Full version of Panda3D (not redistributable) is required for both Blender and Maya export pipelines.
First of all, a character model consists of a model (mesh) and a skeleton that is glued to that mesh. A skeleton consists of a hierarchy of joints that can move and will deform the mesh when it moves.
The difference between a SmartBody character model and a PandaBMLR character model is that SmartBody generally only uses the joint hierarchy (except for the debug viewer) to calculate joint movements. A character needs to have the EXACT SAME skeleton in both SmartBody and PandaBMLR. This is crucial. But even if the skeleton is the same, the model (mesh and textures) can vary.
At the moment, there is only one skeleton available for SmartBody, the doctor.sk skeleton. This is however not a problem because this is a human skeleton, and humans tend to have similar skeletons :)
Because PandaBMLR and SmartBody must use the same skeleton as we said above, we have created base skeletons to use in Blender and Maya that conform to the doctor.sk SmartBody skeleton. We STRONGLY recommend using these base skeletons as a base, or at least a reference.