How to Hoverboard
This is a project I did in Maya for my Lighting and Rendering class in Spring 2013, and I'm putting it here for two reasons. One, the hoverboard is one of my favorite pieces. Two, the character (Gideon) is a perfect example of what NOT to do. Why? He was my first attempt at modeling and animating a human character, and at the time, there was a lot I didn't understand about clean modeling.
The most important lesson I learned: Poly conservation. While the environment and hoverboard have a reasonable amount of faces, Gideon's model is nearly 600,000 triangles. Not fun AT ALL to animate with a laptop. I learned the hard way that you can't easily animate something with that many polygons... I know now!
Check out the concept art here