Display Sprites in Pygame | Load and Blit

edit ✏️

One of the most essential concepts of pygame to start making a game you will need to understand is loading images and blitting them to the screen.

blit stands for block image transfer, to me it feels a lot like layering up layers/images in photoshop or Gimp.

Loading an image

I started by making a spotlight in Gimp, by opening a 64x64 pixel image and painting the center with a very soft brush.

the spotlight I created in gimp

This is what it looks like

Now we can load this into pygame.

import pygame
img = pygame.image.load("assets/spotlight.png")

Converting to the pygame colorspace

To make pygame a bit more efficient we can convert the image to pygames colorspace once when we load it rather than every time we blit it onto another surface.

import pygame

# convert full opaque images
img = pygame.image.load("assets/spotlight.png").convert()

# convert pngs with transparancy
img = pygame.image.load("assets/spotlight.png").convert_alpha()

blitting

To display the image onto the screen we need to use the blit method which needs at least two arguments, something to blit and a position to blit it at.

screen = pygame.display.set_mode(self.screen_size)
screen.blit( img, (0, 0),)

note blitting to the position (0, 0) will align the top left corners of the object we are blitting onto (screen) and the object we are blitting (img).

Starter

Now we need an actual game running to be able to put on the screen. I am using my own starter/boilerplate, if you want to follow along you can install it from github into your own virtual environment.

pip install git+https://github.com/WaylonWalker/pygame-starter

You can read more about my starter in this post

Let's place this image right in the middle

Now we can use the starter to create a new game, and with just a bit of offset we can put the spotlight directly in the middle.

import pygame
from pygame_starter import Game


class MyGame(Game):
    def __init__(self):
        super().__init__()
        # load in the image one time and store it inside the object instance
        self.img = pygame.image.load("assets/spotlight.png").convert_alpha()
    def game(self):
        # fill the screen with aqua
        self.screen.fill((128, 255, 255))
        # transfer the image to the middle of the screen
        self.screen.blit(
            self.img,
            (
                self.screen_size[0] / 2 - self.img.get_size()[0],
                self.screen_size[1] / 2 - self.img.get_size()[1],
            ),
        )


if __name__ == "__main__":
    game = MyGame()
    game.run()

If we save this as load_and_blit.py we can run it at the command like as so.

python load_and_blit.py

And we should get the following results.

the results of putting the image in the middle

convert a transparent png

What happens when we accidently use .convert() rather than .convert_alpha() ?

using convert on a transparant png gets rid of all transparancy and fills with black

Making snow

A common concept in pygame, that is built into my starter, is that you typically want to reset the screen each and every frame. Building on this with our new concept of blitting spotlights onto the screen we can make a random noise of snow by blitting a bunch of images to the screen.

import random

import pygame
from pygame_starter import Game


class MyGame(Game):

    def __init__(self):
        super().__init__()
        self.img = pygame.image.load("assets/spotlight.png").convert_alpha()

    def game(self):
        self.screen.fill((128, 255, 255))
        for  in range(100):
            self.screen.blit(
                self.img,
                (
                    random.randint(0, self.screen_size[0]) - self.img.get_size()[0],
                    random.randint(0, self.screen_size[1]) - self.img.get_size()[1],
                ),
            )


if __name__ == "__main__":
    game = MyGame()
    game.run()

the results