Fritz Lang's Metropolis (1927).
How's about some Piranesi? From the Carceri (Prisons) c. 1745-50.
These have been a big influence on just about everybody designing big, fantastical scenes with gigantic architectural scale.
You are required to keep a blog for this course and post all of your lab projects there. If you're new to bloggin', I recommend blogger.com as it's free and easy to use. If you find a service that works better for you, however, by all means, go for it. Yes, you may use a blog you have started before this class, just make sure you label your posts clearly so I don't get cranky. Once you have your blog set up, post your name and your blog's URL as a comment to this post.
Take a photo of your self and post it in the "about me" section of your blog.
Here is a 10 minute video to get you started with Maya