3D Animation Cost | What Does It Cost To Create A 3D Animation?

Do you want to figure out the 3D animation cost for your next video? Whether you’re hiring a freelancer, studio or Video Igniter Animation, this guide will help you understand what goes into the cost of creating a 3D animation so that you can estimate your production cost.

If you’re ready to get a quote for your project, send us a message!

What does 3D animation cost?

3D Animation Cost What Does 3D Animation Cost

The short answer: most 3D animations cost between $5,000-$25,000 to create each minute of video content.

That may sound like a lot. But when you compare it to the cost of creating a PIXAR animated film (+$100,000,000 for a 90-minute film) hiring an independent animation studio sounds much more approachable.

What goes into the cost of creating a 3D animation?

3D Animation Cost What goes into the cost of creating a 3D animation

Here’s a breakdown of the price ranges for each cost in your 3D animation budget:

Script Writing: ~$500-$1,000 for each minute of content that we create.

Storyboard Creation: $500-$1,000 for each minute of content we create.

VoiceOver: $50-$500 per voice actor.

Soundtrack: $19-$399 per stock soundtrack license.

3D Modeling: $1,000-$5,000+ for each minute of content we create.

3D Coloring & Texturing: $500-$5,000+ for each minute of content we create.

3D Animation: $2,000-$5,000+ for each minute of content we create.

Post Production, Special Effects & Audio Mastering: $100-$1,000+

Project Management: 10% of the project total.

What contributes to the cost of a 3D animation?

What contributes to the cost of a 3D animation

Here are the top five factors that will determine the overall cost of your 3D animation.

  • How detailed is the visual style of your animation?
  • How much motion design is there? Are scenes highly animated or are there static scenes?
  • How long is your 3D animation?
  • How soon do you need your 3D animation?
  • Will you be providing the script & storyboard for your 3D animation?

If your 3D animation is highly detailed, very animated, long and you need it quickly, expect your 3D animation to cost closer to the high end of the price ranges listed above.

Get a quote for your 3D animation cost.

3D Animation Cost Examples

Video Igniter can make any kind of 3D (or 2D) animation for you. The examples you see here cost between $7,500-$15,000 to create each minute of 3D animation.

Check out our animation portfolio and our demo reels and price sheet for more examples.

Contact us or schedule a call to start making your video.

Are you looking for a different type of animation example? Send us a message to let us know what kind of production example you want to see and we will follow up with some relevant production samples.


How to make a 3D animation with Video Igniter?

Ready to start creating your 3D animation? Here’s what to expect, step-by-step, to get you from where you are now, all the way through to your final animation:

1). Get A Quote

3D Animation Cost How to make a 3D animation with Video Igniter

To get production started, send us a message to get a quote for your 3D animation cost. You can also schedule a call with our team to discuss your animation’s production cost. After we learn about the video you want to create, our team will propose one or more production budgets to create your 3D animation.

Let us know which option you prefer and we’ll send you an invoice for the first 50% of your 3D animation cost.

2). Script

3D Animation Cost Script

Now that production is underway, our script writing team will spend time learning what key messages you want to convey in your animation. We’ll also spend time learning about who your target audience is so we can design your script to resonate with the problems they need help solving.

You will receive a copy of the script to review with your team. If everything sounds good, we’ll move to the next stage of production. Otherwise, we’ll collaborate with your team to revise the script until it’s perfect.

3). Storyboard

3D Animation Cost Storyboard

Download our storyboard template to create your own storyboard and reduce your production budget.

Next, we turn your script into a storyboard. The storyboard acts as a visual blueprint so that our production team knows what to create.

You will receive a downloadable copy of the storyboard to review with your team. Your goal is to make sure we’ve accurately documented all visual and technical details that need to be communicated to our design and animation teams. If anything requires further clarification, we can add additional notes, images and links to video references.

4). VoiceOver


Our team will source multiple voiceover talents for your 3D animation. Give their auditions a listen and let us know which option(s) are your favorite. We’ll hire them to record the full voiceover and acquire the license to legally use the recording in your project. You get an opportunity to review the recording and request edits before approving the audio for production.

5). Concept Art

3D Animation Cost Concept Art

Video Igniter’s art director will review your branding, style references and storyboard. Then, they will create multiple pieces of 2D and or 3D concept art to help convey the visual style they envision using for your 3D animation.

Let the art director know which concept is your favorite. If you want to revise your favorite concept, let the art director know! They’ll be happy to collaborate with you to fine tune the design to perfection!

6). Models + Color

After your concept art is approved, 3D modelers will begin creating all of the scenes, characters and objects that will be featured in your 3D animation. At first, the models will look like black and white 3D models:

3D Animation Cost 3D Model

During this phase of production, you get the chance to work with the 3D modelers to revise the shape and design of every aspect of your 3D animation.

After the shape of the models are locked in, our team adds colors and textures to make everything look real. You get another opportunity to review all of the colorized design elements and request edits before we animate your video.

7). Animatic (if needed)

3D Animation Cost Animatic

An animatic syncs the visuals of your storyboard (or key frames for your 3D models) to the timing of your voiceover. It’s like a rough version of a flip book. It’s used to test to see if the timing of your visuals works with the timing of the voiceover.

This is an important phase of production because animators need to make sure they know how long every detail of an animation is going to take before they create the animation. Otherwise, expensive rework may be needed.

Not all 3D animations require the creation of an animatic. If your project doesn’t require detailed testing of the timing of its animation, we’ll skip the animatic phase to help lower your 3D animation cost.

