Online Spring 2024 Session

April 8th, 2024

April 8th, 2024


Michal Makarewicz

Head of Character Animator, Spire Animation Studios
20 year Pixar Animation Veteran

Length of Workshop: 10 weeks.  Once a week.
Days: Thursdays starting April 11th, 2024
Time: 8pm to 11pm pacific time *special time*
Tuition: $1,600 (Includes a $200 non-refundable registration fee)
Prerequisite: A link to your demo reel is required with your registration.

Guest Instructors

Robb Denovan

Directing Animator, Pixar Animation Studios

Robb Denovan is a veteran 15-year all-around awesome animator!  Robb will be in class to share his insight on Facial Mechanics and Appeal.

Jean Claude Tran

Animator, Pixar Animation Studios

Jean Claude Tran will be in class to show how draw-overs can help with a student’s understanding of the Face. (see below video for examples)


Facial Mechanics and Appeal  will guide students in applying the fundamentals alongside new concepts and techniques to further their understanding of how the face moves and reacts. The goal of Facial Mechanics and Appeal is to build a solid understanding of the mechanics and physicality of the face through the practice of animating the eyes, brows, mouth and bringing them all together. Preparing the student for the next class (Introduction to Acting for Animation) which will introduce the idea of Full Face and Body performance. This class is for students with a strong understanding of the 12 principles of Animation & Body Mechanics who want to continue to build their facial mechanics skills prior to entering Introduction to Acting for Animation. 


  • Lip-Sync: Broad, Subtle, Emotional
  • Eyes / Blinks understanding of movement and relationships
  • Facial Calisthenics Expressions: Neutral, Smile, Frown, Shock, Excitement
  • Mini Dialogue to test understanding of appeal and mechanics
  • MasterSpline techniques for face muscle syncing, and adding fleshiness


We recommend that students take Advanced Body Mechanics before taking Facial Mechanics and Appeal.

*Facial Mechanics and Appeal is limited to 8 students to allow for maximum individualized focus. We encourage a comfortable, collaborative environment so that students can learn from their own assignments, the critiques of others’, instructor demos, lectures, and guest speakers.