Add option to create an overlay image/layer that can be used for reference #532

dacap opened this Issue Nov 18, 2014 · 35 comments


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dacap commented Nov 18, 2014

This overlay image could be bigger than the current sprite size, so the zoom wouldn't affect it and we could see our small sprite with an overlay image of huge resolution as background.


@dacap dacap added this to the v1.1 milestone Aug 28, 2015

vaultec commented Jan 28, 2016

Is this in the program? This is a feature I've long been waiting to be implemented. This would make the program so much more awesome!


dacap commented Jan 28, 2016

Hi @vaultec, this feature isn't yet in the program. I'm not sure if this will be included in v1.1 or v1.2, but it will be available in a near future.

Awesome to hear it will be available soon. I have been waiting on this since I suggested it!

+1 👍

@dacap dacap modified the milestones: v1.1, v1.2 Mar 3, 2016

The mobile editor "Pixly" already has this feature and it's a big help!


dacap commented Mar 24, 2016

As it's one of the most requested features, a simple version of this might appear in v1.1.

I'd like to see this too. You can currently import on a bottom layer, but that means you can't have full colour on this bottom layer and then indexed colour above.

robertocaldas commented Apr 21, 2016

Is this happening? ETA? :)


dacap commented Apr 21, 2016

@robertocaldas I'd love to have this as soon as possible, maybe next week? 👀

@dacap dacap modified the milestones: v1.1, v1.2 Apr 21, 2016

@dacap dacap self-assigned this Apr 21, 2016

So awesome!

Is it a totally lame idea to support gif, being able to select the gif frame as a reference image?
I'm totally talentless, my only hope is to be "heavily inspired" by other people's work, if you know what I mean... sigh


dacap commented Apr 28, 2016

This feature needs a lot of internal work to be done correctly (e.g. make any layer a reference layer so we can support animation references). The work needed for this is quite related to this feature #593 and it might be a good idea to prepare everything for #454 and #459

I think this will be the first feature opening v1.2 which I'd like to make it available on Steam beta branch. And as a first step, I'll make it something really simple: Select another file as reference from the Sprite > Properties. If I have enough time, I'll try to release the official release with fixes, and the beta branch on Steam.

@dacap dacap modified the milestones: v1.2, v1.1 Apr 28, 2016

Sorry to be pushy, but do you have an ETA on the first version?

Yeah, I agree, because right now, it's been difficult to do sprites from some concept art. Being able to draw over the image would be awesome! :D

Hey, just so you guys know I'd also be someone who would take use of this! It'd be absolutely lovely because it gives me an easy way to recreate styles I really love in a more pixel type formatting. Just wonderful for practice and learning new things in general. Hope to see this come to fruition soon!

Also, do you know the progress on this by any chance if there's been any?


dacap commented Jul 22, 2016

As in one of my previous comments this will take some time. Mainly because it needs some special UI to move/scale the overlay in the desired location and a new render code. (Back in those days I thought it would be easy enough to be implemented quickly, but I was wrong.)

@dacap dacap added the high priority label Sep 22, 2016

mattjb86 commented Oct 4, 2016

Any update on this? It's definitely the one feature I would most like to see implemented as I have a ton of reference sketches and having it would increase my workflow enormously.


dacap commented Oct 4, 2016

I'll start working on this right now 😮

mattjb86 i don't know. but david added the "high priority" tag about a week ago, so maybe he would start working on this from now.

wow.... weird. commented at the same time. sorry, dacap. i guess i was right , then


dacap commented Oct 11, 2016

Pretty close, coming soon on v1.2-beta4:


moooy bueeno! .. I mean.. Looks very promising!

Looking good! Thanks for the work you've been putting into it, much appreciated!


dacap commented Oct 14, 2016


Oh man this is looking awesome :)

Looks really awesome. This is a new killer feature for Aseprite!

bantonioch commented Nov 4, 2016

Hubo algún progreso al día de hoy?
PD: actualmente aseprite está en el beta2, vas a saltar al 4 directamente o falta el beta3 todavía para que se implemente esta función en el 4?


dacap commented Nov 4, 2016

@bantonioch hola, actualmente aseprite está en v1.2-beta3, esta nueva característica aparecerá en v1.2-beta4.

@bantonioch hi, actually aseprite is in v1.2-beta3, this new feature will appear in v1.2-beta4.


dacap commented Nov 4, 2016

There is one case about this issue that worries me most: An indexed sprite with a RGB reference layer. The actual code converts the RGB reference to indexed, but this is not what a regular user would expect. The program should show the RGB reference image as it were RGB (without taking care about the indexed palette). This case needs that a sprite may contain different color modes on each layer (e.g. an indexed layer, and a rgb layer).

I'll see that will be available as a first version of this feature to avoid introduced bugs or unexpected behaviors.

@dacap dacap referenced this issue Nov 7, 2016


Improve "reference layer" feature #1321

0 of 3 tasks complete

dacap commented Nov 7, 2016

Will be available in next release (I hope this week). Merged impl in bc1ad97

Future work in #1321

@dacap dacap closed this Nov 7, 2016

FANTASTIC! Thank you so much @dacap this is a really welcome feature addition!

Seriously it's really appreciated! Going to come in handy for rotoscoping and such I'm actually really excited to start working on stuff with this.

Maybe I'm missing something here but how exactly is this done? I can't manage to load an image at one resolution and draw on it with another, and the closest thing to an answer I've found so far is "it really works!"


dacap commented Jun 29, 2017

Hi @charyoshi, first of all you need the beta version. After that you will be able to use the Layer > Add Reference Layer menu option to select your own .png or .gif image as a background reference layer.

@dacap Thank you so much ;-;

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