I would like to know:
what is a good 3d animation software that is somewhat basic. I need to make simple 3d cartoons that can move around and talk. I don't need anything super high-end but nothing that is too basic. Price isn't really an issue too much since my employer is paying
Is there something that can be thrown into a Premiere Pro timeline?
Output is video (.wmv, .flv, .mp4 for youtube).
Thanks in advance
...what is a good 3d animation software that is somewhat basic...
That is a great oxymoron.
Being inexperienced in 3D character animation, expect a considerable amount of time to learn it (months, years) before you will be able to produce something useful to your employer.
Common professional apps include Maya, Lightwave and 3D Studio Max. Even if price is no object, there is a huge cost to learning these complex apps. You might do well with a more basic, but still very capable for character animation... Animation Master by Hash.
I agree. Cinema4D is a good "basic" program & very affordable since you are not likely to have a "useable" finished peice for a while due to the large learning curve. (good selling point to your superiors) Although, in my experience they all work pretty much the same. I learned 3D on Maya - which was far too expensive for my employer to purchase. So we got Cinema4D & while it was different from Maya, it was easy to catch on. Also, Maxon (the parent co.) offer excellent training & support, which is a huge bonus.
I am agree with Marian, if you are totally unexperienced in 3d animation, don't go for yourself as it will take a considerable amount of time to be an expert.
Rather I would suggest you to for a 3d animation studio/company. If you are in US, you can check with Zco corporation. To get an idea of their work check their website (http://www.zco.com/3d-animations.aspx), you will find various previous work examples.
For more information about IllusionMage, see http://www.blender.org/blenderorg/blender-foundation/press/re-branding -blender/
IllusionMage is not a "worthwhile investment" because you can get it for free at http://www.blender.org
joniqueen is spamming and scamming this forum with a bogus product.
If you want something for nothing, there are a few freeware versions of 3D packages available. 3D Canvas from amabilis.com is a cut down version of the company's commercial 3D packages. It's a fully functional 3D application but is probably more suited to the intermediate 3D users or keen beginners.