My background in 3D started in 96 when I started to play with 3D Studio for DOS until I connected with a friend who had an Amiga, Video Toaster, and Lightwave. Shortly thereafter, I got a job at an SGI/Alias|Wavefront reseller as a demo jock and support engineer. I was doing all Lightwave at the time, but was able to be around for the initial Maya launch event, which was a blast. I haven't been able to do much of anything with Maya due to life being life, so I haven't really picked up the software until recently. I'm trying to unlearn Lightwave in favour of Maya, and I'll post my first serious modeling attempt here in a post soon to follow. I'm just going through the new Learning Maya Books (almost done with Foundation, about to start SFX Handbook). I have a user account on Renderosity that I usually put stuff up to, but I'm wanting to connect with more people than I feel I can there, so I wanted to find an LJ Maya Community as well, and so I have!
Hmm... where my interest lie... 3D based photo-realism, visualization, NURBS modeling, and then other sorts of modeling to follow. As I'm new to the software, my first model doesn't have any textures yet. I want to learn Mental Ray and am very interested in Final Gather, Global Illumination, and very accurate rendering of the models I use for visualization and realism projects. Ultimately, I want to do some comic-style art in Maya to supplement all of this, but I have a loooooooong way to go before I get there. :P Nice to meet you all! ^^