Animation Production Costs

How much does an animation cost?

Recent technical animation projects have had project costs totaling between $1,000 and $8,000 per animation. This wide price range speaks to the vastly different requirements of each project. Each animation project is unique in its content and requirements, so the best way to get an accurate estimate on your project would be to contact us to discuss your plans in detail.

Animation project budgeting

Our animation costs can be matched to a predefined budget, with a proposal provided as a not-to-exceed figure with a fixed project scope. Alternatively, a storyboard can be created as a standalone initial project and a fixed quote provided for the production of the animation based on that storyboard. We don't quote a fixed price per minute/second of animation, as we find the client pays far too much for a simple animation, or receives a low quality result because the necessary shots were beyond the specified budget.

Cost factors

So what specifically affects the cost of a product animation, forensic animation, or animated explainer video? In each of these cases, we have to balance additional cost with the value of the visuals that are driving that cost.

  • Complexity: Complex scenes will have many objects present, or have very detailed objects. Human figures and characters add complexity with choreographed motion and expressions, as do additional scenes or environments.
  • CAD models: If accurate 3D CAD models are available for the product being shown, modeling times can be reduced significantly, sometimes allowing the project to jump directly to the animatic phase.
  • Simulation: Simulated elements such as smoke, fluid simulations, particle systems, or physically accurate collisions require advanced functionality and software setups.
  • Compositing: Will the animation be integrated with live-action video footage or require substantial editing? Adding complex motion graphics and effects may increase the scope of the project.
  • Video resolution: High-definition footage, such as 1080P or 4K resolution, increases the rendering times and the required level of model detail.
  • Iteration: Who will be reviewing and approving the animation? If this is an animation for use at trial, what is the size of the legal team and expert witnesses that will be reviewing the animation?

Our animation project proposals typically offer a base configuration and price along with optional components and their additional cost. Using this technique, you can decide what visuals you include for a given budget, delivering maximum value and return on your investment.

Animation production in depth