I missed the webcast with Gabor last year. Went trawling through the animschool blog, decent stuff in there.
here's their youtube page. And their earlier page when they were 3DAppeal, which is interesting to watch and see how he adds appeal to models.
don't jump right to ref, double check your set so you know what you're dealing with "is there space to move like I'm planning? How much movement will I have to do (how many steps)?"
then appeal test - test what poses work and what poses don't for appeal for your characters (Sid the Sloth doesn't look good from a lot of views)
familiarize self with controls and rig what's possible, what can you break. For a lot of animations does quick appeal tests for the expected golden poses of the shot (a walking talking shot, figure out what poses are gonna look good for walking, and gesturing) 2 hours about (all these poses are gonna get tossed so don't spend too much time) essentially it's thumbnailing with computer so you know what is possible (as opposed to cheating with a pencil) training and teaching yourself
at bluesky very conscious of their sub frames which will affect motion blur
earlier reviews of vids here and here
*part 2 added