At my high school there was a random 3d studio max class. I had to take a really dumb class as a prereq. for it, but I was so excited to see what this 3d thing that I thought I wanted to do for a career was all about... and to make sure I enjoyed it before I spent the money to go to college. So our teacher pretty much had no idea how to use the software or how to animate or anything so we had books we would try to do things from and some tutorials online. I made pretty much the coolest gold fish project ever and was very proud of myself. It was after this class that I knew CG was for me. Looking back... wow... I mean... dangerous skills here haha.
This is the AWESOME fish animation I did... Yeah... those are blend shapes on his tail making him swim (if you can even see them). I was pretty much a camera animation genius. Man... so good... took all day to render this.
The class was mostly modeling and trying to make something that looked cool. Everything looked plastic and totally CG, but I think that was the point for us.
And finally here is a fireplace thing I modeled... very proud of it.