Animation is a great medium to attract new customers as it delivers messages across digital platforms in a unique and engaging manner. It is also one of the best ways to engage the audience and present informative content yet be entertaining simultaneously.
But how much does animation production cost? This is an important aspect to discuss as the cost can vary depending on many factors.
There are different styles of animation you can tap into, from 2D animation to infographics and character animation to explainer videos and telling narratives with fun and unique characters and visuals.
If you’ve been asking for quotes for animation, you’ve probably received different price ranges. So how can you determine how much you should budget that suits your needs?
In this post, we’ll go over some of the key factors that could influence the cost of an animation project, some helpful tips to discuss with a professional animation studio to find the right one that suits your needs and budget, and the most essential answer to your question— how much does animation cost?
Factors That Affect the Cost of an Animation
As mentioned at the beginning, many factors affect animation costs.
This means that an animation studio offers different or fixed prices for every brand and company they work with. To help you better understand, let’s look at the key factors influencing the cost of producing animation videos.
Depending on the idea or concepts you have in mind, different styles produce varying costs, especially in the case of a 2D or 3D animation video. The first step may involve many hours focusing on establishing the right objective for the animation, script, and brand guidelines to ensure the production is heading in the right direction and the final output speaks to the right audience.
Businesses can choose from animation styles like 2D animation, 3D animation, motion graphics, stop motion, or typographic animation. And while you are thinking of sourcing this to a professional studio, you may want to share with them online video samples and references to align accurately with what you had in mind.
The duration of the animation plays a role in the cost of production. The longer it is usually the bigger the budget needed to produce it. We need to refer back to the objective of the animation to help determine its duration.
Many marketers and advertisers try to keep their animation duration between 15 seconds to 90 seconds; mostly for digital ads and online viewers.
On the other hand, many animations that are produced in series format may go all the way up to 10 mins per video. Certain brands and businesses may want to do this series method to reach out to their particular segments of the audience, especially kids.
The complexity of the animation content can be explained clearly through Hollywood movies. There are movie scenes that only show two actors talking to each other for 5 minutes with clips changing from one person to another. This scene is considered simple to produce.
On the other hand, some scenes only take 15 seconds but the whole scene is full of CGI, crowd simulation, explosions, and 3D cities. This one is considered complex as there are a lot of things to create within the content, though it only lasted for a few seconds.
The location of the animation production company you want to outsource may also affect the animation cost. These factors can be the talent’s average income, cost of living, taxes, etc., which vary depending on where you want to outsource your animation video.
It may be worth considering as there could be a large difference when outsourcing it to an entire team based in developing countries in Asia but still not compromising the quality of the video.
For example, most American animation companies charge an average price of $150 per working hour per person, while Europe-based companies charge between $25 and $100. Meanwhile, Asia-based animation companies charge between $25 and $50 per hour for 2D animation services. However, this may not mean that an expensive rate per hour is directly proportional to the result.
Ultimately, it will all depend on the type of work that they have done in the past and if it is aligned with your business needs and goals.
Animation Production Cost
Now that we learnt the critical factors that influence the animation cost, let us answer the most crucial question– how much does animation cost?
At least in Asia, the rule of thumb is anywhere between $5,000 and $30,000. For certain special projects, it may go higher than $30,000.
You may choose the lowest price ranges in your video marketing. But to get high-quality animation, you need to consider the entire production phases it entails to complete the project. It includes the time it will take to write a script, creates a storyboard, style frames and illustrations, animation, voice-over recording and set up the sound design.
To help you understand, here are the two animation formats most often considered by most businesses.
An animation production company could give you a one-minute video quote ranging from $5,000 to $15,000.
This cost can include scriptwriting, research, pre-development and directing, extensive frame-by-frame animation, voice-over talent sourcing, library music, and audio mixing.
2D Animation is suitable for many types of content and is relatively flexible to changes and generally faster to be done too. More interesting types of 2D animation content can be seen here for example ads for McDonalds and Laurier intended for their online audience.
For 3D animation, the costs add up somewhere between $10,000 and $50,000. This range of budget is typical for 3D content as they utilise more advanced stuff with various types of software to render such visuals.
The budget also covers more stages in the production pipeline such as 3D modelling, 3D texturing, 3D rigging, 3D lighting and rendering, etc., that you don’t find in the 2D animation pipeline.
Why is Animation Expensive?
Animation is expensive because of the craftsmanship and processes involved in the entirety of its production. An animation production company employs trained professionals like directors, scriptwriters, illustrators, voice-over artists, animators, and other members to complete each animation project. Additionally, they use industry-standard animation software and hardware to deliver high-quality videos to businesses.
But if you will be using an animated video for your brand, it definitely serves as an investment that can last for years; creating the best impression on your audience. It can be true when you are still trying to increase brand awareness or attract new customers. In addition to that, your animated assets and their intellectual property eventually belong to your brand perpetually. You may use them across different digital channels and print media with appropriate adaptations.
And as the saying First impression lasts, this can also be the case for your animated video. This means that the first animation project may impress your target audience and converts them to become customers, or it may disappoint as it did not reach the right audience, to begin with.
Preparing for your first animated video marketing
After understanding the factors influencing the animation cost, it is necessary to look for the animation studio that fits your needs, especially your budget.
Here are two options on how to approach the subject of animation cost to a professional studio.
1. Contact relevant animation studios listed on Google
Start reaching out to reliable animation studios and tell them your business needs and goals, including your preferred animation style. Then ask them to budget the project for you. With that, also asked them for rate cards and relevant portfolios to your project theme.
2. Set a budget and talk to an animation studio
Reach out to an animation studio with a budget you set and ask them to propose a plan that cost within that number. Ask them if they can create animations with the concept you want for your campaign.
The first option can be the best approach if you are looking for a more customised project where an animation studio is open to doing extensive conceptual work.
Bring your Ideas to the Next Level with a Professional Studio Animation Company
If you have a great idea, do not hesitate to contact an animation production studio to help you visualise your ideas and give your brand the instant boost it requires.
You may also check out their list of portfolios to learn more about their previous work to help you decide. And as previously mentioned, you can always contact them about your idea so they can give you a quote and recommend the style and video length your business might need.
Ready to work with an animation production team?
You may be asking where to look for an animation studio that can help visualise your ideas for your next marketing campaign.
At Superpixel, we offer animation services, from corporate videos to brand videos, explainer videos, and interactive content in 2D and 3D formats. We ensure that you are involved in all the production phases as soon as you provide us with all the details and the background you want for your animation video.
Here are the price ranges of our 2D and 3D animation projects to help you understand what entails the animation costs.