Now, more than ever, the animation industry is increasingly in demand with the market projected to skyrocket up until the year 2030. Animation has been extensively used in various industries, and with a rise in video production for social media consumption and greater competition in advertising and marketing, animation is now increasingly being outsourced.
Outsourcing animation allows companies to cut costs significantly and scale up production to meet more demands.
Animation outsourcing is an invaluable tool for businesses to save time and focus on central tasks that are crucial for development and growth.
Animation services are a great marketing approach for businesses to improve engagement and build brand awareness.
What is Animation Outsourcing?
Outsourcing occurs when a company hires a third party that is outside of the business to provide an agreed service. Hence, in the context of animation outsourcing, it is basically the process of hiring an external animation studio or freelance animator to create animation projects. To put it in simpler terms, a company may choose to outsource animation services instead of producing the content in-house.
However, animation outsourcing is not a new phenomenon, companies have been outsourcing animation since the mid-1960s. It all began when Hollywood Studios’ demand for animation production skyrocketed and they started outsourcing animation from overseas studios based in countries such as India and the Philippines. Even the world-renowned entertainment giants like Warner bros, Walt Disney, DreamWorks and Pixar Animation Studios are ahead of the outsourcing game.
Why are animation studios outsourcing animation?
With increased demands in the worldwide animation production market, many entertainment giants are outsourcing animation to increase the production rate in order to meet increased demand. Animation outsourcing has become a great business approach that allows companies to take up more animation projects with dramatically reduced costs. However, this does not only apply to blockbuster animation movies. Animation outsourcing is often used for marketing campaigns, animated video commercials, social media content, architecture, education and gaming.
Animation outsourcing in the gaming industry
Games are becoming extremely popular and are now no longer just a pastime activity – it has become a big part of today’s culture and lifestyle. Animation plays a major role in how well games are received by the public due to the high expectations of better graphics as technology advances. It is essential for games to provide an immersive experience through animation – with realistic illustrations, special effects as well as sound effects to enhance the game’s storyline and keep a person playing. However, people often criticise how successful a game is by the quality of its animation production. Hence, animation outsourcing services are increasingly on the rise in the gaming industry to keep up with the demands and expectations.
Benefits of Outsourcing Animation Production
1. Reduced Costs
You probably think that hiring another company or a freelancer to deliver animation services would cost more but on the contrary, it actually saves you more money. Outsourcing animation is one of the best ways to reduce the costs of animation production as it removes the need of having an in-house team or a full-time animator to do the work required. This is especially beneficial for small businesses that do not have a professional animator for animation production for their intended marketing and advertising purposes.
Outsourcing allows companies to hire competent professionals without having to pay more for what you normally would with in-house animators – reducing the costs of hiring new employees, paying benefit packages and providing employee training. Moreover, because of the significant difference in wage patterns between countries, animation companies can outsource animation from foreign countries like the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea and China. It would considerably cost a lot lesser, especially for western countries to outsource from lower-priced overseas studios which is what most companies are doing.
When compared to producing through an in-house team, outsourcing animation significantly reduces the turnaround time to complete an animation project. Hence, outsourcing accelerates production time which in turn, allows for the take up of more projects. In addition, when companies outsource animation to other countries with a time difference, it helps to keep workflow going all around the clock – an added advantage for an animation studio to continue working on the whole project even after the usual office hours – like being able to work even when you’re asleep!
3. Increased creativity
An animation is a form of creative work, hence, outsourcing animation can bring in new perspectives and fresh ideas for a particular project – increasing creativity. Working with external animators allows businesses to tap into new ideas that may have never been considered before.
4. Focus on core competencies
Outsourcing animation is a great way for businesses to accelerate work productivity and efficiency as it allows the business to focus on its core competencies instead of smaller tasks. In other words, outsourcing helps companies to save more time and resources to focus on business development, branding, research and many more. Not only does this helps with improved focus on central tasks, but it will also ensure the animation project is of quality work and done professionally by an animation studio or freelance animators.
When businesses outsource animation, it enables the ability to scale up production and meet the market’s demands. This is especially great for animation companies that are looking to increase their production rate and take on more projects without having to hire more animators.
6. Access to specialised skills
Outsourcing animation allows the advantage of access to an international pool of talent. Through outsourcing, businesses are not limited to hiring professionals that have to be in the same country to work for the company. With the advancements in technology, animation work can be done remotely. Therefore, businesses will have greater access to a wide range of talents and specialised skills that may not be available internally – allowing for better hires that will improve the quality of work.
Most common types of animation outsourcing
There are many different types of animation techniques – from animated videos to 3D animation that can be a great marketing tool to enhance your brand and improve your business’s growth!
In this section, we’ll discuss the most common types of animation that can be outsourced:
1. 3D animation outsourcing
3D animation is one of the most popular animation styles that businesses outsource. It can be used to create animated series, movies, games, and music videos, as well as animated videos for marketing and advertising for just about any industry. 3D animation is appealing because of its ability to portray objects and characters in a three-dimensional space with realistic features and movements. It is a great choice for businesses that aim to convey a message in a way that grabs the attention of their target audience.
