I’d like to know how would you approach this type of face rig. We were asked to do something similar to the Peanuts movie, but I’m not sure how they did it and if it is possible with vanilla maya. Did a few tests with shrink-wrapped mouth and it gives nice results, but I’m worried this would be too time-consuming both for animation and rigging ( Of course we do not have the budget as Blue Sky ). Also, did Sky have some custom node to blend those shrink-wrapped elements into one mesh? After the first test, it seems that most of the energy would be spent cleaning up the connections between meshes.
Humans in this short would be similar - head mostly as a smoothed cube. But there would be a lot of animals, so it is not always possible to have a spherical head. In that case, I’d prefer to keep it consistent having all characters some kind of standard modeled mouth hole.
My first thought would be to have a lips rig set on a curve, so the movement of the joints is in shape of the head. This would allow also to adjust that curve to required shapes and ranges. + blendshape to clean up the mess.
Here’s a rough sketch I did to illustrate the example range.
Thanks in advance,