This is a quick playblast of where I'm up to now. I'm about to start blocking in the part with the sign which I anticipate might be a bit difficult as I will have to animate the visibility of the sign too.
I asked my classmates if you can animate visibility in Maya (I imagined you could but didn't know how) as it was something I used in Softimage a lot. I used to animate parenting too which I've also asked about.
Scott answered "Yes, right click on the visiablty in the attribute editor, then select - key selected"
What I'm most concerned about is the manner in which the sign appears. We wanted a Looney Tunes style hammer space from which the sign would appear. However I don't want the sign to look like it just appears in the character's hand. The best example I can think of this is from The Sims games, where objects would just appear in the game characters' hands.
We don't want to sign to be visible on the side of the character it is not coming from nor before it is whipped out. As the sign idea was very much influenced by Wily E Coyote, what better example of this to use than from one of the masters of hammerspace! Here is what we want the bringing out of the signs to look like, only in 3D animation of course.