Glad to hear you have been able to work around the problems you were having.
FreeBone characters are easy to create and allow you to pretty much animate anything you want, but of course the downside is you can't use G3 motion clips with them and can only keyframe your animations. If you want to be able to use G3 character animations from the library then you have to use standard G3 characters.
As you have found the learning curve in software like Cartoon Animator is a little steep and things can get frustrating, but the rewards are worth it I think in the end. Hopefully, as you spend more with CTA4 you will find things more enjoyable and a little less stressful.