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Are there any known tools that can take a serie of pictures and generate a single sprite sheet from them? (ie. place all the images into a single image, one after the other).

I have found some very basic software doing this, but I am looking for one that is able to detect duplicate frames as well as outputting some kind of data structure that allow me to programatically retrieve the coordinate of each frame on the generated image.

I need this to convert existing animations with many duplicate frames and I am a bit surprised that there is no standard software to do this, as most infos you can find on the web about this is people doing this completely manually..

Any recommendations?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

I've never had to do this exactly myself, but if I did, I would use imagemagick.

montage -background "transparent" -depth 8 -type TrueColorMatte img??.png \
        -geometry 50x50 -tile 10x10 -matte -transparent "transparent" \
        -type TrueColorMatte -depth 8 sprite.png

I don't have a pat answer for finding duplicate sprites, but the imagemagick compare program is a good place to start. Check out this page for practical examples on how to perform various comparisons.

UPDATE: There is a BSD licensed css & sprite generator implemented in php. It uses imagemagick to do the dirty work and even has an option to ignore duplicates.

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If you're into coding, you can use the Python Imaging Library. Here's an article that illustrates the creation of a single image from multiple sprites : Concatenating Images using Python.

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If it's a sprite builder that you're searching, here is one:
Sprite Construction Kit

If it's image stitching, here are some freeware image stitchers:

Microsoft's Image Composite Editor

The application takes a set of overlapping photographs of a scene shot from a single camera location and creates a high-resolution panorama incorporating all the source images at full resolution. The stitched panorama can be saved in a wide variety of formats.

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Choose your pictures and let it format the photos into a single combined panorama. All lighting corrections and blending are done for you.

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Panorama Perfect Lite
Using nodes on the blending area of each photo, you can match each structure (tree, building etc.) to ensure that there is no distortion when joining. More complex, but better stitch without the bending and distortion you sometimes get with Autostitch.

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Windows Live Photo Gallery
Used for managing your photos, but the Make menu contains a "Panorama Stitcher". Select the photos from the thumbnails viewer, and the program does the rest. Cropping and adjustment is immediately at hand under the Fix menu.

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-1 Most of this post has nothing to do with sprite creating / editing. Plus this looks as if it would be a pretty manual process. Do any other tools posted have a 'duplicate frame detection' feature? Or a command line interface? – DaveParillo Sep 28 '09 at 16:01
It's far from being manual. "look like" indeed. Why don't you verify first and write later? – harrymc Sep 28 '09 at 18:06
I did download the sprite editor you linked to. I consider having to open each frame individually in a gui a manual task. It sounds like your opinion differs. Sorry about that. – DaveParillo Sep 28 '09 at 23:32

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