Sprites are 2d bitmap images/graphics found commonly in old (and "old school") video games. They are used to represent characters or objects that move, and are generally animated.
A sprite sheet is a layout of individual sprites or frames (of animation). These frames, just like individual pictures in cartoon animation, are used to make characters and objects come to life.
Sprite sheets allow video game animation to happen quickly and smoothly. Instead of storing each frame of animation in its own file, all of the frames are stored in one file. This means the game only has to open one image file to create the animation.
Without sprite sheets, games would have to open possibly hundreds of different files at the same time causing some computers to choke. Each file consumes precious resources, and takes additional time to load.
Sprite sheets make games more efficient. And when it comes to games, performance and high frame rates are critical.
Sprite Sheet Maker is a tool that combines your individual frames of animation into one neatly mapped out file. Not only is it important to get all of your frames into one file, but you need to know the coordinates and dimensions of each frame.
You could use a graphics/paint program to copy and paste all of your images together. But you would need to painstakingly lay each image right next to the other to get them lined up, and record by hand where you put each image. That way, when you write the animation code for your game, you know the offsets and dimensions for each individual frame.
Sprite Sheet Maker helps you create your graphics file, and control/coordinates file at the same time with ease and precision. Is space an issue for you? Say "good-bye" to wasted space caused by square grids! You can pack your frames into tight spaces (and can vary sprite size and placement)! Oh, you have plenty of space and like those uniform grids? We've automated that
! Be sure to check out our features
Sprite Sheet Maker is a tool for digital artists, sprite animators, and video game programmers. If you write 2d or 2.5d video games, sprite sheets are a necessity, and can eat up valuable time. And the more complex your game, the more time you'll spend tediously counting and recording pixels.
Sprite Sheet Maker is platform independent and can be used to make sprite sheets for any game system. And it isn't locked into a specific development environment either. It's a great standalone tool. All you need to know is a little bit about XML, and our examples make learning easy
Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) are nice for some things. But we created Sprite Sheet Maker to be as useful as possible with as little distraction as possible. In short, it's efficient. Sprite Sheet Maker gives you a graphical way of loading your XML files, previewing results, and generating the final output. Think of it as a graphical command-line tool.
1. You create XML files that conform to the defined Schema. (Don't know what that means? Check out our examples
. It's much easier than it sounds.) Use the XML/text editor of your choice!
2. Your XML sprite sheet files are then transformed into graphical images - sprite sheets, along with their control/coordinates files. Use the "make" button to process your XML file and preview the output.
We're an independent entertainment studio
, and in the course of creating our own games, we found it helpful to build this tool to save time. Instead of keeping it to ourselves, we decided to share it with you. All we needed to do was tweak it a little to make it presentable.
They're not finished yet! Seriously. As anyone who has ever worked on a video game project can tell you, they can take quite a bit of time to complete. And we're building a lot of our own tools as we go which takes even more time. We'll let you know when we have something worth showing.
In our search across the vast and endless reaches of time and the internet, we found a handful of free programs claiming to provide similar functionality. Unfortunately, we didn't like the looks of any of them, so we made our own.
With a hunch that others in the game building and sprite animating community were also longing for a quality, easy to use, general purpose sprite sheet maker, we decided that making this available for a small price would be a great way to support our longer-term projects ... and addiction to sushi (yummm) and fizzy soft-drink beverages.
We think it's reasonably priced for a tool that will save you lots of time doing mind-numbingly redundant and tedious work.