DDS, Microsoft DirectDraw Surface (.dds)

The DDS Raster image file format

The DDS (Direct Draw Surface) file container format created by Microsoft is a standard for storing compressed data using the S3 Texture Compression algorithm to achieve lossy compression. Decompression is achieved through GPUs and gaming consoles such as the PlayStation and Xbox platforms. This allows users to store textures, cubic environment maps, and more as data in either compressed or uncompressed formats. This is useful in modifying games as well as running games smoothly. Additional features supported by DDS include: mipmaps, texture arrays, and decoding using DDS-specific interfaces. DDS works closely with DirectX drivers.

Technical details of DDS files

Upon the release of DirectX 7.0 and DirectX 8.0, the DDS format was introduced to support the new volume textures. Despite an early connection with the DirectX series, DDS files can be used with GLSL (OpenGL Shading Language) ARB texture compression extensions as well. Direct3D 10 extended the abilities of the DDS file extension by adding more textures and the added support necessary to work with Direct3D 10.x and 11 texture formats. DDS formats support the DXGI_Format value but the WIC DDS codec allows coding with the DXFI_FORMAT_BC1_UNORM as well as the BC2 and BC3 related formats.

More information about the DDS file format

File extension .dds
File category Raster image
Example file Download example.dds file (3.7 MiB)
Associated programs Adobe Photoshop with NVIDIA DDS plugin
Gimp with DDS plugin
Microsoft DirectX Texture Editor
NVIDIA Texture Tools
Windows Texture Viewer
Useful links More information about DirectDraw Surface's DDS files
Developer Microsoft
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