I am studying Fundamentals of Multimedia by Ze-Nian Li and Mark S Drew. They use the term "sprite" but I don't understand the meaning. Can someone explain to me what sprites are and how they are used?
If in the book they are talking about image sprites for the web they are images that contain multiple images, like for instance a series of icons to be used in a navigation bar. You would have one http request for the "sprite" and use CSS to display the icon needed. You can have sprites that contain all of the images for a given page if you wanted. The main reason for using them is to lower the amount of files to be downloaded for the website or webpage.
Hope this helped:)
Technically and historically, a sprite is an animation (not an individual frame of one). I have never seen an actual authority cite the origin of the term, but it has to do with scanline priority queues and graphic display hardware.
A sprite sheet is a well-structured single image (usually a series of animation frames laid out in a grid of
n Rows and
n Columns, but often a grid with one row and many columns) which allows a program to store all the animation data in contiguous memory and to easily animate it by incrementing the pointer by a well-defined amount.
A paper and pencil analogue to this is a roll of paper tape with drawings on it, pulled behind a frame which is set up so that only one drawing is visible through the frame at any given time. If you pull the tape rapidly enough, you see an animation.
Sounds a lot like a movie reel.
In computer graphics, a sprite is a two-dimensional image or animation that is integrated into a larger scene. Initially used to describe graphical objects handled separate from the memory bitmap of a video display, the term has since been applied more loosely to refer to various manner of graphical overlays.