I very much like being up to date with the latest and the greatest software, and for animation this is Vue. Vue has been used in major films like Avatar and The pirates of the Caribbean to create hyper realistic landscapes (or water-scapes) but everything is done on the computer, none of it is film! It is a very powerful 3D modeling and here is an example of the process.
I have used this in some of my animation projects such as in “searcher”
before colour correction and editing
after colour correction and editing
And here are some experiments with trees and light!