In 2001 I worked on shots for a PBS special, using Maya on SGI machines. Tough to learn but really powerful operating system. .
I rigged characters for a number of models used in the shows.
We were responsible for ushering shots through from the animatic stage to the composite and delivery (compositing with Alias Composer, much like Fusion). Rendering was done with unix command line scripts over a network to various remote render farms.