After presenting my progress so far to health care workers specializing in diabetes it was clear that the look of the feather was very important to them. They felt that the idea of the child acquiring the feather and learning to live with it was a striking one, and feather itself is key to the story as it is meant to work as a symbol for living with Type 1.
However they also felt that my initial model was too stiff and had lost some of the fluid motion and fluffiness I originally planned. I decided to start again with the model to rectify this
I settled on using a plane and opacity map to make a realistic silhouette, adding a shaft later to add a third dimension
I started having problems when I grouped the shaft with the vane and added bones for movement. I experimented with different was of attaching one to the other, and it either came out pixelated in the render or the shaft separated when the feather was bent.
This proved to be a problem as the whole point of the feather is that it droops when neglected, and therefore has to look good when bent almost in half