How Much Does 2D Animation Cost In 2020?

How Much Does 2D Animation Cost In 2020?

2D and 3D animation has a wide range of applications in the digital space and is accessible to any business no matter the size or area of service. Best of all, it can be scaled to fit a wide range of marketing budgets too.

Animation as a creative tool has been used for the best part of 100 years to entertain and engage audiences. Not only is it flexible and scalable but in times like these, it also circumnavigates a variety of the social distancing restrictions to ensure businesses can keep connecting, selling and communicating with staff and customers.

It is owing to this fact that many brand marketers are looking to incorporate animation into their marketing collateral for the first time and seeking to up-skill their knowledge base to ensure their first campaign goes off without a hitch. Animation can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $50,000 for a 60-second video depending on complexity in Australia. 3D animation is more expensive than 2D animation as it requires more time to create and will likely start from around $10,000 for a video of the same length.

To help brand managers understand how much animation costs and where those costs are attributed it is important to understand the different types of animation services one can employ to deliver their video. Each comes with their owns cost range, advantages and limitations.

1.     Online creator / create your own

Cost: FREE+

In recent years a variety of online tools and web-based services have popped up offering software that enables users to create their own animated videos. The simplest of these offer drag and drop banners, text and motion graphic tools often used to jazz up user generated video content. These services are often free or subscription based and offer ‘premium’ ad-ons for an additional fee offering access to more desirable features and services. These are great for simple social media posts but these services rarely afford brands the control or the creative know-how needed for effective content campaigns.

2.     Drag and drop animation

Cost: $100+

Drag and drop animation services use characters and items that have been pre-designed and pre-rigged for movement. Pooling from a limited library of options, these services offer basic animation services for a few hundred dollars. These services are usually provided by off-shore companies via platforms like Freelancer and Fiverr or through local companies who take a clip of the total ticket. Although they appear to have a certain value at an initial glance these characters are repurposed time and time again for hundreds, perhaps thousands of clients. They are rarely unique and often appear dated. Brand marketers also have little or no ownership over the IP of the end product.

3.     Solo operator animator

Cost: $800+

Solo operators are single creatives that illustrate and often animate their illustrations to make animated videos on behalf of clients. Solo operators give brand managers flexibility over the creative and the execution and enable clients to have a direct relationship with the creator putting the video together. These solo operators sometimes have basic scripting and audio editing skills and can bring a video to life entirely themselves. Solo operators are usually cheaper that production houses but lack the specific expertise in any areas required to facilitate more complex deliverables. They also have limited capacity to create work for clients as they often work on one project at a time.

4.     Professional animation production


Professional animation production companies, such as the team at Snackable, offer a suite of services from scripting and illustration, through the animation, voice over recording, sound mixing, motion graphics and broadcast delivery. A production house often consists of many specialists including creative directors, copywriters, producers, illustrators, animators and sound designers who work together to ensure a bespoke approach to crafting animated content. This is the more expensive option but affords more value and flexibility for clients.

How much does animation cost?

Animation is split out into several steps and each step requires a different skill and time allocation depending on the scope of the project and each step comes with its own costs. Put together, these costs form the basis of a quote. A short 15-second animation consisting of a plain background and text motion will require less time and expertise than a 6-second multi-character story with voice over talent and multiple cut downs. Thus the quote will be less than something more complicated that require more creative and animation work.

To give brand marketers new to animation a better idea of the time (on average) an animation team would generally allocate to a 30-second, bespoke, character-led 2D animated video with a voice over, we’ve offered a breakdown below.

Step 1: Creative and planning

Allocation: 1-3 days depending on project complexity and number of stakeholders.

Cost: $500 – $1500.

Step 2: Scripting

Allocation: 1 day to 3 days depending on revision rounds and the research required by the copywriter.

Cost: $500 – $1500.

Step 3: Illustration

Allocation: 3-7 days for storyboarding, style frames and vector creation by professional illustrator.

Cost: $2200 – $6000.

Step 4: Animation

Allocation: 3 – 8 days for character rigging and animation.

Cost: $2500 – $6800.

Step 5: Voice Over

Allocation: 1 hour recording studio session with a single talent and a professional sound engineer.

Cost: $250 – $800.

Step 6: Music & Final Mix

Allocation: x1 royalty free music track for online usage.

Cost: $100 – $500.

Taking in the above estimates into account, the low end cost of a 30-second custom explainer video in Australian would be $6000. At the higher end it would be $26000. Ultimately understanding how much to put to animation is to understand where the value is and where budget is best spent.

Speak to a Snackable producer today to find out how we can help you turn your campaign idea into a creative and effective animated video, created bespoke to your requirement considering your budget, aims and KPIs.

14 June 2022
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