My first pass of the animation to get down the general movement and establish all my scenes as separate files. During some scenes I did start adding some squash and stretch but for the most part I kept my animation simple for this phase and ignoring the tail completely.
Lighting & Animation
Once I had the core of my animation done I then focused on the general lighting of the scene in the Environment Master. I wanted the animation to seem as though it is during a darker portion of the day, evening / night. After this I started to go through and animate squash and stretch along with the tail. I did a test render of my opening scene to see how the environment looked in motion. Due to time constraints I decided I would not spend too much time animating aspects that are barely visible. Such as the scene shot through the door window
During the animation process I came across some issues when using my controllers for the rig. When creating the squirrel I experimented with using Parent Constraints, they appeared to work correctly initially until I started keying my animation. As I didn't create a parent hierarchy for the NURBs curves I ran into some problems with keying them. The controllers also didn't appear to affect scale, making squash and stretch difficult if I had already keyed the controllers. As I am aware of the limits of my own rig I am able to work around them. I now know what to expect next time I work with parent constraints and NURBs controllers and will likely look for a method to solve the issue. As I had already started animating, changing the rig now would cause problems.
Composition & Readability
During one of the scenes of my animation I noticed some issues with reading the scene. My eyes began to focus on the tail of the character rather than the important aspect of the acorn floating out of his grasp. This is due to the tail falling onto the rule of thirds and the acorn being fairly central. Not wanting to lose the the animation I did on the tail I tried the acorn in the right third as opposed to the left. This appears to improve readability of the scene.
Rendering & Lighting
The final phase of creating my animation is to go through and render the scene. During this process I added custom lighting to each of the scenes that may require to do so as some areas such as inside the house appear dark with just the environment lighting. I used lighting to make some aspects more visible such as the acorn falling from the sky into the house.
As I was adding sound I noticed my final scene breaks continuity both on the 180 degree rule and with the direction which the acorn is travelling into the sky.