Using the PMU Sprite Viewer

This is a step-by-step tutorial on how to create a Pokemon sprite that can be submitted to PMU. People who want to make 5th (or 6th) gen sprites, as well as those who want to fill in missing frames of existing sprites, will want to read this to ensure that when they submit their files, the staff will approve of them.

First, it’s important to understand how a Pokemon sprite file is organized, and what the process is for creating and testing a sprite.

In order to get a good understanding of how things are done, you should follow along by downloading the zip file below. …

When unzipping the folder, you will find 2 subfolders:

The first is contains a folder of Charmander’s sprite animations, and the second is a special tool that the staff use to check on their sprites before they’re added to PMU.

Every frame of every animation that a single Pokemon sprite has is kept inside a single folder, and each frame is labelled accordingly. As shown, the names for each of the files fit the pattern of “(Animation)-(Direction)-(Frame Number).png” You will also notice that sprites are aligned to the bottom-center of every frame, and that every frame is the same size. Submitted sprites need to have all of these qualities.

While PMU only has 4-directional movement right now, the sprites in the game actually support all 8 directions from PMD! There are also a number of animations that don’t show in PMU (yet), but are still valid as animations. A sprite will definitely have the following animations:


The other animations are optional:


This is due to the fact that some Pokemon in the actual PMD games have specific animations for certain attacks or special attacks [spriter’s resource link], while others[spriter’s resource link] only have one attack animation for both attack and special attack.

For certain Pokemon in PMD, there are special animations (for example, the starters making a pose[spriter’s resource link]). These can be ignored, and won’t be included in PMU.

Now, the PMU staff also use a special tool to test and make sure that their sprites will look good when used in the client. This is called the PMU Sprite Viewer Tool.
If you want to sprite, you should always test your animations with this tool before you submit!

To start using the sprite viewer, click on the executable in its folder.

When the window opens up, there’s really only two options of either changing the sprite directory, or loading the sprite from the directory.

Replace the starting path with location of the charmander folder.

When you click on the load button, the sprite viewer will scan all of the frames in that folder, and tell you which ones it found. This is important for checking to see if you mis-named or forgot any files, as it will turn up abnormal messages.

Afterwards, you can select an animation to view and the direction you want it to animate in, as well as changing the speed to look for frame-by-frame issues.

A tip: The most common mistakes are those in which the sprites are misaligned in an animation, or they have white backgrounds or loose pixels floating around.

To summarize, in order to make a good Pokemon sprite, it must:
-Use ALL of the animation frames found in the original PMD games, except for the special animations.
-Have animations that look exactly like they do in PMD.
-Be aligned to the bottom-center of the frame.
-Be named correctly according to the frame name pattern. Capitalization counts!

…And all of this can be tested using the sprite viewer.

If you have any questions, ask below.

Then I’ll ask a nice question.

[ask]Which suggested programs would you advice to make the background transparent? Or is the PMU Sprite Viewer implemented with a way to make the background transparent?[/ask]

The transparent color for PMU Sprite Viewer is the default White. :3 (RGB: 255, 255, 255) or (Hex: #FFFFFF)

Keep in mind that every single frame in the sprite you’re trying to view using the tool has a default white background. Otherwise, all of the frames will appear with white backgrounds.

But, would it be possible to change the color of the default White background? Because I know some sprites do use the Hex: #FFFFFF (RGB: 255, 255, 255). It would be nice to change it to something that doesn’t conflict with that transparency for a Pokémon with white for their eyes/body.
(Just asking these obvious questions so they could be used for an FAQ in the first post. :3)

Just use 254/254/254 White, or something like that. (It’s what we’ve used the whole time).

Do we really need the Hurt sprites? I don’t see any hurt sprites in PMU itself, so it would be logical not too spend more effort than needed unless PMU8 gets Hurt sprites implemented.

Where do we submit sprites after finishing them?

Sorry for the necroposting, but I figure I should warn that Chrome labeled your file as malware. Obviously, there are ways to get around that as they even say, but the file is fine.

I’m very interested in this tool but can’t find anywhere I can download it. gives me an error saying the file doesn’t exist. Mediafire doesn’t work for me either. Any other place I could find this?

Uh oh, an old pinned post with broken links and readers getting stuck and asking for help. Awkward moment!
(Edit) Changed my mind. I think a better approach is to, if needed, use the PMD toolkit at viewtopic.php?f=77&t=14528&p=185059#p181576. It’s not the same in animation though, idle is too fast and the attack animation is very different. But currently, when contributing with a sprite, PMU sprites team won’t need it animated! Just need the sprites themselves.

And there’s also some old info:

A sprite will definitely have the following animations:


Well, we won’t definitely have Hurt sprites in our current PMU. Our current requirement is only the four: Idle, Walk, Attack, Sleep. It’s a plus to have Hurt sprites too for the future!