It takes two color descriptor (data) words to describe each horizontal line of a sprite; the high order word and the low order word. To calculate how many color descriptor words you need, multiply the height of the sprite in lines by 2. The bits in the high order color descriptor word contribute the leftmost digit of the binary color selector number for each pixel; the low order word contributes the rightmost digit. To form the color descriptor words, you first need to form a picture of the sprite, showing the color of each pixel as a number from 0 - 3. Each number represents one of the colors in the sprite's color registers . For example, here is the spaceship sprite again: 0000122332210000 0001223333221000 0012223333222100 0001223333221000 0000122332210000 Next, you translate each of the numbers in this picture into a binary number. The first line in binary is shown below. The binary numbers are represented vertically with the low digit in the top line and the high digit right below it. This is how the two color descriptor words for each sprite line are written in memory. 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 <- Low Sprite Word 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 <- High Sprite Word The first line above becomes the color descriptor low word for line 1 of the sprite. The second line becomes the color descriptor high word. In this fashion, you translate each line in the sprite into binary 0s and 1s. See Figure 4-7 . Each of the binary numbers formed by the combination of the two data words for each line refers to a specific color register in that particular sprite channel's segment of the color table. Sprite channel 0, for example, takes its colors from registers 17 - 19. The binary numbers corresponding to the color registers for sprite DMA channel 0 are shown in Table 4-2. Binary Number Color Register Number ------------- --------------------- 00 Transparent 01 17 10 18 11 19 Table 4-2: Sprite Color Registers Recall that binary 00 always means transparent and never refers to a color except background.