Blendshapes, Animated Wrinkles with Normal Maps, (Maya, Bender or Houdini)


Is there any tutorial content on getting Maya Blendshapes and Normal Maps to export and work easily in an animation pipeline with no plugins?

Currently it seems like a very large and lengthy process and I was wondering if there is an easier method.

Any help or pointers would be very much appreciated, ideally in Maya but also happy to use Bender, 3DSmax or Houdini.

Examples of what I am looking for.

A good portion of all this is driven by bones, or could be. I would only use blend shapes for the finer details, like wrinkling forehead or the lips. If it is all done with blend shapes, then the model has to include all the blend shapes you would ever need. When it is all driven by bones, then you can add in more and more expressions as you need them, even easily blend between 2 animated expressions.