Unity - Manual: Sprite Editor (2023)

  • Unity User Manual 2021.3 (LTS)
  • 2D
  • Sprites
  • Sprite Editor

Sprite Creator

Sprite Editor: Custom Outline

Sometimes a Sprite Texture contains just a single graphic element but it is often more convenient to combine several related graphics together into a single image. For example, the image could contain component parts of a single character, as with a car whose wheels move independently of the body. Unity makes it easy to extract elements from a composite image by providing a Sprite Editor for the purpose.

(Video) How To Use The Sprite Editor in Unity (Beginner Guide 2022)

Note: Make sure the graphic you want to edit has its Texture Type set to Sprite (2D and UI). Refer to the SpritesA 2D graphic objects. If you are used to working in 3D, Sprites are essentially just standard textures but there are special techniques for combining and managing sprite textures for efficiency and convenience during development. More info
See in Glossary
documentation for information on importing and setting up Sprites.

Sprite Textures with multiple elements need the Sprite Mode to be set to Multiple in the InspectorA Unity window that displays information about the currently selected GameObject, asset or project settings, allowing you to inspect and edit the values. More info
See in Glossary
. (Texture Import Inspector image below.)

Opening the Sprite Editor

To open the Sprite Editor:

  1. Select the 2D image you want to edit from the Project View (Fig 1: Project View).

    Note that you can’t edit a Sprite by selecting it in the SceneA Scene contains the environments and menus of your game. Think of each unique Scene file as a unique level. In each Scene, you place your environments, obstacles, and decorations, essentially designing and building your game in pieces. More info
    See in Glossary

  2. Click on the Sprite Editor button in the Texture Import InspectorAn Inspector that allows you to define how your images are imported from your project’s Assets folder into the Unity Editor. More info
    See in Glossary
    (Fig 2: Texture Import Inspector) and the Sprite Editor displays (Fig 3: Sprite Editor).

Note: You can only see the Sprite Editor button if the Texture Type on the image you have selected is set to Sprite (2D and UI).

Unity - Manual: Sprite Editor (1)
Unity - Manual: Sprite Editor (2)

Note: Set the Sprite Mode to Multiple in the Texture Import Inspector if your image has several elements.

(Video) The Sprite Editor - Unity Official Tutorials

Unity - Manual: Sprite Editor (3)

Along with the composite image, you will see a number of controls in the bar at the top of the window. The slider at the top right controls the zoom, while the color bar button to its left chooses whether you view the image itself or its alpha levels. The right-most slider controls the pixilation (mipmap) of the Texture. Moving the slider to the left reduces the resolution of the Sprite Texture. The most important control is the Slice menu at the top left, which gives you options for separating the elements of the image automatically.

Select the Apply and Revert buttons to keep or discard any changes you have made in the Sprite Editor window respectively. You set these buttons to show a confirmation dialog box before applying their effects in Unity’s Preferences window (menu: Edit > Preferences…). In the Preferences window, go to 2D > Sprite Editor Window to open the Sprite Editor window options.

Unity - Manual: Sprite Editor (4)

Select the respective option to have a dialog box appear after selecting Apply or Revert to confirm your selection, preventing accidental saving or discarding of changes made.

Using the Editor

The most direct way to use the editor is to identify the elements manually. If you click on the image, you will see a rectangular selection area appear with handles in the corners. You can drag the handles or the edges of the SpriteRect to resize it around a specific element. Having isolated an element, you can add another by dragging a new SpriteRect in a separate part of the image. You’ll notice that when you have a SpriteRect selected, a panel appears in the bottom right of the window:

Unity - Manual: Sprite Editor (5)

The controls in the panel let you choose a name for the Sprite graphic and set the position and size of the SpriteRect by its coordinates. A border width, for left, top, right and bottom can be specified in pixelsThe smallest unit in a computer image. Pixel size depends on your screen resolution. Pixel lighting is calculated at every screen pixel. More info
See in Glossary
. The borders are useful when 9-Slicing Sprites. There are also settings for the Sprite’s pivot, which Unity uses as the coordinate origin and main “anchor point” of the graphic. You can choose from a number of default SpriteRect-relative positions (eg, Center, Top Right, etc) or use custom coordinates.

The Trim button next to the Slice menu item will resize the SpriteRect so that it fits tightly around the edge of the graphic based on transparency.

