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Nine 2D tools to make your life easier

Pretty much everything you need to make beautiful 2D content is in the editor, including recent addition Tilemap, which makes it astonishingly efficient to build even complex, grid-based worlds. And as always, there’s the Asset Store, where you can pick up ready-made sprites and production tools to speed things up even more.

Tilemap
  • Enables you to create tile-based levels to efficiently build up grid-based 2D worlds.
  • Among other things, create your own palettes of tiles and smart brushes, and then easily access them to paint on a grid-based system directly in the scene.

Unity-2D-tools-Tilemap

The new Tilemap feature

Cinemachine for 2D
  • Use Cinemachine’s dynamic, procedural cameras in your 2D game design.
  • Enhance and automate composition and tracking for 2D gameplay, characters, and environments without hours of programming. Latest 2D-centric features include:

    • Framing Transposer: Move the camera to track and follow objects.
    • Group Target: Track the center of a group of objects, and adjust the weight and influence of each one.

      Unity-2D-tools-Cinemachine

    • Orthographic projection rendering: Set the Main Unity camera to Orthographic projection for a pure 2D game (works in 3D for those 2.5d games where you want to use actual parallax and perspective).

      Unity-2D-tools-Cinemachine-Orthographic

2D Sprite Atlas
  • Gives you control for packing sprites and using them at runtime.
  • Provides simple atlas creation and management, as well as a scripting API for more control and versatility.

Unity-2D-tools-Sprite-Atlas

How to create a Sprite Atlas

Sprite Masks
  • Use it to either hide or reveal parts of a Sprite or group of Sprites in world space.
  • Only affects objects using the Sprite Renderer Component as well as Particle Systems.

Unity-2D-tools-Sprite-Mask

Scene view with Sprite Mask view turned on in the scene

Sorting Group Component
  • Provides ability to render a set of objects separately from others on the same Sorting Layer.
  • Ensures all renderers that are children of the Sorting Group are sorted together, making it useful for managing complex scenes.

Unity-2D-tools-Sorting-Group

A character made up of several Sprites in a single Sorting Layer, using multiple Order in Layers to sort its body part

9-Slice Sprite
  • 2D technique for the SpriteRenderer: allows you to reuse an image with variable dimensions without preparing multiple assets in games.
  • Similar to the 9-Slice used in Unity UI.
  • Allows you to stretch or repeat defined areas of an image as dimension changes, providing a quick technique for creating platforms or backgrounds, while still using a small amount of texture memory.

Unity-2D-tools-9-Slice-Sprite-0

An example of a 9-sliced Sprite, split into nine sections. Each section is labelled with a letter from A to I

Outline Editor
  • Edit an outline of your generated sprite in the Sprite Editor Window.
  • Adjust outline to get a good balance between alpha overdraw and accuracy of the mesh.
  • For adding and removing points, refining the mesh; make it as simple or detailed as you want.

Unity-2D-tools-Edit-Outline-view

The Edit Outline view

Axis Distance Sort
  • Addresses Z sorting problems by enabling you to set the Transparency Sort Mode to a custom axis.
Massively improved 2D Physics

This is a whole separate list in itself! Get the main points on recent updates here.

Unity-2D-tools-Physics

Free 2D tools available on the Asset Store

TextMesh Pro

The ultimate text solution for Unity. It features advanced text rendering with dynamic visual text styling, along with greatly improved control over text formatting and layout.

2D Sprite Pack

These 2D sprites are made by Unity and ready to use in prototyping your 2D games.

Anima2D

Improves your 2D animation skeletal workflow. It will be fully integrated in future versions of Unity.

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