Well I've had a slight "motivational setback" as I did a test render this weekend and it looks alright for the most part but there is a major problem that I don't know how to fix.
Some of you may remember the FOX logo and how it had a "flickering" problem. Various spots on my castle now do this same thing, and flicker between lit and unlit as the movie goes on. To the best of my knowledge even the best Blender folks never figured this out in the FOX file, so I have little hope of fixing it here, and it's quite distracting.
Otherwise the concept that I was working towards for this animation is basically done. Tinkerbell flies over the castle trailing sparks and a spotlight follows her around to shine on the castle. All of the text shows up roughly on queue, and the bright halo is slightly better than my attempt with 2D Disney IMHO. I'm not happy with how the Tinkerbell spotlight looks, and currently my yellow flags look like they've OD'd on crack, so I need to fix those effects and some other minor timing issues.
I probably won't get time to work on this until Friday like usual, but I'm disappointed that the castle itself has become a major source of problems. I'll try to post an example clip in the next day or 2, and if anyone has ideas on how to get rid of the flicker I'd appreciate it.