Sprite animation from 2D to 3D

Hi, I’m fairly new to Unity.

We started a 2D project which is getting transfered to a 3D project to have the look of a 2.5D game (à la Don’t Starve).

In the 2D project we used a sprite sheet for animating sprites, but now that we’re moving to a 3D project and we’re no longer able to use sprites, I would like to know what is the best way to achieve the same result of having an animated sprite object through a sprite sheet but for a 3D object?

For example, we had a machine that was made out of different parts/sprites, some parts/sprites were animated through ‘position animation’ and other parts were animated through ‘sprite animation’. What would be the best way to translate this into a 3D project?


Why can’t you use the sprites? The ability to have objects overlap can be controlled by it’s distance from the camera, which I am sure is the way Dont Starve does it. Set your main camera to orthographic, move your objects around in 3d space as you normally would, and “Billboard” all of the sprites. To billboard your objects, just attach this script to them:

public class Billboard : MonoBehaviour
	private void LateUpdate ()
		if (Camera.main != null)
			transform.LookAt (Camera.main.transform.position, Vector3.up);
			transform.Rotate (Vector3.up, 180);

All games made with Unity are “3D”. The choice of 3D/2D when you start a new project just makes minor changes as to default behaviour whether image files are imported as textures or sprites, and whether the camera is orthographic or perspective, but all the features of the engine work exactly the same. Sprites are just images drawn onto 2d polygons aligned to face the camera. So keep your sprite animation exactly as it was

For example, in the following screenshot, the probe and the character are 2D sprites that move on a flat plane with Z=0. The rocks in the background are also 2D sprites at various depths in the distance. Between them is a 3D terrain mesh.
The sprites are animated using traditional sprite sheet methods (there’s a video of them in action at http://nome-game.com/2016/06/24/enter-sandman/)