Modeling and Materials
My first project was to create a machine, and having just made a few planes I went for a flying machine. The model above was meant to look like a Model T converted into a helicopter. It introduced me to texture mapping (you might not be able to see the burlap seats or the bird poop on the roof) and manual lighting (with which I admit I went a little overboard).
Environments and UV Mapping
For my second project I chose to model, texture, and render the underwater city of Rapture from the Bioshock series. This project introduced me to Bump Mapping and Imaged Based Lighting. This was also my first time using the Mental Ray renderer.
I delved a little into character design. I opted to make a sort of emaciated alien tribesman. After lots of wrestling trying to map Mudbox normals onto Maya base meshes, this is what I ended up with. Certainly not my most technically sound model, but he's got spirit.
Looking into animation, I decided to make a few simple models with cyclical animations, as one might see in a video game.
First in AutoDesk Mudbox, I created a stage for my characters to stand on, the surface of the human brain. The characters are going to be the embodiments of mental shortfalls, like distraction, laziness/gluttony, and stress.
Took a screenshot while painting skin weights in Maya because I thought it was the coolest thing. In this shot you can see the mesh for Distraction, his skeleton, and Maya's paint skin weights interface.
Here are the final three characters: distractions, gluttony, and stress. Not the most intricate or developed project I've ever done, but a great introduction to maya's animation tools.