I always get the offers from Caligari, so 5.2 was the one I thought would be the perfect start for me. The biggest draw was the `facial animator'- but I'm a long way from doing any kind of `faces' in 3d.
And when I say I'm really good at 2d, sorry to sound misleading, but because I have not yet found a program to animate in 2d I don't have any work to show. The only animation I did was on my crusty old Amiga, and now I'm thinking about getting something like Moho for PC. I don't know if you can do the kind of shading/detail that you could with photoshop though.
I did a comic book of sorts (and have failed to seek publication more than once cuz it's a short graphic story rather than a comic book series) and I have done some CD artwork for myself and a local band, which was basically what I call 'photographic manipulation' in PhotoDeluxe. You know, take some pictures, slam them together and create something that doesn't really exist.
I actually have used PD to make `frames' using layers for one of my characters, but I am still just sketching him out, no texturing/coloring. And I don't even know all the moves I need to have him do, so right now he just walks, breathes (heavily- for his standing still position) and grabs something.
I think I would possibly like to put 2d characters into 3d environments (because modeling is so hard) and limit the camera angels so you won't see this flat character moving. Does anybody do that stuff with games? I figured 3d buildings shouldn't be too hard to model if you got a bunch of boxes and slap some brick textures on them (sorry to sound so unpassionate about the artwork at this point- but I'm thinking small til I get the skills down.)