Advanced Animation: A Character Close-up (online course)

What makes a character's face alive?

A face feels alive when all the details we see every day in each other's faces are combined with a natural and sincere performance.

This course will focus on showing you all the details and relationships in all the parts of our faces and how to properly execute them in your work. We'll discuss what is behind a natural facial performance, what to look for in good acting choices, and how to come up with your own. Most importantly, we'll be doing this in the most heavily scrutinized and detailed way since your performance and polish will have nowhere to hide in a close up of the face!

We'll start by finding a good line to animate from, work on who our character is and what the context is around this moment. Once we know who our character is we can begin to think how they would react in a truthful way and why they would say this line in this situation. From there we'll plan out our performance, find the best acting choices to communicate our character to our audience by focusing on the face. Once we've fully thought out our character's acting we'll begin to animate it!

This class will teach you how to better study live action reference, demonstrate multiple workflows, and will offer several techniques to improve your polish skills. Over the course of 12 weeks there will be several demos and lectures focusing on different parts of the face (eyes, lip sync, ears etc) as well as an extended lecture over the entire course which will fully demonstrate two shots from starting from scratch...all the way to final polish. Any time you get a close up in a film, it's an important character moment and a chance for the audience to connect with the character in a very intimate way. This class will teach you the skills to create that connection.

Course Information

Duration: 3 months (12 weeks)
Start Date: June 1st, 2014
Start Date: September 1st, 2014
Instructor: Mike Safianoff
Reviewing instructor: Mike Safianoff
Prerequisites: Intermediate Anim. Skills
Price: $1497 USD (or $499 monthly)
Promo Price: $1347 USD (or $449 monthly)

Course Reel

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Instructor's Reel

Students Testimonials

I think Mike is an awesome instructor, I learned a lot thanks to him and I can just thank him, the lectures are awesome, they are really full of content, the reviews are really good also, he always has good feedback to give you, and the best part is that actually you learn what is the mistake and how to fix it, and this is the best feedback you can have.

Pablo Fournier Herrera (Madrid, Spain)
course «A Character Close-Up»


Mike Safianoff is an amazing instructor, he's one of the best I've had and his classes are pure gold.
It's great to look to facial animation with so much detail. Mike's approach to thought process and acting analysis is mind-blowing.

Humberto Rosa (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
course «A Character Close-Up»


Mike is awesome!
The knowledge he has given me has improved my self esteem. Professional, inspiring and a great mentor. Thank you.

Steven Hawthorne (Bridgwater, United Kingdom)
course «A Character Close-Up»


I have been really trying to utilize all the resources of the course. I have watched some of the lectures a couple times and watch the other review session of the class. So much information to absorb~ and the repetition and reiteration is really beneficial!

Isaiah Ledgister (Oakville, Canada)
course «A Character Close-Up»


Mike was great. He is very dedicated to his role as an instructor. His lecture videos are very informative and his reviews are detailed and geared toward each student's needs. He is also very knowledgeable about the content. I have learned a lot from his classes and if I get another chance, would definitely take his class again.
The course is great with focus on facial animation. The lectures have dealt with a wide range of areas from anatomy to workflow to animation tips and tricks.

Lisa Wang (Vancouver, Canada)
course «A Character Close-Up»


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