SpriteIlluminator Documentation

Create your first normal map

  1. Drag & drop your sprites to the sprites panel on the left. You can drag single images or whole folders
  2. Select the sprite you want to create a normal map for
  3. Use Effects / Bevel to extrude the sprite
  4. Press Publish.
SpriteIlluminator: Graphical User Interface

Sprites Panel

Preview Panel

Tools Sidebar

Tool Bar


Open project
Open project
Open existing project to continue editing.
Open project
Save project
With this save file you can continue editing later. Use Publish to write your normal maps.


Add image
Add sprites
Add new sprites to the project, supported formats are: .png, .jpg or folders.
You can also add sprites by dropping them into the preview or the sprite list.
Add image
Remove sprites
Removes an image from the project. This also deletes the normal map.


Add image
Undo your last action.
Add image
Redo your last action.


Publish as
Publish as...
Writes all normal maps in the project. Also allows you to specify how and where the maps are written.
Writes all normal maps with using the previous settings.

Help & Feedback

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Show tutorial
Opens SpriteIlluminator's tutorial page in your webbrowser.
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Sprites panel

SpriteIlluminator Documentation: Sprites List Screenshot


The list contains all sprites in your SpriteIlluminator project.

Add sprites by dragging and dropping them onto the list.
Or use Add Sprites from the tool bar.

Select a single sprite to edit / paint it.

Select multiple sprites to preview them all together. You can move them in the previewer to see how they fit together.

You can also apply effects to multiple sprites at the same time.

Global light

Options to change the global lighting in your scene:

Z position
Change the Z value of the light source. 0 is next to the sprite. Bigger values move the light source away from the sprite - towards the beholder.
Make your light darker or brighter
Light color
Change the color of the light source
Ambient light color
Change the color of the ambient light
Auto-rotate light
Animate the light source

Display modes


The original unlighted texture

Lighted surface

Surface, no texture colors

Lighted texture

Texture and light

Normal map

The normal map

Preview / Center Panel


The zoom panel is located in the bottom left corner of the application.

  • Use the slider to zoom in or out continuously
  • Click - or + to zoom in predefined steps.
  • 1:1 sets zoom factor to 100%.
  • To view the complete scene window use Fit.

Light source

The light source is represented as a colored dot.

You can drag it with your mouse to see how the sprite is lighted.

The light source is only available in display modes Lighted Surface and Lighted Texture


SpriteIlluminator Documentation: Tools Sidebar Screenshot

Effect tools


Add volume on a sprite's shape, can be used on the sprite's opacity or on a selection.

Select multiple sprites from the sprite list to work apply the effect to all of them.

Bevel width
Width of the bevel, distance in pixels from the border of the sprite or selection
Bevel height
Height of the bevel, relative to the distance
Blur that is applied to the bevel, can be used to reduce artefacts or create soft surfaces.
TileMode disabled

Sprite borders are treated as tile borders. The bevel is added to bottom, left and right.

TileMode enabled

Sprite borders are treated as inside. The bevel is added only to the top.


Add volume inside a sprite and / or make structure stand out.

This effect works on luminosity differences in the sprite's texture. Different brightness levels are considered to have different heights.

Can also be used on a selection.

Select multiple sprites from the sprite list to work apply the effect to all of them.

Emboss height
Height of the emboss, relative to the distance
Blur that is applied to the emboss, can be used to reduce artefacts or create soft surfaces.
Choose if you want to use emboss up or down.

Draw tools

Height brush

The height brush raises or lowers parts of the image.

A bevel is created around the brush stroke.

Choose different border shapes by selecting Contour

Angle brush

Directly draw on the heightmap.

Choose the angle to draw using the angle picker. The white square shows the orientation of the final surface.

Continuous mode
Discrete mode


Eraser is a special version of the AngleBrush resetting the normal map to the neutral position.

With opacity set to a low value it can be used to soften extreme angles.


Paint structure to the normal map.

SpriteIlluminator comes with a bunch of different presets but you can also add your own patterns in the preferences.

Make sure to restart SpriteIlluminator after changing the directory.

Selection tools

Color / Magic Wand

Create a selection based on the sprite's color.

Click on a part of the Sprite — the tool selects surrounding pixels with a color close to the one clicked.

Adjust Tolerance — even after clicking parts of the sprite — to adjust the amount of selected pixels.

Polygon selection

Create a selection by drawing a polygon.

Click on the preview to start a selection. Successive clicks add points to the polygon.