Thank you for sharing more information on the problems you are having.
The sizes given in the white paper are the recommended minimums to maintain good quality at various levels of zoom. It is not essential to use exactly these sizes but it is a good guideline to follow.
When it comes to the crashing you get when using large size images then I really do think you should contact Support as I mentioned previously. You should not be getting crashes like this. I have been working today with some vector based characters using body parts of 1500 x 1500 and have not encontered any crashes at all using these sizes.
1. loading media to create sprite
tried and followed instructions but nothing happens except folder with the body parts i created on my hard drive opens.
from instructions on help i think what should happen is a folder in CTA should open as well for me to drag my files in to. Which then will create a sprite not sure whats happening there.
When you are adding parts to your character, say for example using the black dummy as a template, you would select the body part, open the Sprite Editor and then choose Replace. This will then open the Windows Open explorer for you to browse to the folder where you have your images stored. Simply find your body part image you want to add and then click Open.
2 using prop composer to make sprite
can't do that as the button i need to press is greyed out? and i have followed the correct procedures as described in help
had a bash with character composer in the early hours of the morning with some success although eddie is a bit distorted fro0m the body parts i've added but i think that will be fixed by repositioning the pivot points. But using eddie as a template will that restrict the body types i like to draw. i lik a tubby cartoon character but will that cause problem using a skinny eddie for a template?
Which button is greyed out? When you are working in Character Composer you only need to select the individual body part and select the Sprite Editor to begin replaceing parts.
Very importantly when you have selected the part you want to replace and choose Open it will most likely appear in Composer the wrong size and wrong rotation. You should make all the rotation adjustments to the part before you close the Sprite Editor. You won't be able to roate the part after you close the Sprite Editor.
So from reading through your description of the problems it really seems that it is purely down to a lack of experience with the software rather than a failure of CTA to be able to achieve what you want to do with it.
I really would advise you to stick with it. Please try watching all the video tutorials available again, pausing and stoping so you can try each part. With practice I do believe you will soon get the hang of it.
I would also ask that if you get stuck at various points, please post a question here on the forum and I will gladly try to help further.
Thanks again for taking the time to provide the feedback. I appreciate it.