Pub. Date:
Taylor & Francis
Special Makeup Effects for Stage and Screen: Making and Applying Prosthetics

Special Makeup Effects for Stage and Screen: Making and Applying Prosthetics

by Todd Debreceni


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In the world of film and theatre, character transformation takes a lot of work, skill, and creativity. Dedicated solely to special effects makeup, this book gives you tips and techniques from a seasoned artist with years of film, TV, and theatrical experience. Special Effects Makeup for Stage and Screen begins with a full discussion of how human anatomy relates to sculpture and continues to show you how various effects are achieved, and takes you through the many genres that need an SFX makeup artist.

This heavily illustrated, four-color book will show you how to: • Decide what kind of tools you’ll need • Care for your actors’ skin • Create lifecasts and apply prosthetics • Create and sculpt special effects with makeup • Advice on how to create your own portfolio • Maintaining your toolkit • And most importantly, how to develop a character for the stage or the screen The accompanying DVD contains step-by-step tutorials, a gallery of illustrations from industry experts, and additional exclusive resources.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780240809960
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 01/02/2009
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 344
Product dimensions: 7.40(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Todd Debreceni is a special makeup effects artist who has worked for Disney, Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, and TBS, and is the owner of BaPoFX makeup effects. He is a recipient of a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award, and has received two Ovation Awards, a True West Award, and a Henry Award for Special Accomplishment in Makeup Effects. Todd has worked in film, television, and theatre around the world for more than 30 years, and his background in orthopedics and reconstructive plastic surgery have made his transition into prosthetic makeup creation a natural evolution. At BaPoFX, Todd specializes in prosthetic makeup design, fabrication, and application. He continues to teach college courses in cinematography, acting, sculpture, makeup design, and visual effects in Denver, CO, which he has done for almost 20 years.

Table of Contents



A Special Note About the Companion Website


Chapter 1 – The Industry

  • Key Points
  • Introduction
  • Stage vs. Screen
  • Contributions from Medicine
  • The Workspace
  • Safety and Health
  • Professionalism
  • Your Portfolio
  • Your Kit
  • Chapter Summary
  • Notes

Chapter 2 – Anatomy and Design

  • Key Points
  • Introduction
  • Using the Computer
  • Elements of the Design
  • Body Types
  • The Human Body

    • The Skeletal System
    • The Skeleto-Muscular System
  • The Head and Neck

    • The Face
  • The Torso and Upper Limbs
  • The Abdomen and Lower Limbs
  • Surface Anatomy
  • The Eyes, Ears, and Nose

    • The Ears
    • The Mouth
  • The Skin

    • Stretch Marks
    • Age Spots
    • Freckles and Moles
    • Varicose Veins and Spider Veins
    • Birthmarks

    • Hair
    • Scars
  • Symmetry and Proportion

    • Anatomical Planes
    • Facial Ratios and Phi
    • Ratios and Body Proportions
  • Geometric Analysis
  • Distinctions of Gender, Age, and Ancestry

    • Distinctions of Gender
    • Distinctions of Age
    • Facial Aging
    • Distinctions of Ancestry
  • Chapter Summary
  • Notes

Chapter 3 – Lifecasting

  • Key Points
  • Introduction
  • Safety Risks
  • The Materials

    • Alginate
    • Silicone
  • The Lifecasting Process

    • Overview
    • Teeth
    • Face and Neck
    • Casting a Positive
    • Bust: Head and Shoulders
    • Hands, Arms, Legs, Feet, and Ears
    • Hands and Arms
    • Legs and Feet
    • Ears
    • Full Body
    • Full Body: Prone
    • Full Body: Standing
    • Tips and Suggestions
    • Lifecasting with Silicone
  • Chapter Summary

Chapter 4 – Sculpting the Makeup

  • Key Points
  • Introduction
  • Materials
  • Preparing the Positive
  • Tools

    • Clay
    • Sulfur Clay
    • WED Clay
    • Oil Clay
  • Reference Photos
  • Teeth

    • Materials
  • Sculpting the Face

    • Blocking the Sculpture
    • Refining the Sculpture
  • Sculpting the Face, Head, and Neck

    • Blocking the Full-Head Sculpture
  • Sculpting Hands

    • Blocking the Hand Sculpture
  • Sculpting the Ears

    • Blocking the Sculpture
  • Chapter Summary
  • Notes

Chapter 5 – Breaking Down the Sculpture

  • Key Points
  • Introduction
  • Tools and Materials
  • Release Agents and Sealers
  • Making the Negative Mold

    • Keys, Flashing, and Cutting Edges
    • Building the Dividing Wall
    • Building a Different Style of Dividing Wall
  • Stone (Gypsum) Molds
  • Other Types of Molds

    • Silicone Rubber Molds
    • Matrix Molds/Jacket Molds
    • Fiberglass Molds
    • Fillers
    • Resin Molds
    • Epoxy Molds
    • Syntactic Dough
    • Urethane Molds
  • Chapter Summary
  • Endnotes

Chapter 6 – Casting the Appliances

  • Key Points
  • Introduction
  • Silicone: Platinum and Tin
  • Coloration
  • Color Theory
  • Materials
  • De-Airing/Degassing Silicone
  • Gel-Filled Silicone Appliances

    • Filling the Mold
    • Injection Filling
    • Hand Filling
  • Removing the Appliance
  • Conforming Molds
  • Foam Latex

