What are people here using for 3d character animations?
I need some simple tech to animate a biped doing walks, turns, climbs, jumps.
I saw cal3d, but the quality seemed to be lacking, and I think it's quite old tech?
Depends on what you want to do. Horde3D has some animation stuff that seems to work ok. How does the quality of Cal3D lack? I can't imagine they're doing anything other than bones + blending. From what I gather, the industry standard for AAA stuff is a mix of blend tree + state machine (a blend state graph of sorts) with some procedural nodes in the graph sometimes. Horde has a rudimentary blend system (blend layers) but doesn't have the states, which is what I've added. Really can't see what Cal3d would do differently.
Have a look at Horde3D or Ogre as examples. The ogre skeleton class comes to mind.
In terms of products, you can get a free binary only license to Havok Animation if that floats your boat (its a pretty good library from what I've seen). Unity now also comes with a blend state graph editor thingy, so I'm likely going to be using that to rig up a toolset that spits out the graphs so I can use it in my own engine.