I am trying to deal with Blender's IK solving system (though maybe I don't need it at all?). I need to animate torus into a smile-like figure (upside- and downside-"smile" animation will be for the same armature.

enter image description here

Maybe it would be good to use b-bones, but this is for export to the game engine, so it is not possible to use any blender-specific features such as b-bones, drivers and so on.

Below is my current result, but it bends rather strangely and is extremely inconvenient to deal with. In case of a hand or a leg IK is rather obvious, but here is a cycle of four (on the gif there are even more, a separate IK on each bone except side ones and non-deforming bones to operate them).

And additional question: which bone and with which method I should connect to the global parent (not shown on images) to resize and rotate all the structure?

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ Consider using a shape key. $\endgroup$ – Yunnosch May 3 '18 at 4:56
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you, but “it is not possible to use any blender-specific features”. Plus, it will be a part of a larger bone rig. $\endgroup$ – Sammy S May 3 '18 at 7:08
  • $\begingroup$ The name Shapekey may be Blender specific, but the concept is not. (Maya/Unity's Blendshapes, Babylon JS' morph targets) They can be exported into another format. Most game engines support them, maybe tell us about your game engine. $\endgroup$ – Leander May 3 '18 at 7:31
  • $\begingroup$ Unity. Yes, blendshapes can really be the way, thank you, Leander. But I’ve never used them (bc always thought that are Maya only), can you hint me for bigger picture? In general, it will be a rig of a character (it is ready, rigged and animated), with this torus as a part of clothing - which should be separately animated as in topic, but also be deformed and move with the whole body (that’s why I thought about full bone-rig and two animation layers in Unity). $\endgroup$ – Sammy S May 3 '18 at 8:10
  • $\begingroup$ Blendshapes blend the mesh shape between 2 or more sets of vertex positions for the whole mesh. It could work better for mouth but depends on the style you're going for. It's harder to maintain the round profile with shape keys as the transitions between vertex positions will be linear unless you make a blendshape per frame which is very heavy and likely not worth it. $\endgroup$ – kheetor May 3 '18 at 12:48

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