A sprite sheet is an image file with several graphics (such as individual character walk cycle sequence) on one larger image file. This enables your game code to swap graphics while only needing to load a single file, optimizing the fetching and display of said graphics. So you need to make a sprite sheet for that run cycle animation in your game? You make another coffee just to procrastinate a bit longer before taking on the task at hand. Staring at your blank screen you contemplate hiring an animator or game artist to slave away for you.
But alas, there is no need to despair Brave coder! there are several solutions for making Sprite sheets. a sprite maker will be your huckleberry (random Tombstone reference). Sprite makers come in several flavors including free, online, paid, online and free or paid. Choose wisely.
Sprite sheets have been around since the beginning of game development as a way to avoid loading in 30 animation frames as separate files and instead load one file with 30 animation frames on one sheet, thus the name, “sprite sheet”.
A good example of a free online Sprite maker is Piskel https://www.piskelapp.com. On the other end of the spectrum, Aseprite (a paid app on Steam) is a full-featured and robust app featuring layers, frames, timeline and even onion skinning. In other words, you can create the art , animation and the sprite sheets with it rather than importing art created in another application.
Sprite sheet free