I believe it is more difficult for this question. If I have the Shape Key information of a model, how can I integrate it and make the actor performs something like this demo ? (I am not referring to the facial expression detection part, but just the animation part).
for your first post. you can create actions, such as eye-blink . or just eye-open, mouth open etc in blender. (while you have the model in the base-position). once you have all your facial expressions together you can use the action editor to apply/blend those actions without the need of modifiying the bones directly. almost like shape-keys.
for the second question. it should be doable with the usual panda-animation interfaces. guess thats not the real problem.
You mean, within Panda? You can’t “disable” a joint per se, since every joint always contributes to the final pose. You can control the animations on each joint independently, though, so that you can pose a joint to a particular frame of a particular animation, and then not animate it for a while. Is this what you have in mind?
Not entirely sure your question here either. Do you mean, if you had a converter that successfully translated the Shape Key information into Panda, how would you use it? It would appear in Panda as a series of sliders, which can be controlled very like joints.
Actually I want to disable the contribution of a joint to the pose if I need to. I believe it is not possible, after reading your answer.
For the shape key support, do you mean it is already there ? Where can I find more information on this support, e.g. the Egg file format, API in panda ? So far it seems only Armature support is mentioned, or I miss something important ?
this is only true for blender. panda itself can handle shape keys quite well. but afaik the maya-exporter is the only one beeing able to handle the actual export.
it is possible to extend blender to support those,too. but so far noone added it to the chicken exporter.