Streamline your game development
As a game developer you use sprites extensively in your games to create characters, backgrounds and other items. The problem is that the process of getting the sprites into your game can be fiddly and time consuming. First your graphics designer gives you a set of awesome sprites that he has created in individual files. Then you need to combine those sprites into a sprite sheet so that you get all the speed and size benefits that it provides. Then you need to turn those sprites into animations, which requires creating definition files for the game engine or framework of your choice. Then you need to fine tune those animations until they look just right. If the designer makes any changes to the graphics, it can quickly get tedious repeating the process over and over.
This tool streamlines the process by allowing you to import the graphics from your designer and have the tool automatically trim, re-size and optimise the sprites for you to create the smallest possible sprite sheet. Then you can use the sprites to easily create animations and fine tune them, while being able to see the changes in real-time! If any of the graphics change, you can update them and quickly see the effect on the animations, allowing you to make changes as required with minimal effort.
We support all the popular game development frameworks for iOS, Android, Windows Phone 7 and the desktop, meaning you can generate animation definitions and sprite sheet files that you can use with no extra work. If there is a framework you are using that is not yet supported, drop us a line and we can usually add support within a few business days.
Use The Basic Edition For FREE!
So that you can make sure this tool is right for your needs, the basic edition will allow you to generate simple sprite sheets for as many projects as you want. The professional edition provides even smaller sprite sheets with more options and costs only $15!read more
Advanced features to create your game
Organise Your Sprites Into Sprite Sheets
Predator features an advanced layout engine that lets you import your individual sprites and automatically organise them into a sprite sheet using the options you specify. You can give each sprite a meaningful name as well as order the sprites in the sprite sheet in the way that makes the most sense to you. You can also easily select sprites either from the list or in the sprite sheet itself and remove them if they are no longer needed. Predator provides full drag and drop support for moving around your sprites. When you save your work, you get a fully self-contained project file that you can transfer anywhere onto any computer and pickup where you left off.
Predator also has a powerful animation editor that lets you drag and drop your sprites to create animations that you can use in your game. As you add sprites to the animation, a real-time preview lets you see how the resulting animation will look. For each frame in the animation you can change the duration as well as the offset, relative to other frames in the animation. Even cooler, as you make each change you will the see the effect it has in the animation preview, in real-time! This allows you to fine tune your animations all from within Predator, without even having to start your game!
Predator can export sprite sheets and definition files that are compatible with the current frameworks:
In addition, Predator provides a .NET API that allows you to extend the application to support your own custom framework. If you are using a public framework that is not listed, contact us and we can usually add support in a few business days.
The layout algorithm defines how sprites are packed into the sprite sheet. A more efficient layout algorithm will try to minimise the empty space on a sprite sheet so that you can fit more sprites into less space. This lets you use smaller textures and achieve faster performance from your games. The layout algorithms you can use depends on what version of Predator you are using:
Tile Layout – This layout places the sprites on a sprite sheet in rows and columns of a fixed size. This allows you to calculate the position of any sprite with an extra data file to define the sprite’s dimensions. This is useful where you have many sprites that are roughly the same size or for game engines that use this approach and divide the sprite sheet into evenly spaced tiles. It is not as efficient as other layout algorithms however and can result in more empty space appearing on the sprite sheet, especially if you have many sprites of differing sizes. This layout is FREE in all versions of Predator.
MaxRects Layout – This is one of the most famous algorithms used to pack sprites into a texture and deservedly so. It is very efficient at packing as many sprites as possible onto a texture even if the sprites are of many different sizes. This algorithm provides a number of variations that give different results for different combinations of sprites. You can use these to pack even more sprites into your texture. This layout is only available in the Professional Edition, which is available for a tiny $15.
In addition, Predator provides an API that lets you write your own custom layout algorithms if you need the extra control. Please contact us with your layout idea and we may add support for it in a future release.
Predator provides a number of options to let you export your sprite sheet just the way you want it. You can choose from the following 32-bit colour image formats (with or without alpha transparency enabled):
A common scenario is that you receive the artwork for your game in a series of individual images exported from a professional image editor and they have a lot of whitespace surrounding them. When you import these sprites into Predator it will automatically trim the white-space so that you can fit as many sprites as possible onto your sprite sheet! All the information required to correctly draw the original sprite is stored in the data file in case your engine needs it. If you really the need the original, untrimmed sprite stored in the sprite sheet then at the click of a button you have the ability to do that as well.
Predator has the ability to automatically set your sprite sheet to the smallest possible size. A smaller texture means less storage and less memory when used in your game. Predator has options to ensure the sprite sheet meets the requirements of your framework, such as using sizes compatible with OpenGL or textures that are square. If you need to force the texture to be a specific size, then you have the ability to do that as well.read more