Game Development Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional and independent game developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've heard about this concept, but what is it?

share|improve this question
up vote 14 down vote accepted

A texture atlas is simply a way to stuff multiple sprites into a single texture. You also will need an index into the texture so that you can find where each of the sprites are located.

The reason these are used is because it's more efficient to bind a texture once and change the UV values being used than to bind multiple textures for each sprite you draw.

Here is an article from Gamasutra on texture atlases that helped me a lot when I was first getting started

share|improve this answer
NVidia provides a tool for assisting in the creation of texture atlases (, or for those who wish to DIY, this thread on provides some example source: – Jason Kozak Jul 17 '10 at 20:16
There are also Zwoptex ( and TexturePacker (, two Mac based tools that create texture atlases. Both are very good. – Tomas Andrle Oct 16 '11 at 9:42

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.