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Video Marketing
July 11, 2023

What Influences the Price of Animated Production: A Comprehensive Guide

Is Money in The Way of Great Animation?

In content creation, animated videos have become essential for startups, enterprises, and agencies to engage their audiences. However, "How much does it cost?" is never far from clients' minds. In this blog post, we'll explore the various factors influencing the price of animated video production, including production stages, techniques, elements used, and client involvement. We'll go through 3 main sections, that are crucial in the process of production. You'll learn how you can avoid spending large sums of money and still be able to achieve highly stunning effects. Grab a cup of coffee, and let's dive in!

Section 1: Production Stages that Affect the Price

1.1 Concept Development:
Concept development is the first stage of animation production, where ideas are brainstormed, and the story is crafted. The complexity of the concept and the time spent perfecting it impact the final cost. This stage involves exploring multiple ideas, research, and collaborative discussions to ensure the vision aligns with your brand and effectively communicates your message.

1.2 Scriptwriting:
Transforming ideas into a cohesive script is crucial for guiding the animation process. The length, complexity, and writer's skill level can influence the price. Clients providing their writing or hiring an external writer can save on costs, but ensuring that the script is tailored to the animation medium and meets the project's specific requirements is essential.

1.3 Storyboarding:
Storyboarding creates a visual representation of the entire video, acting as a blueprint for the production process. The more detailed the storyboard, the higher the cost, as it requires more time and skill to develop. Revisions or changes to the storyboard may also incur additional charges, as they can affect the overall timeline and resources needed for the project.

Storyboarding process may sometimes include revisions
Storyboarding process

1.4 Character Design and Development:
Creating unique, memorable characters requires time and artistic expertise. The design process involves sketching, refining, and finalizing character concepts and creating model sheets for animators. The characters' complexity, number, and level of detail will influence the price. Creating fewer or simpler characters can help control costs while effectively conveying your message.

1.5 Background and Environment Design:
Designing backgrounds and environments sets the stage for your animated video. The complexity of the designs, the number of unique backgrounds and assets required, and the level of detail involved will contribute to the overall cost. Creating a minimalistic world with simple sets and fewer assets is generally more budget-friendly than a rich, immersive world with numerous detailed elements.

Development of background designs results in crafting many different locations in the same style
Background development for a climate change awareness video

1.6 Animation:
The animation process brings characters, backgrounds, and other visual elements to life. Choosing between keyframe animation, frame-by-frame elements, or incorporating 3D elements will affect the cost. Keyframe animation is typically more cost-effective due to computer interpolation, while frame-by-frame animation offers more control and fluidity but is more labor-intensive and expensive.

1.7 Post-Production:
The final production stage includes editing, sound design, and visual effects. The extent of post-production work will impact the price. For instance, the more visual effects, sound editing, and overall polish required, the higher the cost. Clients should consider the level of post-production needed to achieve their desired results without exceeding their budget.

The price of animated video production is influenced by several factors within the production stages, including concept development, scriptwriting, storyboarding, character design, background and environment design, animation, and post-production. Understanding these factors can help clients make informed decisions about their project's budget, ensuring they receive the best possible quality for their investment.

Section 2: Techniques and Elements Used in Animated Videos

2.1 Keyframe Animation vs. Frame-by-Frame Animation:
The choice between keyframe animation and frame-by-frame animation significantly impacts the cost and outcome of your project. Keyframe animation involves animating objects by setting key positions and allowing the computer to interpolate between them. This technique is generally faster and more cost-effective, requiring less manual labor from animators. Keyframe animation suits projects with a tighter budget and timeline without sacrificing quality.

A gif representing keyframe animations with corresponding animation
Keyframes (on the left) and animated result (on the right)

On the other hand, frame-by-frame animation requires the animator to create each frame manually. This labor-intensive technique offers more control, resulting in more fluid and detailed animation. Frame-by-frame animation is ideal for projects that require intricate movement and high levels of detail but comes with a higher price tag due to the time and effort involved.

