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Resizing a Sprite in Nine Parts

Scale a sprite using nine-part algorithm.


The size of the sprite node’s frame property is determined by the values of these properties:

For example, if the sprite node’s base size is 32 x 32 pixels and it has an xScale value of 1.0 and a yScale value of 2.0, the size of its frame is 32 x 64 pixels.

Note: The scaling values of the sprite node’s ancestors in the scene are also used to scale it. This changes the effective size of the sprite without changing its actual frame value. See A Node Applies Many of Its Properties to Its Descendants.

When a sprite node’s frame is larger than its texture, the texture is stretched to cover its frame. Normally, the texture is stretched uniformly across the frame, as shown in the following figure.


However, sometimes you want to use sprite nodes to build user interface elements, such as buttons or health indicators. Often, these elements contain fixed-size elements, such as end caps, that should not be stretched. In this case, use a portion of the texture without stretching, and then stretch the remaining part of the texture over the rest of the frame.

The sprite’s centerRect property, which is specified in unit coordinates of the texture, controls the scaling behavior. The default value is a rectangle that covers the entire texture, which is why the entire texture is stretched across the frame. If you specify a rectangle that only covers a portion of the texture, you create a 3 x 3 grid. Each box in the grid has its own scaling behavior:

The following figure shows a close-up view of a texture you might use to draw a user interface button. The complete texture is 28 x 28 pixels. The corner pieces are each 12 x 12 pixels and the center is 4 x 4 pixels.


The following code shows how this button sprite would be initialized. The centerRect property is computed based on the design of the texture.

let button = SKSpriteNode(imageNamed: "stretchable_button.png")
button.centerRect = CGRect(x: 12.0/28.0,
                           y: 12.0/28.0,
                           width: 4.0/28.0,
                           height: 4.0/28.0)

The following figure shows that the corners remain the same, even when the button is drawn at different sizes.


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