Usage Guide

Date: 12/05/2010

Must be updated to latest release

Here's a guide explaining all features of Sprite Vortex and how to use them.

Here's a little info-graphic to help:




A. Controls input and output of data.
  • 1. Import a sprite sheet image. Hotkey : Ctrl + S
  • 2. Import/build a sprite sheet from separate images. Hotkey : Ctrl + Alt + S
  • 3. Export a sprite sheet image. Obviously more useful if you built a sprite sheet using 2 before : ) Hotkey : Ctrl + I
  • 4. Export mapped frames/sprites from sprite sheet as separate images. Good if you just one to cut sprite sheet sprites. Hotkey : Ctrl + Alt + I
  • 5. Create a new blank animation, ready to receive sprites from current shown sprite sheet. Note.: One animation can only be made from one sprite sheet. Hotkey : Ctrl + N
  • 6. Export current selected animation as animated GIF. Hotkey : Ctrl + G
  • 7. Export SpriteMap as a XML file. If a sprite sheet node is selected, all it's sprite data and animations made from then (if any) are exported . If a specific animation node is selected it's the same as before but only this animation is exported. The XML contains the coordinates of all sprites of sprite sheet: X,Y, Width and Height. And all animations made from this spritesheets. An animation is described with it's name, it's frame rate, if it is looped and/or plays in PingPong mode (Plays from first frame to last than from last to first), and a list of it's frames. Each frames references it's sprite , Offset and Duration. Hotkey : Ctrl + M
  • 8. Imports a SpriteMap XML Hotkey : Ctrl + Alt + M
  • 9. Adjust some application options Hotkey : Ctrl + O

Obs.: Alternatively a sprite sheet image can be imported by drag and dropping it from explorer to the program.

B. Manages the object browser. An object in this case is either a sprite sheet or an animation.

From here the current spritesheet and animations can be selected to be displayed, renamed and deleted.
  • 9. Renames an object. Only animations can be renamed.
  • 10. Remove an object. If a sprite sheet node is selected , it is removed with all it's binded animations, and the next or previous sprite sheet (if it exists) is selected. If the node is an animation it's simply removed and the previous or next animation (if it exists) is selected.

C. Handles operations pertinent on the current selected sprite sheet and the main display
  • 1. Pick a color to be cleared on image. The chosen color is made transparent.
(Currently with a 0% tolerance so if one wants to clear the background in one click it must be composed of just one color)
  • 2. Selects clear color to background. If "None" is selected a transparency representation (checkerboard) is drawn

  • 3. Auto maps sprites/frames on sprite sheet. It scans pixel for pixel left to right top to down, and isolates portions of non opaque pixels surrounded entirely of transparent pixels. This way it can successfully map all sprites from sprite sheet in the majority of cases, excepting when the sprite sheet contains sprites that are fragmentated, such as explosions or effects. In this case the algorithm will map the fragments of the frame as being separate sprites when they are part of a unique frame. In this case this frame can be manually mapped by dragging a rectangle around the frame (sprite markup command default : Ctrl + Right Mouse Button) The rectangle will shrink and map the frame successfully. You can delete a frame at any time and try again, adjust the rectangle by repeating the sprite markup command inside the rectangle.
  • 4. Selects all frames.
  • 5. Reset the view position to zero and scale to 1.0f.
  • 6. Zooms view accordingly to fit the sprite sheet on view.




D . Animation manager.

Here the current selected animation can be managed. All frames can be visualized by moving view using mouse wheel. Position of frames on animation can be changed by dragging and dropping on desired position. The frames are displayed on rectangles that contain the frame sprite, it's number , and it's frame rate. If the frame rate is 20, it's duration is 0,5 seconds. If it's 1 the duration is one second and so on. The frames are put in containers . This containers can be cleared, (it's frame is erased) or removed entirely (with it's frame). If there's frame containers selected when adding new frames they are added to them , if not they are added at the end. Frame containers are automatically created to comport new frames.
  • 1. Clears the currently selected frame containers
  • 2. Removes the currently selected frame containers
  • 3. Add a new frame container on end.
  • 4. If "Loop" is checked the animation will loop. If "PingPong" is checked the animation will play in pingpong mode.
  • 5 and 6. Adjust the frame rate of entire animation or not depending if 'To All Frames' checkbox is marked or not. If it's not marked only the selected frames have its frame rate changed.

The view can be changed while dragging a frame by simple keeping left mouse button pressed and rolling mouse wheel.

E. Animation Preview display

Here a preview of the current selected animation is displayed.
The view can be zoomed with mouse wheel.
  • 1. Zooms view accordingly to fit the sprite sheet on view.
  • 2. Plays animation
  • 3. Pauses animation
  • 4. Go to previous frame. (only if the animation is paused).
  • 5. Go to next frame. (only if the animation is paused).
  • 6. Go to first frame. (only if the animation is paused).
  • 7. Turns on or off drawing with Onion Skin (Last frame is drawn too but with less alpha).

Here each frame can have it's offset adjusted by pressing WASD keys or directional keys. Or by dragging the sprite with mouse.


F. Properties display

Here are displayed the properties of currently selected sprite on sprite sheet or frame on animation. SpriteSheet sprites can be renamed here by editing it's name.



Last edited Feb 1, 2011 at 6:18 PM by Rafael_Vasco, version 18

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