In this three-part seminar, go behind the scenes and learn how to create character and creature effects through special effects makeup.
Hollywood’s most magical transformations often disguise complex mechanics. In this course, led by professional makeup and special effects artist Morgan Muta, we’ll uncover the secrets behind fantastic character and creature effects on stage and screen, exploring the history, tools, and techniques of the makeup and special effects industry. Starting with the basics of safety and sanitation, we’ll break down the makeup artist's toolkit, learn foundational techniques for building special effects, and explore different materials and approaches to creating realistic injuries and convincing character effects. Each session will equip you with new skills and provide opportunities to practice various methods along the way, building towards the application of a film quality prosthetic in the final class. Whether you’re curious about the magic behind your favorite films or want to explore a new hobby (or potential career), this course provides a fun and practical introduction to makeup arts and special effects for learners of all skill levels. By the end of this course, you’ll not only be able to level-up your costume makeup skills and create impressive effects worthy of the big screen, but you’ll also discover a deeper appreciation for the artistry behind your favorite characters and creatures.
Syllabus at a Glance
There are three total sessions included in this purchase, each lasting for two hours on three consecutive Saturdays beginning February 26.
Session 1 (Saturday, 2/26, 1–3 PM ET): Introduction and Creating Out-of-Kit Injuries: special effects history, tools, safety and sanitation, and injury basics
Session 2 (Saturday, 3/5 1–3 PM ET): Character Makeup: tears, sweat, age, illness, and other effects
Session 3 (Saturday, 3/12, 1–3 PM ET): Prosthetics: types, applications, and approaches
Outside of class, students will be encouraged to practice techniques and applications learned in class. Students will also receive a list of recommended films and will be encouraged to watch, share, and discuss their favorite film and television effects.
Please note all links are suggested materials and substitutions can be made. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you need recommendations for substitutions or have any questions about course materials.
- Bad Gone Evil Flesh Gelatin (available in light, medium, and dark)
- Coagulated Blood Gel
- Coarse Stipple Sponge
- Fine Stipple Sponge
- Silicone Prosthetic Appliance (Deep Cut)
- Ben Nye Bruise Wheel
- Translucent powder or baby powder
- A mixing tool
- Clean non-porous microwaveable bowl
- Clean non-porous mixing surface
- Cotton swabs
- (Optional) FX brush set (This set offers a guide for general shapes and sizes to choose. You can use personal brushes, but avoid high quality beauty brushes that could be damaged by FX materials.)
If you are unable to pay the ticket price for this course, a limited number of no-pay spots are available to increase accessibility for students, regardless of their economic situation. Please note that this option is first-come, first-served, and reserved for those who would not otherwise be able to take this course. To learn more about our approach to pricing, including no-pay options, please visit our FAQ page.
Atlas Obscura Online Courses
This online course is offered by Atlas Obscura. Founded in 2009, Atlas Obscura created the definitive, community-driven guide to the most incredible places on the planet and is now an award-winning travel company that shares the world’s hidden wonders in person and online.
Our online courses offer opportunities for participants to emerge with new skills, knowledge, connections, and perspectives through multi-session classes designed and taught by expert instructors. Courses can take one of two forms: Seminars are intimate, interactive classes—capped at nine to 25 students—exploring topics and crafts through discussion, workshops, assignments, and in-class activities. We also offer lecture series that can be attended live, or viewed via a recording that will be shared within 72 hours after each session airs. Class recordings for lecture series will be available with a temporary password for up to two weeks following the final session of the course.
To learn more about our current course offerings, please visit www.atlasobscura.com/online-courses.
For answers to commonly asked questions, check out our FAQ page here.
Once registered, you’ll receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite that will provide access to the class meeting. Please save the confirmation email as you’ll use it to access your course via Zoom on each scheduled date and time.
Morgan Muta is a Portland native and has been a makeup artist since 2002. Morgan alway knew she wanted to pursue makeup artistry as a career and enrolled in cosmetology school for her esthetics certification after graduating high school. Wanting to build on what she had learned and follow her dreams of working in the entertainment industry, Morgan made the leap to Los Angeles in 2006 to attend a comprehensive makeup program and dive headfirst into a bigger market.
After graduating from Cinema Makeup School in 2007, Morgan spent the next several years honing her skills in specialty makeup and creature effects in Los Angeles, working for major studios like KNB, Legacy Effects, Amalgamated Dynamics, and Cinovation Studios.
In 2012, she was relocated back to Portland for a feature film and, after its completion, she transitioned into Portland production as a makeup artist on NBC’s television series, Grimm. She still resides in Portland today and continues to work in makeup and special effects in film and television. You can see her work in films such as Men in Black 3, Thor, Django Unchained, Iron Man 2, Predators, and many more.
This is an interactive, small-group, seminar-style course that meets over Zoom. Students will get the most from this class by showing up live, on time, and ready to learn! They may be invited to participate in discussions, workshop their projects, and receive feedback from the course instructor.
In most cases, instructors will use Google Classroom to communicate with students outside of class. While students aren’t required to use Google Classroom, instructors will be using this platform to post resources, discussion questions, and assignments, when applicable.
We provide closed captioning for all of our courses, as well as transcripts upon request. Please reach out to us at email@example.com if you have any questions, requests, or access needs.
There are 25 spots available on this experience.
Sat, Feb 26, 20221:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.$205