I am developing a Java game that uses sprites for the graphics. It's just a top down shooter and our ship sprites look like the following:


These work fine, but they're hard to create and the artist who created them is no longer working on the game. I could easily create a top down view of a ship in Photoshop myself, but I'm not sure how to get all the angles.

What do you think would be the best program or approach would be for me to create more?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Kind of a hassle - but any 3d rendering program (or game modding tool) where you can apply a texture to a surface and view it at different angles. Simply generate the top down view, apply it to a surface, and then rotate the surface to various positions, capturing a shot of each angle. \$\endgroup\$
    – yoozer8
    Commented Feb 8, 2012 at 3:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jim that's a great suggestion, you should submit it as an answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Amplify91
    Commented Feb 8, 2012 at 4:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Amplify91 Ok, did. \$\endgroup\$
    – yoozer8
    Commented Feb 8, 2012 at 4:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ An alternative is to use the perspective tool in GIMP, or the photoshop equivalent. However I think Jim's solution would give much prettier results \$\endgroup\$
    – Aralox
    Commented Feb 8, 2012 at 5:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ The original sprites look like rendered 3D graphics, so using the same technique for the ship seems like a good idea. \$\endgroup\$
    – bummzack
    Commented Feb 8, 2012 at 7:49

1 Answer 1


It's a bit of a hassle to do it this way (I'm guessing there might be a simpler way to do it), but one suggestion is this.

Use any 3D rendering program that allows you to apply a texture to a surface. Even a tool for modding 3D games/content would work, as long as it allows you to view a model with your custom textures.

Make the simple top-down view, and apply it to an appropriately shaped surface of a 3D object. Adjust the position/angle of the object (or camera), and capture what you see.

Again, kind of a roundabout way to generate the shots, but the upside is they will look realistic (since they will be shots of that texture actually facing that way, instead of an artistic estimation of what that would look like).

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Any suggestions on what 3D program to use? \$\endgroup\$
    – Kyle
    Commented Feb 8, 2012 at 14:33
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Blender. It's the best free tool you can get. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 8, 2012 at 19:14

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