As far as I know the 3ds format don't support skeletal animation. But it supports morphing and transform animation. With mri-v3ds (http://games.swizel-studios.com/libraries.html
) you can import the information needed to do the animation. But don't think anyone has implimentation a renderer yet. You could try coding it, but I think you will run out of time.
Then there is the md2 and md3 formats. Importer source code at gametutorials: http://www.gametutorials.com/Tutorials/opengl/OpenGL_Pg4.htm
. I know javaCoolDude ported the tutorials, so implementation is available in java. there are also several java engines that support the md2 format: http://www.jpct.net/
. I think it is possible to export these formats from 3dstudio.
Mojomonkeycoding md2 test:http://www.mojomonkeycoding.com/webstart/jmedemo/renderer.loader.TestMd2