Just an update to show some of my progress. Ridley has expressions and eye controls now, which made a big jump in how ‘alive’ she seems as a character.
I have run into an issue with her eyes; unlike eyes with a round pupil they obviously don’t have rotational symmetry, which means that they need to rotate with the tilt of the head so the pupils aren’t wrongly aligned. However, the aim constraint on the eyes already dictates the z-rotation of the eyes as part of its function, so I can’t seem to have the z-rotation follow the head AND have the aim constraint in place. So I might have to add some extra NURBs curves to the eyeballs and rotate them by hand to align with the head.
I also used the set driven key feature to let her tongue loll out and it worked well, so this could also be used for moving the tongue into speech positions.
Regrettably I’m not sure if I’ll have time before the survey I do to redo her fur as I’m running into technical issues trying to reapply it (the program crashes every time I try so far). However while this is unfortunate as it detracts from the potential realism of the character’s fox head, it’s ultimately not a more important aspect than the animation itself.