In the world of creative content, animation has become an indispensable tool for businesses and individuals alike. Whether it’s for marketing purposes, educational videos, or entertainment, animation adds a unique and captivating element to any project. However, one question that often arises is: What is the cost of 3D animation per minute? In this article, we will explore the various factors that influence animation costs and delve into the price list of 3D animation in 2023.

Key Factors Influencing 3D Animation Cost

The factors that influence the cost of 3D animation include the type of animation, duration of the animation, complexity of the animation, and number and qualifications of animators.

Type of animation

There are many types of animation. This can change the cost a lot. The basic kinds are 2D and 3D animations. 2D is flat and looks like a drawing. It may need less money to make it happen because it’s simple.

But, some styles in 2D can be hard too, such as Anime or Disney style drawings.

3D animation makes things look real and full of life on screen. It takes more time and skills to build this type of animation. Because of this, you might need to spend more money for it.

Duration of animation

The length of the animation is key in figuring out the cost. More time means more work and this adds to the cost. For example, a 30-second video will not cost as much as a two-minute video.

Simple animations can take less time while complex ones need longer hours to make.

Keeping track of each minute also helps in planning well for your project. The team of 3d animators has to spend enough time on each part of the animation process. This includes designing and modelling your 3D character, adding effects and syncing with voice or music tracks.

Complexity of animation

More details mean more work. So, a rich 3D animation costs more. The cost goes up if the style is hard or the topic is tough. Things like character design can add to the price too.

Different art styles also change how much you pay for a 3D animation project. It’s important to think about these things when setting your budget.

Number and qualifications of animators

The cost of 3D animation can go up or down based on the number and skills of animators. More animators bring fast work but high pay. Fewer animators may slow things down but will cost less.

Their schooling and know-how also affect the price. Animators with many years of work and high training often ask for more money than those just starting out.

The Price List of 3D Animation: The Key Factors

There are different tiers of 3D animation costs, ranging from amateur/free tools to professional-level animation companies. Read on to find out the price ranges and what each tier offers in terms of quality and expertise.

Amateur/Free Tools (0-100 per minute)

You can make 3D animation for free. There are lots of online tools that don’t cost any money. They are easy to use even for beginners. All you need is a computer and an internet connection.

Free tools let you create your own animation videos. These tools fall in the price range of $0 to $100 per minute. So, if you want simple 3d animated video without spending much cash, these tools are great! But remember, they may not have all the high-quality features that costlier options offer.

Freelance Level (50-3000 per minute)

You can hire a freelancer for 3D animation. The cost may be from $50 to $3000 per minute. This is a big range. It’s because freelancers are all different. Some have more skills or more years of work than others.

If you pick a mid-level freelancer, you might pay them $45 every hour they work on your project. They might spend many hours to make a few minutes of high-quality 3D animation for you.

In the end, you could end up paying much more than your original budget.

Mid-Tier Animation Studio (3000-7000 per minute)

Mid-tier animation studios offer superb quality. They charge from $3000 to $7000 for each minute of animation. You get more detailed 3D models and better animation effects here. They use professional 3D software which gives your animated video an edge over the rest.

If it’s within your budget, this is a great option to choose!

Professional-Level Animation Company (8000-25000 per minute)

professional-level animation company is at the top tier of 3D animation costs, charging between $8,000 and $25,000 per minute for their services. These companies have a team of highly skilled animators who can create high-quality animations with complex characters and detailed graphics.

The cost may vary depending on factors such as the level of detail required and the animation style. It’s worth noting that some studios offer even higher-end options that can cost around $30,000 per minute.

So if you’re looking for top-notch animation for your project, be prepared to invest in a professional-level animation company.

Broadcast-Level Animation Company (25000+ per minute)

broadcast-level animation company is known for providing high-quality animation services at a premium price. These companies charge over $25,000 per minute for their expertise and advanced technology.

They have the capability to create stunning animations with complex characters and detailed 3D modeling. While specific details about these companies are not provided, it is clear that they offer top-notch animation services that cater to clients looking for exceptional quality and professional results.

