Online course
Crafting a Believable Face

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

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Crafting a Believable Face

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

Over 20 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 data

  Course duration: 3 months

  The course starts every 3 months:
June 1, September 1, December 1, March 1

  Price for Independent Studies:
3 monthly payments for the course $199 USD each
or 1 full course payment $597 USD

  Prerequisites: Intermediate Animation Skills

  Recommended software: Autodesk Maya

 Additional animation tutorials:
CGTarian Masters Animation Workshops

Course instructor and animation mentor Mike Safianoff
Course mentor:
Mike Safianoff

Course starts in:


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100% risk-free, 14-day money back guarantee.

Lecture previews

The best way to learn what this course is about and get an insight into it!


Lecture preview

Contrast and exaggeration in a lipsync. Lip forms and transition analysis.

Polishing up an eyemask

Lecture preview

Eye lid and eye shape importance to transfer the emotion and make character's face more believable.


Lecture preview

What's to look at the most while shooting reference. Reference example analysis for FERDINAND (2017) cartoon scene.

All that you need!

Content developed by professionals, challenging assignments and mentor's assistance is your way to success!


3 months of intense studies! Comprehensive animation course!


12 online meetings with your mentor and video reviews of your work!


More than 20 hours of video lectures and tutorials!


More than 50+ recordings of QnA sessions and video reviews available!

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Reviews and QnA's

Attending QnA sessions and having your assignments reviewed by a mentor significantly increases your progress!

Reviewing the assignment during QnA

QnA session example

Reviewing poses. Corrections of the face shape and it proportions. Adjusting eyelids.

Eye mask fixes

QnA session example

Adding some contrast to the expression of a character.

Assignment corrections

Video review example

Making poses look more simple and convincible. Repositioningof eyebrows, eyelids and eyerings.

Body mechanics

Video review example

Body transition advises. Making body look more constructed and poses more detailed.

Students' reviews

The best evaluation of the course and it's result - is feedback of those, who have been attending this course.

Ibragim Botashev
Very hard, but very interesting course! Facial animation is hard, there are a lot of stuff to learn, but Mike prepared very good lections (a lot of lections, about 2-3 hours per week!). And he is great in reviews.
— Ibragim Botashev
Olov Johansson
Mike did a great job at introducing how the face is structured and how/why it moves. The course gave me a lot of guidance on how to study and break down the face to continue my studies after the final lecture.
— Olov Johansson
Manju Joshi
I dont have many words to express it was a great learning process..MIke is a Master in facial Animation comparing to any other online school this is 200% worth.
— Manju Joshi

Full list of student feedback you will find on "CGTarian Students' Reviews & Testimonials" page.

Full list of student reviews you will find on this page "Student Reviews".


100% risk-free, 14-day money back guarantee.

Independent studies
Monthly payment

3 monthly payments for the course
209 USD
Simple and convenient payment schedule.
Possibility to switch to one payment schedule.

Independent studies
Single payment

One full course payment
597 USD
In case of a full payment the price is reduced by 30 USD

Attention! This course is provided at a reduced price meaning independent studies without mentor's assistance, no online meetings or video reviews of your assignments. However, recordings of QnA’s and video reviews of previous groups will be available for your reference.

Download Free Demo Pack of the Course

Get the grasp of amazing stuff that is waiting for you!

Request a Free Demo Pack

Where do our students work?

Many of our students got employed in world famous studios working on top level projects. Below you can find some of them:

Маша и медведь
World of WarCraft
World of Tanks
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