1. Yes, it will be accelerated
2. Yes, we're working on this for our next major release, and we might even be able to give some relief (like accelerated blending of translucent images) before that in one of the update releases.
3. we'll look into this. But it mostly depends on the hardware capabilities.
4. we accelerate some types of the images under the hood, i.e. transparently for the application. Under 'accelerate' I mean that if we detect that the image is copied from more than it's rendered to, we create a copy of this image in vram, so the following copies of this image happen in hardware - vram to vram. Currently (as of 1.4.1_01) we accelerate images created with
- Component.createImage(w, h)
- GraphicsConfiguration.createCompatibleImage(w, h)
- GraphicsConfiguration.createCompatibleImage(w, h, Translucency.BITMASK)
- GraphicsConfiguration.createCompatibleImage(w, h, Translucency.OPAQUE
- images loaded with Toolkit.getImage
There used to be an article by Jeff on this stuff on the old java-gaming.org, so hopefully it'll be back soon, so you'd be able to get more details on hidden acceleration. Until then, there's some info in this article: http://java.sun.com/products/java-media/2D/perf_graphics.html