This is just a quick update for everyone wanting to know what’s happening with AtlasMaker. I have a new version planned, but I’m not quite sure when it’s going to get done. I wrote AtlasMaker over a couple of evenings to save me time with an iPhone game project I’m currently working on and that is taking priority at the moment.

The next version will hopefully contain the following features.

  • More/better error handling and a more robust and informative interface.
  • Several rectangle packing algorithms – choose the best one for your data.
  • Improved export file: more data, bigger text box for xml fragments etc.
  • You can choose the filename and location of the export file.
  • Optional flattening of layers on the finished document.

I was recently able to test AtlasMaker on CS4 (I developed it on CS2) and was dismayed by how slow it is in comparison. I managed to speed it up a bit by turning off “open documents in tabs”, but it still ran at a glacial pace.

I’m not sure what this means for the future of the project. It’s still quicker than making atlases it by hand, but I’m wondering if I should make the next-version-but-one a stand-alone program written in Python or C# or something. (I haven’t settled on a cross platform language for tool dev yet, but I am looking.)

Let me know what you think. Would you prefer a slow Photoshop script, or a faster external tool?

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