If I was to use my animated model externally from Blender would I have to export the animation as a gif for it to work or would I have to render it first and then go straight to exporting it as a gif. Also when I do use it externally from Blender within the rendering/exporting process would Blender apply the colour scheme that I have applied to the model via vertex paint mode. Thanks for the help.
You should render out the animation in the file format of your choosing, then make that into a GIF.
To make the vertex paint appear when rendered, make sure you choose “VColPaint” under the Materials panel.