TexturePacker 2.4.0

So for an embarrassingly long time now, we’ve been meaning to get around to doing a head to head review of the two main Mac OS X sprite sheet creators for cocos2d, Zwoptex and TexturePacker. Unfortunately, time for that just has not turned up … and it’s not likely to in the foreseeable future. So in lieu of actually producing that, let’s just tell you:

Are you creating sprite sheets as a part of a workflow? Running just about anywhere, targeted just about anywhere? Then you need to look into TexturePacker carefully … and if you have before and it didn’t crank you up, check out the sparkly new version 2.4.0 again!

A) Running just about anywhere:

Versions are available for recent OS X, Windows back to XP, and Ubuntu Linux. Which makes it an instant winner if your asset workflow involves those other, lesser, OSes. There is a bit of a downside to that — being a QT application (judging by the package contents) some things will work a little unexpectedly for your platform. For instance, file handling in TexturePacker is somewhat fragile; you would be wise to put your asset files somewhere they’re not going to move from before starting to create your sheets, as apparently QT’s file handling is not as OS X-savvy as it could be.

B) Targeted just about anywhere — previous versions had:

  • Cocos2d iPhone – iPhone
  • Corona(TM) SDK – iPhone & Android
  • Gideros – Cross platform game development framework
  • Sparrow – iPhone
  • LibGDX – Java (Android + Desktop)
  • LimeJS – Javascript / HTML5 framework
  • Ogre with CEGUI – 3D gaming framework and GUI

and 2.4.0 adds:

And you can even create CSS sprites. So, yeah, seriously, just about anywhere.

And it’s fairly straightforward to integrate with Xcode as well.

And … well, hey, check out the feature list for yourself. Particularly notable in the new release are autoimport from .swf files and a .pvr QuickLook plugin. Which is actually catching up with Zwoptex … yes, we must get around to that detailed comparison sometime. But on sheer mass of features and prolificness of updates; well, you just can’t go wrong picking TexturePacker, it seems.

Of course Ray Wenderlich has a tutorial, as he does for everything:

How to Create and Optimize Sprite Sheets in Cocos2D with Texture Packer and Pixel Formats

As a final note, if you really want to get the inside scoop, you’ll probably want to pick up the new rev of Steffen Itterheim’s cocos2d book:

I’m proud to have Andreas Löw (@CodeAndWeb) as a co-author for the 2nd Edition of the Learn Cocos2D book! Andreas is the developer of the indispensable Cocos2D (and other game engine) tools TexturePacker and PhysicsEditor.

Andreas volunteered to make all the necessary changes to replace Zwoptex with the more state-of-the-art TexturePacker, and VertexHelper with the much more powerful PhysicsEditor. He also provided the new graphics for the Shoot’em Up and Pinball projects, as well as making them Retina compatible…

Yeah, just in case you don’t think TexturePacker is an impressive piece of work, there’s that PhysicsEditor thing he does too. Be nice to getting around to reviewing that too, one of these days…

Alex | October 27, 2011

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