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3 Reasons Why Animation Is Expensive


“Why animation is expensive?” That’s the questions we received a lot from prospect clients who interested to order an animation or motion graphic.

We have to admit that animation price is indeed quite high. What surprising us is that the number of people that think that animation should be cheap because it is no more than just a moving images. Well, surprise. An animation is a combination of some creative works that need to be plan carefully since the very beginning.

If you want to create great animation for your product advertisement or campaign, here are some parts that affect animation cost.


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The animation is, in fact, a moving picture, bound to its running time. That’s why animators usually charge their client by per-second, per-10 second, per-30 seconds, and so on. Animation also cannot be drawn directly in the software, because the animator would not be able to tell how long each scene would become. That’s why the proper animation creation should start with a storyboard.

Storyboard might look like a comic, but it is like a script for an actor. Storyboard contains the whole story, a point of view, animation flow, dialog, and how long each part should become. Storyboards artists would not be able to create good storyboards if story, characters and dialog plan was not yet ready. An ideal cooperation is once clients give approval for the storyboards, there should not be any changes anymore, and animators can just translate the rough storyboards into the final animations.

But, of course, that not what usually happen. And of course, it’s not impossible to change the content even though the storyboard is already approved. However, the changes on storyboards mean that final animations would alter too. Sometimes, it makes the final animations longer or shorter. The other time, the changes made parts that already finished become unusable, and animators have to create new animation from beginning. One thing for sure, it would make an impact on how much clients should pay for the whole animation, because most designers will charge for the parts that already finish but not included on the final animation too.

And just because the entire process is performed on software, please don’t assume that the images will move just by clicking an enter on the keyboard. On most occasions, animators have to create each frames manually to make the animation look smooth. And draw 12-30 frames per second is surely not an easy job.


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A good animator will offer their client to create their music, or buy and tweak stock music from marketplaces. You should not trust an animator that say nothing when you asked him/her to put Justin Bieber songs on your animation. You should not use anyone else music without its author/singer permission, which makes you not allowed to use Justin Bieber songs on your animation by any mean unless you already pay for the copyrights or you have written permission from Justin Bieber himself.

Animators which not say anything, might not understand a lot about copyrights. Instead of worrying about the price you should pay for creating the music, you should be more worry that your animators give or use parts of your animation for his/her next clients.

The animator that offer you to create music might already partner with the music director. Besides music, you can also ask them to add sound effects throughout your animation to make it more appealing to your audience.


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So many people forgot that most animation should talk, and a human does a voice in animation. Dubbing price itself could cost 1/4-1/3 of all the animation expenses. Dubber usually chose based on their vocal characters and should have no distinct accent, unless your strategy required you to have it. For example word “Merikurisumasu” when speak by Japanese who is not fluent in English actually sounds a lot like “Merry Christmas” but still different. If these Japanese is your target market, you cannot hire an English fluent speaker to say Merikurisumasu by imitating how the Japanese would say it. It will sound a lot different, and your audience will notice it.

The dialog is something that people usually consider as less important, sometimes not seriously preparing it from the beginning, and pay a hefty price later. What happens the most is when the dubbing completed, clients find some words that they don’t like and would like to change it. And sometimes, they become angry when the animators charge quite a lot for the small changes.

Here is why. Most dubbers are charge per word. When clients modify the dialog from “we can’t do that” into “we shouldn’t do that,” they expect that they will be charged for one word only. But the dubber will record the whole four words. After all, how will you insert only the word “shouldn’t” into the long dialog and hoping it still sounds natural?

Recording studio also needs to be rented to record the dubber voice. Only recording one short paragraph also will only take like ten minutes in a recording studio. But, many recording studio charge per-12 or per-24 hours usage. That’s why many recording artists spend days inside recording studio to finish their album as quickly as possible to minimize the expenses. So for four words dialog, your client will be charged the same as the whole day recording.

How you calculate your animation rate all this time? What is your best and worst experience working on animation? If you need animation for your product introduction or marketing advertisement, contact us now for a free quotation.