Everyone likes to know how much something will cost.
This page is our attempt at answering that question.
We totally get it: Everyone likes to know how much something will cost.
Often we’ll receive e-mail from someone who has found a video on YouTube or another source, asking for a ‘quick quote.’ We’re happy to answer specific, detailed questions when the time comes to roll up our sleeves and dive in. But we also understand it takes time to get there. That’s where the “Ball Park” comes in. Creating a custom animation isn’t a simple, straight line process. But, after doing it for 25 years we’ve figured out a thing or two that will help guide next steps. Please consider the following information to establish some rough project budget forecasting.
The largest cost drivers in 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 cost driver, 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 assets, lighting, renderings, etc.
b) a 30 second animation explaining how the Space Shuttle supports astronauts is a far more elaborate, complicated animation requiring quite a bit more detail than our simple, spinning logo. 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 $1,500 and $6k 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 love creating long form animation and story telling and we’d love to hear your story. We can help you.
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. Often times a key reason to create animation is to ‘black box’ your intellectual property, avoiding revealing your trade secrets to competitors. And sometimes getting into the nitty gritty to explain your value proposition is the whole point of the job.
That’s why it’s important for us to understand what you’re trying to accomplish before simply firing off a ‘rough quote.’ We all know the first number spoken stays with the hearer and sets the expectation. So we’re careful about setting that first number too high, or too low – for both of our sakes.
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 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 MORE THING:
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 into your request, rather than sending people on a wild goose chase.
Things can vary substantially – up or down. But at least now you have something that will help guide next steps. Stop by and say hello! We’d love to hear more about what it’ll take to communicate your vision.
Give CraneDigital a call for your next marketing animation. We can help.
Fort Collins, CO • USA
+1 (970) 213-1828