I've been thinking that a newer, higher end system might be required once I start into rendering. The characters have a pretty high polygon count, twice as much as I'd normally be using - not that it's a bad thing, I've been thinking about a newer computer for some time now anyway.
The Librarian himself is pretty simple as far as CG characters go. He's more or less a floating upper torso with a weird head and extra long arms. His clothing consists of a metal-looking neck piece and a poncho-like cloak. The cloak will be done as a cloth simulation, so I won't actually be animating it myself - it's movements will be based on the movements of the main body. The cloth movements are then calculated afterwards and hopefully it'll work with too much tweaking.
I've done most of the basic tests, so it's looking like it should work - but during the course of actual animation there's always little problems that pop up. I'm hoping that it should go smooth enough. So far I've managed to get him to the point where I can comp him into an actual shot and so far I'm pretty happy with the results.
So here you go:
The background in this picture might change once the actual library set is totally complete - I'm not sure how much will be visible in this frame, might just be a couple books floating in and out. It's pretty rough looking right now.
Once I sign off on the rigging and skinning, I can start the animation tests, then I'll make an attempt to do some face morphs so I can make him talk and give him some expressions. I'd imagine those will take some time to render - right now we're looking at about 11 minutes per frame (at the size he appears in the above shot at least - closer up will take longer).
That's it for now. Once the Librarian is finished I'll probably start in on the Titan, he's already underway, he just needs a body.