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Microsoft DirectComposition is a Windows component that enables high-performance bitmap composition with transforms, effects, and animations. Application developers can use the DirectComposition API to create visually engaging user interfaces that feature rich and fluid animated transitions from one visual to another.

DirectComposition enables rich and fluid transitions by achieving a high framerate, using graphics hardware, and operating independently of the UI thread. DirectComposition can accept bitmap content drawn by different rendering libraries, including Microsoft DirectX bitmaps, and bitmaps rendered to a window (HWND bitmaps). Also, DirectComposition supports a variety of transformations, such as 2D affine transforms and 3D perspective transforms, as well as basic effects such as clipping and opacity.

DirectComposition is designed to simplify the process of composing visuals and creating animated transitions. If your application already contains rendering code or already uses the recommended DirectX API, you only need to do a minimal amount of work to use DirectComposition effectively.

Developer audience

The DirectComposition API is intended for experienced and highly-capable graphics developers who know C/C++, have a solid understanding of the Component Object Model (COM), and are familiar with Windows programming concepts.

Run-time requirements

DirectComposition was introduced in Windows 8. It is included in 32-bit, 64-bit, and ARM platforms.

In this section


Why use DirectComposition?

This topic describes the capabilities and benefits of DirectComposition.

How to Use DirectComposition

This section describes best practices for using the DirectComposition API, and demonstrates how to use the API to accomplish several common tasks.

DirectComposition concepts

This section provides a conceptual overview of DirectComposition.

DirectComposition reference

This section provides detailed reference information for the elements that make up the DirectComposition API.

DirectComposition samples

The following sample applications show how to use the DirectComposition API and demonstrate its capabilities.

DirectComposition glossary

This topic defines DirectComposition terms.