The Animation Workshop

The Animation Workshop is a 33 year-old animation film school located in Viborg, Denmark. A part of VIA University College’s School of Creative Industries, it is Scandinavia’s leading animation institution, with activities in the areas of education, culture, communication and business. To this effect it benefits from a strong international network of artists, professionals, companies, funding institutions and partner schools.

After an intense period of development over the last 15 years, The Animation Workshop is now composed of 7 distinct and vibrantly interconnected departments: the Bachelor of Arts in Character Animation and CG Art, the brand new Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Storytelling, Professional Training, the Open Workshop, the Drawing Academy, the Animated Learning Lab, the Animation Hub and the Arsenal:

The Bachelor of Arts, 3 lines of study

  • Character Animation: the classical principles of animation through the study of both physicality and acting in the mediums of hand-drawn 2D, flash and 3D on MAYA are the focus of the program. All aspects of animation filmmaking are touched upon from storyboarding and character design to layout and backgrounds.
  • CG Artist: exploring the work methods of a CG production from start to finish, from concept design and storyboard through all aspects of the Maya 3D pipeline including modelling, character set up, texture/shading, lighting, rendering and compositing. The students learn to analyse their shots for 2D/3D integration, economising with matte painting and digital paint over, creating high quality CG imagery.
  • Graphic Storytelling is a four-year study program for people wishing to learn how to create graphic stories and universes at the highest level. The program teaches all the areas of working with graphic storytelling: drawing, sequential storytelling, lay-out, scripting, storyboarding for films and cross media, and development of original graphic universes.

Professional Training

  • Animation Sans Frontières is an 8-week lecture/workshop-based initial training program designed to give European young/junior animation film and production professionals an understanding of the fine art and the business of getting an idea onto a screen. It is run in partnership with The Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg in Germany, The Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design or MOME in Hungary and Gobelins, école de l’image in France.  Supported by Creative Europe.
  • AniDox:Lab offers talented documentary and animation filmmakers the opportunity to engage and combine their two worlds. It tackles both a time-based cinematic approach, as well as digital platforms that allow for multiple story and timelines. The coaching seminars and collaborative workshops are designed to progress from fine-tuning an initial idea, through narrative development, to a pitching session.
  • 3D Character Animation is a 16-week training course which takes the participants through all the components of 3D character animation, from start to finish. Supported by Creative Europe.
  • The 16-week VFX course is designed to equip highly creative and driven European computer graphics professionals with the knowledge and skills to create photorealistic computer graphics and integrate them seamlessly with their own filmed live action footage. This will range from set extensions through CG-characters or vehicles to body part replacements. Supported by Creative Europe.
  • Storyboard, an intensive, hands-on 12-week course designed to prepare you for a career in storyboarding. During the course you will get the opportunity to refine and expand your working knowledge of storyboarding for 3D and 2D animation, animated television, and live action film under guidance of highly experienced industry professionals.
  • Illustration, a 2-module 18-week course for junior professional illustrators, designers, or artists wishing to focus on professional illustration
  • Production Management: an intensive, hands-on 1-week course designed to prepare the next generation of animation production managers for film, TV and service work.
  • Animation Production: is a 2-week lecture/workshop-based training program designed to give Danish and European junior animation producers/production managers the keys to successful careers as animation producers, as well as to successfully producing film, TV content and service work.
  • Masterclasses: each year The Animation Workshop runs 2 to 4 2-day masterclasses.

All bachelor and professional training programs are created and taught with and by guest professionals, who guide and ready the students/participants for the challenges of the demanding albeit rewarding work life in the advertising, TV, film, comics or games industries.


Classical drawing from A to Z. The primary activity at the Drawing Academy is an intensive 20-week long course aimed at participants who are considering a career in graphic design, animation, advertising, architecture, communication or teaching. There are two courses each year. The Drawing Academy also offers summer school and weekend courses in classical drawing as well as master classes taught by some of the best professional draftsmen in the world.


The Open Workshop is a production, development and residency center supported by Filmtalent / the Danish Film Institute and Viborg Kommune. It is a dedicated area of The Animation Workshop where both new and confirmed talents, artists and professionals can reside for a time to work on their personal projects and experiments, on their own and together.

The Open Workshop provides the facilities and when possible the financial means to develop or produce animation, film, graphic narratives and music projects in a highly creative and pulsating environment.


ALL is an autonomous development department within the Animation Workshop. The objective of the department is to acknowledge animation as an alternative learning- and communication tool.

The department has years of practical experience with the use of animation as a didactic tool within every age group. In the beginning, ALL started out by conducting workshops in Denmark as well as abroad, where children and adolescents learned to make their own animated film. Today, the practical experience forms the basis of scientific- and development characterized projects, which take up most of the time and work of the department.

The Arsenal (Arsenalet)

The Arsenal is a cluster of creative companies, situated right next to The Animation Workshop. Besides renting out rooms in the old military building as office space to animation related companies, the Arsenal hosts an incubation program and a number of workshops, seminars and events throughout the year to support and develop companies and the animation business in general.