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  • Writer's pictureTower View Media

How Much Does It Cost to Produce Animation – and Why?

If you’re considering adding an animated video to your marketing strategy, you’re on the right track.

Video makes up for over 30% of all online traffic today, and after watching a video, 64% of users are more likely to buy a product online. Consider this example:

In 2013, John Lewis created their animated Christmas advert 'The Hare and the Bear'. In the week after the ad was launched, the company had takings of £101.45 million, 10.7 per cent up on 2012. That's the kind of ROI we're talking about when it comes to animation. You're probably wondering how much that type of animation costs. You've also probably noticed that we don't offer pricing on our website. That's because animated videos, like all our videos, are tailor-made to your needs, and need to be budgeted like other tailor-made products. Budgeting an animated video involves many different factors because animation can at times be extremely complicated.



Why can edits to animations be so expensive and time-consuming?

We should start by saying that, unlike video editing, seemingly simple edits to animation can be lengthy and time-consuming.

But why is this?

To explain, we have to briefly discuss what goes into animation.

Firstly, we need to think about movement in relation to time. Our most common frame rate for video, in the UK at least, is 25 frames per second. This means that every second is made up of 25 individual still image frames. Now, if you can imagine taking a square shape and moving it from the left side of the screen to the right side of the screen over the space of a second, that is 25 slightly different images of the square as it follows that path.

Movements like this are straightforward and are controlled by instructions that we call 'keyframes'. If we take the square mentioned above, we can set one keyframe at the beginning of the second to tell the shape to be on the left side of the screen, and put the other keyframe at the end of the second telling it to be on the right side of the screen. From this, the software generates all 25 still images of the square in between the two keyframes and creates that movement. This is great, but unfortunately, animation isn't always as simple as this. What if we want the square to move along those two points in a meandering path, stop halfway through, change in size, colour and rotation and have a circle inside of it? Now we need to create keyframes for each of those changing elements and instruct the software exactly when and where to do it.

Well, that's why animation can be time-consuming. Not to mention, a standard animation project will see multiple shapes, text layers and images moving simultaneously ... and this is before we mention working in two dimensional and three-dimensional spaces.

For example

Recently a client of ours wanted a simple, 2D, 30-second animated video to be used at a conference, showcasing their products. The client wanted the video to feature a book opening in a three-dimensional space with individual pages flicking open and icons popping out. The video itself, being a rather simple piece, would have only taken about a day to produce. The book opening, however, would require at least a full day of work alone to create.

What can be the solution?

Fortunately, we work with some great clients who understand and appreciate the workflow of animating and the costs associated with it. The best solution in all cases is communication. We like to talk with clients from our point of expertise in relation to budgets and visions to deliver end products that work for everyone. Sometimes the initial idea can be adapted to work in a way that is equally impactful but also works within the budget of the project.



How to Budget Your Animation Project

Budgeting your animated video project can be a challenge. There are basically two ways in which you can approach the topic of budgeting: 1. Show us the style you're looking for and ask us to estimate a price for you. 2. Approach us with your budget and ask what we can do within the video to fit the budget you've provided.

How much does it cost then?

As you have seen above, it depends on many factors. Let’s take a closer look at a standardised example that covers: - length: 60 seconds, - two characters, - music, voiceover, and sound effects included, - copyright to cover Internet, internal use, and private conferences. An animated video is an investment that helps to grow your business and showcase your brand in a completely new way. Most importantly, animations generate measurable ROI with: - improved SEO results, - an increase in customer satisfaction and engagement - and a large boost to your sales So if you've got a great idea for a video, don't hesitate to get in touch with us, and we will help you realise your vision.

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