is clay going to stay sticky and such?
It should, yeah. Some clays will harden when exposed to the air for extended periods of time, but it should last for a decent while (based on my experience with Sculpey).
what about using it animations? am i going to have to mask everything out?
Depends on how much work you want to put on yourself. If you don't want to have the tac visible in your film, then you're gonna be looking at a decent amount of masking/clone stamping. If you don't mind it being in there, then don't worry about it too much.
what about the arms out of the sockets? how do i do that?
Step 1: Remove the arm from its socket.
and is clay actually going to help me? Right now I'm using playdoh, gets kinda hard rather quickly and not very sticky. So I need general guidance with this. any tips or anything is helpful! Thanks guys!
Sounds like Play-Doh is a poor choice for tac. Clay (such as Sculpey) is a better alternative, though it, too, runs the risk of hardening up and losing its stick after a while. My best recommendation is Uhu Tac. It remains sticky for extended periods of time without drying out, and is remarkably easy to clean (clay has a tendency to get really oily and get stuck in the various small crevices found on LEGO and on minifigs).