I don't know if you can actually use Collada, but it or the plug-in for it would teach you some things about animation issues. Beginners to pros use something like Mixamo Fuse if they don't want or can't spend the time on elaborate custom animations made by themselves. Blender is a good learning tool and is actually scalable in the sophistication of the animations, especially with plug-in like Collada. By the way, if the export file format does not suit your game coding, then you may export to another 3D program and almost always get the correct export file format that you need in the conversion. You will really need to be very conscious of the whole workflow pipeline and be prepared to do a lot of research and practice to get your workflow going. Another issue is to think in terms of model file format more in making serious progress at a more efficient pipeline for development and creation. This is true for 3D model, 2D graphics, and animations. The ideal is to land on a good 3D modeling software that includes animations (with or without plugins for animations) which will package all these components into a nice, comprehendible model folder. Typically this model folder is the whole model, though there sometimes are reasons to dangle data outside the model folder, such as some specification in a configuration file which is outside the model folder. More specifically, 3D character "mesh", rigging, UV or other texture mapping (could include bump-mapping), rendering, lighting, materials, and animations all included in one export from a 3D software program. Trust me, using a 3D software which packages all this for you is a huge time and coding saver. There are software development kits (SDKs) to tie these model folders to your game source code.
Now, if all this sounds frightfully complicated, what you do is start with only very basic character or other model features and gradually add more in the future if you want. Even with a simple character, you get much capability for the effort compared with manually coding every character instead of letting a graphic software write the coding files in the model folder for you. The most efficient way from a coding standpoint is to create a class (file or folder) for a category of model and put the model folder in the class folder. Have your game draw from that class file when the gamer selects it. This shows the importance of modular coding and using interfaces as a kind of switchboard for coding.
The great advantage of using SDKs, IDEs, and/ or a game engine with a 3D software (creating the correct model folders for these software) is that so much coding and organization if done for you. After a while of working on games, then you will begin to see the relationships of game structure, which are mostly standard in the game development industry. It wil become more a matter of tying existing libraries together with coding, configuring them, and then adding game content to the files and folders of the game.
It is possible and common for beginners to code a game in a spaghetti fashion, but a nightmare to debug em and extend them.
I hope that this helped.
Edited by 3Ddreamer, 30 April 2014 - 09:49 PM.