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Video Format For Sprites(MPEG-X?)

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Hi. I''m working on a small 2d library that will support sprites on top of DirectX8. It will abstract d3d8 and provide a 2d api. For the purpose of sprites (few frames, no sound) what''s a good, free, format to encode and quickly decode the frames? One example is RAD game tools, but it''s not free. I was thinking of using MPEG with directshow, but directshow is a multithreaded piece of software, and I don''t think it''s a good idea. Are there any good MPEG decoders that work in a single thread and are efficient for my purpose? Also, are MPEG formats free for general public, or are they patented? Also, if MPEG is not a good idea, are there any other formats that you''re aware of and what are the tools and libraries to use them in my code? Thanks.

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