Think about the most compelling characters in animation – Woody, Simba, even Mr. Incredible – we see the wonder, pain, joy come through on their faces. We connect, relate, and root for them. Good on-camera actors know how to do this. And as we all know, animating IS acting. We want to distill the moment, bring out the personalities, frailties, eccentricities of our characters. Like Frank and Ollie said, we want to create “the illusion of life."

Acting and Facial Expression Training
for Animators

Whether the creature is an animal or a human, single shot or a sequence of shots, having the skills and tools of an on-camera actor is what will bring your animation to "infinity and beyond." Whether you are making your own reference, or animating your scene under deadline, these classes can take your animators from technicians to storytellers.

All workshops or consulting options are customizable. See which workshop fits you or your company's needs.


This session is designed to give the animator a tour around their own face.

I’ll supply the tools and show them how to locate, isolate, and activate specific facial muscle groups in order to elicit certain feelings.

In doing so, the animator can experience first hand, what emotions feel like in the body, sound like in the voice and look like on their face.


Emotion Building takes the animator through the whole emotion building process.

From the onset (trigger) to the response (emotional state) to the recovery and all points in between.  

This course isn’t about dredging up or dwelling on past events. it’s about combining science with imagination. 


In this session, the animator will gain the tools and information needed to analyze and interpret storyboards, previz, voice tracks, and/or direction to clarify the intent of the shot.

These skills can be used to create better reference for the shots and to determine the cadence of the action, facial or otherwise. 


This is project-specific. Here I work with small groups or 1-on-1 to build character or develop personality through facial expression.

Consultation packages also available.

... creating interesting and unique characters or a useful and inspiring reference, starts with knowing what the emotional muscle groups look and feel like on your own face and how to activate them and then reveal them with the appropriate timing, intensity and duration.

To learn more about this class and others offered, click the button below and set up a time for us to chat.


Check out the "Acting: Face to Face" series.

Both books are now available in digital and paperback.
"Acting: Face to Face" Book 1 is now an audiobook as well!

"These books are worth their weight in gold!"