shapekeys,papagayo, and pose library for minecraft animation

For awhile I been working with animation in miku miku moving. found it to be a completely different beast than blender.

For example I made this.

Then again all I really did is set the stage,position the models, and work the camera angles. could have done better had I not been starved for sleep. took all of 5-6 hours.

So I have a basic Idea of how keyframeing works. so now on to my question

I’m currently working on a new animation series where I plan on using mmd character files and minecraft esque characters.

Since I still do not have great skill with modeling myself I opted to use this “free to use so long as you give me credit rig” by vm comix

Now I thoroughly love this rig and it’s flexibility, I am however having difficulty understanding the nature of shapekeys. With the rig as it is I can shape(using the bones) the mouth into any phoneme rather easily however saving it as a shapekey for papagayo seems to be beyond me at the moment.

All the examples I have seen using papagayo and shapekeys being used for lipsyncing, but all those methods require you actually go into edit mode and physically change the model, where as I been trying to do it using the bones that control the face.

I can save everything to a pose library but not save them as a shape key. So I’m either doing something completely wrong or I am unable to do so without changing the model in edit mode.

Shape keys are built by moving the vertices with the mesh in Edit Mode, not with bones.

Bones would be used later (with drivers) to control the percentage of morphing from one shape key to another.

Have a look at some of these tutorials.