MSX Sprite exporter

The sprite exporter can export (composited) sprites to the MSX(1) sprite pattern and sprite attribute tables. Your image dimension have to be multiples of the sprite size (i.e. either 8 or 16 px). Although the size and number of colors is not limited by the plug-in, keep in mind, that the MSX’s VDP only supports 32 active (monochrome) sprites. And only 4 sprites can be shown per scan line. The plug-in will raise respective warnings.


If an image is active, the plug-in can be launched from the Filters menu (Filters –> Misc –> MSX sprite exporter).

A dialog with plug-in option will appear (see explanation of options below).


Sprite exporter options dialog

When you click OK the plug-in will analyze the image and export the sprite data. The filenames either end with .sat (for the sprite attribute table) or .spt (for the sprite pattern table). Depending on the plug-in options and individual sprites in the image one or more .sat and .spt files will be exported.

Below example shows a 32x32 pixel 2-color (black and grey) sprite example.


32 x 32 px 2-color sprite (with transparent background)

Using the default export options the plug-in will export the image into 8 sprites: 1 sprite for each of the two colors in each of the four 16x16 quarters (max. MSX (single) sprite size). The data will be saved into one .sat and one .spt file containing the attribute and pattern information of all 8 sprites.

Plug-in options

Sprite size
Can be set to both possible MSX sprite size values - 8 or 16. I.e. either 8x8 px or 16x16 px sprites will be extracted.
Use alpha channel for transparent pixels
If this option is selected, the transparent pixels will be identified by an alpha value of 0 (i.e. transparent like the background in the example above). If this option is not selected, transparent pixels have be indicated by a color value of #ff00eb - like shown in the example below:

32 x 32 px 2-color sprite (with transparent pixels indicated by color #ff00eb)

Check only
If selected, the plug-in does not export any files (just performs the checks)
Separate files for each sprite
If selected individual .sat and .spt files are exported for each sprite. The files will be named …_01.sat, …02.sat, etc. - otherwise all sprites are stored in one .sat and one .spt file
Export ROM image
If selected a ROM image with a test program showing the sprite will be exported (additionally to the .sat and .spt files). This can be used for testing the exported output - below image shows the test program for the sprite example above.

openMSX showing the 32 x 32 px 2-color sprite example

Background color (for ROM image)
Defines the background color by one of the 16 MSX color values. (Color 2 - green is used in the example above)