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View, browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by day, pass type, topic, and format. With this Session Viewer, you can view GDC 2023 session details and speakers, and share your favorites via social media. You will be able to build your schedule and access it during the show via export or Mobile App, once live. Sessions do fill up and seating is first come, first serve, so arrive early to sessions that you would like to attend.

Animation Summit: Making Faces: A Masterclass of Facial Animation

Chris Landreth  (Cofounder & CCO, JALI Research)

Location: Room 303, South Hall

Date: Monday, March 20

Time: 10:50 am - 11:50 am

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Summits Pass

Topic: Visual Arts

Format: Lecture

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: Intermediate

What can be noticed if done poorly, but may go unnoticed if done properly? Facial animation.

Creating believable digital performances with subtext and emotion can make all the difference when creating a cutscene, cinematic or avatar. Regardless if they are a hero character or NPC, lip sync and facial animation can make all the difference in immersive storytelling or gameplay.

This talk and interactive demonstration—using slides, video, and real-time technical examples—will cover: observing and drawing faces (highlighting key details in subtext and emotion), principles of anatomy (describing how the different facial muscles interact and reactions/triggers), and rigging and animating (dive into how to convert the knowledge of anatomy to polygons).


Attendees will learn how to bring believability into a digital character performance through knowledge of facial anatomy, subtext and emotion that will help drive storytelling in your next game.

Intended Audience

This is focused on detailed facial animation, which will be most valuable for animators, riggers, and character technical directors. An intermediate-level understanding of FACS, rigging and Maya (Autodesk) are beneficial for attendees.