Character Maps represent one of the great benefits of using Spriter's modular animation method. Character Maps allow you to quickly and easily create variations of a character (or object), or entirely new characters (or objects) by taking the animations you've already created and swapping out some or all of images with new ones. Imagine you're making a game where the hero character can acquire new weapons, armor etc.  With Spriter and Character Maps, you can animate your character once, and simply create and combine Character Maps to instantly create and preview any combination of the alternate attire and equipment.  These visual variations on your character can of course be exported out as sequential images for use in game engines without direct support for Spriter animation data, however the real benefits are realized when you use the actual Spriter animation data and Character Maps within your game engine, giving you silky smooth tweened animation for a potentially massive collection of characters and variations of characters using a tiny fraction of the time, file-space, and ram that non-modular animation methods would require. You can not only swap images with other images, you can also designate images to be hidden (or not drawn on screen) in any given Character Map.  Picture a game character which starts out with no cape, but can later acquire one.... You'd animate your character with the cape, then create the starting Character Map to hide all the cape images, then use a new character map,(or in this case, just turn off the no-cape Character Map) to reveal the cape.  The possibilities are endless...Sunglasses, hats, helmets, knee-pads, wings, scorpion tails, you name it! Before you Begin making Character Maps: There are several important things to keep in mind while animating and creating your initial character which you'll want to use with Character Maps: 1) Organizing the part images for your initial character into separate folders based on groups of images you'll want to replace in Character Maps will save you lots of time.  For example, having a single folder specifically for each character variations head images will make it much easier to find and designate the corresponding images. In fact, Spriter can actually automate the association of images with replacement images if you stay organized.  More on this is a moment. 2) Things will be quicker and easier still of you give all alternate images the same exact name and image size as the original images use to create your animations (just in a new folder).  For example, notice how in this simple demo project, there are two image folders, one called “red” which contains the handful of images used to create the animated character, and the folder called “blue” which contain the corresponding images required to change the default red character into the very different looking blue character.  Notice how the corresponding images in each folder have the exact same name and images size. IMPORTANT: These are suggestions which can keep your project well organized and save you time if you plan on creating many character variations which swap many images with alternate ones, but these are NOT requirements!  If you only plan of replacing a few images with Character Maps, or simply don't want to give your folder and images structures this much forethought, it is by no means a necessity.
What Are Character Maps

Spriter Pro User’s Manual version 1.4