Here's a little piece of animation I've done as an exercise.
I work in the game industry and most of the stuff which I'm assign to do has to be completed under tight deadlines which of course affects it's quality. Therefore it usually doesn't qualify as a nice addition to portfolio. Portfolio has to be updated in one's spare time and with this little project I decided I want to go through the entire pipeline of character creation and animation.
3ds max for modelling and animation (Character Studio)
Zbrush for textures
Mental Ray for rendering
After Effects for some simple compositing
Motion blur was added entirely as an After Effects effect, I think it does a pretty ok job. Cloth simulation took a while and it was done with 3ds max's Cloth modifier.
Rendering passes (http://pics.livejournal.com/ghost_of_xmas/pic/000z0h93)
Portable jet that can be seen here is a tribute to the game character which I liked a lot when I was a kid. Maybe you can guess which one it is.)