For the past few weeks animating I've discovered a few tools that can save some time when doing some repetitive tasks during your animations. I use them all the time now and find them extremely useful:
-cMotionTrail : a very powerful arc tracker tool for Maya. With this Mel script you're able to track your animation arcs and see the spacing of a moving object.
-Ghostman : another awesome tool! it lets you create copies of your poses and acts like an onion tool for those used with 2d animation. You can easily see your next and previous key and adjust your poses accordingly
-AutoTangent : this is a script by Michael Comet that I can't work without. For those that usually spend hours in the hypergraph trying to correct those overlapping curves and tangents going in the wrong directions, here is the solution! Simply select your curves and on a press of a button, they're all looking good again!
-TweenMachine : this tool will help you easily create your in-betweens poses.
To end this post I wanted to share a couple of hotkeys I know that can save a considerable amount of time when animating:
* , and . hotkeys that are used to move to the next and previous keyframe
* alt+, and alt+. , for previous and next frame
* have a look at those timing hotkeys from animator TJ Phan. Great time savers again, and very useful when moving large amounts of keyframes at the same time
That's it for now, but I'd be really happy to hear about other tools that could be used when animating.