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2D/3D Newbie question...

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I've been doing some research and looking around and I can't find my answer, so I would think someone here knows. How are units/characters within RTS games created/animated? Referring to actual in-game units/characters and how they move around on the screen. Do these units actual have 3D animation-cycles (like with 3DS Max/Maya) or are they just created on 2D software (PhotoShop) where the creator would make each frame and then just run the frames within the game? Same with the buildings or environment, like a tree, is the tree a low-poly 3D object or did the creator make it in a 2D program, making it appear 3D? And I am referring to the older RTS games, original Command and Conquer, original StarCraft, WarCraft I and II, not WoW or WCIII. Any input would be great, thanks.

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Starcraft, Warcraft and Warcraft II were all 2D games. IIRC, Warcraft and Warcraft II used handdrawn sprites, and Starcraft used pre-rendered 3D graphics.

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