveOffCenterLH``
D3DXMatrixOrthoRH ``XMMatrixOrthographicRH``
D3DXMatrixOrthoLH ``XMMatrixOrthographicLH``
D3DXMatrixOrthoOffCenterRH ``XMMatrixOrthographicOffCenterRH``
D3DXMatrixOrthoOffCenterLH ``XMMatrixOrthographicOffCenterLH``
D3DXMatrixShadow ``XMMatrixShadow``
D3DXMatrixReflect ``XMMatrixReflect``
D3DXQuaternionLength ``XMQuaternionLength``
D3DXQuaternionLengthSq ``XMQuaternionLengthSq``
D3DXQuaternionDot ``XMQuaternionDot``
D3DXQuaternionIdentity ``XMQuaternionIdentity``
D3DXQuaternionIsIdentity ``XMQuaternionIsIdentity``
D3DXQuaternionConjugate ``XMQuaternionConjugate``
D3DXQuaternionToAxisAngle ``XMQuaternionToAxisAngle``
D3DXQuaternionRotationMatrix ``XMQuaternionRotationMatrix``
D3DXQuaternionRotationAxis ``XMQuaternionRotationAxis``
D3DXQuaternionRotationYawPitchRoll ``XMQuaternionRotationRollPitchYaw`` (Note the order of parameters is different: D3DXMath takes yaw, pitch, roll, DirectXMath takes pitch, yaw, roll)
D3DXQuaternionMultiply ``XMQuaternionMultiply``
D3DXQuaternionNormalize ``XMQuaternionNormalizeEst``
D3DXQuaternionInverse ``XMQuaternionInverse``
D3DXQuaternionLn ``XMQuaternionLn``
D3DXQuaternionExp ``XMQuaternionExp``
D3DXQuaternionSlerp ``XMQuaternionSlerpV``
D3DXQuaternionSquad ``XMQuaternionSquadV``
D3DXQuaternionSquadSetup ``XMQuaternionSquadSetup``
D3DXQuaternionBaryCentric ``XMQuaternionBaryCentricV``
D3DXPlaneDot ``XMPlaneDot``
D3DXPlaneDotCoord ``XMPlaneDotCoord``
D3DXPlaneDotNormal ``XMPlaneDotNormal``
D3DXPlaneScale ``XMVectorScale``
D3DXPlaneNormalize ``XMPlaneNormalizeEst``
D3DXPlaneIntersectLine ``XMPlaneIntersectLine``
D3DXPlaneFromPointNormal ``XMPlaneFromPointNormal``
D3DXPlaneFromPoints ``XMPlaneFromPoints``
D3DXPlaneTransform ``XMPlaneTransform``
D3DXPlaneTransformArray ``XMPlaneTransformStream``
D3DXColorNegative ``XMColorNegative``
D3DXColorAdd ``XMVectorAdd``
D3DXColorSubtract ``XMVectorSubtract``
D3DXColorScale ``XMVectorScale``
D3DXColorModulate ``XMColorModulate``
D3DXColorLerp ``XMVectorLerpV``
D3DXColorAdjustSaturation ``XMColorAdjustSaturation``
D3DXColorAdjustContrast ``XMColorAdjustContrast``
D3DXFresnelTerm ``XMFresnelTerm``

Spherical Harmonics Math

The SHmath library is available as an add-on for DirectXMath.

XMSHEvalDirection Evaluates the Spherical Harmonic basis functions. Equivalent to D3DXSHEvalDirection function.
XMSHRotate Rotates SH vector by a rotation matrix. Equivalent to the <a href=">D3DXSHRotate</a> function.
XMSHRotateZ Rotates the SH vector in the Z axis by an angle. Equivalent to the D3DXSHRotateZ function.
XMSHAdd Adds two SH vectors. Equivalent to the <a href=">D3DXSHAdd</a> function.
XMSHScale Scales a SH vector. Equivalent to the D3DXSHScale function.
XMSHDot Computes the dot product of two SH vectors. Equivalent to the D3DXSHDot function.
XMSHMultiply XMSHMultiply2 XMSHMultiply3 XMSHMultiply4 XMSHMultiply5 XMSHMultiply6 Computes the product of two functions represented using SH. Equivalent to D3DXSHMultiply2, ``D3DXSHMultiply3``, ``D3DXSHMultiply4``, ``D3DXSHMultiply5``, and ``D3DXSHMultiply6``.
XMSHEvalDirectionalLight Evaluates a directional light and returns spectral SH data. Equivalent to the D3DXSHEvalDirectionalLight function.
XMSHEvalSphericalLight Evaluates a spherical light and returns spectral SH data. Equivalent to the D3DXEvalSphericalLight function.
XMSHEvalConeLight Evaluates a light that is a cone of constant intensity and returns spectral SH data. Equivalent to the D3DXSHEvalConeLight function.
XMSHEvalHemisphereLight Evaluates a light that is a linear interpolant between two colors over the sphere. Equivalent to the D3DXSHEvalHemisphereLight function.
SHProjectCubeMap Projects a function represented in a cube map into spherical harmonics. Equivalent to the D3DX11SHProjectCubeMap function.

