Classes on-demand

DG3717: Making Faces

AU Video


This is an intensive class about animating a human face. You learn how to see a face: its form and structure and its features when a person talks, feels, and expresses. We cover anatomy and muscle behavior, and we explore what's really going on underneath a face when that face is showing emotion. We show examples of great facial acting and the psychology behind this acting in making human characters come alive. Although this is a class that specializes in faces, the subject matter is a very large part of how a CG artist can become a master animator and actor. This class is also software agnostic. Although we demonstrate with Maya® software, we are focusing on the art and techniques of character facial animation that work whether your platform is Maya, 3ds Max®, or Autodesk® Softimage® software.

Key Learning

  • Animate character faces with believability and realism
  • Observe and recreate subtle expressions in human faces
  • Act out real human facial expressions
  • Explain the anatomy of human facial expressions


Primary Speaker: Chris Landreth

Chris Landreth started his adult life as a mechanical engineer, until he decided in 1990 that doing animation would be much more fun.� Since then he's been creating short films, first with Alias Inc. (now Autodesk), then with the National Film Board of Canada.� His film�Ryan�(2004) received the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film, Grand Prize at OIAF (for Best Independent Short Animation), and 60 other international awards.� His latest�film,�Subconscious Password, received the Annecy Cristal for Best Short Film from the 2013 Annecy International Animated Film Festival.For the past 3 years Chris has taught Making Faces, a masterclass on Facial Animation. He's brought this course to studios and schools around the world, including Dreamworks Animation, the University of Pennsylvania, Digital Domain and Ecole Georges Melies in Paris.


Advertising, Publishing & Graphics Design, Games, Film & TV


Maya Entertainment Creation Suite

Animators and filmmakers

Year: 2013