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Jul 2, 2020
Jul 2, 2020

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DirectX Tool Kit for DirectX 12

Copyright (c) Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

July 2, 2020

This package contains the "DirectX Tool Kit", a collection of helper classes for writing Direct3D 12 C++ code for Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps, Win32 desktop applications for Windows 10, and Xbox One.

This code is designed to build with Visual Studio 2017 (15.9), Visual Studio 2019, or clang for Windows v9 or later. It is recommended that you make use of the Windows 10 May 2020 Update SDK (19041).

These components are designed to work without requiring any content from the legacy DirectX SDK. For details, see Where is the DirectX SDK?.

Directory Layout

  • Inc\

    • Public Header Files (in the DirectX C++ namespace):

      • Audio.h - low-level audio API using XAudio2 (DirectXTK for Audio public header)
      • BufferHelpers.h - C++ helpers for creating D3D resources from CPU data
      • CommonStates.h - common D3D state combinations
      • DDSTextureLoader.h - light-weight DDS file texture loader
      • DescriptorHeap.h - helper for managing DX12 descriptor heaps
      • DirectXHelpers.h - misc C++ helpers for D3D programming
      • EffectPipelineStateDescription.h - helper for creating PSOs
      • Effects.h - set of built-in shaders for common rendering tasks
      • GamePad.h - gamepad controller helper using XInput
      • GeometricPrimitive.h - draws basic shapes such as cubes and spheres
      • GraphicsMemory.h - helper for managing dynamic graphics memory allocation
      • Keyboard.h - keyboard state tracking helper
      • Model.h - draws meshes loaded from .SDKMESH or .VBO files
      • Mouse.h - mouse helper
      • PostProcess.h - set of built-in shaders for common post-processing operations
      • PrimitiveBatch.h - simple and efficient way to draw user primitives
      • RenderTargetState.h - helper for communicating render target requirements when creating PSOs
      • ResourceUploadBatch.h - helper for managing texture resource upload to the GPU
      • ScreenGrab.h - light-weight screen shot saver
      • SimpleMath.h - simplified C++ wrapper for DirectXMath
      • SpriteBatch.h - simple & efficient 2D sprite rendering
      • SpriteFont.h - bitmap based text rendering
      • VertexTypes.h - structures for commonly used vertex data formats
      • WICTextureLoader.h - WIC-based image file texture loader
      • XboxDDSTextureLoader.h - Xbox One exclusive apps variant of DDSTextureLoader
  • Src\

    • DirectXTK source files and internal implementation headers
  • Audio\

    • DirectXTK for Audio source files and internal implementation headers

MakeSpriteFont and XWBTool can be found in the DirectX Tool Kit for DirectX 11


Documentation is available on the GitHub wiki.


All content and source code for this package are subject to the terms of the MIT License.

For the latest version of DirectXTK12, bug reports, etc. please visit the project site on GitHub.

This project has adopted the Microsoft Open Source Code of Conduct. For more information see the Code of Conduct FAQ or contact with any additional questions or comments.

Xbox One

Developers using the Xbox One XDK need to generate the Src\Shaders\Compiled\XboxOne*.inc files to build the library as they are not included in the distribution package. They are built by running the script in Src\Shaders - CompileShaders xbox from the Xbox One XDK Developer Command Prompt. They are XDK version-specific. While they will continue to work if outdated, a mismatch will cause runtime compilation overhead that would otherwise be avoided.

Comparisons to DirectX 11 Version

  • No support for loading .CMO models or DGSL effect shaders (i.e. DGSLEffect)

  • VertexTypes does not include VertexPositionNormalTangentColorTexture or VertexPositionNormalTangentColorTextureSkinning which were intended for use with the DGSL pipeline.

  • DirectX Tool Kit for DirectX 11 supports Feature Level 9.x, while DirectX 12 requires Direct3D Feature Level 11.0. There are no expected DirectX 12 drivers for any lower feature level devices.

  • The library assumes it is building for Windows 10 (aka _WIN32_WINNT=0x0A00) so it makes use of XAudio 2.9 and WIC2 as well as DirectX 12.

  • DirectX Tool Kit for Audio, GamePad, Keyboard, Mouse, and SimpleMath are identical to the DirectX 11 version.

Release Notes

  • Starting with the June 2020 release, this library makes use of typed enum bitmask flags per the recommendation of the C++ Standard section Bitmask types. This may have breaking change impacts to client code:

    • You cannot pass the 0 literal as your flags value. Instead you must make use of the appropriate default enum value: AudioEngine_Default, SoundEffectInstance_Default, ModelLoader_Clockwise, DDS_LOADER_DEFAULT, or WIC_LOADER_DEFAULT.

    • Use the enum type instead of DWORD if building up flags values locally with bitmask operations. For example, WIC_LOADER_FLAGS flags = WIC_LOADER_DEFAULT; if (...) flags |= WIC_LOADER_FORCE_SRGB;

  • The UWP projects and the VS 2019 Win10 classic desktop project include configurations for the ARM64 platform. These require VS 2017 (15.9 update) or VS 2019 to build, with the ARM64 toolset installed.

  • The CompileShaders.cmd script must have Windows-style (CRLF) line-endings. If it is changed to Linux-style (LF) line-endings, it can fail to build all the required shaders.

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