DXETool for Transform Users

The Microsoft DirectX Transform documentation includes an application called DXETool.exe, which helps you verify that your transforms work properly within the Microsoft DirectX Transform architecture. You can also use this application to view transform output and determine settings for the custom properties.

The application automatically searches the Windows registry for transforms that are installed on the computer and lists them. For any listed transform you select, you can load images and preview the effect produced by the transform. You can also change a transform's custom properties and observe how those changes affect the transform output.

Using DXETool

When you start DXETool, a list of available transforms appears at the bottom of the window. You also see a standard Windows menu bar, application options on the left side of the window, and a large image region on the right side of the window. Choose a transform from the list and load the necessary input images or meshes. Click the Progress slider's right double arrow button to see the resulting animation in the image region. You can adjust the transform's custom properties by clicking the Settings button, which displays the property page. After using this tool, you should know how a given transform effect looks and how to set its custom properties to achieve the effect you want.

If you have a transform that does not appear in the list, the transform DLL might not be registered with the Regsvr32.exe application. To fix this, quit DXETool and restart it after registering the DLL. Your transforms should appear in the list if the registering procedure was successful.

Note  The DXETool application contains menu commands and application window options for 3D transforms. 3D transforms are not supported, and the corresponding commands and options are not discussed in this overview.


The File menu contains the commands for loading the data objects to use as input for the transform. Most transforms take at least one input, but some can take either one or two. When you select a transform and a required input is not loaded, the image region displays text to indicate which input to load.

On the File menu, choose the Load Surf A and Load Surf B commands to load input images. When you choose these commands, a dialog box appears that prompts you for the proper input file.

The View menu controls the output view of DXETool. When the Status Bar command is checked, a narrow status bar appears in the bottom of the viewing window that displays any text output. This can include animation frame rates, surface picking results, and transform setup time.

Commands on the Lights menu enable you to select a spotlight to use. If you don't choose a light, a default lighting configuration is used.

No commands are available on the Edit menu.

Application Window Options

As you view the application window options, you should see are the Quality and Progress sliders. Quality is a property that controls the transform's output quality. If a transform doesn't support Quality, the slider is unavailable. If it is supported, you can adjust the property from 0 to 100 percent. The effect on the output image depends on the transform.

The Progress slider is an important control for DXETool. Most transforms support a Progress property, which controls how much of a transition to complete. For any transform that supports Progress, you can adjust this slider to any position and view the resulting output. There are also double arrow buttons on each end of the slider. If you click the right double arrow button, the application plays the transform from 0 to 100 percent Progress, in a time defined by the value in the Time box. The left double arrow button plays the transform from 100 to 0 percent progress. These controls enable you to see the dynamic appearance of the transform as it would appear in your application.

The Repeat and Bounce check boxes are related to the Progress control. If Bounce is selected when you click a double arrow button, the Progress slider travels from one end to the other, and then travels back to its original position. It repeats this action until you press the ESC key. If you select the Repeat check box, DXETool plays a selected transition, pauses, and then jumps back and plays it again. For example, clicking the right double arrow button with Repeat selected plays the transform from 0 to 100 percent, pauses, and then plays the 0 to 100 percent transition again. This also repeats until you press ESC.

You can adjust the transform's custom properties by clicking the Settings button, which displays the property page. If this button is unavailable, then the selected transform has no property page. If it is available, then clicking this button opens a dialog box that lists the properties of this transform and their current settings. In common use, you would play a transform with the Progress slider buttons, adjust the properties, and then play the transform again to see the effect.

There are a number of other controls in this area of the application window. The Dither check box enables you to select dithered output for image transforms. The Blend check box selects whether the alpha channel is used to combine images. Only transform writers should use the Perf Test and Bounds Check check boxes. For more information on what these check boxes control, see DXETool for Transform Writers. If Scale Output is selected, the output image is scaled to fit the image region.

The DirtyA and DirtyB buttons are used only by transform writers. For more information, see DXETool for Transform Writers.

A group of three radio buttons appears near the bottom of the window. These buttons control how many inputs a transform should use to produce its output. For example, the Fade transform can have either one or two inputs. If you select one input surface, the image output fades to black as the Progress slider approaches 100 percent. If you select two surface inputs, the image fades from surface A to surface B as the progress increases. If this option is not available on a transform, only the correct radio button is selected and all others are unavailable.

To the right of the radio buttons are five drop-down list boxes. The top three control the pixel format used to represent the Output image, Input A, and Input B. This enables you to see how the output looks with different input image formats. The Portion bounds and Placement options are for transform writers to test their transform's response to these two parameters to the IDXTransform::Execute method.

Image Options

When all the required images for a transform are loaded, you will see a result in the image region. If a transform fails to initialize properly or fails a copyright verification, a message appears in the image region.

You control all the output for image 2-D transforms through the application window options. However, you can check whether a transform supports surface picking by clicking the image. A line of text under the image region will indicate which input image you clicked and which pixel location on that image was selected by the mouse pointer.