Note: Borders are only supported for the UI(User Interface) Allows a user to interact with your application. Unity currently supports three UI systems. More info
See in Glossary
system, not for the 2D Sprite RendererA component that lets you display images as Sprites for use in both 2D and 3D scenes. More info
See in Glossary

Automatic Slicing

Select the Slice tool and set its Type to Automatic to have Unity automatically slice a Texture into multiple individual Sprites by generating boundaries based on the surrounding transparency of each potential Sprite. For example, you can use Automatic Slicing to isolate regularly spaced graphical elements in a Texture, such as individual TilesA simple class that allows a sprite to be rendered on a Tilemap. More info
See in Glossary
in a tile sheet.

(Video) 2D SPRITE BASICS IN UNITY 🎮 | Getting Started With Unity | Unity Tutorial

After selecting the Slice tool from the Sprite Editor toolbarA row of buttons and basic controls at the top of the Unity Editor that allows you to interact with the Editor in various ways (e.g. scaling, translation). More info
See in Glossary
and setting its Type to Automatic, the following editor panel appears:

Unity - Manual: Sprite Editor (6)

In this panel, you can set the default pivot for each sliced Sprite with the Pivot and Custom Pivot options. If there are existing selections in the editor window before applying the Automatic slicing, select from the following options in the Method menu to choose how Unity handles the existing selections:

Delete ExistingDeletes all SpriteRects in the Texture and adds the newly sliced SpriteRects.
SmartIf a newly sliced SpriteRect overlaps with one or more existing SpriteRects, the best overlapping original SpriteRect will have its position and size updated to the newly sliced SpriteRect. This newly sliced SpriteRect will then be discarded.
SafeMaintains all original SpriteRects. If a newly sliced SpriteRect overlaps with an existing SpriteRect, it will be discarded.

Grid by Cell Size or Grid by Cell Count options are also available for the slicing type. This is very useful when the Sprites have already been laid out in a regular pattern during creation:

Unity - Manual: Sprite Editor (7)Unity - Manual: Sprite Editor (8)

The Pixel Size values determine the height and width of the tiles in pixels. If you chose grid by cell count, Column & Row determines the number of columns and rows used for slicing. You can also use the Offset values to shift the grid position from the top-left of the image and the Padding values to inset the SpriteRects slightly from the grid. The Keep Empty Rects option lets you keep SpriteRects that do not have any pixels within them. This is useful for organising Sprites created from the texture based on their position in the texture. The Pivot can be set with one of nine preset locations or a Custom Pivot location can be set.

The Isometric Grid option attempts to slice the Sprite sheet which has its Sprites laid out in alternating rows of half height diamonds. When sliced, the resulting SpriteRects will have custom outlines and physics shapes corresponding to the half height diamonds.

Unity - Manual: Sprite Editor (9)

The Is Alternate option determines if the isometric diamonds are staggered across alternate rows. If set, the top most row is assumed to have its first diamond starting half a pixel size from the left side. If not, it assumes that the first diamond starts from the left side directly.

When slicing with the Grid options, previews of the SpriteRects are shown on the texture to help guide the slicing. Adjusting the slicing settings will update the previews accordingly. The preview SpriteRects shown may not be generated after slicing depending on the method used for handling existing SpriteRects or the pixel contents of the preview SpriteRects.

(Video) Unity Sprite sheet Slice - How to slice a sprite sheet in Unity

Unity - Manual: Sprite Editor (10)

Note that you can manually edit any SpriteRect generated by any of these Automatic Slicing methods to fine-tune the shape of the SpriteRects.

Polygon Resizing

Open the Sprite Editor for a polygon and you have the option to change its shape, size, and pivot position.

Polygon shape

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Enter the number of sides you want the polygon to have in the Sides field and click Change.

Polygon size and pivot

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Polygon size

To change the polygon’s size, click on the Sprite to display green border lines and the Sprite information box. Click and drag on the green lines to create the border you want, and the values in the Border fields change.

Polygon pivot

To change the polygon’s pivot point (that is the axis point the polygon moves around), click on the image to display the Sprite information box. Click on the Pivot drop down menu and select an option. This displays a blue pivot circle on the polygon; its location depends on the pivot option to you have selected. If you want to change it further, select Custom Pivot and click and drag on the blue pivot circle to position it.

  • Isometic Grid slicing option added to Sprite Editor in 2021.1 NewIn20211

Sprite Creator

(Video) How to SLICE SPRITE in Unity

Sprite Editor: Custom Outline


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