Did I forget to mention that I'm also working with the lads over at http://cadenzainteractive.com/ doing some character animation? I animated all the baddies in their latest release, Retrovirus, and am now working with them on some new game concepts. It's been really fun to shake out the cobwebs on that skill set and explore just how far the tech has come since I last tried to do anything like this.
For example, Maya's HIK system. HIK is short of Human Inverse Kinematics, and it's Maya's very slick system for automagically setting up all the needed rigging and tools to animated a humanoid character. I was able to go from nothing to having a rough walk and run cycle in less then 6 hours. That's crazy! And today I animated both a kneeling animation cycle and a standing interacting cycle. It was really easy to get something serviceable. Good enough for prototype at least. Obviously, the devil is in the details and I would have to spend vastly greater time refining and polishing but for this purpose it was great.
I'm heading off to my Father-In-Law's next week and he's finally gotten his home theater all tweaked out and ready to rock. So, I'm gonna try and make him a custom THX trailer to celebrate. I've already got a rough idea. Since he's a trekker, I dug up a model of the latest Enterprise (from the movie) and am going to do a quick anim of it flying by camera and have the engine noise slowly turn into the THX as it warps off. Should be easy enough but I thing he'll dig it.
Not bad for a freebie off the net. Get it here:
Of course, there's a bit of cleanup necessary, and I'll have to add all the glows, lights, etc. But still, that's usually the fun part anyways. :)