Do you want to learn how to make characters come to life?

Apply now

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. We are looking for students with excellent drawing and storytelling skills. Therefore, all applicants must participate in an entrance test to show whether they qualify for admission.

    In addition to the entrance test, you are required to have an upper secondary diploma as well as documented English skills corresponding to Danish B-level.
    Applicants who meet these criteria and who pass the portfolio entrance test, are invited to an admissions test.

    Find more in depth information about requirements, procedures etc. on our admissions page

    Important dates

    • Application deadline: March 15, 2022 11:59 am (CET - midday)
    • Test and interview: May 2022
    • Program start: Late August, 2022
    • Next Open House with review sessions: February 10, 2022 from 2 pm to 6 pm (we are planning for at hybrid version – both on location and online)

    Quick overview of the application procedure

    1. You apply through the page (comprehensive step by step-guides are available in Danish and English from the page). The page opens on February 1st and closes on March 15, 2022, at 11:59 am (CET - midday). Latecomers are not accepted!
    2. With the application, you submit your entrance test portfolio. The required hand-in format is a single PDF-file
    3. You receive a receipt for your application and are invited to log on to nemStudie, where you can keep track of your application
    4. After the deadline, we evaluate the tests. Applicants who passes the first entrance test are invited to an admissions test and interview on the following dates:
      Test and interview days: May 2022
    5. The results of the admissions test are announced early June
    6. The final enrollment is completed on July 28, 2022

    More information

  • Teachers

    Uri Kranot is a teacher at the Animation Workshop

    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

    Lawrence Marvit

    Artist and writer

    Jericca Cleland

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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.

    John Nevarez

    John Nevarez

    Film and Storyboard Artist

    John Nevarez has been an artist within the animation industry for more than 18 years. He was a storyboarder on Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Secret Life of Pets and he has worked for Disney, Pixar Animation Studios, Sony Pictures Animation, Warner Bros. Feature Animation and many others. He has taught at The Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art, Schoolism and The Nemo Academy in Florence just to mention a few.

    Luis Cook

    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

    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 refer to our admissions pages for more information about application procedures, requirements and deadlines.

    Interested in an exchange semester at The Animation Workshop?

    Please visit the Exchange students section under the admissions pages to see more about availability, application procedures, requirements and deadlines.

    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 with the Danish Immigration Service as well as the local municipality, 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 90 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).

  • Fees and finances

    Get an overview of your expenses during your studies.

    Tuition fees

    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.

    The prices for tuition fees are requested in Danish kroner and the fees for students matriculating is DKK 53,000 for the first semester (DKK 23,000 for the internship semester). You can find the payment schedule for Character Animation below.

    Payment schedule for Character Animation (PDF)

    There are no tuition fees for students coming from Denmark, the Nordic countries, EU/EEA countries and Switzerland. 

    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

    Scholarships for highly qualified students from outside the EU and the EEA

    Each year, VIA awards a limited number of scholarships to highly qualified students from countries outside the EU and the EEA. The scholarship can be applied for by all current, international and tuition-fee paying students who have completed the first year of studies at VIA (2 semesters). A maximum of two full semesters can be awarded during studies at VIA. 

    You can read more about the scholarship (selection criteria and application dates) 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 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. The Animation Workshop 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 (Various rentals across city)
    • Danhousing (many large apartments in the city – suitable for sharing) 
    • BoligPortal

    If you have questions about housing or need language assistance, please contact

  • 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.
  • Contact

    Christine Øhlenschlæger

    Student Counsellor


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