I believe 3dsmax would be the way to go, as for its used mostly for games, and its easyto get nice stuff done, for a respectable time frame, also depanding if your looking at ral, or toon shaded, it works too. I would be willing to giveit a try for animating. im not super but im good enough if ppl wonder... they can always checkout my web site to see my stuff http://members.tripod.com/lt_tarantulas/ Just need a list of what animaton to include, and an idea whats needed... so the modeler and animator (if different person) can communicate good, sot he end product pleases everyone. as for 'template' some does exist on free 3d site.. like 3dcafe.com you got loootsa places, trucks, cars, jets, boats. but some will needto be made from, scratch.