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Alan Guilfoyle February 2016

Creating a sprite sheet for Unity-2D

I'm in the process of creating sprites for my game and this time I'm not using pixel art which were the size of 24x24ish but higher res 2d sprites created in Affinity Designer which can export hi-res images. I'm now in the process of gathering my sprites and using TexturePacker, which allows you to drag & drop individual sprites in and it'll create an optimized sprite sheet for you.

So my question is: What size should the individual sprites be? For instance, let's take Angry Birds, how large would the individual bird sprites be on the sprite sheet? Would it be 512x512 or higher for each bird and their bird movements? To have 'retina' quality images, what size should the sprites be? (e.g.: What size were the birds in Angry Birds to look that great on screen?) Sorry if this is a basic question, but I'm trying my best to understand it and have my artwork be represented properly on the screen.

Thanks so much for any help or advice! :)


Patrick Kulling February 2016

when designing for mobile devices it is common practise to design your game art in the max. resolution possible (e.g. iPad 3/4/Air would be 2048x1536 px). For non retina devices you would simply let Unity down scale the resolution by 50%. Keep in mind that especially new devices have very high dpi values which help a bit to safe some extra pixels if needed.

Having this said, taking a screenshot from the game will most likely tell you the exact size of one bird. To animate facial expressions or wings you could create & put single full frames onto your sprite sheet, but this will result quickly into large sheets & lots of memory consumption. Instead try to place only the difference between each frame on the spreadsheet and go from there (e.g. separate eyes & mouth from the basic shape).

For support of older, low-performant devices you should limit the total size of your sprite sheet to 2048x2048 pixel, since this is the maximum size those devices will display.

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Asked in February 2016
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