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Ripping a sprite is simple, but may be time-consuming. First, make or obtain a sprite sheet (a good resource for this is the website spriters-resource.com).
Separating the Costumes
Open up the sprite sheet in a photo-editing program such as Paint. Open another Paint. Using the select tool, select one costume. Right-click, then copy. On the other Paint, paste then save the costume. Repeat these steps for every other costume (that you are going to use).
On a Mac
On a Mac, open the image in Preview. Then select the costume's region, and press the key combinations cmd-C, cmd-N, cmd-S in that order. A popup will ask you what you want to save the costume as. Repeat this for each costume.
Opening the Costumes in Scratch
Open up Scratch. Click on the "Choose New Sprite" button. Click on the first costume you ripped. Then open up the remaining costumes as costumes for the first one. On every costume, delete the colored background and center the sprite. This is a sample sprite sheet.