First I did a proper render of the Level 1 mini-boss. The model isn't finished, but it's functional and animated in-game now. People who have played the demo probably remember the bomber you fight near the end of 1-1; this is obviously an improvement:
It lacks detail (read: greebling), and the engines aren't even begun (it's about an hour and a half of work there). Still way better than the old MSPaint art I was using.
The second triumph is much better. I need tiles for a conveyor belt, and I was going to use Blender to do it, mainly so the turning on the ends was smooth. This was tricky; firstly, I needed the animation to loop in 8 frames. Secondly, I needed the render to be neatly carvable into tiles 32 wide so I can make tiles of varying lengths; that was really hard to do because the tiles had to line up every 8 pixels and that's not really something Blender's set up to do. But in the end, I got a good result:
It's a proof of concept that's halfway to what it will finally look like, to boot. I'm happy with it. I'll be even happier with it once I do some post production to smooth it out.
Back to player animations tomorrow, I imagine.
EDIT: Touched up conveyor ...