Budget, how much!?

How much should you pay for animation?

I have to make it clear now, this focuses on explainer and sales videos with a flat graphic style using motion graphics and characters. We’re not talking Pixar style animation, nor are we looking at Fiverr but then I’m assuming you’re not from Apple and you’re not the local window cleaner either.

An old friend and super talented designer Piers Helm of Creative Nuts is the Head Chef, the Michelin starred restaurateur of using food analogies to explain budgets, metaphorically I may add, although I’m sure he’s been tempted to throw food occasionally. And as we all need to eat, this approach has always resonated with me, so…

1. Prix Fixe

No two dinners are the same – dinner down in a fast food diner may cost a fiver but at the heights of the shard or at a TV celebrity haunt, it will cost considerably more. The ingredients, the skill, the time and the quality all affect the price.

Animation is similar. In my previous post you’ll have seen an overview of the steps in the animation process, and there are quite a few! Behind these steps there could be numerous people involved, script writers, designers, animators, musicians, editors etc. – a full 3 course meal with wine. Or for lower budgets there will be the same number of steps but a smaller team, maybe just one – main course with tap water. So clearly the size of the team will have a bearing on the budget.

2. Freshly prepared

There are lots of ways to get an animation – off the shelf and out of the packet, the sandwich selection, meal deal. The problem with this approach is that although it’s cheap, this generic approach isn’t tailor made for your company, product, brand or customer. It’s a one size fits all, standardised solution – in a market where you need to stand out and you have one chance to engage the potential customer or colleague.

Ideally you should be looking for an animation that takes all these elements and adds a fresh, critical and creative perspective. Simply turning bullet points into an animation does not make an engaging video and may well be more damaging to your brand or business in the long run.

3. Marinade for 24 hours

I recently went to see a demonstration by Ottolenghi and Scully at the Soho Food Feast – it was a great, entertaining demo and the beef with kimchi was tender and delicious. Scully had marinated the beef for 24 hours so all the flavour had diffused through the meat. I almost never remember to do this at home, normally it gets a couple of hours if you’re lucky. And it’s this dedication, skill and time that makes all the difference.

To create an animation takes skill, experience and time – these skills are honed over many years of interpreting a brief, coming to understand the issues, making an engaging script then bringing this to life. This process can be simplified into steps, but it’s only possible to make it a simple stress free journey because the team are talented professionals, working hard to make a great animation. The bigger the talent the better the result…

4. Ingredients

The complexity of the animation is an additional factor. For example adding in characters brings another dimension – it’s easier to introduce a narrative into animation with a character and it become more emotive. Characters help tell stories making the animation more engaging, but they take longer to animate.

Another example may be a text based motion graphics approach, on the surface this looks straightforward, however to make a great animation rather than a mediocre one in this style requires close attention to design, layout and timing.

5. The Bill

So the big question, perhaps the one you’ve been holding out for is – how much does animation cost? Well as I’ve discussed you get what you pay for and with food, a menu gives a clear indication of price and reviews help with understanding quality and service.

Commissioning animation isn’t that different, apart from most companies can’t give you a price until they understand what sort of animation your after. Usually they’ll ask lots of questions so they can be sure you’re getting the right solution, they may even ask if you have a budget in mind ☺

However for the sake of this blog, a sales or explainer video with flat graphic style animation will cost in the region of £2000 to £6000 a minute and we’d recommend keeping it between one minute and two minutes, tops.

Compare that to the higher cost of using video, and animation becomes a very competitive and tempting route to take.

Just a pack of crisps please

Our next blog takes a look at the huge potential of micro animations – short and punchy animations that get straight to the point, we made some just for fun here in our In a Giffy series. I like Gifs but for anyone who knows me, I like crisps way more...

Klopt! was founded by Sebastian Read, who’s spent the last two decades learning everything there is to know about animation, in all its many forms. Set up in 2012 to respond to the burgeoning video-marketing and internal-comms sectors, Klopt! produces concise, compelling animation and motion graphics for big brands, small businesses and innovative start-ups.

#marketing #animation #sales #corporate #production

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