Face Rigging Help

No.531380 ViewReplyOriginalReport
Hi /3/. I'm working on a little side project for...reasons. It's a sort of high res version of Manny Calavera from Grim Fandango. I've rigged faces before with blend shapes and very simple joint-based modeling but I kind of wanted to go a step further and add in stuff like sticky lips, cheek puff and a GUI, which I've never done for anything joint based before.
What would be the best way to go about this? I'd really like to be able to drive the face with curve vertex points defined by clusters, so that the GUI reflects the expressions I can make, and have a slider for stuff like sticky lips or blinking, etc (right now i have each mouth vertices and eye vertices driven by its own controller but I was planning to hide those or attach them to the curve points once I had them figured out), but so far I've run into a lot of trouble just trying to drive the vertices with the GUI. I can't zero out the joints and when I try to move the joint and the nurbs circle I'm using for the driver at the same time, the joint moves unevenly so I find myself having to plug in the distance I moved the circle to the joint in order to get them to move in a 1-1 ratio.
I just need some tips and direction here from someone who's done this before, who would know the most efficient way to rig a face like this; since skeletons don't have eyeballs I really want to make it cartoonish and expressive. Any help is really appreciated!
I should also mention I'm using Maya LT for this so I can't use any otherwise helpful python scripts, which just blows.
Sorry for the wall of text, hopefully someone can help me or just let me know what I'm doing wrong so far.