4th Edition

Special Makeup Effects for Stage and Screen Making and Applying Prosthetics

By Todd Debreceni Copyright 2023
    542 Pages 1007 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    542 Pages 1007 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    542 Pages 1007 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    With this new edition of Special Makeup Effects for Stage and Screen, author Todd Debreceni presents the latest techniques and special effects in what has become an industry "bible." In addition to genre-specific considerations, Debreceni covers the latest gear you will need and details how to maintain your kit, how to take care of the actor's skin, how to airbrush for HD, and much more. With in-depth, step-by-step tutorials, learn how to sculpt and mold your own makeup prosthetics, focusing on human anatomy to create the most realistic effects. This new and expanded edition features updated information on lifecasting, prosthetics made using 3D printing, advanced airbrushing techniques, and new artist profiles, and includes updated images and illustrations throughout.

    A companion website contains artist profiles that showcase some of the world’s top makeup effects artists, including Ve Neill, Matthew W. Mungle, and many others. Also included are detailed tutorials led by experts in the field, such as Matthew Mungle, Adrian Rigby, Stuart Bray, and of course, the author himself.




    Chapter 1 – 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
      • 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
    • Endnotes

    Chapter 2 – Making the Lifecast

    • 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

    • Chapter Summary

    Chapter 3 – 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
    • Endnotes

    Chapter 4 – Breakdown of 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 5 – Casting the Prosthetics

    • 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 6 –Painting and Applying 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 7 – Punching and Laying Hair

    • 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
    • Endnotes

    Chapter 8 – Out-Of-Kit and 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 9 – 3D Scanning and Printing for 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

    Chapter 10– Animatronics

    • Key Points
    • Introduction
    • Technology
      • Mechanical
      • Servos
      • Additional Terminology
      • Motion Control
      • Electronic
      • DMX Controllers
      • Powering the Electronics
      • Structural
      • Surface

    • Operation
    • Chapter Summary
    • Endnotes

    Chapter 11 – The Industry

    • Key Points
    • Introduction
    • Stage vs. Screen
    • Contributions from Medicine
    • The Workspace
    • Safety and Health
    • Professionalism
    • Your Portfolio
    • Your Kit
    • How much is your time worth?
    • Chapter Summary
    • Endnotes


    Appendix A

    Appendix B

    Appendix C

    Appendix D

    Appendix E




    Todd Debreceni is an award-winning special makeup effects artist who has worked for Disney, Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, and TBS, and is the owner of BaPoFX and Pro-Am Prosthetics.

    "The most up to date and comprehensive compendium on the art and science of makeup effects." 

    - Brad Greenwood, Makeup Effects Artist, Senior Lecturer, Prosthetic Effects MA Program, Falmouth University

    "Whenever I am asked, ‘where do I start?’ I always say the Special Makeup Effects for Stage and Screen books. Every one of them has something new to learn and benefit from. Todd is constantly updating to keep artists on the pulse of new technology and techniques. A great addition to any artist’s library."

    - Eryn Krueger Mekash, Oscar-nominated and multiple Emmy Award-winning makeup effects artist and producer

    "Once again, Todd has put together a book that is essential for anyone going into Special Effects. Everything you could possibly want to know has been put into this incredible book, a book that should be on everyone’s shelf as reference source in this industry."

    - Sara Seidman Vance, Multiple Emmy-nominated Makeup Artist, Creator and Instructor of Lighting for Make-Up Artists 101©

    "With Special Makeup Effects for Stage and Screen, Todd has provided us with the most comprehensive and up-to-date written resource that is a must for the modern day makeup artist. Whether they gravitate towards special effects or not, this is the ‘finger on the pulse’ they should always have on hand. Todd has become makeup's contemporary Richard Corson."

    - Kerrin Jackson, 4-time Emmy-nominated Makeup Artist, Founder of the Makeup Refinery 

    "I love how Todd is unafraid to embrace the latest techniques of makeup effects, incorporating technologies like 3D scanning and printing into this wonderful edition of Special Makeup Effects for Stage and Screen: Making and Applying Prosthetics."

    - Rod Maxwell, Makeup Innovation Lead, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

    "This is my go-to book, my bible of sorts for most things makeup. For someone in healthcare simulation, it’s invaluable for medical makeup and Moulage!"

    - David Shablak, Simulation Operations Coordinator, Orbis Education and Simulation Tek, Nationally Registered Paramedic (NRP), Certified Healthcare Simulation Operations Specialist-Advanced (CHSOS-A)

    "Todd Debreceni is an award winning Makeup Effects Artist and a very smart man. Not only is he following the Dick Smith School of open wisdom, thereby paying it forward, but he’s also embraced the fact that our craft is constantly evolving and that only by sharing that knowledge do we all get to benefit. Wisdom from the best."

    (from the Afterword)

    - Bill Corso. Academy Award, and Emmy Award-winning Makeup Artist

    "Did Todd have to do a 4th edition of this book? No. The previous editions are perfectly good. Is it good that he did and that we get so much new and up-to-date information? Hell YES!"

    (from the Foreword)

    - Neill Gorton, BAFTA Award-winning Makeup Artist

    Books about makeup artistry for motion pictures and television written by industry insiders are rare. Todd’s are a treasure. They belong in every serious artist’s library.

    - Michael Key, Emmy Award-winning makeup artist and Publisher of Makeup Artist Magazine, and Executive Producer of IMATS

    As an educator and professional makeup artist for over 30 years, I say without reservation, Todd's books are a godsend. The information is cohesive, complete, and presented in a way that is easily absorbed. The information and techniques are there for the newbie and the seasoned professional. Thank you, Mr. Debreceni; your hard work has made us all better at what we do.

    -Thomas E. Surprenant, Emmy Award-winning makeup artist

    The absolute treasure trove of knowledge contained within Todd’s multiple editions of Special Makeup Effects for Stage and Screen is invaluable for both novice and professional alike. This latest edition ups the ante, proving it a necessity to anyone interested in the special makeup arts.

    -Joel Harlow, Academy Award, and Emmy Award-winning makeup artist