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World Building & Concept Art

Professional Training course

This course combines concrete world building tools with concept design and digital painting taught by instructors who really know the game. It is up to you to develop the coolest project the world has ever seen!

World Building & Concept Art

  • Facts

    World Building & Concept Art


    30 ECTS points

    Duration of the course:
    12 weeks

    Next program:
    Fall 2021: August 30 – November 19

    Application deadline: 
    June 13 2021

    The Animation Workshop/VIA University College, Kasernevej 5, 8800 Viborg, DK/p>

    Fee EU/Non-EU Citizens: 
    EU citizens: 3.870 euro (28.800 DKK)
    Non-EU citizens: 6.860 EUR (51.000 DKK)

    Open Education: World Building and Concept Art is an Open Education program, part of the Bachelor in Graphic Storytelling at The Animation Workshop (TAW), VIA University College. Open Education is a wide range of educational programs in Denmark offered to adults who wish to undergo further training. It is open to anybody who has successfully passed our admission criteria.

    PLEASE NOTE: Students from outside the European Union are allowed to stay in Denmark for maximum 90 days on a tourist visa.


    More information
  • Structure and content

    The course focuses on the use of world building and concept art for films, series, computer games, comics or other visual art products. Through assignments, talks and lectures the teachers and guest lecturers will inspire and challenge the students over the course of 12 weeks.

    The course starts with a solid introduction to the principles and tools of world building including idea development, visual development, research, world writing and story writing, all contributing to the creation of a professional story bible.

    As the course progresses, the focus shifts more towards concept art and the development of concrete art skills and illustrations related to presenting the world. During this phase, the students will go deeper into the design of the world, including characters, environments, etc. The last weeks are devoted to producing the actual concept art according to industry standards and using methods of 3D blocking and digital painting. The course will be rounded off by a week focused on targeting audiences, marketing and distribution, and exam presentations (preparing for the exam at the end of the course).


    Project-based training

    In the beginning of the course, the tools of world building will be introduced on an entirely new project in a group work setting, organized by the instructor(s) in order to ensure open minds and fresh ideas. After the introduction weeks, the students will be given the choice of either continuing to develop the project from the introduction weeks or starting a different project, be it an existing personal project that they wish to develop or an entirely new idea. This project will be the focus of the rest of the course. Group work is encouraged, but in this phase it is also possible to work individually.



    The course is taught by a few main instructors, who you can read about under “Instructors”. They were chosen because of their very solid experience in the creative industries, with world building and/or concept art respectively, as well as their extensive teaching experience. Especially during the world building phase, there will also be a number of talks conducted by guest lecturers on various topics related to science, history, technology, religion, anthropology, etc. Other shorter or longer workshops on pitching, writing, etc. may also be taught by guest lecturers.


    What you get:

    • An intensive course developed together with industry professionals (our main instructors)
    • A solid introduction to the concepts and tools of World Building, and an understanding of its potential
    • Time and guidance on developing the concept art for your project, both technically and from the design perspective
    • Guidance on how to make your project meet its market, including pitching, marketing and fundraising
    • Instructors that are all active professionals with solid experience in their areas of specialization
    • The opportunity to focus intensively on the development of a project for a longer period of time
    • A professional network
    • Access to all extra-curricular activities at TAW: sports, yoga, meditation, evening croquis, lectures, parties etc.
    • 12 weeks immersed in a highly creative and social environment
    • Assistance with housing and travel advice
    PLEASE NOTE: all students are required to bring a computer with Adobe Creative Suite, as well as a Wacom board, Cintiq or similar.
  • How to apply

    Applicants must have solid art and storytelling skills and either have finished at least two years of study on a bachelor-degree within visual arts or have some working experience in that field. Applicants with a bachelor-degree or higher in a non-art subject may also apply if they have acquired solid art and storytelling skills in another way.

    We welcome students with ambitions of becoming professional world building artists/consultants, as well as students who are aiming at concept artist careers and want to combine this with world building knowledge and tools. Also students who have a particular project in mind that they wish to work on are welcome as long as they are ready to put it aside for the first weeks of the course, where the tools of world building are introduced through group projects.

