We're well into this month of classes, and I've gotten to the point where I can begin making animations. Awesome. Simply Awesome. I'm shooting for something like this before next month is over.
Last week we created our characters, then "rigged" them. This essentially means we added a skeleton to the polygon mesh that we'll use to move them about. Dancing jigs, playing frumble... whatever I want them to do, I can make them do it. I'm essentially playing God at this point. My 500-ish polygon creations are at my whim.
Which I guess isn't like God. Cuz of the whole free will thing.
Anyway, here are some screen shots of my character and the rigging underneath. For this class we're just using "puppet" characters, because we haven't learned how to make the "skin" stretch with the movements yet.
Of course with anything you're learning for the first time, there were a few bumps in the road. If I made the joints at the wrong angle or in the wrong order, I would really come out with some ... interesting results.
I imagine that everybody who has tried learning Maya ran into this problem early on. It's just a matter of practice. The class I'm currently in is only a month long, so I'm cramming a lot of learning into a pretty quick span.
Still, it could be worse. I might have only had one day to create a fully functional person.