We warmed up this session getting acquainted with materials in Maya, specifically with Arnold materials, and then rendering these in the Arnold renderer. Although simple, the effects of simply adding a material to an object and placing the object in an environment is, frankly, SUPER COOL. The outcome is something akin to a Salvador Dali painting, or it would be if I worked on a little further. The effect I think is similar to that of the creepy doll, where the more human they look they more disturbing they become. Similarly, the rendered images look fairly realistic, yet retain something distinctly false that creates the abstract nature. My below renders are more clearly false because of their environment, but it would be interesting to see this in a more detailed image.
We then moved on to the meat of the session, that is the fundamentals of rigging. We went through the process of making a rig first with joints, and parenting these to the polygons. Then adding in nurbs shapes, which we would parent to the joints in the appropriate location, such as the wrist if we wanted this nurbs to control the arm, so as to prevent us from moving the rig by moving the joints or by moving polygons. We learnt more about the specifics of joints, and the different ways of controlling them, namely the difference between IKs (inverse Kinematics) and FKs (Forward Kinematics)