What is a Sprite Sheet?

On June 21, 2012, in tools, by Steffen Itterheim

A Sprite Sheet is of course a Texture Atlas (see Wikipedia). Simple, right?

Oh you wanted to know details? Like, why you should use sprite sheets? What the benefits are? How sprite sheets save memory?

Then watch the vividly animated “Sprite Sheets – The Movie, Part 1” (aka Essential Facts Every Game Developer Should Know) courtesy of Andreas Löw:

You can find the transcript of the video on this page and the tool that can do all that (and more) is TexturePacker.

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Learn Cocos2D 2nd Edition: What’s New & Release Date

On September 30, 2011, in book, cocos2d, Kobold2D, by Steffen Itterheim

Scheduled for release on November 7th, 2011.

Continue reading »

Cocos2D Book Update: Progress Report

On May 29, 2011, in book, cocos2d, by Steffen Itterheim

It’s coming along great!

I completed the revisions on Chapter 1 through 5. The entire source code is now updated to use cocos2d-iphone v1.0.0 rc2. To make future code updates easier I also wrote a script that allows me to copy a newer cocos2d version to all projects, which essentially does Steps 1 & 2 described in the Updating Cocos2D in an Existing Project tutorial.

Most Notable Changes

Chapter 4 now includes a description of Glyph Designer for making Bitmap Fonts, and only mentions Hiero on the side. Glyph Designer is the better tool hands down.

Chapter 5 has seen a revision of the paragraph that explains subclassing from NSObject. I think I went too far off course here and subclassing from CCNode will make a lot of things easier while still giving the same benefits regarding class composition.

In Chapter 6 I decided to replace all descriptions of Zwoptex with TexturePacker as the preferred tool for making texture atlases.

For a while it looked like Zwoptex and TexturePacker would be competing on the same level. But recently Andreas Löw (TexturePacker & PhysicsEditor) made the move to work full-time on his tools, whereas Robert Payne is busy with a full-time job. I think the prospects are looking much better for TexturePacker now, and it is already leading in terms of features and update frequency.

That’s it for now.

Cocos2D Podcast with Andreas Löw

On May 19, 2011, in cocos2d, podcast, by Steffen Itterheim

In this episode of the Cocos2D Podcast Mohammad Azam and I talked with Andreas Löw, developer of TexturePacker & PhysicsEditor, about his products and the game that he is developing, among other things.

Cocos2D Podcast with Andreas Löw

Cocos2D Podcast on iTunes

Another Great Cocos2D Tool: PhysicsEditor

On March 15, 2011, in cocos2d, tools, by Steffen Itterheim

In my book I explained how to create collision shapes for physic engines using the freely available version of VertexHelper Pro. Granted, it works, but as soon as you need to update your shapes frequently or you have many different shapes to edit it’s going to be a lot of manual work and error-prone copy & paste between VertexHelper’s code generator and your source code.

VertexHelper, meet your replacement: PhysicsEditor

PhysicsEditor was written by Andreas Löw, the author of the very popular TexturePacker tool. He has proved again that he can create powerful yet easy to use tools for game developers.

The greatest part about PhysicsEditor: it can automatically trace your shapes to generate collision shapes and it works flawlessly! You can even tweak the amount of vertices (and a lot of other things) as needed, for example if your physics engine has a limitation on how many vertices can be used for a collision shape (Box2D default: 8 vertices).

But it doesn’t just create the collision shapes, it also allows you to edit physics properties of a shape that often go along with it. Density, friction, “bouncyness”, and other parameters can be tweaked in the GUI.

As they say, an image speaks louder than words, so I suppose a video speaks in a thousand images:

Not just Cocos2D

PhysicsEditor currently exports to Cocos2D + Box2D (Chipmunk/SpaceManager support is forthcoming and should be available soon) and also to Sparrow Framework + Chipmunk and of course Corona SDK.

And it works on Windows, too! Which makes sense given that Corona supports Android development under Windows.

I also found this post about PhysicsEditor with a working Flash example (at the bottom). It seems that even exporting respectively using PhysicsEditor with Flash + Box2D seems to work well. Wow!

Brace for impact!

Check out the PhysicsEditor Features page to learn more about what this great tool can do for you! You can get PhysicsEditor alone for $17.94 but you can also grab a bundle deal which includes TexturePacker for $29.99, or almost 20% off.

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Andreas Löw has released an updated version (v2.1) of his Texture Atlas creation tool called Texture Packer (Pro). The Pro version ($17.95) provides you with a GUI interface, the non-Pro version ($9.95) is a command line tool. The latter actually runs behind the scenes in the GUI version.

Here’s the list of changes introduced in Texture Packer v2.1:

The free version is now enhanced so that you can create textures up to 2048×2048 pixels without paying a single cent!

The free PVR/PVR.CCZ previewer lets you view the images – just doubleclick them in finder! Including preview for PVRTC.

Other features:

  • *.pvr and *.pvr.ccz previewer! (free for all)
  • AutoSD allows automatically creation of standard resolution images from highres images (–auto-sd) (pro/cli)
  • Process *.tps files from command line (pro)
  • Drag’n’drop sprites to tree view to add them
  • PVRTC2/PVRTC4 compression
  • Enhanced color reduction quality (pro/cli)
  • Additional dithering algorithm (Atkinson)
  • Linear quantization
  • Nearest neighbour quantization
  • Premultiply alpha (pro/cli)
  • Option to disable automated alias creation
  • Choose heuristics for MaxRects algorithm (pro/cli)
  • Creation of non power of 2 textures

The update is available using auto-update or download from: http://texturepacker.com/download/

Read more about the Texture Packer features, read the Texture Packer manual (PDF) or go directly to the shop (Share*it!).

Add your link to the Cocos2D Linkvent Calendar

Do you have something to share with the Cocos2D community? I haven’t received enough submissions to fill all the days until Xmas, although I do have enough links to post one each day, I’d rather post a link to your website or blog post.