Costing Up Animation
“How much does one of these ‘ere animations cost then?”
Hopefully this article will help to clear a few things up.
Time is the basis for all of our quotes. We work to an hourly rate which works well both ways. Our clients know exactly what they paying for, and our animators know which styles are achievable. Only have £X to spend? This is often a great way to work as it enables us to work out the best way to create a top quality animation for the budget you have.
Which elements can you provide?
As I mentioned in an earlier blog, a lot goes into an animation . Before our animators can crack open the Jaffa Cakes and sit down to start crafting your film; there's work to be done; such as researching your brand, discussing the story and writing the script.
It is often the concept that takes a while to figure out, particularly with a brand new client. If you’ve seen something that you love before, or you know the precise style you’d like then that really helps. We are making this film for you and we want to know what you like and what fits your brand. If you are able to provide a script (or the bones of one), then again that's one less job for us. Occasionally we are asked to animate assets that have already been made by someone else, and that’s fine too. In fact, some clients will have a voiceover already - great - as long as it’s a professional recording and not themselves… on an iPhone…in a car… (that’s happened more than once).
The style that we’re able to achieve is intrinsically linked to the hours your budget can allow for. As a general rule:
2D motion graphical animation: Less labour and not machine intensive
Character animation: Labour intensive *
3D animation: Labour and machine intensive.
*Of course there are exceptions and you can make certain allowances, such as; does your character walk or just stand still? Are they waving an arm? Do they have a facial features? Emotions take a long time to get right.
How long is the film?
It seems obvious when you think about it, but every frame of animation takes time to create. If you can trim the script and be more concise, not only will you save budget but you will end up with a better, more focussed film at the end of it.
...But that's loads more than my mate Fred the freelancer...
Of course. But does Fred have a team behind him with years of experience? Animators to collaborate with and to cover him when he's ill? A tried and tested process and assurances over quality and deadline delivery? A producer to communicate progress and amends? Experienced script writers and creative directors? Not to mention insurance, a nice studio to work in, the most up to date computers...experience and collaboration produce a high quality animation. One quote stuck with me this year: "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten."
If you need any advice then please do get in touch. We understand that making an animation for the first time can be daunting but we've seen it all before.