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Character Animation

Bachelor in Animation

As a Character Animator you learn how to make the audience believe that the character is alive with feelings and personality by using the classical principles and stylized methods of animation. It is the animator who creates the magic of the character and invokes the empathy of the audience.

About Character Animation

  • Facts

    Title: Bachelor in Animation: Character Animation (CA)

    Duration of the program: 3½ years (210 ECTS)

    Program start: August

    Language: English 

    Finances: Danish students can apply for SU. For more information on finances go to the 'Fees and finances'-section.

    Study program: See the full study program (PDF)

    More information:

  • Structure and content

    The Character Animation (CA) program focuses primarily on the theory and practice behind making a character come to life.

    Each year focuses on a progressively more complex curriculum that guides you on the path toward mastery of both 2D and 3D character animation as well as giving you hands-on experience with preproduction and productions.

    First year

    The Character Animation program begins with traditional exercises using pencil and paper, which allows you to explore the basics of drawing for animation before progressing to physics-based assignments and eventually acting scenes. Once the basics on paper are grasped, you are introduced to digital animation and begin using programs like TVPaint™, Adobe®, Toon Boom Harmony™ and After Effects®. You will also participate in a wide variety of film-making related courses like film history and culture, storyboarding, layout, and character design.

    At various points during the year, you will be part of short productions with the Computer Graphic Arts (CGA) students and Animation Direction students from La Poudrière. These collaborations provide you with essential skills in communication, teamwork and project completion.

    Second year

    During the second year, you bring your 2D animation skills into the 3D platform using Maya® and experience animating computer graphic characters. You will also encounter other aspects of a 3D workflow such as previz and very basic modeling, rigging, lighting, and rendering.

    CA and CGA students work together in the NGO project to create a film with a message. During this production, you learn how to work with a real client and further your skills for working in a CG production setting in groups.

    All students pick an elective which provides the opportunity to go into depth with an area of specialization. You will also have classes that are designed to prepare you for the third-year projects. These classes may include world building, story development, cinematography, film analysis, and pitch presentation.

    Third year

    Third-year students from the CA and CGA programs come together to form production teams. Each team creates their graduation productions that culminate in the bachelor projects. The teams are formed based on a selected pitch, and you specialize in elective roles to plan and manage a complex project and learn the importance of adhering to deadlines.

    CA students also produce the animation for the midway and graduation film projects made by the Animation Direction students at the National Film School of Denmark, thus giving you additional experience working with a director on a film production. Furthermore, you will compile your portfolio and showreel, guided by the staff and teachers, to highlight your skills as you apply for internships and target the jobs of your choice.

    Seventh semester

    During your final semester, you will do a 14-week internship with a production studio. Former students have been interning at Cartoon SaloonNørlumAardmannSun Creature, and Illumination, among others. Read more about the internship in the 'Career Guidance and Internship'-section of this page.

  • How to apply

    Admission to the bachelor programs is talent based. 

    Admission to The Animation Workshop’s bachelor programs is talent based. This means that we are looking for students with excellent drawing and storytelling skills. Therefore, all applicants must present a portfolio along with their application.

    Important dates

    • Program start: August 27, 2018 
    • Applications for this year is closed. Next round of admissions is in March 2019

    Quick overview of the application procedure

    1. You apply through www.optagelse.dk
    2. In order to apply you must meet the formal requirements
    3. With your application, you must submit a portfolio. We require you to upload it in one single PDF-file, including a mandatory cover page and a letter of intention
    4. You receive a receipt for your application and are invited to log on to VIA’s admissions portal where you can keep track of your application
    5. After the deadline we select and invite applicants for a test and interview in Viborg in week 21, 2018
    6. You get the result of the admissions test in June
    7. The final enrollment is completed on the last work day of July

    Please note: The requirements for the portfolio format is changed: As of 2018, we require you to send your portfolio in a SINGLE PDF FILE.

    More information

  • Teachers

    Uri Kranot

    Artist and independent filmmaker

    Together with partner, Michelle Kranot, Uri has made numerous internationally award-winning short films, among other Hollow Land, which was shortlisted for an Oscar Academy Award in 2014, and VR-experience and short film Nothing Happens.

    Lawrence Marvit

    Artist and writer

    Jericca (Rikki) Cleland-Hura

    Director, writer and cinematographer

    Jericca is the co-owner of award-winning production company Nørlum. As an experienced CG Cinematographer Jericca designed the and staging of the popular and critically acclaimed films Toy Story 2 and Finding Nemo.

    Tod Polson

    Director, designer and art director

    Tod has worked extensively as a director, designer, and art director, developing projects for companies all over the world including Walt Disney, Warner Bros. and Nickelodeon.

    Erik Schmidt

    2D/3D animator

    Erik has been working in the animation industry over 30 years spanning over 13 prestigious feature film productions, including The Prince of Egypt, Sharktale and Bolt.

