My 2D Sprite Pipeline for Unity

At this point I have the perfect pipeline setup for building 2D games in Unity. I start with a PhotoShop template that has all my sprite layers in it. In this case the player is made up of details (the topmost layer), body and legs. This lets me change the color of any layer on the fly in Unity plus I can switch out between weapons for the body animation as well. Here is what that template looks like:

PlayerAnimations-v2.psd

From here I use a script I found on GitHub that exports the layers to pngs. This script is a lot faster than the one that ships with PS and also lets me use the layer name as the file name which cuts out a step of renaming my files.

Export Layers To Files

From here I use Texture Packer to combine all the individual sprites into a texture atlas.

super-zombie-runner-player.tps

Then I use the free Texture Packer Unity plugin which automatically converts the texture atlas into sprites whenever you update the file outside of Unity.

Ember

And when I’m done I get all my sprites cut up and named for me automatically.

Ember

The best part is that I can continue to update the sprites as I tweak all the artwork throughout my dev cycle and everything stays in sync. Then at the end, I can use Unity Pro’s packer feature to turn all my individual texture atlases into more optimized ones for better performance when I publish my game.

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