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Special effects makeup is an essential component of the film and entertainment industry, creating lifelike characters and enhancing storytelling through visual effects. As the demand for skilled special effects makeup artists continues to rise, more individuals are seeking online courses and certifications to develop their skills and embark on a rewarding career in this field. In this article, we will explore the ten best special effects makeup courses and certifications available online, offering aspiring artists the opportunity to learn from industry experts and gain valuable knowledge and techniques.

1. Stan Winston School of Character Arts

The Stan Winston School of Character Arts is renowned for its comprehensive online courses in special effects makeup. With their instructors being industry professionals who have worked on blockbusters like “Jurassic Park” and “Iron Man,” students gain access to high-quality lessons and insider tips. The courses cover a wide range of techniques, including prosthetics, creature creation, and animatronics. Additionally, students can receive a certification upon completing the courses, demonstrating their mastery of special effects makeup.

2. Cinema Makeup School

Cinema Makeup School offers a variety of online courses designed to teach the art of special effects makeup. With a curriculum designed by experienced professionals, students can learn the techniques used for creating scars, wounds, aging effects, and more. The courses are self-paced, allowing learners to study at their convenience. Upon completion, students receive a certificate of completion, showcasing their dedication to honing their skills in special effects makeup.

3. QC Makeup Academy

QC Makeup Academy provides a specialized course in special effects makeup, allowing students to master the art of transforming characters. The comprehensive curriculum covers a range of topics, including casualty simulation, prosthetic application, and fantasy makeup. With professional makeup artists as instructors, students receive personalized feedback on their work. The course also includes a professional makeup kit, ensuring learners have the necessary tools to practice their craft.

4. Udemy

Udemy offers a wide array of online courses, including several focused on special effects makeup. These courses cater to both beginners and experienced artists, enabling learners to enhance their skills or start from scratch. With engaging video lessons, students can learn popular techniques such as zombie makeup, bruises, and burns. The courses provide lifetime access, allowing individuals to revisit the content whenever needed.

5. Coursera

Coursera collaborates with leading universities and institutions to offer online courses in various domains. In the field of special effects makeup, they provide courses curated by professionals, covering topics like character makeup and special effects. Students can learn at their own pace, with the flexibility of accessing course material on any device. A completion certificate from Coursera adds value to learners’ resumes.

6. London School of Makeup

The London School of Makeup offers a comprehensive online course in special effects makeup. This course is suitable for beginners as well as makeup artists looking to expand their skillset. The curriculum includes techniques for creating bruises, scars, and other realistic effects. Students can benefit from the guidance of experienced tutors and gain practical knowledge through hands-on assignments. Upon completion, students receive an accredited certificate recognized by industry professionals.

7. Tom Savini’s Special Makeup Effects Program

Tom Savini’s Special Makeup Effects Program, available through Douglas Education Center, provides a detailed online curriculum for aspiring special effects makeup artists. The program covers a range of topics, including sculpting, molding, and airbrushing. With videos, assignments, and quizzes, students can learn both theoretical and practical aspects of special effects makeup. Upon completion, they receive a certification from the Special Makeup Effects Program, enhancing their credibility in the industry.

8. Makeup Artist Network

Makeup Artist Network offers an extensive range of online courses in various makeup artistry fields, including special effects makeup. Students can learn techniques such as wound creation, character transformation, and creature design. The courses are self-paced and can be accessed anytime from anywhere. By completing these courses, artists can expand their knowledge and showcase their expertise in the world of special effects makeup.

9. Online Makeup Academy

The Online Makeup Academy offers an online special effects makeup course that covers a comprehensive range of techniques. From creating realistic bruises to designing fantastical creatures, the course equips students with the skills needed to excel in this field. With detailed video tutorials and instructor feedback, individuals can refine their techniques and develop their own unique style. Upon completion, students receive a certificate of completion, proving their proficiency in special effects makeup.

10. Complections International Academy

Complections International Academy provides an online program in special effects makeup, allowing students to learn from industry professionals. The course delves into various topics, including creating injuries, aging effects, and character design. With interactive assignments and personalized feedback, students can refine their skills at their own pace. Upon successful completion, graduates receive a globally recognized certificate, opening doors to exciting opportunities in special effects makeup.


As the field of special effects makeup continues to grow, online courses and certifications offer aspiring artists a flexible and accessible way to develop their skills. From renowned schools like the Stan Winston School of Character Arts to specialized programs such as the Complections International Academy, these courses provide comprehensive instruction and valuable certifications. Whether you are a beginner or looking to advance your career in special effects makeup, these online courses and certifications can serve as a stepping stone towards success in this dynamic industry.