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Skill Share: How to Customize a Sprite in Scratch

Skill Share: How to Customize a Sprite in Scratch

Have you ever customized a sprite in Scratch? It's an easy way to make a unique project while utilizing the gorgeous variety of art available in Scratch. I'll take you through some sprites I made for Moon Month at the Exploratorium that brought constellations to life with code!

 

Getting started

 
 
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My original vision for celestial-inspired Scratch project was to bring constellations to life by animating them. The walking bear would be the perfect starting point to make the Big Dipper (Ursa Major). I wanted to preserve its movement, add a long tail, and superimpose the constellation on the bear. 

Changing colors

 

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I wanted my constellation to blend into the night sky so I made it a dark shade of blue. I used the paint bucket tool to make the body and outlines shades of blue.

 

Modifying shapes

 

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One important detail for my Ursa Major constellation is its pronounced tail. I needed to adjust the shape and angle of the tail on the bear. My first step is to ungroup all of the body components.

Now the tail can be separately modified. I changed the angle of the tail and moved it further away from the body.

Then, switch over to the direct selection tool allows manipulation of individual points on a curve. I stretched out the length of the tail and adjusted some of the hair detail.

Adding the stars

 

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Adding circles to represent stars and lines to create the constellation.

Now repeat the same steps across the every costume. This can take time, especially if the sprite you're using has many costumes or if you're adding additional own costumes to the mix. Personally I felt that patience led to really lovely results and didn't mind the repetitive process.

Ursa Major, Pegasus, and Cancer moving around the night sky.

 


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This work was supported by a grant from Science Sandbox, an initiative of the Simons Foundation