As on schedule, the coral has been assembled, staged and animated. I might look into rigging if we want to give it some freedom of motion and perhaps a few driven keys for the animation but at present this is the construction so far.
It was discussed about adding a gradient to give the coral some life as it becomes more complex. There was gradient on concept art and there may need to be a little tweaking of the clolour values, the core animation (the progression from one stage of complexity to the next) does not appear too bad.
I've come to appreciate the subtle details. When compiled, the final branches were less visible than the beginning stages. In terms of geometry it doesn't seem so complex when a single model is around 1.8MB of data. That may multiply considerably when there are lots of these but as mentioned in an earlier post some work was put into minimising the geometry so that lots of these could be on screen at once.