So finally finished my Red Mage model as much as i'm going to try for the scope of this particular class (but when it's over, i'm definitely going to try and add some more zest to it).
So this is a 'turntable' i created when i finished my model - it's a composite of two different layers, a 'Surface Shader' layer, and an 'Ambient Occlusion' layer. it's an extremely time consuming render process, mostly for the AO, but it beats trying to fake the kind of lighting effect you get from it as i'm not that experienced in lighting and Global Illumination yet.....yet. So the only part of the original model that's there is the head (it goes down to about the collar bone and terminates). So the gloves, boots, greaves, mostly everything will be bound and skinned to the skeleton i'm about to create rather than bind/skinning the model and then creating influences for the objects places over his body....man - PAIN!
For the most part that's all i've got done, plus some renders in Mental Ray (with physicalSun/Sky) of the 'set' i'm going to use for my animation