Animation: A Playful Yet Serious Design Process


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Animation by Artwoork Studio

A bunch of bikers made by Artwork


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Animation by Artwoork Studio

A long and bumpy road as we know it from the real world.


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Animation by Artwoork Studio

A peaceful animated world


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Animation by Artwoork Studio

Creatures by Artwork


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Animation by Artwoork Studio

Animation also works for the more gloomy universes.


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Animation by Artwoork Studio

Fun and fabulous at the same time.


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Animation by Artwoork Studio

Humanised hippos with individual characteristics.


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Animation by Artwoork Studio

Taking a break by the lake at this wooden house wouldn't be too bad.


In the animation industry, intellectual property, as we know from movies like Shrek and Toy Story, is quite a big deal. Tommy Kinnerup, founder of Artwoork Studio, spends nearly all his working hours designing entire animated worlds and he sure knows how to make the “animagic” happen.

Can you make a visual idea into a whole imaginary world? Well, that’s exactly what Tommy Kinnerup, founder of and lead concept artist at Artwoork Studio, is doing in close collaboration with the IDEA Academy in Rome. Here, the two collaborators are in full swing developing an entire fantasy world, also known as intellectual property. An animation project which, in the long term, is planned to work on a range of platforms.

“Our great ambition with this so-called world-building approach is to establish a universe where children and teens can explore a world, very like our own, through our animated main characters,” tells Tommy Kinnerup, who follows up with an explanation of the ongoing project:

“Through this world, we hope to inspire a profound understanding of climate change and the society dynamics we face globally, but all wrapped up in a fun and entertaining universe, where important messages, like on sustainability and friendship, can grow.”

The collaboration between Artwoork Studio and IDEA Academy started a year ago, and according to Andrea De Dominicis, Chief Creative Officer, the teamwork between the studio and the academy has worked out just perfect.

“We joined forces with Artwoork Studio to support the development of their new intellectual property. During the entire process, they’ve demonstrated the highest levels of professionalism by managing the creative team with constant feedback and clear directions,” Andrea De Dominicis tells, before he continues:

“Among the many collaborations we have had in this field, the one we have with Artwoork is graced by an impeccable level of communication and a mutual trust that is not easily found. The European background we share with Artwoork is probably at the centre of the clear, fun and easy going relationship we have, even compared to our past experiences with overseas partners,” Andrea De Dominicis concludes.

The Good Animation Technique
According to Tommy Kinnerup, the animation field has a lot of great qualities, which can be used for several purposes.

“First of all, animation is excellent for communicating stories that move us in some way. Complicated messages can be designed simply and efficiently, and then communicated to a target group who will understand immediately instead of spending hours reading. Animation can educate us, inspire us and give us insights into complex mechanisms in an interactive and amusing way,” he explains and elaborates:

“Everything in animation is thought through and nothing is left to chance or coincidence, which makes it extremely fascinating to figure out which elements I should use to provoke specific feelings or thoughts from the user or spectator.”

The founder of Artwoork has worked with animation for several years, and to him animation and design are two areas linked closely together.

“Design and animation go hand in hand with the history, and, for instance, it takes well-designed and believable characters to convey a sensuous visual story, no matter if it’s for a commercial or a video game,” he explains.

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Animation by Artwoork Studio

The Preparatory Work is Crucial
When it comes to the production, good research is mandatory if you want to succeed. It’s necessary to acquaint yourself with the history and to do your preparatory work carefully.

“As a designer, you must know where and when the story takes place as well as the theme, genre and target group. Is it a place that we know or a new planet with marvellous creatures? In both cases, you must do your research to get the most out of it,” Kinnerup explains.

Afterward, the hard work starts, and there’s many perspective to work on, but Tommy Kinnerup points out two things, which to him are especially crucial elements when designing animation: expression and mood.

“The mood, in terms of content, light and colours, is the foundation of the feelings you should have as a spectator. The content must reflect the time and place, while the light should lead the eye and support the drama taking place. It’s about getting into the good feeling – because if you feel it yourself, there’s a big chance that others will too,” Tommy ends.

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Animation by Artwoork Studio

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