Advanced Animation: Crafting a Believable Face (online course)

This is a deep dive into acting under the most demanding circumstances: a close up of a character's face.

Over 17 hours of lectures are devoted to improving your understanding of believable acting, creating graphically appealing expressions based on anatomy, and polishing all the details that make a face feel truly alive. Each week there will be a new lecture detailing acting breakdowns from photo, video, animation, or illustration. Additionally there are several lectures covering stepped and layering workflow techniques, creating natural expressions, lip sync, and polish. There will also be a live one on one review session with your teacher each week.

Over the 12 week course you will complete two close up shots. The lectures will show every step of the way for each assignment, from planning to polish. The course will challenge you to create a very specific character with precise acting choices, clear and appealing expressions, and all the polish a tight close up requires. A close up shot is the most heavily scrutinized type of shot in a film, this course will show you techniques that can help you succeed.

Course Information

Duration: 3 months (12 weeks)
Start Date: March 1st, 2015
Start Date: June 1st, 2015
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 Preview 1

Lecture clip: Naturalistic blink

Lecture clip: Graphic shapes with Ray

Instructor's Reel

Students Testimonials

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 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 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»


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 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»


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