Suppose I have 9 characters with different animations (in my case every character actually just has one animation). I am using a single sprite sheet to animate one character. And that single sprite sheet is 1280x1280.
Should different character’s animations be added to one single atlas/tilemap or should each character have their own? From an organization standpoint I realize that having multiple atlases might be better. But what about performance (both memory and cpu)?
How do you create atlases/tilemaps in general? Do you put all of your characters, building, UI, vfx etc into one big atlas/tilemap or do you create separate ones for different categories?
I personally will combine some character sprites into one atlas if they are typically loaded into the same scene. For example, if the enemies frog and toad are usually (or always) expected to be used at the same time, then I’ll put their animation frames into a combined atlas called enemies.
Although my way is intuitive, perhaps it’s not the best. Generally you want to use the least amount of atlases possible, as explained in the following posts:
(first link references the second link, second link gives the actual explanation)
There is a point where you will see diminishing returns by cramming all of your sprites into one atlas, however that particular point is not the same for everyone and really comes down to testing it yourself.