Everyone likes to know how much something will cost.
This page is our attempt to answer that question.
We get it:
Everyone likes to know how much it will cost.
Creating a custom animation isn’t a simple, straight line process. We often receive e-mail from potential clients who have found a video on YouTube and are asking for a ‘quick quote.’ We’re happy to answer questions when the time comes to roll up our sleeves and dive in, but also understand it takes time to get there. That’s where the “Ball Park” comes in. After doing it for nearly 30 years we’ve figured out a thing or two that will help guide next steps. Please consider the following information to establish some rough budget forecasting.
MAJOR COST DRIVERS:
The largest cost drivers creating your animation are run time and level of detail. After that, your ‘starting point,’ like do you have usable CAD/engineering data – or are we building your project from scratch figures prominently into the equation.
Though run time is a significant factor, it alone is insufficient to predict cost. Here’s an example using a :30 second animation:
a) a 30 second animation of a spinning logo is a fast, simple animation requiring very little in terms of additional models, scenes, lighting, advanced animation, etc.
b) a 30 second animation explaining how the Space Shuttle supports astronauts is a far more elaborate, complicated project requiring quite a bit more detail than our simple, spinning logo example. Both are :30 seconds. Should both cost the same? Of course not.
You can roughly figure between $50 and $200 per finished second of animation. Here are a couple examples:
~ 30 seconds to 90 seconds of high-quality, finished animation with sound, voice-over and all the groovy things clients typically ask for, you’re typically looking at between $2k and $10k for the final, finished piece delivered in a format usable across all forms of today’s media. Sometimes more – sometimes less. But honestly – no one does a 30 second animation.
~ 120 seconds to 180 seconds of high-quality, finished animation with sound, voice-over and all the groovy things clients typically ask for, you’re typically looking at between $6K and $15k for the final, finished piece delivered in a format usable across all forms of today’s media. Sometimes more – sometimes less. Between 1:30 and 2:30 is a typical run time for our average animation. Short, to the point, laying out the broad strokes of your value proposition then inviting next steps. This is our bread and butter, and we’re really good at it.
> 180 seconds? We’d love to talk more! We’re great at the concise, ‘to the point’ piece for today’s impatient web surfer. But sometimes a story requires more than 2-3 minutes to tell properly. We can also help with your long form animation and story telling.
OTHER COST DRIVERS:
A few other things could significantly impact cost. Particles (think of bubbles, dust, molecules floating around, etc.), fluid simulations, human figures, character animation, specific, complex environments, or elaborately detailed & specific mechanical components moving to an engineering spec’d precision.
“Perfection is the enemy of good enough.” Often times, good enough is good enough. Many things may be suggested or implied using animation techniques without truly getting into the nitty gritty. But other times getting into the nitty gritty to explain your value proposition is the whole point of the job. A key benefit of using animation to explain your value proposition is to ‘black box’ your Intellectual Property and avoid revealing trade secrets to competitors.
So it’s important to understand what you’re trying to accomplish before simply firing off a quote. We all know the first number spoken sets the expectation, so we work hard to set expectations properly from the git-go.
SOMETHING ELSE TO CONSIDER:
This is a service-based industry. That’s our mindset. We exist to serve you; to provide what you want. A lot of good work is created when people enjoy working together. The first time we go through this process we’ll work hard to help you understand cost implications of various decisions. We’re not here to make a quick killing on one job, or tick off our clients so they don’t call again. We also believe if you’re approaching a project that won’t be successful due to deadline and/or budget limitations, we’ll tell you that, too – not just say yes and drop the ball. If we take on your project, it’ll be great. CraneDigital believes that happy clients are the win. Everything else is gravy. But to do that requires good communication, and process. Some people are in a hurry, and we get that too. Sometimes we’re able to help, other times not. We’ll never compromise quality.
ONE FINAL THOUGHT:
If you’re kicking tires, looking for another number to compare someone else’s quote to, please consider simply going with the company who as already invested time and energy addressing your request, rather than sending everyone on a wild goose chase.
Things can vary substantially – up or down – but at least the above provides something to help guide next steps. Stop by and say hello. We’d love to hear more about what it will take to communicate your vision, and add you to the long list of happy clients.
Give CraneDigital a call for your next marketing animation. We can help.
Fort Collins, CO • USA
+1 (970) 213-1828