Think back to where we started: a simple plane with four vertices. From those original four vertices, we extruded the face and head, added eyes, modeled the body, added lights, and added materials and textures. Then we started rigging by building an armature and then weight painting, first for the upper body and then for the lower body. Next we started animating, first with a simple wave and then with a more complex walkcycle. Then we created facial expressions, added sound, and lip synced to a sound file. Finally, we mixed everything together into a final animation.
Now you have the knowledge to create your own character and animate it, completely from scratch. And you have the experience in Blender to be able to branch out and explore other parts of this incredibly deep program. For example, I didn't even talk about UV mapping, Stride bone, animating along curves, the nuances of the IPO window, the node editor for materials and compositing . . . the list goes on!
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and learned a lot from it. I certainly spent a lot of time on it! You can email me at sendjunktoryan at gmail with any feedback.
Thanks for taking the time to do this tutorial.