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More than a lower temporal resolution (framerate), imposters are more often about a lower spatial resolution (2D billboarded asset instead of fully textured 3D model, or 3D model with fewer polygons/lower res texture, etc.)

There are also tricks using a lower temporal resolution - for example giving fewer ticks per second to the logic or animation of entities further away/out of sight.

I believe the question was whether the texture for the imposter is loaded from disk or rendered to a frame buffer but at a lower frame rate. I'm guessing rendering the object to a texture dynamically is the most common approach.

It's usually more performant to store them as framebuffer objects, so this way they could stay in the memory of the graphics hardware.

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