    Magnus Møller

    Art director

    Magnus is the founder of award-winning production company, Tumblehead Animation Studios, and have worked on commercial projects for clients such as Google, LEGO and Telltale Games.

    Sarah Airriess

    Animator and character designer

    Sarahs work includes working for Disney on films like Princess and the Frog and Winnie and the Pooh, as well as animation work on Ethel and Ernest.

    Sydney Padua

    2D/3D animator, lecturer and graphic novelist

    Sydney Padua has worked in the film industry for over 15 years as an animator on The Iron Giant and many more.

    John Nevarez

    Film and storyboard artist

    John Nevarez has been a storyboard artist within the animation industry for over 20 years. He has worked on films like Coco, Inside Out and The Secret Life of Pets.

    Luis Cook

    Director and lecturer

    Luis has worked for over 20 years as a director at the BBC and Aardman Animations. His film and commercial work has won over 50 international awards.

    Mette Tange

    2D/3D character animator

    Mette is the co-owner of award-winning production company, Tumblehead Animation Studios. She has worked on short films, TV-series and feature films among others Minions and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.

  • International students

    Practical information about coming to Denmark.

    All teaching and extracurricular activities at TAW are held in English. The student body as well as the teachers, community, and staff count many with an international background.

    Read more about living and studying in Denmark 

    Applying to the educations with international background 

    International applicants apply on equal terms with Danish applicants, following the same deadlines and procedures.

    Please make sure to attach proof of English proficiency (PDF)

    For applicants from non-EU countries there is a special early enrollment flow.

    Visa and residency 

    Coming to Denmark from a Nordic or EU/EEA country, including Switzerland, you are free to live, study and work in Denmark. However, you must register, if you intend to stay more than 3 months. If you are coming to Denmark from outside the EU, you need a tourist visa (valid up to 3 months) or a residence permit (for stays exceeding 89 days). Normally, you must apply for visa or residence permit prior to your arrival in Denmark. Applying for a visa is a part of the enrollment process for the bachelor educations and is initiated by the school after you have been admitted to the program.

    For detailed information about the application process and requirements, please visit the website of the Danish Immigration service

    Registering for Danish Social Security number (CPR) and Danish Health Insurance scheme 

    You must register in order to receive a Danish CPR-number. It is a social identity code which is key to all public registration and services, including tax, opening a bank-account, etc. Furthermore, the CPR-number will guarantee free public health insurance for the entirety of your stay (after a quarantine for the first six weeks for non-EU citizens).

    EU Citizens must register through Statsforvaltningen, all other citizens must register at the local municipality.

  • Fees and finances

    Get an overview of your expenses during your studies.

    Tuition

    There are no tuition fees for students coming from Denmark, the Nordic countries, EU/EEA countries and Switzerland. Students coming from countries outside of EU/EEA must pay tuition fees, unless they hold a permanent Danish residence permit. Paying the first year’s fee is a precondition for obtaining a student’s residence permit.

    Payment schedule for Character Animation (PDF)

    Materials fee

    All students must pay a materials fee of DKK 2200 (300 EUR) per month during the first 3 years of the education (a total of DKK 79,200 (10,640 EUR) for the Animation program). The fee covers costs and services which students at other institutions are expected to pay for themselves, and include:

    • Individual work stations including an industry standard computer and Wacom board
    • Animation drawing table
    • Various animation supplies: specialty pencils, paper, books and readers, sketch books
    • Study trips to animation film festivals
    • Software and materials related to creating the productions
      and much more.

    Full Material List (PDF)

    The current fee of 2200 DKK might be subject to change in 2019.

    Living Costs

    You should expect average monthly living costs between DKK 5000 and 7000 (roughly 650 - 900 EUR), including accommodation.

    Financial support for Danish students

    The bachelor program is approved for SU for the official duration (3½ years or 41 months). 

    Apply for SU

    Financial support for students from EU/ EEA countries 

    Foreign students are not eligible for the Danish educational support scheme (SU). Some exceptions are made for refugees and relatives of refugees and for other foreign citizens. EU citizens may be eligible for SU if they have a contract for 10-12 work hours per week.

    More information about SU for foreign students

    Financial support for tuition-paying students from countries outside the EU/EEA

    VIA offers a limited number of scholarships to cover the tuition fees for a shorter or longer period of your education. The scholarship is normally granted for one semester or for a full academic year at the time. You can apply for a scholarship during the application process. The application deadline follows the admissions deadlines. Please note that you will not receive a scholarship, unless you are admitted to the education. If you were enrolled and were not awarded a scholarship, you can still reapply every semester. 

    You can read more about the scholarship and find the application form here

  • Housing

    All bachelor students in Viborg are guaranteed student housing from the municipality.

    Shortly after you have been accepted into The Animation Workshop/VIA University College, you will be contacted by the school’s Housing Coordinator with specific housing information.

    The school itself has no accommodation. Our role is to provide various opportunities for housing and help create contact between housing providers and new students - and to assist with language barriers if necessary. If you need language assistance, please contact taw.housing@via.dk. Students can choose to apply for a dorm room - or make arrangements with private housing providers - for example for shared apartments with fellow students.

