Our Organisation

Since 2007, we have been organised as a Centre for Animation, Visualisation and Graphic Storytelling (CAV), providing knowledge and competency development for the Danish media industry through activities and development project in the seven departments.

Departments

  • The Bachelor of Arts Department is the largest department at The Animation Workshop/VIA University College, offering three BA programmes in Computer Graphic Arts, Character Animation and Graphic Storytelling.

    The Computer Graphic Artists explore the work methods of a computer graphics production from start to finish: From concept design and storyboarding to all aspects of the 3D Maya pipeline and compositing. Character Animators focus on the classical principles of animation through the study of both physicality and acting within hand-drawn 2D animation, flash and 3D animation in Maya. The newest Bachelor's degree programme, Graphic Storytelling, teaches students all areas of working with graphic storytelling: drawing, sequential storytelling, layout, scripting, storyboarding for film, cross-media and the development of original graphic universes.

    The programmes are developed with and taught by professionals from the international industry, who guide the students in preparation of the challenges they will face in the demanding, albeit rewarding work life of the advertising, TV, film, VFX or game industries. Our professional network includes teachers from prominent production companies such as PIXAR, Disney, DreamWorks, Aardman, Lucas Films, Framestore, EA Games, Double Fine Games, Tell Tale Games, and Cinesite.

    During their time at the school, the students work not only on assignments but also in larger production teams on films and games, both within the school and in cooperation with a number of partner institutions. These institutions include The National Danish Film School, VIA's ICT Engineering, La Poudrière (FR), Gobelins (FR), the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg (DE), and MOME (HU).

  • Open Workshop is an artist residency for both new and confirmed talents.

    Open Workshop is a talent and project development/production center for animation film, graphic narratives, games, and cross/transmedia projects, supported by the Danish Film Institute and Viborg Kommune. The center is a special department within TAW that provides the facilities, environment, materials/equipment and some of the financial means necessary to develop and produce animation and animation-related projects. Open Workshop annually supports over 100 projects and hosts up to 35 artists at one time.  

    Open Workshop functions as an artist residency, where both new and confirmed talents, budding artists and professionals can live for a time to work on their personal projects, both on their own and together in teams. The artists have access to some of the most skilled international consultants within the animation field. 

    Through workshops, master classes, general guidance, pitches and presentation training, along with the daily work on their projects, the artists strengthen their artisanship as well as their understanding of the business aspects connected to the development and production of animation-related projects. Open Workshop discovers original and skilled talents and guides them along their chosen career paths. Matchmaking and networking activities are designed to bring companies and artists closer together.

    Projects supported by Open Workshop include:

    • Portfolio creation and animation tests
    • Short films and music videos
    • Documentary animation
    • Graphic novels, including online/interactive
    • Art books
    • Cross-media properties
    • Internet films and games
    • Video games
    • Installations and exhibitions
    • Cross-artistic projects/shows/theater plays/concerts
    • The development of feature films, TV shows, games, and cross-media projects
  • The Professional Training Department offers short courses and master classes for animation professionals.

    Supported by Creative Europe’s media sub-program, the Professional Training department organises short training courses and master classes designed for European animation professionals.

    Internationally recognised as a provider of high-quality training programs, the Professional Training department relies on a vast international network of exceptionally skilled animation and film professionals. This network ensures that the courses and the teaching are always relevant to the current demands of the European animation and film industry, thus best preparing the participants for future employment and/or the development and production of their own companies and projects. In effect, all trainers employed by The Animation Workshop/VIA University College in the professional training courses are internationally recognised and active professionals within their subject areas.

    The courses and master classes are created for professionals with animation experience from any medium. Our target groups range from storyboard and concept artists, character designers and art directors to animators, CG artists, VFX artists, and directors.

  • Young talents need nurturing and support in order to develop and bloom. We provide excellent facilities and resources for just that.

    The Drawing Academy (TDA) is a central part of our Visual Talent Centre and has offered high-quality drawing courses since 1997. The primary activity at TDA is an intensive and focused semester course in classical drawing, which provides students with a good foundation for a creative career within the arts, design, advertising, architecture, animation and other related fields. The course is offered twice a year: in January and August.

    The course offers training in classical drawing in the context of the commercial realities of today. The teaching is based on the drawing level of each individual student, providing them with suitable challenges that enable them to evolve at their own pace. The students attending this course will learn the basic principles of the subjects of croquis drawing, figure drawing, and sketching. The semester course is an excellent foundation for further visual studies.

    TDA also organises shorter courses in classical drawing, as well as weekend and summer courses.

