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Making Faces, Animating Human Faces

“Making Faces” is a 42-hour course for animators and riggers who use Maya, and want to master the art of Facial Animation. Oscar-winning animator Chris Landreth will be teaching this course through 12 classes covering a 4-week period.

From when we were born, we’ve been hard-wired to see the minute details of human faces. When we see a CG animated character, we know instantly when his/her face is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ within a moment of looking at it.

Focus on creating and animating the faces of human characters that are ‘right’ - that is, realistic, believable and compelling.  Study the appearance and behaviour of the face, then apply this to the faces of detailed Maya characters.

“There is no doubt this is a class that serious character animators should go out of their way to attend.” Dan Sarto Animation World Network


In “Making Faces” we will cover:

  • Visualizing and drawing a human face from any angle.
  • The features of human facial expression.
  • Anatomy of a human face: muscles, bones.
  • Rigging a human head for animation.
  • Animating a human face.
  • How a face moves - Blinking, Eye Movement, Tongue Movement, Muscle Twitching.
  • Speech and Lipsynch.
  • The psychology of facial expression.
  • What makes great facial acting.

Prerequisites: Intermediate to advanced knowledge in computer animation, with a minimum of one year experience using Maya software.

About the Instructor:

Chris Landreth started his adult life as a mechanical engineer, until he decided in 1990 that animation would be much more fun.  He has created several CG-animated short films, including The End (1995), Bingo (1998), Ryan (2004), and The Spine (2009).  Ryan received the Academy Award in 2005 for Best Animated Short Film, as well as 60 other international awards. Chris’s films explore storytelling based on human psychology as much as photorealistic character animation, an approach Chris calls “psychorealism”.


ANIM78011Making Faces - Animating Human Faces

For more information email Chris Landreth at