Animation is the most spectacular and magical way of expressing one’s idea or message to a wider audience. It is undeniably the perfect way of engaging an audience while providing them information in an entertaining & clear manner.
Animation piques interest in the viewer’s mind and compels them to take action. There are so many types of animation styles that you can try, ranging from 2D and 3D animation, infographics, character animation to whiteboard explainer videos.
Telling stories with exciting, full-of-life characters and scenes makes an impression in front of the viewers.
But the question is, how much does animation cost? We are already aware that animation comes at a huge price.
So, if you’re wondering about the cost of animation and have requested quotes from different video production companies, it is likely that you must have got a wide range of price quotes. So, will you know what you’re expected to pay for an attractive & captivating animated video? It’s a complicated question as there are a number of factors that determine the cost of animation.
In this article, we will talk about those factors that influence the production cost of animation while offering you with a few examples of different price ranges so you get an idea of it.
Cost of Animation
With a variety of factors influencing the final price of an animated video, it’s not so easy to decide the average price of animation. Two videos of the same duration can cost entirely different due to the type of animation used, the level of expertise of the designer working on it along with the fluidity of the video.
Having said that, here are few price ranges that you can expect to pay for a one-minute animation:
- $3,000-$7,000 per minute – Animations belonging to this price range are considered to be of the lowest budget. You get very basic 2D animation, where the fluidity can be a little jerky and characters may look unrefined. In these videos, the designer usually uses stock elements to keep the cost minimal.
You must know that for smaller budget projects, the video production company may not offer services like voiceover, scripting and music. And these can incur extra costs.
- $10,000-$20,000 per minute – This is the minimum price for a professional animated video. At this rate, you will get services like scripting , voiceover, character animation, art direction, high-level transitions, etc.
- $20,000-$50,000 per minute – In this price range, you can expect a high-quality 3D animated video. To be precise, the animation contains more advanced effects.
- $50,000-$1,00,000+ per minute – At this price range, studios offer broadcast-quality animation. These are bigger projects that hold nothing back, with companies offering all services right from designing the concept and scripting to creating 2D/3D animation, advanced effects, and a lot more.
Key Factors Impacting the Animation Cost
As we already mentioned, there are many factors that influence the cost of animation. Let’s take a look at these:
1. Type of Animation
It is one of the main factors that determines the cost of animation. The more refined and time-consuming the animated video is, the most cost it incurs.
- 2D animation – 2D animation is usually the most inexpensive type of animation you can opt for. It takes less time to create it, than 3D animation or stop-motion animation. In 2D animation, graphic vector style and typography costs less, while shaded or character hand-inked animation is costlier.
- Motion Graphics – This type can be both 2D and 3D, and you can see this a lot in explainer videos, commercial ads, sports events, the news and at other places as well. Though, it doesn’t include character animation, yet many other principles of animation apply here.
- Illustration – Illustration is a visual representation of a text. The artist interprets the script and visualises it. An illustrator often creates the image on their own, whereas a graphic designer uses tools like graphics, images, as well as text to convey the message to the viewers.
- Infographics – Infographics are graphic visual representations of data, information, or any other details and aims to provide information in a clear and quicker way. This type of animation is generally used to break down complex data into simpler & easily understandable form.
- Stop-motion animation – Stop-motion is a fun & creative way to tell a story. The process involves manipulation & photographing of physical objects frame by frame and then playing all the photos in a rapid succession so that it gives an illusion of movement. In this kind of animation, the cost depends on whatever is animated.
For example, if the object is built from scratch such as clay, the cost will be more. And if the item is ready-made, it won’t be so costly.
- 3D animation – 3D animation is the most advanced type of animation where objects & characters are moved and created in a three-dimensional environment. It is more realistic. And the best part is that the technology behind it is continuously improving due to which there’s been a drop in the cost.
2. Services Required
A lot of animation studios offer services beyond just creating an animated video. These are:
- Concepting & Strategizing – This refers to the basic idea behind a video. If you already have it, it works well. Otherwise, you will have to ask the studio to conceptualize and think of a strategy for your animation.
- Scripting & Storyboarding – If you don’t have a script for your video, it will charge your extra cost. The same rule applies to even storyboarding.
- Voice-over/Narration – Hiring a professional voiceover artist also adds to the cost of producing a video as you would definitely want it to have a good sound-quality.
- Music & Sound Effects – If you wish to create a fresh soundtrack for your video, it will be expensive. You can save money by using your own stock audio files and sound effects in your animated video.
3. Length of the Video
The length of your video hugely impacts its cost of production. You must know that the animation is priced by the second. Therefore, the longer the video, the more expensive it is. If you go for a shorter video, the cost will be naturally lesser.
Timeline means the expected deadline of your animation. The tighter the deadline of your video, the more expensive it will be, especially if you require the animation faster than the usual time.
Most of the animation studios include the cost of revisions in the total cost of the project. However, any modifications requested beyond a certain stage of video production can add to the cost.
So if you request any changes after the scripting, concepting and voiceover has been decided, expect to pay extra for this.
Similarly, demanding changes after the character models and styleframes are finalized will charge you extra too.
Additionally, if you request any change of assets at the Production stage, it will increase the cost of your animation. Once the production stage has arrived, any revisions you ask for will cost you extra. So, make sure you are satisfied with the script before finalizing the voiceover. To simply put, once the production starts, it will be costlier to make any changes.
Hope this guide will help you in getting an idea of the cost of animation per minute of video. Now, you can set a budget according to the type of animation you want. Keep in mind that the cost of an animated video greatly depends on all the above mentioned factors.
Pavnendra Bhadhuria is the founder and CEO of Essence Studios, India’s top explainer video production company. When he is not busy running the business, he shares his knowledge and experience in the field of digital marketing through blogs. He is also an avid follower of cricket.