"Making Faces" is a masterclass by Oscar®-winning animator Chris Landreth, for animators and character riggers who want to master the art of Facial Animation.


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.  

This course will focus on creating and animating the faces of human characters that are 'right':  realistic, believable and compelling. You will learn about the appearance and behavior of faces, then apply this to the faces of detailed CGI characters.

You will learn the alphabet of the language of human faces.  This alphabet is known as FACS, the Facial Action Coding System, developed by pioneer psychologist Paul Ekman 40 years ago, a system used by character animators and animation studios universally to this day.

And with this alphabet, you will compose your own poetry of facial acting.  During this course, you will create animations of character faces that will astonish you and advance your character animation skills immeasurably.

Chris teaches this class in a variety of formats, ranging from 3-hour lectures to 42-hour courses with intensive, hands-on learning.




In this course you will learn:

  • The Features of Human Facial Expression

  • Anatomy of a Human Face

  • Anatomy-Based Rigging

  • Compelling Speech and Lipsynch

  • The Psychology of Facial Expression

  • Avoiding the Uncanny Valley

  • Acting with faces




Intermediate knowledge of CGI character animation,
intermediate experience with Maya or similar animation software.

The students developed an entirely new precision for seeing expression of a face.
— Joshua Mosley, Chair of Fine Arts, University of Pennsylvania
Our students were thrilled by the experience.
— Mark Jones, Director, Animation Arts Centre, Seneca College
Serious character animators should go out of their way to attend this class.
— Dan Sarto, Animation World Network

Recent and upcoming classes

University West, Trollhättan Sweden, three-day masterclass, November 16-18

Netherlands Film Academy, Amsterdam:  a four-day masterclass, October 25-28

past workshops

Syracuse University, February 2016

University West - Trollhättan Sweden, November 2015

Hochschule Luzern - Lucerne Switzerland, February 2015

DeTao Masters Academy - Kunlun Online Beijing, January 2015

Anima Mundi - Rio de Janeiro Brazil, August 2014

DeTao Masters Academy - IACC Shanghai China, July 2014

University of Pennsylvania - Philadelphia PA; January - May 2014

University West - Trollhättan Sweden, May 2014

FMX - Stuttgart Germany, April 2014

Rochester Institute of Technology, April 2014

DeTao Masters Academy - Shanghai and Beijing China, April-May 2013

Digital Domain Vancouver, December 2011

L'École Georges-Méliès, Paris, February 2011

Dreamworks Dedicated Unit, Bangalore India, February 2011

University of Toronto, January-May 2011

Dreamworks Animation Studio, Glendale California, October 2010



For any questions or to request Chris for a workshop, please use the form below.