Direct3D is a graphics application programming interface (API) for Microsoft Windows. Part of DirectX, Direct3D is used to render three-dimensional graphics in applications where performance is important, such as games. 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. Direct3D exposes the advanced graphics capabilities of 3D graphics hardware, including Z-buffering,W-buffering,stencil buffering, spatial anti-aliasing, alpha blending, color blending, mipmapping, texture blending, clipping, culling, atmospheric effects, perspective-correct texture mapping, programmable HLSL shaders and effects. Integration with other DirectX technologies enables Direct3D to deliver such features as video mapping, hardware 3D rendering in 2D overlay planes, and even sprites, providing the use of 2D and 3D graphics in interactive media ties.