    In order to apply for the World Building & Concept Art course, please click on this link and fill out the online application form.

    You will be asked to provide a CV, documentation for your bachelor-studies, if applicable, a motivation letter, a short fiction text and an artistic portfolio. Your portfolio should represent you as a visual artist and should include your best work. The fiction text should be 1-5 pages long and can be either a finished text or an extract + a summary of a longer text. We accept texts written in English, Danish, German and French. Texts in other languages will need to be translated.

    Requirements for your portfolio:

    Your portfolio can either be a PDF document or an online portfolio set up in Blogspot, Tumblr or similar.

    We will not accept portfolios using Facebook, DeviantArt galleries (DeviantArt portfolios are fine) or Flickr.

    Consider the size of your images and other posts so that they load easily and quickly.

    In the event of a successful application to the course, you will be asked to confirm your seat as soon as possible afterward.

    The Animation Workshop/VIA University College (TAW) reserves the right to cancel the course should there not be enough participants.

    Apply now

  • Main instructors

    Martin Rauff

    Martin Rauff

    Concept Developer

    Martin Rauff works in an area shaped by the intersections of play, concept/IP-development, and narrative. He has been the driving force behind a diverse group of projects ranging from TV-broadcasts and games, books, albums, museum exhibitions, and large-scale events.

    Mikkel Mainz

    Mikkel Mainz

    Animation film director and creative producer

    . He is the founder of Skjald, a company focusing on developing worlds for 2D animated films, series, comics, RPG systems, and more. He also founded the 2D animation studio Sun Creature with two of his classmates right after his studies at The Animation Workshop in 2013. He created and directed the webseries and universe "The Reward - Tales of Alethrion", which raised around half a million dollars through crowdfunding and is developing his feature film "Spirit Seeker" with Jericca Cleland and Gone Badminton with Copenhagen Bombay. He has been animating on various other 2D projects like Ivandoe, Song of the Sea and Emara.

    Roberto Fernández Castro

    Roberto Fernández Castro

    Freelance concept artist

    Roberto Fernández Castro is specialized in vehicle design, architecture and environment design. He has an impressive CV as he designed for Star Wars – The Last Jedi, Avengers – Infinity War and Guardians of the Galaxy among many others.

  • Fees and finances

    EU citizens: 3.870 euro (28.800 DKK)
    Non-EU citizens: 6.860 EUR (51.000 DKK)

    All students are required to bring a computer that has the Adobe Creative Suite on it as well as a Wacom board, Cintiq or similar. While attending the World Building & Concept Art course, you are entitled to get the regular Adobe student discount. Unfortunately, The Animation Workshop cannot offer any scholarships on this course.

    Please note that you will be asked to pay the fee upfront before the course starts.

  • Housing

    We aim to locate housing options that are furnished and located close to the school, and which provide you with the opportunity to live with other adult course participants from the same course program.

    The prices range between 3-400 EUR (2200-3000 DKK) per month.

    You will be offered a specific accommodation by the housing organization shortly after you have been accepted into the course. Rooms offered are typically located in the dormitory Camp Logos, which is located right next to TAW. Please note that TAW cannot guarantee that you get the specific room type you have requested. In some cases, we just have to accept what is currently available from the housing organization.

    Practical information

    All rooms in Camp Logos are furnished with a bed, bedside table, bedside lamp, room divider, desk, chair and kitchenette. Please note that there are no kitchen utensils for the kitchenette in the room, but you can buy utensils at second hand shops in Viborg. The school will provide a duvet and pillow, so you will only need to bring bed sheets and towels. There is also a shared kitchen and common area at your disposal.

    The contracts you receive for your room includes a deposit, but TAW will act as the guarantee, so NO deposit needs to be made. You will still need to pay for any damages/missing rent when moving out.

    If you have any questions in relation to housing during your course, please contact taw.housing@via.dk

  • Contact

    Maria Skov Pedersen is a teacher and coordinator at The Drawing Academy and Professional Training

    Maria Skov Pedersen

    Coordinator and teacher at The Drawing Academy and Professional Training

    T: +45 87 55 49 44