Today's been very busy setting up a working rig for Colo Colo and after spending some time I think he's almost ready for skinning. All that is left to set up is the tail and I need to re-rig controls for the neck I also need to set up controls for set up controls for the rear toes and for the mandibles, the last one was previously the domain of another control that I had deleted in order to streamline the control scheme.
Much of this improvement comes from advice from Alan to look at some quadruped rigging tutorials, which did indeed help immensely not just for the legs but also for the neck. The tail will follow a very similar control method to the tongue to make control of it smoother than controls for each point on the tail.
I reacquainted myself with pole vectors and IKs in particular, and I feel certain the tweaks have improved things a lot since yesterday. I believe I will be at a stage when I can skin by the beginning of next week, it all feels very promising.
Using driven keys I was able to fully rig up the quills, which have been programmed to sway from side ot side, bend up and down, and fan out and up, which when combined offers a lot of versatility for using the quills as a form of expression. Though maybe I should consider adding negative values for the spread parameters to allow the quills to fold inwards.
One of the key ideas for expression is that when Colo Colo feels threatened, it hisses and shakes those quills to make itself appear larger and more dangerous.