    • Quirks
    • Running Foam Latex
    • Prepping the Mold
    • Filling the mold
    • Heat-Curing Foam
    • Removing the Appliance
  • Cold Foam (Urethane)
  • Materials

    • Quirks
    • Prepping the Mold
    • Filling the Mold
    • Removing the Appliance
  • Gelatin and Foamed Gelatin
  • Materials

    • Quirks
    • Making Foamed Gelatin
    • Filling the Mold
    • Removing the Appliance
  • Dental Acrylic
  • Materials

    • Filling the Mold and Removing the Appliance
  • Seaming Prosthetic Appliances

    • Seaming and Patching
    • Silicone
    • Foam Latex
    • Gelatin
  • Painting the Appliance

    • Silicone
    • Foam Latex
    • Gelatin and Cold Foam
  • Painting Teeth
  • Materials

    • Special Effects
  • Chapter Summary

Chapter 7 – Applying and Painting the Prosthetics

  • Key Points
  • Introduction
  • Skin Types
  • Adhesives
  • Application Techniques
  • Attaching the Appliance

    • Materials
    • Conforming Molds
    • Blending the Edges
  • Applying the Makeup

    • Foam Latex
    • Gelatin
    • Cold Foam
    • Silicone
  • Removing the Appliance

    • Materials
    • Removers
    • Technique
  • Skin Care
  • Cleaning and Storing the Appliance
  • Chapter Summary

Chapter 8 – Hair and Wigs

  • Key Points
  • Introduction
  • Types and Varieties of Hair
  • Tools and Materials for Postiche
  • Wigs

    • Weft Wigs
    • Knotted Wigs
    • Hair Attachment
    • Preparation for a Wig
    • How to Put on a Wig
    • How to Put on a Lace Wig
  • Beards, Mustaches, and Eyebrows

    • Laid-On Facial Hair
    • Crepe Wool (Hair)
    • Preparation
    • Application
  • Ventilating (Knotting) Hair

    • Preparation
    • Technique
  • Punching Hair

    • Technique
    • Technique (Eyelashes)
  • Chapter Summary
  • Notes

Chapter 9 – Animatronics

  • Key Points
  • Introduction
  • Technology

    • Mechanical
    • Servos
    • Additional Terminology
    • Motion Control
    • Electronic
    • DMX Controllers
    • Powering the Electronics
    • Structural
    • Surface
  • Operation
  • Chapter Summary
  • Endnotes

Chapter 10 – Other Makeup Effects

  • Key Points
  • Introduction
  • Resin Eyes
  • Bondo
  • Cap Material

    • Bald Caps
    • Making a Bald Cap
    • Applying a Bald Cap
  • Building up Ears and Nose
  • Tuplast
  • Nose and Scar Wax

    • Materials
  • Rigid Collodion
  • Stencils
  • Tattoos and Character/Creature Textures
  • Airbrush

    • Spatter and Stipple
  • 3D prosthetic Transfers

    • Making 3D Transfers
    • Materials
  • Electrostatic Flocking
  • Wrinkle (Age) Stipple
  • Trauma, Wounds, and Bruises

    • Bruises
    • The Baseball Stitch
    • Nosebleed on Demand
    • Bladder Effects
  • Burns and Blisters

    • Burns
    • Blisters
  • Other Conditions

    • Skin Manifestations
    • Infected veins
  • Skin-Safe Silicone and Gelatin
  • Chapter Summary

Chapter 11 – 3D Printing, Prosthetics and Animatronics

  • Key Points
  • Introduction
  • 3D Printing Glossary
  • A Brief History
  • Uses

    • Who Uses 3D Printing?
  • The Design Process

    • Preparing the Model
  • Technology

    • Guidelines
    • SLA or SLS?
  • Operation
  • Application
  • The Future
  • Chapter Summary
  • Endnotes

Appendix A

Appendix B

Appendix C

Appendix D

Appendix E



What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"I'm now insanely jealous of all the people who will learn from this book because this is the book I would have killed to have had when I was starting out....... IT'S NOT FAIR!!!” -Neill Gorton, BAFTA winner for Best Makeup and Hair Design Help (2005), nominee for Best Makeup and Hair Design The Catherine Tate Show (2007), Royal Television Society (UK) winner for Best Makeup Design Help (2005), and nominee for Best Makeup Design Doctor Who (2005, 2006)

"Among the most exhaustive and thorough tomes on the subject of special effects makeup there is, written with a likable and easy-to-understand style that is accessible to all ages.” -Jordu Schell, Creature and Character Designer

"The techniques and education in this book are inspiring. Creating believable character make-ups on human faces is a challenging, rewarding art form.”-Matthew W. Mungle, Oscar winner & BAFTA nominee for Best Makeup Dracula (1992), Oscar nominee for Best Makeup Ghosts of Mississippi (1996), and Oscar & BAFTA nominee for Best Makeup Schindler's List (1993)

"Crammed with cutting edge information on materials and techniques, formulas, suppliers, how-to's, and more, this is a book I wish I had when I first started!”- Christopher Tucker, BAFTA winner for Best Makeup Artist Quest for Fire [La Guerre du feu] (1981), BAFTA nominee for Best Special Visual Effects & Best Makeup Artist The Company of Wolves (1984), and Emmy nominee for Outstanding Achievement in Makeup for a Miniseries or Special War and Remembrance (1988).

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