Advice on 2D sprite making

As title says.

What tools do you guys recommend for drawing 2D sprites? What are the recommended dimensions on the sprites? How about the background, what dimension are recommended?

I do have Photoshop CC at my disposal but I really dislike doing actual pixel painting in it and it kinda lacks a good way to deal with animations (or maybe I’ve missed that feature).

I’ll suck in any information you guys are throwing my way!

What middleware do you have experience with/do you feel comfortable with/can you gain access to?

It is not an uncommon pipeline and I actually recommend it if you are working in UE4, to go ahead and model your stuff in Maya as 3D models, then rig and export them as 2D sprite sheets. They are sooo much easier to animate that way. SOOOOO much easier.

For animations you can use a 3D model as Lindsay said, export the frames with their respective perspective views and with Photoshop paint over the frames.

It’s the classic rotoscoping trick but with CGI instead of live action video.

For dimensions it depends on how do you like the game to be viewed. The standard resolution right now is 1920x1080, draw a canvas with those dimensions and make some experiments with what you said.

You will have very precise information of the sizes you’ll need to use.