How much does animation cost? When it comes to animation, one of the main factors in cost is the animation style and who makes it. For example, if you work with a freelancer, the cost could be around $75 per hour. However, if you work with a production company, the cost could be upwards of $2500-5000 and up per minute of finished animation.
Animated videos are engaging and entertaining, which is why they are such a popular choice for businesses and organizations who want to get their message across in a memorable way.
Understanding these factors can help you plan accordingly and ultimately determine the right animation cost for your project.
Let’s dive deeper into what determines the cost of an animated video.
How much does animation cost? (4 Factors)
There are four factors that influence animation cost:
- Animation style
- Depth of services requested
- Video length and due dates
If you’re looking to hire an animation company for your video project.
It’s important to get a sense of what you’ll be spending before you commit to anything.
Let’s dive into these factors.
1. Animation style
The animation style is another important factor in determining how much an animation will cost.
Some styles, like stop motion animation or motion graphics, take more time and refined skill than others.
A style that requires a lot of detail and time is going to cost more.
Let’s look at the different styles of animations.
The motion graphics style of animation is a popular choice for many videos.
This type of animation is generally less expensive than other styles, and it is often used for commercials, explainer videos, and headlines.
Motion graphics can be very effective in conveying a message or telling a story.
Motion graphics also include a style called infographics.
Infographics is a more graph and text-focused animation style which is favored by educational and government institutions.
Stop Motion Animation
Generally, stop-motion animation costs between $3,000 and $50,000+.
The cost will also depend on the type of objects used in the animation.
Armature puppets cast in silicone, for example, may cost more than toy cars or cut-outs of images.
Stop-motion animation is also popular in product videos where the actual product is animated.
If you’re looking to create a 3D animation video, it’ll the cost of 3D animation is significantly more.
3D animation has become more affordable in recent years, but expect to pay anywhere from $1000 and up per second of animation.
2. Services Requested
Keep in mind that most professional animation studios offer more than just animation services – they can also help with things like scriptwriting, character design, music, narration, and storyboarding.
This means that the final cost of your project will depend on how much work needs to be done in addition to the animation itself.
When requesting a quote from a potential studio, be sure to ask about all the services they offer so you can get an accurate estimate of how much your project will cost.
Concept Development and Research
If you want a freelancer or an animation studio to conceptualize your animated video you have to factor in the cost of scriptwriting, storyboarding, and character design.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that the final price may vary depending on the complexity of the project.
When deciding whether or not to hire a production company, it’s important to first consider your budget and the scope of the project.
If you have a limited budget, you may want to consider working with a freelancer.
Scripting and Storyboarding
If you want a production company to write a script and storyboard your video, it will likely cost more than if you were to write the script yourself.
This is because scripting and storyboarding are complex tasks that require a lot of time and effort.
They involve a creative director, concept artist, and illustrator, all of whom need to be paid for their time and expertise.
If you’re looking to have a professional narration and voiceover for your video, be prepared to spend a bit more.
Voiceover artists generally charge per word.
So, depending on how much dialogue is in your script, the cost of this could range from $100 to $1000 or more.
Music and sound effects
Animation studios can provide music and sound effects for your video, which can help to make it more effective and memorable.
The cost of this service will depend on the quality of the music and sound effects that you require.
Typically, you can simply source your music and sound effects from stock libraries for a small licensing fee depending on your specific usage.
3. Video Length and Due Date
If you’re wondering how video length and due date affect the price of an animated video, be aware that most animation projects are priced by the second.
As a result, longer videos will cost more. Shorter videos are cheaper.
Your timeline or expected deadline can also affect the cost of your animation in addition to the length of your video.
Especially if you need your video produced faster than the studio’s normal turnaround time, the more expensive your video will become.
When budgeting for your animated video, be sure to factor in how long you want the video to be and when you need it completed.
This way, you can get a better estimate of how much the final cost will be.
Most studios include some revisions in their pricing, but changes beyond key stages in your project will usually incur additional charges.
For example, if you request changes to the script or storyboard after the initial stages of your project are complete, this could add significantly to the final cost.
Script and voiceover revisions
If you change your script after the voice-over and scripting are complete, you will have to renew your voice talent, which will add additional costs to your project.
If there are changes to the script after the storyboards are drawn, a storyboard artist will have to be rehired to remake some or all of the storyboards.
An animatic is a roughly animated version of the final video.
This is usually the storyboards loosely animated to the music, sound effects, and narration.
This will give a sense of the feel, look, and length of the final animated video.
If any part of the script or changes, then the animatic will have to be revised.
If you plan on making changes to an animated video, it will likely cost more in this stage of the production as there are more elements to revise.
This is because additional work will need to be done to accommodate your changes.
You’ll need to provide the assets for the animation, as well as a revised script (if necessary).
If you’re unhappy with the voiceover narration, you’ll have to renew your talent to record a new one.
Overall, changes made throughout the different stages of video production can add significant costs to your project.
Be sure to factor this into your budget so that you’re prepared for any additional expenses down the road.
The different price levels of animation
- $1000 per minute – Imagine this as the “starter pack” in the world of animation. This will get you moving graphics and stock elements, but it’s pretty bare-bones. It’s like ordering a burger without the fries and drink.
- $2500 per minute – Now we’re stepping up our game a little bit. But you’re getting a lot more bang for your buck. We’re talking script writing, voice-over work, art direction, character animation, and even some fancy transitions and special effects. It’s like going from a simple burger to a gourmet meal. Only 2D animation here.
- $5000 and up per minute – Wowza, you’re really going for the gold here. You want the best, and you’re willing to pay for it. You’re getting all the bells and whistles. Intricate designs, 3D, complex details, character design, storyboarding, editing, and sound effects – it’s like having an entire film production crew at your fingertips.