How Much Does Animation Cost? Get the Inside Scoop

Animated videos are engaging and entertaining, which is why they are such a popular choice for businesses and organizations who want to get their message across in a memorable way.

How much does animation cost?

Short answer: When it comes to animation, one of the main factors in cost is the animation style and who makes it. For example, if you work with a freelancer, the cost could be around $75-$150 per second. However, if you work with a production company, the cost could be upwards of $1000 and up per second of animation produced.

Understanding these factors can help you plan accordingly and ultimately determine the right animation cost for your project.

Let’s dive deeper into what determines the cost of an animated video.

Also read my freelance illustration pricing guide.

4 Factors that influences animation cost

There are four factors that influence animation cost:

  1. Animation style
  2. Depth of services requested
  3. Video length and due dates
  4. Revisions

If you're looking to hire an animation company for your video project.

It's important to get a sense of what you'll be spending before you commit to anything.

Let's dive into these factors.

1. Animation style

The animation style is another important factor in determining how much an animation will cost. 

Some styles, like stop motion animation or motion graphics, take more time and refined skill than others.

A style that requires a lot of detail and time is going to cost more.

Let’s look at the different styles of animations.

Motion Graphics 

The motion graphics style of animation is a popular choice for many videos. 

This type of animation is generally less expensive than other styles, and it is often used for commercials, explainer videos, and headlines.

Motion graphics can be very effective in conveying a message or telling a story.

Motion graphics also include a style called infographics.

Infographics is a more graph and text-focused animation style which is favored by educational and government institutions.

Stop Motion Animation 

Generally, stop-motion animation costs between $10,000 and $100,000. The cost will also depend on the type of objects used in the animation.

Armature puppets cast in silicone, for example, may cost more than toy cars or cut-outs of images.

Stop-motion animation is also popular in product videos where the actual product is animated.

3D Animation

If you're looking to create a 3D animation video, it'll cost you significantly more.

3D animation has become more affordable in recent years, but expect to pay anywhere from $1000 and up per second of animation.

2. Services Requested

Keep in mind that most professional animation studios offer more than just animation services – they can also help with things like scriptwriting, character design, music, narration, and storyboarding. 

This means that the final cost of your project will depend on how much work needs to be done in addition to the animation itself.

When requesting a quote from a potential studio, be sure to ask about all the services they offer so you can get an accurate estimate of how much your project will cost.

Concept Development and Research

If you want a freelancer or an animation studio to conceptualize your animated video you have to factor in the cost of scriptwriting, storyboarding, and character design.

However, it's important to keep in mind that the final price may vary depending on the complexity of the project.

When deciding whether or not to hire a production company, it's important to first consider your budget and the scope of the project. 

If you have a limited budget, you may want to consider working with a freelancer.

Scripting and Storyboarding

If you want a production company to write a script and storyboard your video, it will likely cost more than if you were to write the script yourself.

This is because scripting and storyboarding are complex tasks that require a lot of time and effort.

They involve a creative director, concept artist, and illustrator, all of whom need to be paid for their time and expertise.


If you're looking to have a professional narration and voiceover for your video, be prepared to spend a bit more.

Voiceover artists generally charge per word.

So, depending on how much dialogue is in your script, the cost of this could range from $100 to $1000 or more.

Music and sound effects

Animation studios can provide music and sound effects for your video, which can help to make it more effective and memorable.

The cost of this service will depend on the quality of the music and sound effects that you require. 

Typically, you can simply source your music and sound effects from stock libraries for a small licensing fee depending on your specific usage.

3. Video Length and Due Date

If you're wondering how video length and due date affect the price of an animated video, be aware that most animation projects are priced by the second.

As a result, longer videos will cost more. Shorter videos are cheaper.

Your timeline or expected deadline can also affect the cost of your animation in addition to the length of your video.

Especially if you need your video produced faster than the studio's normal turnaround time, the more expensive your video will become.

When budgeting for your animated video, be sure to factor in how long you want the video to be and when you need it completed.

This way, you can get a better estimate of how much the final cost will be.

4. Revisions

Most studios include some revisions in their pricing, but changes beyond key stages in your project will usually incur additional charges. 

For example, if you request changes to the script or storyboard after the initial stages of your project are complete, this could add significantly to the final cost.

Script and voiceover revisions

If you change your script after the voice-over and scripting are complete, you will have to renew your voice talent, which will add additional costs to your project.

Storyboard revisions

If there are changes to the script after the storyboards are drawn, a storyboard artist will have to be rehired to remake some or all of the storyboards.

Animatic revisions

An animatic is a roughly animated version of the final video.

This is usually the storyboards loosely animated to the music, sound effects, and narration.

This will give a sense of the feel, look, and length of the final animated video.

If any part of the script or changes, then the animatic will have to be revised. 

Animation revisions

If you plan on making changes to an animated video, it will likely cost more in this stage of the production as there are more elements to revise.

This is because additional work will need to be done to accommodate your changes.

You'll need to provide the assets for the animation, as well as a revised script (if necessary).

If you're unhappy with the voiceover narration, you'll have to renew your talent to record a new one.

Overall, changes made throughout the different stages of video production can add significant costs to your project.

Be sure to factor this into your budget so that you're prepared for any additional expenses down the road.

The different price levels of animation

When it comes to animation, how much you'll spend depends on the style of animation you choose, as well as who creates it.

$75-$100 per second

When considering animation cost for your project, it's important to understand the price range for various levels of quality.

A low-budget animation may cost around $75-$100 per second and is likely to feature basic motion graphics animation and stock elements. 

Keep in mind that these cheaper animation options may not include studio services like scripting, voice-over, or music. 

As your budget increases, so does the level of animation quality and potential services included in the cost.

It's helpful to have a clear budget in mind when discussing animation options with potential vendors, as this can help narrow down your choices and ensure a successful result.

$150-$300 per second

While $150-$300 per second may seem expensive at first glance, it covers a wide range of production elements such as script writing, voice-over work, art direction, and character animation. 

Plus, advanced transitions and special effects can add even more value to the finished product.

Of course, the cost will also vary depending on the length and complexity of the animation project.

$300-$800 per second

$300-$800 is the standard rate for high-quality animation and motion graphics by a small production company. 

It's important to bear in mind that this range applies specifically to animation done in 3D, which typically provides a more polished and professional finished product.

And while it may seem expensive at first glance, keep in mind that the finished animation will likely be used multiple times and has the potential to bring a significant return on investment.

$1000 and up per second

If you're seeking top-quality animation with intricate designs and complex details, you can expect to pay upwards of $1000 per second.

This includes not only the animation itself, but also crucial aspects such as character design, storyboarding, editing, and sound effects. 

Of course, the cost will also depend on how quickly you need the project completed. 

So when considering animation services, make sure to carefully evaluate your budget and project needs to choose the right option for you.

How can I reduce the cost of animation?

One way to reduce the cost of animation is to use stock elements and assets in your video. You may also want to consider working with an independent animator or freelancer, rather than hiring a larger animation studio. This can help keep costs down while still producing high-quality work.

How much does a whiteboard video cost?

The cost of a whiteboard animation video depends on the animation style and length of the video. A shorter, simpler animation may only cost around $500 while a longer, more complex animation could cost upwards of $5,000. Additionally, factors such as scriptwriting and voiceover can also affect the overall price.