2.2 3D Elements:
Incorporating 3D elements into your animation can add depth and realism, creating a more immersive and engaging experience for your audience. 3D animation often requires specialized software, skills and more time to produce than 2D animation. The complexity of 3D elements and the necessary level of detail can significantly affect the project's cost. However, investing in 3D animation can elevate the final product and leave a lasting impression on viewers.

2.3 Minimalistic vs. Fully Developed Worlds:
The choice between creating a minimalistic or fully developed world for your animated video will influence the cost and overall aesthetic. A minimalistic world, characterized by simple backgrounds and fewer assets, is more budget-friendly and can still effectively convey your message. This approach is suitable for projects that prioritize clear communication and visual simplicity.

Conversely, developing a rich, immersive world with numerous detailed elements will require more time, resources, and artistic expertise. This approach is ideal for projects that aim to captivate the audience with a visually stunning and engaging environment. While the cost may be higher, a fully developed world can elevate your brand's image and leave a lasting impression.

2.4 Characters and Motion Design:
Using characters in your animated video can increase engagement, evoke emotions, and help tell your story. Character design and animation can be time-consuming and require skilled artists, which adds to the project's cost. The complexity of the characters, the level of detail, and the number of characters needed will all influence the price.

Showcase of character design & development for animated series
Character design & development

Motion design, on the other hand, focuses on animating abstract shapes, objects, and text to convey information. This approach is often more affordable than character-based animation while still providing an engaging visual experience. Motion design is well-suited for projects prioritizing information delivery or having a more abstract, artistic theme.

2.5 Sound Design and Voiceover:
Sound design and voiceover work can significantly enhance your animated video, creating a more immersive and professional experience for your audience. The cost of sound design depends on the complexity of the audio elements, such as music, sound effects, and voiceover talent. High-quality sound design and professional voiceover actors will add to the project's cost, but they can also significantly improve the overall quality and impact of the final product.

In conclusion, the techniques and elements used in animated videos play a crucial role in determining the cost and quality of the final product. Factors such as the choice between keyframe and frame-by-frame animation, the use of 3D elements, the complexity of the world and characters, and the sound design all contribute to the project's price. Understanding these factors allows clients to make informed decisions that balance their budget, timeline, and desired outcomes.

Section 3: Client Involvement and Its Impact on Cost

3.1 Elements Provided by the Client:
When clients provide their assets, such as illustrations, voiceovers, or music, the cost of production can be reduced. This allows the animation studio to focus solely on the animation process. However, the provided assets must meet the quality standards required for the project to avoid compromising the final product.

Clients should also consider the time and effort needed to create these assets in-house or source them from external providers. This may affect the overall project timeline, so weighing the potential savings against the additional time and resources required is essential.

3.2 Client Feedback and Revisions:
The number of revisions and the client's feedback can also affect the cost. More revisions mean more time spent on the project, resulting in a higher price. Clear communication and well-defined expectations are crucial for minimizing revisions and ensuring a smooth production process.

To keep the project on track and within budget, clients should establish a clear feedback and revision process with the animation studio. This may involve limiting the number of revisions, scheduling regular check-ins, and providing detailed feedback to the animation team. Clients can avoid costly delays and revisions by actively participating in the process and maintaining open communication.

3.3 Collaboration and Project Management:
The level of collaboration between the client and the animation studio can impact the cost and timeline of the project. Effective project management is essential for keeping the project on schedule and within budget. This may involve regular meetings, progress reports, and project management tools to track tasks and deadlines.

Clients with a more hands-on approach to project management can streamline the process, identify potential issues early, and ensure a smoother production experience. However, this increased involvement requires a time commitment on the client's part, so it's essential to balance the benefits of active collaboration with the demands of other responsibilities.


The price of animated video production depends on various factors, including the complexity of the concept, the techniques used, the level of detail in the design, and the extent of client involvement. By understanding these factors, clients can make informed decisions about their project's budget, ensuring they receive the best possible quality for their investment. By collaborating effectively with the animation studio and actively participating in the production process, clients can minimize costs, avoid delays, and achieve their desired outcomes. Ultimately, the success of an animated video project comes down to finding the right balance between budget, quality, and client involvement.