How Much Does Animation Cost

How Much Does Animation Cost?

If you want to make a custom animated explainer video, you’re probably shopping around to figure out how much does animation cost?

TL;DR: $500-$250,000+/min & you get what you pay for.

Scoping out the production cost of an animated video is often one of the largest deciding factors when choosing an animation studio or freelancer to produce your animation. If you’re looking into making an animated video and wondering how much does animation cost, you will need to include all of the following aspects of production:

1). Script Writing ($0-$5,000+)

2). Storyboard Creation ($0-$5,000+)

3). Soundtrack License ($0-$1,000+)

4). VoiceOver ($0-$350)

5). Custom Art ($300-$10,000+)

6). Animation ($250-$15,000+)


If you have a question about how much animation costs that isn’t answered in this article, you can use our contact form to ask your question or click the image below to with a member of our production team:

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Animation Cost Breakdown:

1). Script Writing ($0-$5,000+)

You can write the script for your animated video and save a good chunk of change on your production budget. Hiring a studio or freelance animator to write or collaborate on your script is a good idea because they can help you think about the visual aspects of storytelling while you figure out the script to hold it all together.

Writing a script for an animated video.

A freelance animator will typically help write your script for a few hundred dollars. An animation studio is likely to charge at least a thousand dollars. When you hire a marketing agency ($5,000+), you’re paying extra for experienced commercial storytellers and people who can run focus groups and studies to learn more about your target audience and craft the story to their unique tastes.

2). Storyboard Creation ($0-$5,000+)

You can also save money by creating the storyboard yourself. Even if you have no artistic ability, you can create a storyboard. Check out our article that teaches you how to create your own storyboard. A freelance animator can help you create your storyboard for a few hundred dollars. A studio is likely going to charge $1,000 or more and they’re going to help you come up with amazing visual ideas to line up with your script. Marketing agencies will probably charge more for this service but they have less experience than the animation studios do.

Creating a storyboard for an animated video.

Free Download: Download our free storyboard creation template.

3). Soundtrack License ($0-$1,000+)

Stock soundtracks are available on a multitude of websites. Some are even available for free if you credit the artist. Licenses to use commercially available soundtracks online and in broadcast media start at just $5 (but are likely over $100). Custom soundtrack production for an animated short starts at around a few hundred dollars but is likely to cost well over $1,000.

Check out this video if you want to learn how to select the perfect soundtrack for your animated video!

Soundtrack for an animated video

4). VoiceOver ($0-$350)

VoiceOvers are another aspect of production you can save money on by producing it yourself. Check out our video that teaches how you can produce pro quality voiceovers at home, even if you don’t have a studio or professional microphone. and are great marketplaces for connecting with any kind of voiceover artist you can imagine. Expect to pay at least $50 for a quality voiceover and potentially more if the voice artist charges extra for the commercial usage of their voiceover.

Recording a voiceover for an animated video.

5). Custom Art ($250-$10,000+)

If your animation is simple and you don’t care much about quality, it’s possible for an outsourced designer to scrounge together some stock images and brush them up for a few hundred dollars. The quality of the visuals is going to set the stage for your first impression with viewers so don’t cut corners here. For 2D animation, expect to pay $500-$5,000 for 60 seconds of custom art. If you go through a marketing agency, expect to pay at least double for the same quality. High end 2D animations and 3D animations will cost north of $10,000 per 60 seconds of animation.

Illustrator for a custom animated video

Making 3D animations typically requires you get an animatic produced before creating the 3D art. An animatic is halfway between a storyboard and an animation. The sketches are more detailed and synced to a voiceover. Price ranges for an animatic are wide and are sometimes built into the storyboarding cost. In general, expect to pay more for the animatic than you did for the storyboard.

6). Animation ($250-$15,000+)

The animation cost for a video can vary widely and depends on the level of detail happening in the motion design. Simple animations with icons sliding around can be animated for as little as a few hundred dollars. 2D animations with scenes and custom animated characters will cost over $1,000 for a 60 second animation. Fancy 2D animation costs between $5,000-$15,000/min. 3D animation starts around $5,000/ 60 seconds and goes up from there… waaay up!

Deep Dive: How To Make A Video Animation

What do you get when you spent more on your video?

A better storytelling team: people with more experience crafting stories that resonate uniquely with your target audience.

Better visual ideas: not all storyboard artists are the same. Some will read your script and provide simple ideas for visuals. Others will figure out how to string together visual ideas that make your message uniquely memorable, easy to understand, and something your audience will enjoy paying attention to.

Better customer service: with a higher budget, you can afford a more professional team that responds to your requests quickly while creating high quality work as fast as possible.

Customer service for your animated video.

Better voiceovers: the energy and presentation that a professional voice over artist can bring exceeds the dull mediocre vibe that a $5 voiceover artist will bring. It also means they have a better recording studio setup so their voice will sound clean without distracting background ambient noises.

Music: custom music is great but expensive, especially when there is already a lot of great stock soundtracks you can license for less.

Better art: If you spend $500 on an animated video, only $100-200 goes to the artist. What kind of quality do you expect to get if someone is making 60 seconds worth of art for $100-200? Now imagine if you add a zero behind the equation. Much better art = better perception of your brand.

Check out our portfolio of animated explainer videos

Animation: Higher budgets means animators can do more detailed motion design. Overall movements will be smoother and more natural looking than cheap animation. Having a higher animation budget also opens the potential for 3D animation.

To learn what kind of animation you can get produced for your budget, whether it’s $1,000 or over $10,000+, click the button below to schedule a call with our production team.


How Much Does It Cost To Make A Cartoon?

How do these costs compare to what it costs to produce popular animated cartoon shows? Here are some stats to digest:


How much does it cost to produce an animated episode of The Simpsons?

According to several sources (source 1, source 2), episodes of The Simpsons cost at least $5,000,000 per episode. And that was back in 2011. Most of the production budget goes towards paying the world famous voice actors that have been working with the show for over 3 decades.

How much does it cost to produce an animated episode of The Simpsons?

What does it cost to produce an episode of the cartoon show Family Guy?

Family Guy is rumored to cost $2,000,000 per episode. Family Guy doesn’t use as many famous voice actors as The Simpsons; this could account for the lower production cost.

What does it cost to produce an episode of the cartoon show Family Guy?

How much does animation cost for Rick and Morty?

It’s estimated that each episode of Rick and Morty costs between $1.2 and $1.5 million dollars. Rick and Morty does not use famous voice actors so most of their production budget goes into design and animation.

How much does animation cost for Rick and Morty?

Do you still have questions about how much does animation cost?

If so, use this page to get in touch with our team or click the image below to schedule a call with our production team.

Examples of Videos You Can Create With Video Igniter

Video Igniter can create any kind of 2D or 3D animated video for you.

Check out our animation portfolio and request access to our demo reels and price sheet.

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


Video Production Resources

Now that you know how much it costs to make an animation, you might be looking for some additional resources to help you create your animated video. These popular articles will help you go from idea to custom animated video:

What is the video production process like?

Where can I find a 2D animation artist to create my video?

What explainer video services does Video Igniter offer?

How do I work with an animated explainer video company to create my video?

What is Video Igniter Animation?

We’re an animation studio that you work with online. Our team of professional animators works behind the scenes to turn your idea into the next great animated video, animated ad or explainer video!