Since the second day of class when we actually started using Maya I've been wishing I remembered more from my high school physics class. I've realized that the most interesting and also difficult part about 3D animating is how essential knowledge about basic physics and math can be. I'm convinced that everything I do in this class would come a lot easier for me if I could just manage to remember even the smallest detail about elasticity or angle of refractions or something ha. So, while my general lack of physics knowledge may slow me down in the modeling phases I was hoping I could at least get through the animating part.
When I found this video online that literally breaks down every element that goes into taking a step I realized I was not going to be catching a break anytime soon. This video just proves that as important as knowing Maya and how to manipulate it's interface are, no skill is more significant in this field than attention to extreme detail. To be a 3D animator you have to have patience of course but you also have to be able to break things down (whether you're modeling or animating a movement) to their simplest state. Only from there can you begin creating. Oh, and knowing a thing or two about physics and kinetics couldn't hurt either :-).