Here’s an example of a 3D animation video we created for our clients for their marketing campaign. Mandai Wildlife Reserve wanted to promote its Ranger Buddies program which aims to educate about the importance of wildlife preservation to families and young children. The 3D animated video portrayed appealing visuals that represented the real-life animals that were habitants of Singapore’s Wildlife Reserve – increasing relatability and enticing viewers to visit. This was a great approach in utilising 3D animation because of the capabilities of making the video realistic and engaging to both children and parents.
2. 2D animation outsourcing
2D animation is another sought-after animation technique that has been constantly used by businesses for a variety of purposes. Unlike 3D animation, 2D animation is flat, does not have depth and portrays a less life-like appearance. However, it still provides the same visual appeal that can grab viewers’ attention. In addition, compared to 3D animation, 2D animation is more affordable and low-cost – an amazing choice for businesses who want similar results but on a much tighter budget.
Here’s Superpixel’s take on 2D animation for McDonald’s Family Mental Wellness ad that highlights the importance of familial support through a simple storyline. The use of 2D animation for this ad was valuable in depicting real-life difficult situations that children face. The ad’s storyline was translated through vivid and eye-catching visuals to suit a more appropriate tone that can be more approachable for all viewers.
3. Character animation outsourcing
Character animations are a great way for businesses to stand out from the competition and can convey the message of a story effectively. When used as a brand persona or mascot, it has the ability to improve brand awareness as well as create a positive brand image. One of the best things about character animation is how customisable they are – businesses can create a character design that uniquely represents their brand. People are also much more receptive to character animations because they have human-like traits that people can relate to. Character animations are a worthy investment for businesses as they can be reused, modified and applied to just about any marketing material.
Here’s a visual example of a 3D character animation also referred to as the “Antibiotic Boy” that the animation team at Superpixel created for the Health Promotion Board’s Antibiotic campaign. The character animation was a big hit due to its relatable traits and comedic qualities which garnered a high engagement rate – making it one of the most viewed videos in Singapore. It was also successful in educating the public on the improper use of antibiotics which was the main goal of the animated video.
4. Animated video commercials
Last but not least on the list are animated video commercials which are probably the most outsourced type of animation. Many businesses opt for an animated video commercial to present their marketing campaigns that advertise products, services and promotions. Animation makes marketing campaigns much more effective because of their ability to capture attention and entice viewers.
Here’s an example of a short animated video commercial done by the creative team at Superpixel to promote Redmart’s online grocery service through witty and relatable animations that are just too cute to even press skip.
How to Pick an Outsourced Animation Partner for your Project?
If you are looking for an animation company to outsource animation services, here are some tips on how you can find the best animation studios for your projects.
1. Research about the animation company
Before deciding on an animation studio, it is best to perform thorough research on the company. You can do this by visiting their website, looking through their past work and portfolio, identifying what type of animation services they offer and evaluating the quality of their work. These are all important factors that you need to analyse to get a better understanding before diving into outsourcing animation. You should also make a list of all the companies you are interested in outsourcing animation services from to have a variety of choices that you can select if one fails to meet your standard and requirements.
2. Contact the animation company
After you have done your research, you should contact the company for a consultation and discuss which animation services you intend to go for and how your ideas can be executed. This will allow you to have an overview of the company’s services and plans for making your vision come to life.
3. Discuss the budget
Next, you should discuss the costs of the animation project to identify if it fits your allocated budget. Animation outsourcing should reduce your costs and provide you with the benefits of outsourcing animation. If the company you chose fits your budget, you can begin with the pre-production work. However, if it does not fit your budget you should go for the second-best animation company that fits all your requirements and are aligned with the goals of your project.
4. Read directories and testimonials
When researching an animation company, it is crucial to read reviews and testimonials of other clients that have worked with them in the past. This can provide you with a better understanding of how the company operates and its work conduct. You can even find reviews on other websites or online forums that may have more information about the animation company – take a look at our profile on DesignRush!
5. Leverage on social media research
Social media platforms are a great tool when it comes to research. Almost every company out there has a social media profile where you can get more information. Look at their content, read comments on their posts and view their tagged posts to have a clearer understanding of their work. It can also help you get to know them better and identify if there are any communication barriers or concerns before choosing an animation company.
Should I outsource my animation to a freelancer or an animation studio?
This all depends on several factors such as your type of project and what fits your budget. However, it is important to note that animation outsourcing companies are made up of a professional team of animators that have the advantage of completing the animation project at a faster speed and ensuring high-quality animations compared to hiring a freelancer.
Get in touch about animation outsourcing for your next project
Here at Superpixel, we specialise in animation services like 3D animation, 2D animation, motion graphics, character animation and so much more.
Our professional team of animators will bring all the ideas you have for an animation project come to life whilst ensuring high-quality work.
Contact us to learn more about how we can help you focus on your business and outsource your animation production with us today!