Rigging a face

I’m having problems with a face I’m working on. It’s pretty simplistic (Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas simplistic). I’ve tried bones but they deform the face a little too much with horrible results. Is there any other way to rig a face?

The wiki lists the different deformations you can use in Blender. I think Shape keys are most commonly used for facial movement.


Calvin of Calvin’s simple page has made a face rig consisting entirely of bones, but most people rig faces with a jaw bone, bones for the eyes, and shape keys for the rest. The jaw bone opens the mouth, which is tough to do in a controllable manner with shape keys. The eye bones keep the eyes located in their sockets when the head turns, and allows the eyes to point toward a target object for easier posing.

The remainder of the facial expressions - cheeks, widening the mouth, smiles and frowns, forehead or eyebrow movements, are done with shape keys.

Thanks so much guys!