For half a year I studied 3D-animation at Derby University. One of the modules was Character Design. During this module I learned a lot of new techniques like rigging, weight painting and using blendshapes. 
Design Process
First I searched for inspiration and created a moodboard. My character is a combination of a elephant shrew and a human who is a gardener. After a lot of sketching I made a Character Design Sheet. 

For the modelling and animation I used Autodesk Maya. 
Character model
I created a texture in Photoshop and applied this to the model using the UV-map editor. 
I learned how to rig a character and how to create IK-handles. 
Creating Blendshapes
Creating controls for the blend shapes and using them to give expressions
To learn how to animate characters I did some exercises with an completely rigged character. 
Basic walk cycle 
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