How Much Does Animation Cost

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The cost of animation

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Have you ever considered creating animation for your brand, product, or project? Animations are engaging and entertaining. With the power of visuals, they are such a nice way to convey your message to your audience. However, the question is: how much does animation cost?

Let’s look at an animation production example

Here we’re going to calculate how much it would cost for Pixar to create your animated explainer video. You may think that seeing as we’re talking to small businesses here, this is a bit pointless. BUT, you’d be surprised how many small businesses and start-ups contact us and ask how much it would be for us to make their video look like Inside Out. Besides, we can all dream, right?

According to IMDB, Inside Out is 95 minutes long and costs around $175,000,000 to make. According to my calculator, that means that if Pixar were to make a one-minute animated explainer video for your small business, it would set you back approx. $1,842,105.30 ….Yeah, I felt it too.

As I mentioned earlier, it all depends on the kind of animation you need. A short simple 30-second animation can be as low as $500.

What influences animation production costs?

Let’s start with the basics. The two most important price indicators of animation are length and style.


Typically, animation studios start the conversation about pricing with the question about video length. That helps the studio to budget the number of designers and animators needed for the project, as well as estimate the turnaround production time and schedules.

Since production costs per unit scale, you might get a discounted rate for longer videos. However, one must remember that videos longer than 60 seconds are hardly useful for marketing purposes. If your video works as training material, it can, of course, be longer.


It doesn’t make sense to invest in a cookie-cutter video that generates no results. To help you create a unique video for your brand, the animation studio should offer you a selection of styles.

Whiteboard animated videos have been a popular format for explainer videos – but those are dull and no longer original. Nowadays it’s better to choose from 2D cutout animation, frame-by-frame animation, 3D renders, motion graphics, kinetic typeset, or stop motion.

While some styles are cost-effective (think whiteboard animation or motion graphics), others generate substantial costs. Especially 2D or 3D videos that might look simple but, involve many hours dedicated to the character and scene design and developing a persuasive narrative.

Here’s how to budget your animation project

There are two ways in which you can approach the topic of budgeting:

  1. Start collaborating with an animation studio, show them the style you’re looking for, and ask them to budget the project for you.
  2. Approach the studio with a budget and ask them to fit the product into the budget you set yourself.

The first option is reserved for projects that don’t fit standard frameworks or projects in which you are open for the animation studio to provide extensive conceptual work.

How much does it cost then?

As you have seen above, it depends on many factors. Let’s take a closer look at a standardized example that covers:

  • Length: 60 seconds,
  • Style: multi-colored flat design in cutout technique,
  • Two characters,
  • Music, voiceover, and sound effects included,
  • Copyright to cover the Internet, internal use, and private conferences.

Bearing in mind these factors, such animation would cost approximately Ksh 550,000.

However, a 2D animation studio would give you a quote on a per-minute basis, and a 60-second video. The cheapest one would be a whiteboard animation with no characters and simple (sometimes even stock) graphics. The most expensive one would cover multiple characters, require advanced research, scriptwriting, pre-development and directing, different camera angles, extensive frame-by-frame animation, VFX, SFX, and TV copyright.

For 3D animation, the costs are much higher and thus maybe not present the best value for your marketing money. The cheapest would cost around 300,000/= per minute for a simple video with no characters, and models bought online and adapted. The price can go as high as Ksh 500,000 per minute for the most complex projects with multiple characters and advanced features.

But remember this:

If this is the first animated video you’re producing for your brand, it’s like a first impression. And first impressions count a lot in marketing. So if you find an offer that is cheaper than these price levels, beware. The quality will be compromised. A low price could mean a studio you found does not put as much care in its productions as it ought to.

Your first animation will either make or break your brand. You’ll be showing yourself to the world in a new way so it makes sense to invest a little more into your animation project and produce an amazing, top-notch video that resonates with your audience. A branded animation is an investment that helps to grow your business and showcase your brand in a new way.

 Most importantly, animations generate measurable Return on Investment (ROI) with:

  • Increased SEO results,
  • Improvements in customer satisfaction, engagement, and awarenesses,
  • and a serious boost to your sales and conversions.

So if you’ve got a great idea for a video, don’t hesitate and get in touch with an animation studio that will help you realize your vision and give an instant boost to your brand.

If you have any questions, put them in the comment section below. Request for project assistance from one of our professional animators here.

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2 years ago

One thing I loved about this article is that it was completely on point. Thanks!

Kamran Khan
Kamran Khan
2 years ago

Thank you so much for your information.

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