UIKit Animations with TexturePacker

Andreas Löw
UIKit Animations with TexturePacker
Last update: More than 3 months ago

What you are going to learn:

  • Using the sprites with UIKit
  • Add static images
  • Add and control animations

Full source code is available on GitHub

What you are going to learn:

  • Using the sprites with UIKit

  • Add static images

  • Add and control animations

UIKit applications often contain animations and lots of graphics. Adding the graphics as single images might consume a lot of memory and impede performance.

Using TexturePacker to create sprite sheets instead:

  • Reduces memory usage

  • Speeds up loading of your application

Using TexturePacker to create sprite sheets

I've created some powerful classes which allow you to simply load the sprite sheets created with TexturePacker into your application - including code to play animations.

If you use animations that are pre-aligned, you might also have a lot of transparent pixels in your images. While the individual files might not use much memory - due to compression - the RAM usage might be quite big.

If you pack your sprite with TexturePacker this transparency can be removed. The provided CAWSpriteLayer class compensates the missing transparency by moving the sprite into the same spot as if it had its original size.

Using the sprites with UIKit

First of all, you need to load the data file created with TexturePacker and the sprite sheet image:

NSDictionary *spriteData = [CAWSpriteReader spritesWithContentOfFile:@"spritesheet.plist"];
UIImage *texture = [UIImage imageNamed:@"spritesheet.png"];

With this you can simply create layers and add them to your current view:

CAWSpriteLayer *layer = [CAWSpriteLayer layerWithSpriteData:spriteData andImage:texture];
[self.view.layer addSublayer:layer];

Static images

To add a static image use:

[layer showFrame:@"staticimage"];

With this you can use all standard operations on layers - like setting the position or applying transformations:

[layer setPosition:CGPointMake(400, 200)];
[layer setTransform:CATransform3DMakeScale(0.5,0.5, 1.0)];


To add an animation use:

[layer playAnimation:@"CapGuyWalk%04d" withRate:24];

The format of the animation's name is derived from its frame names: This will play an animation with all frames that match CapGuyWalk0000 , CapGuyWalk0001 , CapGuyWalk0002 , ... until no more frames with matching names are found.

The frame rate is set to 24 frames per second.

You can also set animations to repeat:

[layer playAnimation:@"CapGuyWalk%04d" withRate:24 andRepeat:2];

The special value INFINITY will repeat the animation forever.

After an animation is played to the end, you can decide if you want to show the last frame or an empty frame:

[layer setShowLastFrame:true];

Controlling animations

The CAWSpriteLayer has all standard animation controls:


[layer pause];


[layer resume];


[layer stop];

Internal structure

The CAWSpriteLayer consists of 2 nested layers: The outer CAWSpriteLayer which allows you to perform all transformations, and the inner CAWSpriteCoreLayer which handles the sprite display. This is necessary since the inner layer makes use of transformations to implement trimming.

Demo Project

I've created a complete demo project for you - available on GitHub for download.