(I originally posted this in the "Coding Blender" forum, pehaps this is more suitable)
The following paper goes into detail explaining the algorithms behind Animanium:
Other packages with similar joint-pinning features include: MotionBuilder, Houdini, Mirai, and Maya (as of 7.0, released last week, includes a full-body IK solver from MotionBuilder, with pin-and-drag).
The inclusion of pin-and-drag full-body IK in Maya was expected (Jason Schleifer has been pushing for this, and Alias owns MotionBuilder now, was just a matter of time), and this means that the rest of the big software companies will most likely rush to implement this as soon as possible aswell.
Hopefully someone feels that implementing this into Blender would be a fun challenge.
Although there are still essential animation features missing in Blender, such as Onion Skinning (visualizing your arcs, less scrubbing back and forth, very important), a X-Sheet/Dopesheet (for traditional animators), and more control over the appearance of bones (for more descriptive controls in rigs, such as custom color and geometry on a per-bone basis).
Anyways, 2.40 is looking very promising, great job everyone.
Some of the 3d software companies out there must feel VERY threatened by Blender now.
have said several times, are my same ideas since much long ...It is in general a much better way to animate.
yet though, there are workarounds to pin a joint already. I'd love it be so good and fast as described in that paper, or used in other 3d packages already.