How do 'YOU' Rig your faces?

Hey everyone. I have been on this small journey lately to push my rig up to higher standards because i never find myself enjoying animating with my rig because it doesn’t feel like it’s made well enough. or something. One way or another i’m just not satisfied with it.

Anyways i’ve been looking through tons of videos on how other people are making face rigs whether it be with blendshapes/shapekeys or all bones, or a mixture of the two.
I always lean towards NPR styles in my works so exaggerations is what i really aim for.

But I’m not really sure which of these options is actually the right answer?

So i thought i would open up this topic to ask people,

How do you rig your faces?
All bones? All shapekeys? Some of both?
Are there any tips that you feel keep the rig clean and easy to work with?
Any controllers you add you feel are nice touches?

Thanks everyone :slight_smile:

If you want to see where i’m at, here’s the last thing i animated with my current face rig that uses only shapekeys.

I think it’s less about armature vs. shapekey-- they’re both fine for facials, shapekeys are simpler interface which is their advantage and their disadvantage-- than it is the actual techniques used to model and, sometimes, to weight.

NPR facials can be pretty fun. I find that mesh deformation is a pretty handy way to make funny looking stuff:

That’s a relatively simple mesh deformer controlled by bones, manipulated in relatively simple ways.

Laplacian deform is underused, people think that it’s just for inorganics-- lets you animate an entire face just by manipulating a few strings of verts.

Of course, how you want to animate your modifiers, and whether you want to write them to shapekeys or not, a lot of that’s just personal preference, right? (Differences in interpolation, but they’re not likely to matter for most facials.)

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Wow! I’ve never even seen something like this before o:
Time to get crackin on trying out something like that :smiley: