How Much Does Animation Cost?

How Much Does Animation Cost?

How Much Does Animation Cost?

What’s the damage?

Your first question when thinking about commissioning animation is mostly likely about the cost. Is your shiny new animation going to bankrupt your company or can you get it done for peanuts?

What factors affect your quote?

Unfortunately due to the unique nature of your project there is no straight forward answer and there are a number of factors that an animation company will consider when producing a quote, such as the script, storyboard, style, audio and the schedule.

The script

Writing a thorough script will force you to think about your animation idea in detail before a single penny is spent on production. Want to scrap that expensive and irrelevant scene with the space battle? Now is the time to do it! If the planning stages of your animation are perfected before production starts, the chances of any costly changes being made in the future will be greatly reduced.

Be prepared

All good animation companies will offer a scripting service but if you already have a script prepared, or a very clear idea of what you want, you will most likely save both time and money. After all no one knows your product or service better than you.

Storyboarding

The storyboard is a vital visual map of your ‘story’, which should always be developed for any animation project. When creating storyboards, questions and problems tend to pop up that weren’t immediately obvious from the script. By planning everything on paper, animators are able to solve any big issues and can get a much better idea of schedules and costs.

Visualise your idea

Thankfully you don’t have to be a world renowned artist to create your own storyboards and most animation companies will welcome your visual ideas, even if they are just scrawls on the back of envelopes! The most basic drawings can be much more intuitive than words and the more refined your visuals are, the less design work will be required by the studio you commission.

Content is king

Simply put, the more complex your subject matter the higher the cost will be. For example a 10 minute scene featuring an extremely detailed, fire breathing, photo-realistic dragon surrounded by gold coins (as seen in ‘The Hobbit’) is going to cost millions to create, but a simple 3 second clip of your logo on a spinning cube with a white background could be done for just a few hundred.

Time is money

The length of your animation will also affect the cost; the longer the animation the more it will cost! However there are ways to create large scale projects more efficiently, for example repetitive elements can be created in bulk meaning that production will become cheaper per second or minute.

Style

There are a huge, perhaps even unlimited, number of visual styles available to animators and each has it’s own unique production process, which will have a knock on effect on the cost.

A more affordable style

Generally the more two-dimensional or cartoony a style is, the less expensive it is. These styles tend to be more simplistic and make use of clean flat backgrounds. If you don’t need super realism and want to focus on clear communication of your concepts, then these styles are a great way to save money.

High end 3D animation

Three dimensional, photo-realistic and highly detailed styles contain much more visual information and so require much more time to produce, which means that they do cost more. The most expensive animation styles often feature a combination of both live action and CGI, as they require a camera crew and an animation team to work together to solve a unique set of challenges.

Voiceover

A voiceover can be a brilliant aid for storytelling, but it will mean additional costs. You could commission a recording from a famous hollywood star, which could end up costing a huge amount, or you could hire a specialised freelance voice actor, which would be considerably less!

Music

Using music in an animation will add more onto your total cost, and this will be completely dependant on the quality or exclusivity of the audio. You could arrange for John Williams and his orchestra to compose a bespoke score but this will be much more expensive than if you licensed stock music from sites such as audionetwork.com.

Sound effects

Sourcing sound effects and sound design doesn’t have to cost the earth anymore, there are hundreds of excellent quality stock SFX clips available that are extremely affordable but it is important to bear in mind that it is an extra cost.

Timeline

A planned approach to animation production will save you money, as everything will be mapped out in advance. But if the timeline is short it could be more expensive to produce as more animators with more middle managers will be required to work quickly.

Value

Your chosen animation studio should be able to tailor their work to your budget to ensure that you are spending your money in the right places, delivering the best results for your money.

5 Comments
  1. Hi I’m considering creating a 20 minute podcast that could possibly be made into an animation. If the recordings were handed over how much would it cost with and without an already completed story line and how long would it take to produce the animation?

    thanks

    Reply
    • we’d need to see the script before we can give timelines out

      Reply
  2. How much is a 15min high end animation with a few voice overs something close to 3d with multiple characters and a few very slick fight scenes?

    Reply
    • could be £30,000 – £1,000,000 + it really depends on the quality/style bar you are trying to hit, we’d need to see the character designs, script etc.

      Reply
  3. I charge £400 for the quality I do because I don’t care about the money I just want to have fun and animate
    (I will show the person the animation with a watermark or only like 20Sec of it so they don’t steal it and actually pay me)

    I do high quality animations for affordable prices contact me!

    Also don’t believe tompainter

    tompainter on March 16, 2017 at 7:16 pm
    could be £30,000 – £1,000,000

    That’s false it’s from £10,000 – £35,000

    A movie by (example) Pixar would cost £50M because of the extreme quality and 2 Hr movie but something like this not rly that expensive

    Reply

Submit a Comment

5 Comments
  1. Hi I’m considering creating a 20 minute podcast that could possibly be made into an animation. If the recordings were handed over how much would it cost with and without an already completed story line and how long would it take to produce the animation?

    thanks

    Reply
    • we’d need to see the script before we can give timelines out

      Reply
  2. How much is a 15min high end animation with a few voice overs something close to 3d with multiple characters and a few very slick fight scenes?

    Reply
    • could be £30,000 – £1,000,000 + it really depends on the quality/style bar you are trying to hit, we’d need to see the character designs, script etc.

      Reply
  3. I charge £400 for the quality I do because I don’t care about the money I just want to have fun and animate
    (I will show the person the animation with a watermark or only like 20Sec of it so they don’t steal it and actually pay me)

    I do high quality animations for affordable prices contact me!

    Also don’t believe tompainter

    tompainter on March 16, 2017 at 7:16 pm
    could be £30,000 – £1,000,000

    That’s false it’s from £10,000 – £35,000

    A movie by (example) Pixar would cost £50M because of the extreme quality and 2 Hr movie but something like this not rly that expensive

    Reply

Submit a Comment