    Visual HF

    In collaboration with Viborg Gymnasium & HF (Higher Preparatory Examination Course), The Drawing Academy offers a three-year upper secondary education for creative talents called Visual HF. During this programme, the students follow a regular HF curriculum combined with visual learning and communication. The programme is for anyone who wants to work visually with creative processes and at the same time obtain a General Certificate of Secondary Education. The students develop visual competencies and abilities to work process-oriented, which is useful in numerous creative higher education program and fields of employment.

  • Our Research and Development department aim to support business development, innovation and research within the areas of animation, games, VR and new media through timely talent-, project-, and educational development. We employ a wide range of well documented methods such as labs and workshops, courses, production, game and world building jams, mapping and analysis, exhibitions, talks, screenings, and much more.

    We conduct research and development within the areas:

    • Artistic development
    • Talent development
    • Pedagogy and didactics
    • Sci-Vi
    • Business development
    • Project development
  • Arsenalet is a business cluster and creative stronghold for animation, games, and new media companies.

    Arsenalet is a business cluster with highly specialised skills within the areas of animation and new media. The creative stronghold offers business assistance for start-ups, along with excellent networking possibilities for international companies within animation and new media business areas.

    Arsenalet houses both young entrepreneurs and established companies, thus creating a dynamic and thriving environment for business development – as well as cooperation between companies both inside and outside the cluster. When Arsenalet first opened in 2012, only seven companies lived under its roof; now that number is 35. Among the companies you will find are Nørlum and Tumblehead.

    Game Incubation

    Inkubation is a unique opportunity for one-man armies or teams to establish a company in the game industry. Aside from free office space and software, the businesses will receive everything from networking services to workshops and access to game industry conferences.

  • Animated Learning Lab has worked with animation as a learning tool and didactic instrument for the past 20 years.

    Over the past 20 years, the Animated Learning Lab (ALL) has worked intensively with animation as a learning tool and has developed a unique expertise in the field. The objective of the department is to promote and facilitate the use of animation as a didactic instrument.

    A fundamental principle in the centre’s work is to engage children and have them be active decision makers in creative animation productions. This stimulates learning, enhances creativity and expands viable means of expression. Projects cover a wide range of pedagogic and didactic activities, from efforts to help children with dyslexia learn to read by way of animation to computer interaction and games. All these activities are aimed at teachers in order to promote digital learning strategies and their deployment across Europe.

    ALL organises teacher-training courses, workshops, seminars and conferences that focus on animation as an innovative learning and teaching tool. ALL activities are intended to provide teachers with new innovative tools and methods. As such, ALL has developed a series of educational resources for subjects like math, geography, biology and other fields of study.

    Activities 

    Since 2006, ALL has organised an annual film festival called ANIMOK in order to assemble and motivate students and teachers who use inimation in teaching. During the festival, children get the chance to show their animated films to a larger audience and participate in the festival competition.

    Moreover, ALL organises the annual Animated Learning Conference on creativity and visual teaching methods, as well as a number of different presentations and various cultural and educational events. The Animated Learning Lab closely cooperates with various national and international cultural and educational institutions: schools, universities, and private and public companies. ALL has implemented a number of projects to promote animation as a didactic tool both in Denmark and abroad with great success on both fronts.

More about us

  • The Animation Workshop was founded in 1988 by Morten Thorning, who held the reigns until 2019. Here, aspiring animators came together to make short clips for TV and for the hell of it.

    In 1993, the EU Media program made TAW a "Specialised European Animation Training Centre". This was also the year that brought about KIKA - a one year course in animation.

    The Drawing Academy was founded in 1997, teaching students the craft of classical drawing through weekend, summer and semester courses.

    One year later, in 1998, the "Centre for Animation and Education" was formed, focusing on integrating animation-based pedagogics in the educational system. Later the name changed, and today we know them as Animated Learning Lab.

    In the year of 2000, we added Professional Training courses to our division and one year later Open Workshop opened up to its first artists in residence.

    2003 saw the light of our first Bachelor's degree programme in Character Animation. The Animation Workshop was now a nationalised educational institution, and four years later, we added Computer Graphic Arts as a specialised line of study within the Bachelor in Animation program.

    The newest add-on is the four year Bachelor's degree in Graphic Storytelling. It opened in 2013, and we have sent off our first class of graduates in the summer of 2017.

  • The Animation Workshop is home to creatives, talent, and professionals coming from all other the world, which has created a diverse and colorful environment.

    At The Animation Workshop (TAW), we are a community of diverse people, all with different roles, nationalities, and ages. We work and learn together in a close setting very much centred around something we are passionate about. This requires a common understanding of how we act and behave to maintain an inspiring, emotional and intellectually enriching, and safe learning environment for all.

    You can read more about The Animation Workshop, VIA University College's politics, and guidelines on VIA's website.