links and resources

Welcome to my facial expression & FACS resource site!

**open for consulting**

1. Facial Expression / FACS Reference Guides 

Curated facial expression reference guides for researchers, artist, and students. 

F R E E  reference sheets: 

FACS Cheat Sheet image

  • basic FACS Cheat sheet
    • reference guide providing still image and GIF examples of basic expression shapes
    • provides corresponding FACS name & AU number, as well as associated muscles of each expression
    • useful for:
      • anyone studying facial anatomy
      • artists – animators, character, creature, riggers, etc.
      • researchers and engineers who wish to have high-quality reference guides for facial expressions for face tracking


fancier FACS cheat sheets via $ubscription


The subscription-based reference guides are much more detailed than the basic FACS Cheat Sheet. I have spent eight years studying, practicing, and observing facial expressions in a multitude of contexts: machine learning, digital human development, behavioral research, academia, market research, sales, and everyday life. I have also trained my face to be able to voluntarily trigger isolated facial actions in order to create references with the highest level of accuracy. There are no comparable references with the same integrity, quality, detail, or accuracy.

  • upper face expanded
    • detailed description of upper face actions of the eyes, nose, and mouth areas
    • front and 3/4 view GIFs
    • emotional significance of each movement 
    • common functions of each movement
    • common mistakes made in posed expression acting & how to spot them
  • eyebrow combinations
    • front and 3/4 view GIFs of all eyebrow combinations
    • detailed description of each combination
    • emotional significance of each combination 
    • common functions of each combination
  • lower face expanded
    • front and 3/4 view GIFs of all lower face actions
    • detailed description of each action
    • emotional significance of each action 
    • common functions of each action
    • common mistakes made in posed expression acting & how to spot them


2. Check out my free content

cheek raiser vs. lid tightener

inner brow raiser: deep dive

ARKit & other face tracking mistakes

mindful design: everything you did and didn’t want to know about emoji

big tech’s homogeneous hiring habits are harming our data

*** chimpanzee study doc ***


3. Follow my social media pages for additional content

I post A LOT of free video, photo, and informational content on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter on a frequent basis.

Instagram:  @manicexpression
Twitter: @melindaozel

More facial expression videos on my YouTube channel.


4. Help me. Support my research!


Melinda Ozel - Ko-Fi accountgo to my Ko-Fi account here
(P.S. You can adjust how many coffees you buy. The more the merrier. <3)

Though I have a subscription-based model for some of my content, a large portion of my content is FREE! I spend hours each day compiling peer-reviewed research,  observing my own face and others’ faces, archiving references, and creating detailed diagrams and write-ups of my findings. I am currently unemployed and am doing what I can to support myself. If you would like to access my paid subscription content, please subscribe to support me. If you are already subscribing, please donate to my KoFi account or Patreon. Any amount is appreciated and will contribute to my continued research.

Some projects I am currently pursuing:

  • revamping the information and teaching materials available for chimpanzee facial expressions and orangutan facial expressions
  • studying anatomical variations of individual facial muscles
  • investigating microanatomy and how microanatomy affects the function of different expressions
  • developing my own library of contextual viseme (mouth shapes for phoneme production) shapes


5. Be my hero. Support me even more!


Subscribe to my Patreon for exclusive, downloadable content, personalized reference videos, and monthly work critiques. 



other posts: on home page