DirectDraw Surface

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The DirectDraw Surface container file format (uses the filename extension DDS), is a Microsoft format for storing data compressed with the proprietary S3 Texture Compression (S3TC) algorithm,[1] which can be decompressed in hardware by GPUs and consoles like the PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. This makes the format useful for storing graphical textures and cubic environment maps as a data file, both compressed and uncompressed.[2] The Microsoft Windows file extension for this data format is '.dds'.[3]


This format was introduced with DirectX 7.0. In DirectX 8.0, support for volume textures was added. Though it was originally designed for DirectX, it can also be used in OpenGL as well via the GLSL (OpenGL Shading Language) ARB texture compression extension. It is not part of the OpenGL standard and is not in all implementations due to S3TC being a patented and royalty based system. With Direct3D 10, the file format was extended to allow an array of textures to be included, as well as support for new Direct3D 10.x and 11 texture formats.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dominé, Sébastien (March 11, 2003). "Using Texture Compression in OpenGL" (PDF). NVIDIA Corporation. Retrieved 2010-01-29. [dead link]
  2. ^ Brooker, Darren (2006). Essential CG lighting techniques with 3ds max. Focal Press Visual Effects and Animation Series (2nd ed.) (Elsevier). p. 22. ISBN 0-240-52022-X. 
  3. ^ Ahearn, Luke (2009). 3D Game Textures: Create Professional Game Art Using Photoshop (2nd ed.). Focal Press. p. 55. ISBN 0-240-81148-8. 
  4. ^ "Programming Guide for DDS". Microsoft. 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-15. 

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