I am building a strategy game in 2.5D, similar to Age of Empires, but will be a bugs war instead of humans.
I am in the process of building animation, I hired a graphic designer and UI developer, the game will be built using HTML5. I have a graphic designer to build the animation in graphic designer and the UI developer will take this PSD work and convert it to HTML5/CSS3 animation.
As the game will be in 2.5D, then the characters movement animation is expected to be from different view (right/left/back/front/diagonal-left(back/front)/diagonal-right(back/front) as in Age of Empires. So, animation of walking, fighting, resource gathering, initiate modes should address all this views.
What I want is to correctly define the structure of drawing the character in Photoshop or Illustrator so it simplify the animation process for the UI developer.
So far, I have animation built on photoshop for right/left view for a bug walking, each part of character body has it's own body, and the graphic designer build multiple frames to create the animation in prototype.
What I see is that the amount of work to produce a walking animated photoshop design is huge/time-consuming. And now I also need the character graphics in different view (front/back .. etc), and that means lots and lots of layers.
Is this the only solution I can go with to build the animation? Or there is other solution? I was thinking of building 3D bug animation that can be rotated in different views and axes and UI developer is free then to generate images from the view they want, but I am not graphic designer and I don't know if this a valid solution.