View Full Version : Sprites, what are they?

09-07-2001, 05:56 AM
I've heard of them, but what are they?

09-07-2001, 06:51 AM
A sprite is anything that moves in a game (relatively to the terrain). An alien, a power-up, and a rocket are examples of sprites.

Michael Steinberg
09-07-2001, 06:57 AM
Isn't this word also connected to the old kind of bill-board stuff? Like 2D Aliens and 2D equipment etc?

09-07-2001, 06:59 AM
Usually though, when someone says sprite in a 3d-context they mean a 2d image, like a billboard. Basically, anything that wasn't background in the old 2d-games was a sprite. In the beginning people used to make a difference between sprites that were handled by special hardware so you didn't have to clear the background every frame, but no one cares anymore.

09-07-2001, 07:16 AM
Many thanks for the replies. Sounds like sprites are now artifacts in graphics technology museums.


Michael Steinberg
09-07-2001, 08:35 AM
Oh, they aren't. for example unreal used them to simulate fire, or quake3 for the smoke of the rockets?

09-07-2001, 11:01 AM
Hmmmm. So, technically speaking, what is a sprite? There are some great examples of how they are/were used, but why would I want to use them? At the moment, they are not tangible to me, like a texture or a poly.

09-07-2001, 11:07 AM
Think of it this way then, a sprite is a textured poly that always faces the viewer, i.e. billboard.

[This message has been edited by DFrey (edited 09-07-2001).]

09-07-2001, 11:12 AM
Thanks DFrey,
That makes sense to me.