Approaches for working with interactive 3D models

I am working on a 20ft x 20ft physical game for an academic project. The users are inside the game and it is ceiling projected on to the floor. The project requires me to use 3D models where the user interacts with it - generally catching these animated virtual objects. I wanted to know the community’s thoughts on the approach i can take.

  1. Should i animate the 3D model in Blender and call specific animations in Openframeworks?
    or
  2. Should i only model in Blender, then use OF to animate it.

I understand the second method is much more difficult since i will have to get specific group of skeleton / meshes but provides me much more control over the interaction.

What are the Pros and Cons for each of these methods? How do you guys generally go about doing this sort of project? What libraries do you use for skeletal system, I have seen Assimp and OpenNi. I am a single designer / developer. I would like something which is easier to get started.

Thanks in Advance

I would go for solution 1. There is a nice post by @NickHardeman that explains his approach using blender and openFrameworks.
http://nickhardeman.com/649/making-of-deserve/

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I would also go for solution 1 if you are going to be implementing something like a walk cycle. You can have several animations and trigger them based on events. Currently there is no animation blending (smooth transition between animations).
But if you want to make something like a tentacle interactive, you could programmatically control the individual bones.
Since the post @edapx mentioned ( thanks! ) I have updated ofxFBX to allow for easier control of individual bones. An example can be seen on the GitHub page animated gif or in the example-BoneControl project.
There is no IK chain system in ofxFBX.
I often use it with ofxGizmo for placement and saving of transforms.

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