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The Cost of Animation: Making [Dollars and] Sense of It All

August 19, 2018

One of the most frequently asked questions among businesses looking to have an animated video produced is, “How much does it cost?”

One of the most frequently asked questions among businesses looking to have an animated video produced is, “How much does it cost?” The question that typically follows this one is, “Why does it cost that much?” While we are going to examine what goes into creating an animated video and discuss the associated costs, at length, it’s perhaps best analogized to the process and cost of building a home. Think of it this way: Every house starts with a foundation and certain key elements that are layered on top of it. Together all of these elements form a house. But the cost of building the house isn’t represented by its single structure. From the cost of labor to the type of roof to the interior décor, each element of the house comes with its own price tag. That’s kind of like an animated video. Yes, the final product is one video; however, deconstructed, there are lots of layers, elements, and time that go into creating it—each one with its own specific cost.

So how can we break the cost of animation down and make sense of it all?

It’s important to remember that, like anything custom-built, the cost of animated videos rely on a variety of factors. These factors include:


Length and Style

Determining the approximate length of the video helps studios budget the number of designers and animators needed for the project and determine the approximate production time and schedule. Most videos used for marketing are 60 seconds or less but there are exceptions. Instructional/training videos can be longer.

Part of the cost of an animated video is the custom style. It should be unique. Customers pay for something special to set them apart from the competition and ultimately see a return on investment.


Special Ways to Captivate Audiences—Especially Learners Whiteboard

In order to teach others effectively, an explainer video has to keep their attention. 2D cutout animation, frame-by-frame animation, 3D renders, motion graphics, kinetic typeset, and stop motion all vary in cost, however, they ultimately pay off by keeping audiences engaged.

There isn’t a set formula for determining the cost of animation, but remember that an animated branded video is an investment that helps to grow business and create brand awareness in an entirely new way. Furthermore, the cost of animation is justified based on measurable return on investment (ROI), including

  • Higher ranking SEO results,
  • improved customer satisfaction
  • increased consumer awareness and engagement, and
  • higher sales conversion rates.


Animated videos are well worth the cost. Here is some proof: Medical Animation Videos.

Mike Doyle, Video Animator

Frustrated that people don’t “get” how your company helps them?

Since 2011, drive 80 studios has created close to 500 animations that simplify complex messages in a fun and memorable way.

Make this the year everyone clearly understands what you do, in less than 90 seconds.

~Mike Doyle, Owner