Hi T1ck, gone for a while, came back, and you're deepely in with it already.
Cool looking. Last one looks a bit like a dusty teddy cause of shadow casting but I like the toiuch of it though hehe
The only small detail (if you still got time ...), maybe have this short and dense fur of the upper lip goin' a bit more till the end of the curve, so that you can get rid of these long hairs almost within the mouth. (Split surface for hairs or density/cut maps at this place ?)
Well, apart from that, about the problem all I can tell so far would be lowering maybe the shadow casting intensity within your shave node globals.
Also lowering the gloss, selfShadowing, amb/diff. within the shaveNode/MatProperties, as we can see on page 22.
Play also maybe a bit more with the tip splay, if you want to lower kinda some wet effect, which I like though, also.
Hope it helps, as you're on fire
and close to s&h trial's exp
ps: sharpness of the eye highlight is a bit too blurry imho, well, it's more like he's goin' old and blind soon :blush: . Or is it a default black blinn so far ?