No, I didn’t use any program. Part of the assignment was to use TCL scripts to define the object by hand (like povray and yafray).
We were provided with a template for a TCL extension that implemented callbacks for functions that defined a sphere, cylinder, polygon mesh (added after creating Mario), instances, etc. There were functions to do transformations like rotation, scale and translate. There were also functions that defined shading materials and textures; basic Phong shading was implemented.
The extension used a tree structure (scene graph) to store the transformations. There was no skeletal system like armatures but since we used basic primitives and a tree structure, the transformations handled rotation of each object.
The Mario model was done by hand with trial and error using primitives. It has one joint for fingers, thumb, elbows, knees, ankles and 2 degrees of freedom for the neck. It took me roughly 60 hours.
The apple is was done later during the course using booleans (CSG); to simulate the bite. one torus was subtracted from another torus that had min radius = 0.
There was no modeller because the exercises was designed to understand the math and algorithms behind these modelling packages. The scenes were rendered using raytracing and the raytracer was implemented by the students. TOGL (Tk widget with OpenGL support) was used to visualize the model when tweaking had to be done. My viewer had the additional benifit of exporting the transformation out so I could cut and paste the transformation into the TCL script
I have other images as well but they’re buried deep in my old computer. If I dig them up, I’ll post them here. I’d be interested in seeing if anyone else has had experiences like these in school/university.