Most of the past two days have been spent researching anim-trees and getting a grip on doing actual character animation within Max, instead of the weird spastic rig-tests we've been doing. I like dabbling with animation, but I don't know a lot about the theory behind it, so I've also been reading The Animator's Survival Kit by Richard Williams. It's been very helpful but it's very apparent I'm not going to become good at animating just by reading a book.
So far I've made a set of looping idle-animations. There's a default standing one, and three small idle actions (kicking ground, wiping her hands on her jumper and looking around). They all start and stop the same way, so the character can play the idle animation, then immediately start playing a random idle variation, loop back to the idle animation, loop into a different random idle animation and so on.
Once I have a walk cycle down, I should be ready to build the anim-tree and start scripting the player pawn and replace the default UDN pawn. I will need more animations, like a set of jumping animations, but the main thing is to get this working, and then refining it.
Ohh this is a very boring post with no pictures in it. Hmmm here's a warmup drawing of a person wearing a ladybird mech armor: