Where to start with Directx advice

Hi everyone I am still at Uni and have one semester to do, during the rollercoaster ride I have done programming in C++ levels 1 & 2 and also programmig games in Games and Entertainment Technolgy 1 and 2 c++.  

I have been warned that we are doing DirectX programming and it likely to give me some trouble when the time comes as out Tutor is formerly from Team 17 and worked on worms 1-5 hes a genius!

Last semester I for the first time started to use Visual Studio MFC programming and was just about getting used to it.  Dealing with headers and classes and the maths and file readers and such like things.

What i would appreciate then is bases on your best assumptions of where to start learnign DirectX and the best ways to approach the learning curve so that I can attempt to get ahead before I start doing the mind boggling stuff he has planned for us, which i believe is to create a 3D Directx game with all knobs and whistles.  

Please try to put yourself in my position and suggest what routes I should take links that may hemp me and anthing else that you think may be useful to me.  I obviously will be doing the work myself and I just need lots of advice as to what direction to go in!

I have set the question at 500 points as I assume there will be soe really informative information coming back from you guys that will assist me in my plight!

Many Many thanks to you all

pjcrooks2000
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pjcrooks2000Asked:
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str_ekConnect With a Mentor Commented:
btw: waht do you intend to use dx for? the very path you must walk ( yoda would be praus of me ;)) may be differen for various aplications ... it's not the same to build a game and level editor :)

oh and i just remembered ... ther is this book...  i think it's not the best for a starter, but it's written with sense and it explains a lot of dx application cases, and some common sfx approach ( like particle engine )... worth it's weighet in copper ;)

Special Effects Game Programming with Direct X by mason McCuskey ( one of many active gamedev.net authors)

and if you're new to graphics prorgaming you could be interested in the legendary
Graphics Programming Black Book
by Michael Abrash

that's what you need to know when you enter the world of gfx coding to respect the past and understand the way it all developed :)
and wow this book is aviable free :) as legal e-book ! here http://www.byte.com/abrash/ ! grab it now ;)

and well not the most ineresting source... but...
http://www.codeguru.com/Cpp/G-M/directx/
codeguru also provides some assorted dx examples, with some addicional articles about general tech and usage
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str_ekCommented:
well i was in quite the same situaton some time ago, and for me there was no good book... it all jsut lacked something...

in my case the only info source one need to start up with dx prog. is the very directx sdk witch contains (beside referecnial help of course) best directx tutorail ! and some advnaced examples... just read tutorial and programing guide... it's realy enough

there is also a lot of undocumentd code that helps a lot with a framework kickstart... if you're into mfc and want to get sensible game programing enviroment i suggest to get down to pure winapi cos it gives a lot more control...

and for data structures and general acompanating algo a suggest to dig up gamedev.net and take some more time to invastigate gamedev hosted sites like nehe ( it's ogl related, but nehe has a sort of educational talent and just inspire well)

for me sdk was enough, and the best mean to get know dx well, for advanced stuff ther are game development portals with some good articules...

and if you own nvidia card i advocate nvida's sdk ... it supplys some eaven more dvanced examples and the very cuttin egde tech as well
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pjcrooks2000Author Commented:
Ok thanks for the answer str, i will keep the question up for a couple of days then I will award point to the best answers after that.  If you thin of anything else please come back and add it as it all helps :)
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str_ekCommented:
i can fell it'll become a nice turnpike to dx starter resources soon :)
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str_ekCommented:
here's  my packet :)

_the_ node - www.microsoft.com/directx the exacltly all you need and you'll need sdk anyhow :)
and what is not directly there can be obtained at www.msdn.microsoft.com/directx (ther's a lot more than sdk!!!)

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str_ekCommented:
for nvidia enchanced dx ( and ogl) get the nvidia sdk at http://www.nvidia.com/object/sdk_home.html (pretty nice advanced tech walkaround :>)
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pjcrooks2000Author Commented:
Book looks good,

3D PC gaming is what we are supposed to be using it for, i hear rumours of particle shading and such like.  I cannot really be sure apart from what I have been told.  Keep it coming if you got anything else :)
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str_ekCommented:
well in that case most you need that is absent in sdk can be found on one or more of the sites listed in  Most Useful Resources on the Net on EE main :)

mine favorite are

GameDev.net
www.flipcode.com
be shure to visit gamasutra as well :)

game development scene is quite open evirometn ... when demo scene was shrinking rapidly, game dev like took up the traditon :)

all you need is time to read ;)
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pjcrooks2000Author Commented:
Ahh yeah flipcode my tutor posts on there quite a lot, you may have heard of him Phil Carlisle his name is!
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pjcrooks2000Author Commented:
Actually his name os on that page... I guess I am hoping he would put me straight on a lot of things, man he don't half know his stuff.  Still i need to try and get ahead because its going to a tough semester.

Ok fella I think you got it, I had a general idea of some of the links you posted here but I wanted others perspectives and some useful advice I think you have done that nicely

:)
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str_ekCommented:
you had a lot of luck with that tutor of yours:) i had nothing but a legends to read ;(
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