nah thats not very long especially compared to movies like you said, they have render times of a few days to a few weeks PER FRAME and that is on a render farm of a few thousand CPUs (4000 or so for industrial light and magic!) its crazy what those guys do!
I made my avatar! And that would probably be wise. in maya, you can choose how many cores you use to render. so if you have a quad core computer, you can use 3 cores to render and 1 core for normal stuff
yeah you can do that with task manager in processes, but if your not fully using that core i feel its going to waste so if the render is low priority, it will get whatever your not using i used to disable core use, but i would always forget to put it back. annoyting when you take a look in the morning and its not done when it should be
actually i meant how did you use your avatar in a message? what do you type? just wondering