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Another was Tri Tech's proprietary bump mapping technique.

Microsoft included these features in Direct X, then added them to the requirements needed for drivers to get a Windows logo to encourage broad adoption of the features in other vendors' hardware.

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The first version of Direct3D shipped in Direct X 2.0 (June 2, 1996) and Direct X 3.0 (September 26, 1996).

Direct3D initially implemented both "retained mode" and "immediate mode" 3D APIs.

No substantive changes were planned to Direct3D for Direct X 4.0, which was scheduled to ship in late 1996 and then cancelled.

In December 1996, a team in Redmond took over development of the Direct3D Immediate Mode, while the London-based Render Morphics team continued work on the Retained Mode.

Direct3D uses hardware acceleration if it is available on the graphics card, allowing for hardware acceleration of the entire 3D rendering pipeline or even only partial acceleration.