Why animation doesn’t come cheap

Creating an animated video is just about the most powerful thing you can do for your brand. And marketers know it. In research carried out by Renderforest, 70% of companies agreed that they boost brand awareness. While 83% said they help to generate more leads. Add to that higher SEO results and improvements in customer satisfaction and engagement – and it looks like a no-brainer.

So we’re always surprised when people assume that creating one of these mini-masterpieces will be as cheap as chips. Sure, it might only be a minute or two long. But If only they knew all the talent, the skill, the experience, the thinking, the passion that gets poured into every lovingly crafted frame. Perhaps then, they’d think differently.

How long’s a piece of string

When it comes to animation, the first thing everyone wants to know is what will it cost? That’s a difficult question to answer – and we’re not trying to be tricky or skirt around the issue here.

The fact is, there are no off-the-shelf templates or stock images in our world. Everything we create is completely tailormade and unique. So before we can work out a cost, we need to consider the length, the animation style – whether that’s whiteboard, 2D, 3D, motion graphics or stop motion – the creation of characters, the number of voiceovers and the choice of music. And while we get why you’d think a 30-second film would be much cheaper than a one-minute piece, that won’t be true if it has way more detail and complexity. What can we say? It’s complicated.

Ok, that doesn’t help much we know – but perhaps this will. Video content company, Wyzowl recently reached out to 70 different firms and price-checked their basic rate for producing a 60-second animation. They came out with an average cost of about £5,800. But the quotes ranged from £150 right up to £20,000. And if you look at the projects we handle, they can come out at anything from £5.5k to £20k. See what we mean?

Small but perfectly formed

OK, so let’s leave cost aside for a moment and look at everything that goes into the making of an animation. Yes, the finished product might only run for a minute, but getting to that point can take days or even weeks to finesse. It takes a team of people with decades of experience. Planners, writers, designers, animators and riggers with very specialist knowledge and skills. And the kind of imagination and creativity most of us can only dream of.

There are many steps in an animation’s journey, and each one is a labour of love, created with your audience in mind. Helping them get to know your brand, connect with it and hopefully, become lifelong fans.

Step 1: Discovery

This is where the adventure starts. We find out who you are, what makes you different, and what’s important to you. We consider your audience, and what will make them sit up and take notice. Then we nail the messages you want to send to your customers, your people, the world.

Step 2: Scripting

Armed with these insights, we get to work, writing a 60, 90 or 120-second script. When it comes to animation, time definitely is money. So if we can deliver a powerful and emotive message in just a minute, that’s what we’ll aim for. There may be a few revisions before you feel it’s absolutely right.

Step 3: Concept Art

Our animation wizards work their magic to bring your brand and story to life. They’ll create character styles, environments and a colour palette so you can start to imagine how it will all come together. And at each stage, work closely with you to fine-tune how it all looks.

Step 4: Casting

We’ll help you select a professional voiceover actor to narrate your story. One that aligns with your brand and your unique tone of voice. Then we’ll record all spoken parts of the script. And if you need it translated into another language, we’ll sort that out for you too.

Step 5: Storyboarding

Next, our skilled and highly experienced animators sketch out each scene, adding annotations to show how different elements move and interact with each other. At this point, you’ll be able to see how the whole story plays out and what will be happening on screen second by second.

Step 6: Production

This is where the wizardry really kicks in. Our animators bring movement to the characters, blending motion with sound and music, giving every frame a life of its own. This process takes incredible skill, thought and patience. But get it right and the final result is pure magic. Check out how our brilliant alchemical process works here.

You get what you pay for

Once you understand what goes into making an animation – and the benefits it can bring your business, suddenly each and every pound spent seems like a very worthwhile investment. Especially when Wyzowl found that 94% of people will watch an explainer video to understand a product or brand better. And 84% of those watchers will go on to make a purchase or buy into a service.

So, it’s clear that customers really love animated video, but they’ll only love yours if it’s done well. Like with anything, you’ll always find budget producers, straight-out-of-school freelancers or even do-it-yourself software you can use. But will those really give you a good return on your investment?

Give your customers a cheap, poorly thought-out, hastily put together animation and they’ll view your brand in the same light. Give them something brilliant, awesome, remarkable, magical – and you’ll have them spellbound.

Let us work our magic for your brand

If you want to see our animation wizards in action. Or talk to us about producing exciting, memorable and cost-effective content for your brand, get in touch.

Whether you’re intrigued about working with us wizards, have any questions about our services and culture, get in touch

magic@tinywizardstudio.com or call 01873 739 279

Sign up to hear latest news and competitions

Be part of the wizard family with regular updates (we promise not to spam you, that’s not our style).