Effects (FX)

The Effects system for Direct3D 11 is primarily provided as a porting aid for older code. The library is available on CodePlex and GitHub.

D3DXCreateEffect D3DXCreateEffectEx D3DXCreateEffectFromResource D3DXCreateEffectFromResourceEx D3D10CompileEffectFromMemory D3DX11CompileEffectFromMemory
D3DXCreateEffectFromFile D3DXCreateEffectFromFileEx D3DX11CompileEffectFromFile
D3D10CreateEffectFromMemory D3DX11CreateEffectFromMemory
D3DXCreateEffectPool D3D10CreateEffectPoolFromMemory Effects 11 does not support 'effect pools' or D3DCOMPILE_EFFECT_CHILD_EFFECT. Effect groups provide a more efficient solution for common scenarios previously addressed with 'effect pools'
D3DXDisassembleEffect D3D10DisassembleEffect D3DDisassemble D3DDisassemble10Effect in D3DCompile


D3DX9 included the entry-points intercepted by PIX for Windows for performance profiling. This is now handled by the DirectX runtime directly and is monitored by the Visual Studio Graphics Diagnostics tool.

D3DPERF_BeginEvent D3DPERF_EndEvent D3DPERF_SetMarker D3DPERF_SetRegion D3DPERF_QueryRepeatFrame D3DPERF_SetOptions D3DPERF_GetStatus ID3DUserDefinedAnnotation which is supported by the DirectX 11.1 runtime on Windows 8.x and Windows 7 Service Pack 1 + KB2670838 If using DirectX 11.2+, you can use ID3D11DeviceContext2 directly for BeginEventInt, SetMarkerInt, and EndEvent.

UVAtlas Functions

The UVAtlas library is intended for isochart creation offline with tools, although it can be used at runtime. You can find the library on CodePlex and GitHub.

D3DXUVAtlasCreate UVAtlasCreate
D3DXUVAtlasPartition UVAtlasPartition
D3DXUVAtlasPack UVAtlasPack
D3DXComputeIMTFromPerVertexSignal UVAtlasComputeIMTFromPerVertexSignal
D3DXComputeIMTFromPerTexelSignal UVAtlasComputeIMTFromPerTexelSignal
D3DXComputeIMTFromSignal UVAtlasComputeIMTFromSignal
D3DXComputeIMTFromTexture UVAtlasComputeIMTFromTexture


Careful readers will note that there are a few omissions from this table.

  • The ID3DXMatrixStack from D3DXMath doesn't have a new version, but it's actually pretty easy to implement your own. If someone has a burning need for this, please comment below.
  • The Precomputed Radiance Transfer (PRT) simulator is only available in closed-source form in legacy D3DX9. There are a number of papers that cover this technology in the literature, and the most generally useful parts of this functionality are the SHmath functions which are available.


A few folks have asked why the D3DX libraries were deprecated in the first place in the transition to the Windows 8.x SDK. D3DX has been a useful set of utility code for Direct3D applications since Direct3D 7, but has a presented a number of challenges over the years. The primary one is that as a ‘closed-source’ utility library; it was difficult to debug, resolve performance issues, or apply hot-fixes without taking a dependency on a newer release of the DirectX SDK. Second, with the security requirements that came with the adoption of the Secure Development Lifecycle (SDL) at Microsoft, the transition to a DLL rather than a static library created a redistribution requirement that complicated setup for many developers–note that static libraries have their own problems such as being specific to a particular release of the compiler including service pack level. D3DX9 itself became a bit bloated which resulted in a DLL larger than many EXEs that used it. Finally, the actual usable content of subsequent generations of D3DX left D3DX11 with not much in it. The need for useful utility code is still there, but it is now being solved with various ‘shared-source’ solutions rather than a monolithic closed-source DLL like D3DX.