Recently I have been messing around with two popular tools used for machinma. SFM and GMOD. SFM reminds me a little of Adobe after effects. Posing characters is awkward because you have to hold on to control to move the joints. It could be a very useful tool for animation because it has both live movement tools and lip sync. Getting you own characters into the engine is another story. It’s very complicated.
And then there is GMOD. I am addicted to it at the moment. While I had a blast playing around int the sandbox and doing stupid things, posing a ragdoll with the gravity gun is one of the most frustrating things ever. I found a plug in that makes posing easier. similar to how you would move joints in a 3d modeling program. GMod is fine if you want to make silly, choppy, and YTP animations. SFM is the tool I will use if I can get my models in to the freaking program.