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How Much Does Animation Cost?

Many businesses turn to animated videos to get their brand message across and engage their audience. Animated videos are a great way to present information in an educational yet entertaining manner. 

Your clients may have somewhat of an idea of what they want to be portrayed in their message, but it is animators who bring these ideas to life by telling a story in a fun way.

This is why animation is always in demand, whether it be explainer videos or infographics. Animators cater to the company’s needs and should charge their clients accordingly.

As an animator, you may not know how much to charge your clients when it comes to offering animation services for their business. Additionally, if you’re a business owner seeking out animation services, this blog post will cover the many factors that influence the production cost of animation.

How Much Does Animation Cost Based On Animation Styles? 

two 3d squids calculating the cost of animation

GIF by John Larigakis via GIPHY

As an animator, it’s important to consider how much effort you’re putting into the creation you are working on, depending on the complexity of the style you’re using.

2D Animation Cost

2d animation of a cat pouncing on a butterfly

GIF by Diego Farao via GIPHY

The most affordable style of animation is 2D animation, as it takes less time to create than stop motion or 3D animation. An animation with graphic vector styles or typography costs less than one with shading or hand-drawn characters.

Motion Graphics Cost

Motion graphics are used mostly in explainer videos and can be both 2D and 3D. Character animation isn’t included in motion graphics, but many other principles of animation still apply.

a motion graphic animation of planet earth

GIF by eyesdesyn via GIPHY

Illustration Cost

animated illustration of a bedroom window in autumn

GIF by Maori Sakai via GIPHY

An illustration is the visualization of a text. The illustrator will create the image on their own, unlike a graphic designer who will use tools like images, graphics, and text to convey their message.

Motion Infographics Cost

animated infographic that can be used to represent data

GIF by Matthew Butler via GIPHY

An infographic is a visual representation of information used to simplify complex data to make it more understandable. Infographics include various elements, such as images, texts, and diagrams to present messages quickly.

Stop Motion Animation Cost

stop motion animation of a gnome knitting

GIF by Mochimochiland via GIPHY

Stop motion is a fun way to tell a story. The animator would move physical objects and photograph them frame by frame. The costs will vary depending on what is being animated. For example, building claymation from scratch would cost more than a pre-built item, like an action figure. 

3D Animation Cost

3d animated character that looks at the camera and looks away

GIF by Job, Joris & Mariekevia via GIPHY

3D animation is the most advanced type of animation whereby objects are created in a three-dimensional environment. Luckily, the technology to produce these animations have been improving, which means the prices have been dropping.

There are also different types of videos with different pricing to suit everyone’s unique business needs. These can contain explainer videos, onboarding views, short ads, and more!

Services Required That Affect Animation Cost

man saying "thank you for your services" talking about your animation cost

GIF by VH1 via GIPHY

Many animation studios and freelance animators offer services beyond animating videos. These services can include:

Concepting and Strategy

Although many clients may have an idea behind the video, some may not. In this case, it’s up to the animator to come up with a concept and strategy for the project.

Scripting and Storyboarding

If the client doesn’t already have a script, the animator may write one for an additional cost. The same goes for storyboarding which requires more resources and involvement. Together, these two things can increase the cost of animation.

Voice Over / Narration

Hiring a professional voiceover artist will add to the animation cost as the audio quality should match that of the animated video.

Music and Sound Effects

It can become expensive for the client to create custom soundtracks, whereas stock audio files and sound effects can save the client money.

Length of Animated Video and Timeline

The duration of the animation will greatly influence the cost of production. It’s important to keep in mind that most animation is priced per second.

The longer it is, the more expensive it will become. Additionally, your timeline or expected deadline also has an impact on the animation cost.

If your turnaround time is tight, the video can become more expensive. This is because you will have to rush the project if the client requests it within short notice.

Revisions

Most animation studio owners or freelance animators include the cost of revisions in the total cost of the animation. However, revision requests after the key stages in the animated video will impact the animation cost.

Requesting changes after scripting and voice-over work has been completed will increase the video cost, as professional voice-over artists will have to come back and re-record a new script.

The same goes for style frames and characters. Once these models have been finalized and revisions are requested, it will charge your client more.

If there are any requests for change at the stage of production, the cost of the animation will increase as concept and styling will already be finalized. Check-in with your client that they are satisfied with the script before moving on to the voiceover. 

In other words, once the production stage starts, it will cost your clients a lot extra.

Animation studios and freelance animators may also offer the above services through cross-selling and upselling. 

Cross-selling is a technique where you present your animation clients with extra services in addition to what they have. This is useful when the original service doesn’t fulfill the client’s needs or when you want to introduce helpful but lesser-known services that you offer.

On the other hand, upselling is a technique where you can convince clients to purchase an additional service or upgraded version. With upselling, you give your clients a range of service options that may meet their needs better at a higher cost.

How Much Does Animation Cost Per Minute?

man saying "time is money" when animations are at a cost per minute

GIF by America’s Next Top Model via GIPHY 

Considering the above factors, it’s no surprise that the cost of animation can vary drastically.

The cost of animation can also be broken up according to tiers, with those at a freelance level ranging from $50-$3000 dollars per minute.

This is due to the different professionals on both ends of the spectrum. You may encounter freelance animators with little experience and basic animation skills.

On the other hand, you may find experts who are able to deliver a custom, quality video. Mid-tier animation studios may cost $3000 to $10000 per minute, while professional-level animation companies' rates range from $10000 to $50000 per minute.

How Much Does Animation Cost?

There are many factors that impact the production cost of animation, such as animation styles, services required, the duration of the animated video, timeline, and revisions. The cost of animation can also be broken up according to tiers, with freelance animators charging anything from $50 to $3000 dollars per minute.

For more helpful tips about the business side of animation, you should watch our free masterclass and download a copy of our free marketing handbook!

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