    Cost of Living 

    Dorm rooms in Viborg typically cost between 2500 and 3500 DKK (250 - 470 EUR) per month depending on size and whether you are willing to share facilities. Utility expenses, like electricity, internet and heating, are often paid separately and cost around 600 DKK (80 EUR) per month. Private rooms in shared apartments can range depending on size, location and other factors, but aren’t drastically different from the cost of student accommodation.

    Camp Logos 

    The dormitory Camp Logos is located across the street from the school and houses many of our students. Rooms at Camp Logos come with basic furniture. The availability in Camp Logos is very limited at this point. However, a new wing is under development and expected to be completed in August 2018. The school will contact you with further information about Camp Logos, prices and availability, shortly after you have been accepted into TAW.

    Shared apartments

    It is our experience that the majority of our students prefer to move into a shared flat in the city. Join our Facebook Housing group to team up with other students looking for roommates and new tenants for the apartments, they are leaving themselves.

    These websites may also be helpful:

    • Boligselskabet Sct. Jørgen(Camp Logos and various rentals across city) 
    • Boligselskabet Viborg(Merkur Kollegiet and various rentals across city)
    • Danhousing (many large apartments in the city – suitable for sharing) 
    • BoligPortal
    • Boligdeal.dk 

    If you have questions about housing or need language assistance, please contact taw.housing@via.dk

  • Career guidance and internship

    14-week internship in a studio to get hands-on experience from a professional work environment.

    Your internship is a mandatory part of the education and a great way to start off your career and get contacts in the animation business. Prior to applying for an internship, you will be mentored by staff and teachers in culminating a portfolio for your chosen area of work.

    Our students find internships all over the world and at some of the best and most influential businesses. Some of the studios our students have interned at include SYBO Games, IO Interactive, Nørlum, Illumination, Cartoon SaloonCartoon NetworkIllumination and Sun Creature.

    Read Julie's diary from her internship with Pipingaï Studio.

    Career Destinations

    Following the internship and prior to graduation, the school hosts recruitment sessions with companies who are hiring. Companies give briefings about their studio and what competences they are looking for, as well as their current and coming productions. It's a great opportunity to meet potential employers and get feedback on your portfolio.

    Our alumni work as:

    • 2D Character Animators and/or 3D Character Animators for commercials, series, film, and games 
    • Concept Artists
    • Visual Development Artists 
    • Storyboard Artists
    • Previz Artists
    • Art Directors
    • Animation Film Directors
    • and much more.
  • College Visits

    High school or vocational students (9th grade and up) can get a taste of the Character Animation studies during a week-long internship.

    The Animation Workshop encourage’s young people to try out the basics of animation to determine, if it may be an interesting career path for them. If you are interested in someday studying animation at The Animation Workshop / VIA University College, we can offer the opportunity to visit as a Character Animation student for a week for your internship as a high school or vocational student (9th grade and up) throughout the year.

     

    During your week-long visit, you will follow the lectures of the current course and be guided through some of introductory animation assignments by a current first year animation student. School hours are following: Mondays 9:30 - 16:30, Tuesdays - Fridays 9:00 - 16:00. The assignments will be the fundamentals such as “Pendulum”, “Bouncing ball”, “Seaweed”, which introduces the basic animation principles essential to character animation. The tools will be traditional animation process with pencil on paper. You can see some of the assignment examples here

     

    It is important that you possess a certain level of maturity, are able to work independently and have an advanced level of English in order to follow the teaching and keep up with the international environment. In addition, it is important that you have a curious and open mind to try out simple animation exercises and are able to follow the direction and guidance of your mentor.

     

    We have about eight openings per semester. The application process for the fall semester (September-December) opens in late June - application deadline August 15th. The application process for the spring semester (January-June) opens in October - application deadline November 15th.

     

    If you are interested in participating in this program, please complete the online application form here 

     

    Please note that we are only able to offer visits during the weeks listed and we are working on a first come, first serve basis. 

     

    Within two weeks after the application deadline, a staff member at The Animation Workshop will get in touch to confirm or reject your application (due to availability reasons).  Once confirmed, you will receive an email from a staff member at The Animation Workshop with all the practical information you will need for your visit.

     

    Please be aware that you should find your own accommodation if you are coming from outside of Viborg.

     

    In case all the available weeks are booked, you will be put on a waiting list and contacted in case there is an opening.

  • Contact

    Liga Jensen

    Educational Coordinator, 1st year Character Animation

    T: +45 87 55 49 19

    E:

Meet our students

Meet Noa Juel Johansen: 3rd year Character Animator

Meet Noa

3rd year Character Animator

Julie Batlzer interned with Pipangai Studios during her studies at The Animation Workshop

Diary of an Intern: Julie at Pipingaï

Julie Baltzer shares her experiences from her internship with Pipangaï Studios