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Character Facial Sculpting

A 10-week course in which students will learn the anatomy of the head and what makes the portrait tell a story and makes it "alive"

Course overview Course overview

Course Overview

Learn to sculpt the human face

During this course students will learn what makes the face look as it does: the underlying structures of the skull, muscles, fat tissue, and other structures such as glands which affect and create the forms of the face--without a basemesh, but starting from scratch to get a better understanding of all the layers laid on top of each other. Once that knowledge is established we will go deeper into what makes the portrait alive and tell a story.


Course Format:   Standard
Lecture Type:   Pre-recorded
Feedback:   Individual recordings
Duration:   10 weeks
Assignment:   Due each week. Expect to spend 10-20 hrs/wk viewing lectures, q&a, and assignments
Q&A:   Once a week
Materials:   Zbrush (or equivalent), tablet (IE:Wacom)
Skills level:   Intermediate
Prerequisites:   Zbrush knowledge, a graphics tablet with a digital pen, no mice allowed :) | Course Pre-req: Intro to Production Modeling, Zbrush for Concept & Iteration, and Anatomy for Production

Environment design WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

What you'll learn

The more you know, the better.

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Introduction | Going over anatomical references of the skull and neck bones, and explaining the benefits of learning what is "under the hub"
Further examining anatomical references of cartilage, eyes, glands
Adding muscles to the scene, and fat tissue
Laying the skin layer on top of the previously created layers
To get better understanding of the portrait sculpting one portrait won't cut it, so we will create a new one.
Creating alphas for detailing, using zbrush and photoshop | Students can continue any of the previously started portraits, or create an entirely new one | Optional bonus: projecting displacement maps in Mari, would require retopology and uv)
Final touches and tweaks of the portrait
Sculpting the hair (or fibermesh)
Manual or automatic retopology for easier posing
For this lesson, retopology will have a big impact, as the head will be much easier to pose. The other option is to sculpt a face from scratch again already in the pose. | Bonus: Rendering different passes in Zbrush and bringing them into Photoshop for compositing into a final image

Bringing out the best in talent

Lectures by Dmitrij Leppee

Coming from a traditional drawing and graphics background as well as classical animation, Dmitrij, discovered his interest in 3D (ZBrush in particular) 9 years ago, which he pursued on his own. For the majority of his professional career he has worked as a medical illustrator, but never abandoned his love for portraying people, only transferring it to a new medium. He has worked on all kinds of projects; models for print, animation, commercials, movies and games. He currently works as a Senior Character Artist at Eidos Montreal.


February 1st!

winter TERM Registration

Nov 5, 2019 - Feb 1, 2019




February 1st!

Pricing & Schedule

Even though our courses are the most affordable for the quality of education.

These Finance Options allow you to focus on your goals instead of the barriers that keep you from reaching them.

Employer Reimbursement

Animation Guild CSATTF

Payment Plan

Companies that hire our students

  • Naughty Dog
  • Luma Pictures
  • Google
  • EA Games
  • DreamWorks Animation
  • Blizzard Entertainment

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