Anim8or is a free 3D modelling and character animation program for Windows platform. A great little program that has some interesting tutorials that can be easily integrated into a secondary multimedia program.
A great tutorial is available that shows how to create a character and a simple walk cycle. Broken into 3 separate tutorials:
Another free open source 3D content creation suite (that used to be a commercial product) is Blender. Blender has picked up quite a following in the open source community and especially in schools (due to the support and continued development online and its "freeness").
Blender is supports the following platforms:
- Windows 98, ME, 2000, XP, Vista
- Mac OS X (PPC and Intel)
- Linux (i386)
- Linux (PPC)
- FreeBSD 5.4 (i386)
- SGI Irix 6.5
- Sun Solaris 2.8 (sparc)