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United States Patent 
Maine et al.
[ii] Patent Number: 4,760,390  Date of Patent: Jul. 26, 1988
A system for the storage, retrieval and manipulation of significantly large amounts of data to produce highly complex and visually pleasing graphics within the time constraint of a full motion video raster scanning system by storing memory data corresponding to each of the individual object elements to be displayed over a period of time, storing lists of identification and display instruction data with respect to those object elements, selecting desired identification and display instruction data for selected display elements appropriate to a particular instant of time and placing such selected data into an appropriate memory, and then creating, from those selected instructions and from the stored data relating to the selected object elements, display data which, in real time, produces the desired display. The initially stored identification and display instructions are preferably in the form of a linked list with the items in each list arranged in order of desired visible priority. The display instructions can be effective to select for display from a given object element only predetermined sub-elements, and data can include animation instructions linked in order of time, preferably with linking both forward and backward in time. Data processing means can be effective to modify either or both types of stored memory data while a separte data processing means is engaged in producing the display data from the selected instructions and the object elements data stored in memory.
26 Claims, 5 Drawing Sheets
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