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By ZacGery
Submitted: Feb 14 2013 / 10:27

A sprite is "a two-dimensional image or animation that is integrated into a larger scene." This definition is intentionally broad. The concept of a sprite has been around since the 1970s. It was first developed for video games and allowed an object or character on the screen to animate without repainting the entire screen. The next innovation for sprites was to include each graphic into a single file. This file is referred to as a sprite sheet, tile set, or image map. Graphics in these files were stacked in a predefined grid pattern. When software needed a specific graphic it was plucked from the grid. Fast-forward a few decades and the concept of sprites re-emerged in modern web design. Without any special modifications, CSS was able to embrace sprites and reap the benefits.
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