This new design has an "Animation Blend Group" associated with ever Mesh Instance. Animation Instances are added to the Animation Blend Group and each cycle the Blend Group goes through all of its Animation Instances and calculates the Final Pose from this.
To achieve the bone masking there are now some extra optional data that you can supple to the loading of a model. This allows you to apply bone weight to a specific bone in a specific animation.
The animation fading can also be specified on load but in the future I would like to be able to change this so that you can change the fade in and out values per animation instance.
Okay so I've talked about it, now here is the outcome:
The next step really is to create my own models that I can use for the game, although I am still lacking in the 3D modelling department and it may take me a while.
As an added note I will soon be working on Font Rendering to progress the development of the GUI for my engine. This will then give me a chance to create a small executable for testing out different bone weights and fade in/out values.
Keep coding :)