What do people use to animate characters ?

Well i have to create some human models who are doing some labor work. (walk around factory floor taking bags etc)
I was wondering how i could reduce time in animating them

I wonder if there is some kind of plugin, or external tool; in which one could easy the character animation workloads.
Maybe its possible to import export movements ??

I know character animation can be done in blender, but i think there must also exsit plugins that reduce the workload machinima plugins or something like thishttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cx_UOsiNyz8, maybe importing them from secondlife or so… there must easier ways i think ?

any suggestion is welcome.

Interesting video. Although wiring up a wooden manikin to provide animation input is a clever trick, somehow I don’t think it will save time over traditional posing the rig practices. If you look closely, the fancy ninja fighting moves the on screen character makes at the end were NOT from the poses that were keyed in when he posed the wooden model. I suspect a video showing the whole process might have been a couple hours long, much longer than it would take to simply key in poses for the CG character.

Blender can import mocap data, and use that to animate some rigs. I’m not familiar with the ins and outs of that, but there are tutorials available. My impression is that there is a pretty steep learning curve to get half way decent mocap animation done, and it still needs manual tweaking to look good. Your best bet to animate factory workers picking things up, taking them somewhere, and putting them back down, is probably simple animation.

Rigify (the human meta rig armature option) can quickly rig your characters, and is fairly easy to use to do the kind of animation you are talking about.

Years ago i was a bit active in seconlive, which to me was like a connected 3d editing environment.
As if people could just peak in while you where drawing in blender.
There i used qavimator its fee : http://www.qavimator.org/ to create BVH files (which i think Blender can read)
I also found this site with a huge collection of such bvh files (for second life rig?),
…hmm Make human can export using the secondlife rig too, then i would only need to remodel the workers…

Still not entirly sure, i hope there is a better tool i overlooked, that has some basic AI that understands tasks and moves, like walt to there put your hand for you, take it, walk with it and drop it something like that… but it might be forefront of AI resaerch i guess.
Dough many games have such interactions also hmm…