How Much Does Animation Cost Per Minute?

by Mahmud Kabir - July 31, 2023 No Comments 11:33 am

Animation videos have gained vast popularity in recent years. Producers have taken popularity so seriously that they started making animation, cartoons, and movies long ago. 

So, if you want to do something like this, how much does animation cost per minute? This depends on the type of animation you need. Typically, 3D animation videos can range from $10,000 to $20,000 for one minute of animation. But, in the case of 2D animation, it varies between $1000 and $3,000 per minute.

How Much Does Animation Cost Per Minute?

As there are various types of animation videos, here is a quick glimpse to know the pricing:

Animation Type Cost 
Basic 2D Animation$500 to $1,000 per minute.
Complex 2D Animation$1,000 to $3,000 per minute.
3D Animation$10,000 to $20,000 per minute. 
Stop Motion Animation$10,000 to $30,000 or more per minute. 

So, different animation categories cost different, but why so? Now let’s explain it all! 

Basic 2D Animation

This category includes simple character designs, limited movements, and straightforward scenes. Mostly, these are used for short videos or simple ads to market any specific brands. Oftentimes, awareness videos also use basic 2D animation. 

Basic 2D Animation

The cost for these videos is between $500 to $1,000 per minute. The process is not that complex. It requires less time and effort compared to more complex styles. 

Also, animators can use pre-existing assets and templates, which reduces the efforts of creating unique characters for the video. 

Complex 2D Animation

Unlike basic 2D animation, complex ones have more detailed character designs, detailed movements, and more elaborate scenes. Thus, the price ranges between $1,000 to $3,000 per minute.

Complex 2D Animation

In this case, animators require to pay attention to details, make specific frames and use custom illustrations and artwork, which increases costs. Typically, these types of videos are created by skilled animators and artists. 

Complex 2D animation videos are required to create high-budget advertisements, music videos, and short films.

3D Animation

There is a high price variation between 2D and 3D animation videos. 3D videos typically cost around $10,000 to $20,000 per minute, depending on the type. It can be simple or complex, according to the buyer’s demand. 

3D Animation

The reason behind the high price of 3D animation is the requirement for three-dimensional models, which require more technical skills and specialized software. This software costs more and requires skilled animators to prepare the whole thing. 

As high-quality 3D animation often requires realistic textures, lighting, and animation, the time to create such videos is long. Therefore, it also requires more technical knowledge to showcase the visual architecture. 

That’s why these animations are often used for films, video games, architectural visualization, and product demos.

Stop Motion Animation

Stop motion animations are the highest quality animation videos that cost around $10,000 to $30,000+ per minute. Typically, these are created by capturing a series of images with physical objects and manipulating them frame by frame. 

Stop Motion Animation

The whole process is very time-consuming, and the animator requires specialized equipment and skills to achieve seamless animations. The cost of this type of animation varies a lot depending on the studio and content category. 

Mostly, they are used in commercials, short films, and artistic projects. And as they need more of a realistic representation, the cost goes up. These types of projects are typically done by professional broadcast studios. 

Why There’s Such A Difference In The Cost?

It’s normal that various types of animation videos will require different charges. But if the cost difference seems too abnormal to you, here are a few factors that determine the charge:

Why There’s Such A Difference In The Cost
  • Complexity: The complexity and level of detail play a big role in determining the cost required to create the animation video. Where 2D videos with simple movements cost less, studio-quality animation films will cost more due to the extensive effort and skills required. 
  • Expertise: Animators specialized in 3D animation or stop motion animation often have more advanced technical skills. Thus, they will normally charge more. Besides, there are different types of animators, like freelancers, who charge a specific amount less than what high-end studios demand. 
  • Required Time: Animators require different times to create different types of animations. For example, a simple 2D animation project can be done within weeks, whereas animation films take even years to complete. Thus, the price variation is obvious due to the labor and time required. 
  • Software And Equipment Demands: The tools and software used for different types of animation can have varying costs. 3D animation and stop motion animation often require expensive software. Besides, every animator can’t use those software due to a lack of skills. Thus, the price varies due to the need for high-end software and skillset. 
  • Project Requirements: The content of the project, such as the number of characters, scenes, and the overall length of the animation, can significantly impact the cost. It also depends on the length of the content. You can’t get the same cost for a short video and a long film. 
  • Experience and Reputation: Highly experienced animation studios or freelancers may charge more for their services. Sometimes, amateur animators who use free tools do the project for free to build their portfolio. However, you will get a different outcome than you would get from a professional studio.

Here is a glimpse of the charge that you can expect:

Animator TypeCharge Per minute 
Amateur$0 – $100
Freelancers$50 – $3000
Mid-Tier Animation Studio$3000 – $7000
Professional-Level Animation Company$8000 – $25000
Broadcast-Level Animation Company$25000 – $100000+

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why animation is so expensive?

Animation is expensive due to the labor-intensive and time-consuming process. The required skill set is complex, and it needs hours to create and refine each frame. Additionally, specialized software and powerful hardware often add up to the cost. 

Is it cheaper to animate or film?

It depends on the project’s complexity and requirements. But if you are thinking big,  sometimes animation films may cost more than your regular film due to the complex process of production. Basic animations can be more cost-effective than filming live-action scenes, but it is not worth making a movie.

How difficult is animation?

Animation is difficult as it requires complex skill sets, technical knowledge, creativity, and attention to detail. The software is hard to ace, and animators require patience to learn it all. 

Where can I hire an animator?

You can hire an animator through various platforms like freelance websites. You can also contact animation studios and agencies for professional animation services.

Wrapping Up

Many people have dived into the world of animation, knowing its possibility to succeed. As the process is quite difficult, knowing how much does animation cost per minute may surprise you. But you will see it’s all worth the cost if you notice the hard work and creativity behind each project. 

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About The Author

Dedicated creator and storyteller with a passion for crafting compelling narratives. A perpetual learner, finding inspiration in every experience. Enthusiast of technology, art, and the great outdoors. Striving to make a positive impact through creativity. Believer in kindness, the power of words, and the magic of a good book.

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