Is Panda3D the tolls I'm looking for

I’m working on a project that deals with motion capture and virtual reality for theatre.
We want to be able to load 3d avatar (created on 3dsmax) on the fly and manipulate his skeleton with a motion capture system weared by a comedian. We also want to be able to load in real time a static object and do some physics with (detection) and produce sounds. It’s not really a game or some kind of but it deals with the same technology/tools.
The most important thing for us is to be able to load avatar on the fly (in real time) and distort them (by a crossfade beetween two avatar with constant number of vertices, I guess). We’re are not real developpers (I’m learning C++ and also starting python with the learning of Panda3D) and we don’t really want to spend months only on that subject (I know we have to work on the developpement process, I’m just trying to find the good way and also the easiest).
We’ll also deal with motion capture so the skeleton of the avatar will be controled by the motion capture system (I saw Panda3D know vrpn protocol). Do you think it’s possible with Panda3D to load a 3D avatar in real time and link (also on the fly) the motion capture to each new skeleton coming with each new avatar.
Any light will be greatly appreciated.

I actually did this once - my program was reading a file produced by a motion tracking system and using it to control a panda character. It wasn’t real time, but there’s no reason it couldn’t have been. The hard part was translating the data from the motion tracking system’s coordinates to panda joint angles. I’m not so great at angular mathematics and coordinate systems, so it took me a couple days of trial and error to get it right.

The physics with static objects is quite a bit harder. Panda’s physics support is pretty skeletal.

Many Thanks Josh

Is there a list of the modules of panda3d with each the classes it contains. I’ve found the list of the classes on the site and the list of the module in the direct/src folder of the panda folder. Every time I want to know what’s inside a module I have to read each python file of this module (of course it’s a good way to learn the “core” of Panda3D.
I’ve found the module directdevices with the classes for vrpn interactivity. That’s great. But still I have no motion capture system at home I’d like to start with midi device or 'arduino" device. Do you think it’s possible to get data from this devices, perhaps with specific modules (sorry I’m starting with python ?).

Forget the question about mid or serial devices with python, I’ve found it. I think that using then will only be a matter of path definition in panda3d.

Well, there’s a comprehensive list of classes listed under “Documentation” above. You can click on any of the class names for details. Then, there’s the manual. Neither is perfect, though. Some methods aren’t commented, unfortunately.