8). Music + SFX


Music and sound effects are a great way to add more life and energy to your 3D animation. You will receive several soundtrack options that will enhance the presentation of key moments in your animation. Give them a listen and let us know which one is your favorite. We’ll take care of acquiring the broadcast license for the music so that we can legally use it in your 3D animation.

Our team will also select a handful of subtle sound effects that we can layer into the audio in sync with your 3D animation.

9). Animation

3D Animation Cost Animating

Now that everything is approved, we can animate your video!

3D animation usually takes a few weeks to create the first draft. You will receive a link to download your 3D animation as soon as it’s ready.

Give it a detailed review with your production team and members of your target audience. Collect everyone’s feedback and share it with us. We’ll incorporate your revisions and render out the final draft of your 3D animation.

How long does it take to make a 3D animation?

3D Animation Cost How long does it take to make a 3D animation

3D animated video projects take a lot more time and effort than 2D animations and live action video projects. To give you a ballpark idea, a 60 second, 2D animated video can be created in about 4-8 weeks. 3D animations take 2-4x more time to create.

For context, full length PIXAR animated films can take 5 years to get all the way through the production process!

If you need to speed up production for your deadline, Video Igniter offers rush delivery animation.

How To Lower Your 3D Animation Cost

How To Lower Your 3D Animation Cost

Combine these tips to save thousands of dollars off the cost of creating your 3D animation.

1). Write the script for your animation

Script writing costs for a 3D animation come to $500 for every 60-seconds of content we create for you. You can skip this production cost by creating the script for your animation yourself.

Download our free script writing template to get started. We’ll happily review your script for you at no cost and provide feedback before we use it to create your 3D animation.

Write the script for your animation

2). Record The VoiceOver

VoiceOver’s cost between $50-$500 for each voice that’s used in your animation. You can forego voiceover recording and licensing costs by recording your own voiceovers at home or in the office. Check out 1:31 in this video to learn how you can record professional quality voiceovers for free! No need to buy any expensive equipment or software.

3). Create The Storyboard For Your Animation

You can save an additional $500 off the cost of each minute of content we create for you by providing the storyboard for your 3D animation. Download our storyboard creation template and review the enclosed storyboard creation guide to learn how to create a storyboard.

Your storyboard doesn’t need to look perfect. It just needs to document your ideas clearly enough for our team to understand what we’re going to create for you. We’ll review your storyboard for you and provide feedback before we use it to create your 3D animation.


Create The Storyboard For Your Animation

4). Use Pre-Created Models

Part of the reason 3D animation costs so much to create is because 3D models take a long time to create. Luckily, there are online marketplaces where you can buy 3D models that other people have created which can be purchased to use in your animation.

Depending on the type of models you need for your 3D animation, it may be possible to reduce your production cost by purchasing some pre-created 3D models and customize them to your liking, rather than creating everything from scratch. Ask your production manager if is a possibility for your project!

5). Use Royalty Free Music

Stock soundtracks cost $19-$399 to license for commercial 3D animation projects. Producing a custom song for your 3D animation can cost several thousand dollars. Mainstream music costs tens of thousands to license. You can skip this production cost by sourcing royalty free music from sites like Incompetech and Facebook’s Sound Collection.

6). Start Production ASAP

3D Animation Cost Start Production ASAP

The best thing you can do to keep your 3D animation cost low is to start production ASAP. 3D animation takes a lot of time to do the job well. It is possible to pay extra to rush through the production process. However, rush delivery can increase the cost of your 3D animation by 25%-50% or more! Send us a message about your project to get the ball rolling today.

Still have questions about your 3D animation cost?

Do you have a question about your 3D animation cost that wasn’t addressed in this FAQ? Use this form to send us your question and we’ll follow up with an answer. We’ll also post the question and answer to this page so other people can benefit from the knowledge.

Still have questions?

What is Video Igniter Animation?

Video Igniter Animation is an online animated video production service. By working with our team online, you can get your custom animated video produced faster and for less than hiring a brick and mortar animation studio.

Watch our explainer video on our home page to learn more about how we can help you create an animated video. For examples of the kinds of animation our team can produce, check out the demo reel below:


Looking For An Animated Video Company In The U.S.?

Video Igniter is headquartered in Seattle, Washington.

Success Stories & Testimonials

Don’t just take our word for it – these testimonials highlight Video Igniter’s reliability, creativity, flexibility and ability to deliver animations that exceed expectations. When you choose Video Igniter Animation, you can rest assured that you are working with a trusted and reputable studio.

“Video Igniter were very easy to work with and the entire process for creating and suggesting edits was seamless and stress-free. I would work with them again and would recommend to others looking to create a modern and stylish explainer video.”

Clair Simpson – VP Marketing, Repool.com

“I run a video production company and outsource animation. The team at Video Igniter did a great job in taking the concept I very crudely drew out and making it into a beautiful animation. The review process was easy and their turnaround time was very quick. I’d def recommend them if you’re looking for an animation project.”

Pat Henderson – Founder, Path8 Productions

“Video Igniter offered us the critical combination of creative value, clear communication, and patience with stakeholder feedback. We ended up with truly high-quality design assets for our video series largely due to the extra level of commitment — and the right balance of efficiencies with flexibility in the process when called for.”

Larry Schlessinger – Sr. Creative Program Manager, Amazon Web Services

“Video Igniter came to us with a number of creative and engaging ideas and were able to create an exciting, impactful video in a short period of time. And the best part was that it cost much less than other options of similar quality. The video they made is a great marketing tool for us.”

Alex Raymond – Founder, Kapta Systems


Testimonials And Reviews

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Create your Video Igniter account, fill out a creative brief for your video and we’ll begin production as soon as we receive your production deposit.

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