Reusing animations from different skeletons.

I use 3D Studio Max and the UI for this is pretty terrible. I suspect from its restrictions that it might be even as old as 20 years. It’s painful!

I’m not sure if I have the terminology correct, remapping vs retargeting, but basically if the skeleton has bones the other does do not have, AND of course the naming of said bones is different too.
When you have a massive set of animations, it is certainly worth the time to remap/retarget w/e than redo them.

What programs or tools are better at this than 3D Studio Max? I’ve already heard Maya is “better” for animation or characters, so besides Maya, what else?

You can use literally any DCC for character or animations…because it rely on what your abilities…Maya/Max/Blender are tools, if you need to create a character the modeling tools are more or less the same in every package…same thing for animation.

Free option: go for Blender

Pay/rental: MayaLT or Modo Indie, they’re both pretty good and the price is reasonable.

For the retargeting stuff: in Maya it took me 15 minutes to create a re-usable script for retargeting animations from different characters, but you can use whatever you want…is Softimage there is already a tool which allows for skeletal rig retargeting and it takes 1 minute to do that and its pretty darn good, but I don’t see the point of using a dead software…so yeah, go for Blender or MayaLT or Modo.

Thanks, that is very good info. =)