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For applications that render 3D scenes in real time the number of polygons is the crucial factor. Computer games¡¯ platforms are rated in terms of the number of polygons that they can render per second. The combined memory taken up by all the texture maps is also significant ¨C if they all fit within the fast texture memory of the available graphics hardware then rendering will be rapid, if they don't then slower memory will be used, slowing down the effective frame rate. As a result, games designers use small texture maps, sometimes reduced to 8 bit to save texture memory.

They can usually be adjusted either by interactively positioning an element or by typing in values. In Director sprites can be dragged or nudged using the keyboard or can be typed in via the sprite inspector palette. Two keyframes are adequate to define a straight-line movement. With three or more, complex curved motion is possible. As described in the first chapter, the physics of the real world causes objects to accelerate and decelerate at different times. Objects dropped from rest, for example, start slowly and accelerate due to gravity.

Note how the changing area of the image is tightly cropped. The background remains constant. It would waste disk space and slow down playback performance if each image had to be loaded in full. This is a kind of manual temporal compression. 2D Sprite Animation Packages The term ¡®sprite¡¯ was originally applied to the moving images in the early arcade games. Today it can be used to mean any image element that is being manipulated in a 2D animation package. Most 2D animation tools allow scenes to be built up from individual image elements, which are either drawn within the package or imported from an external file.

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