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The 3D Animation Production Process: A Run Down

Stage #1 – Pre-production

The first stage of the 3D animation production process is pre-production. During this phase, the concept and storyline are developed, character designs are created, and the overall production plan is established. Pre-production sets the foundation for the entire project and plays a crucial role in determining the cost per minute.

Stage #2 Production

Once the pre-production stage is completed, the production stage begins. This is where the actual animation work takes place, including modeling, texturing, rigging, and animating the characters. The production stage requires skilled animators and specialized software, which can contribute to the cost per minute.

Stage #3 – Post-production

The final stage of the 3D animation production process is post-production. This includes tasks such as editing, adding sound effects, music, and finalizing the animation. Post-production ensures a polished and professional result but may add additional costs to the overall project.

Why is animation expensive?

Animation is expensive because it requires a complex production process and highly skilled professionals. Creating an animated video involves various stages like storyboarding, character design, modeling, rigging, animation, rendering, and post-production.

Each of these steps requires time and expertise to ensure high-quality results. Additionally, the cost of animation is influenced by factors such as the level of detail in the animation, the style chosen (2D or 3D), the duration of the video, the complexity of scenes and characters involved.

All of these factors contribute to making animation a costly undertaking.

How long does it take to animate 1 minute?

Animating one minute of illustrations typically takes about one to two weeks. However, for a 1 minute 3D animation, the average production time is around 8-10 weeks. The amount of time required can vary depending on the complexity and style of animation desired.

So, it’s important to consider the duration when planning an animation project as it affects the overall timeline and costs involved.

How difficult is animation?

Animation can be a challenging process that requires skill and expertise. It involves creating animated movements and bringing characters or objects to life using specialized software.

Animators need to have a good understanding of timing, movement, and storytelling principles. They also need to possess technical skills in modeling, rigging, texturing, lighting, and rendering.

Attention to detail is crucial in ensuring that every frame looks smooth and visually appealing. While animation may seem complex, with the right training and practice, anyone can learn how to create animations.

Types of animation styles

There are many different types of animation styles that can be used in videos. Here are some examples:

  1. 2D Animation: This style involves creating characters and objects using flat, two-dimensional images. It is commonly used in cartoons and traditional hand-drawn animations.
  2. 3D Animation: In this style, characters and objects are created in a three-dimensional space using computer software. It allows for more realistic movement and is often used in movies, video games, and commercials.
  3. Stop-Motion Animation: This technique involves capturing a series of still images of objects or puppets, moving them slightly between each shot. When the images are played back quickly, it creates the illusion of movement.
  4. Whiteboard Animation: This style involves drawing on a whiteboard or similar surface while recording the process. It is often used for educational videos or explainer videos.
  5. Claymation: Claymation involves shaping clay figures and animating them by capturing each frame as they move. It requires careful attention to detail and is commonly seen in children’s television shows.
  6. Motion Graphics: This style focuses on creating animated graphics, typography, and visual effects without necessarily involving characters or storytelling.
  7. Cut-Out Animation: In this technique, characters are created by cutting out individual parts from paper or other materials and moving them slightly between each frame.
  8. Puppet Animation: Puppet animation involves animating physical puppets using strings, rods, or other mechanisms to create movement.
  9. CGI (Computer-Generated Imagery): CGI animation uses computer graphics to create realistic-looking animations with detailed environments, special effects, and lifelike characters.
  10. Hybrid Animation: This style combines different animation techniques to create unique visual styles and effects.

Looking for a Credible 3D Animation Agency? Get in Touch with Us

If you are in search of a credible 3D animation agency, look no further! Our professional studio offers a wide range of 3D animation services tailored to meet your specific needs. With a team of experienced animators and access to state-of-the-art technology, we guarantee high-quality 3D animations that will bring your project to life.

In a Nutshell

In conclusion, the cost of 3D animation per minute can vary greatly depending on factors such as the type, duration, and complexity of the animation. It can range from $3,000 for a simple explainer video to hundreds of thousands for Hollywood-quality animations.

Cheaper options are available, but it’s important to consider the quality and expertise of the animation studio. So if you’re planning to create a 3D animated video, make sure to choose wisely based on your budget and desired outcome.


Can you provide some tips on using 3D animation services?

To use 3D animation services effectively, clearly define project requirements and choose a reputable studio. Review samples of previous work to assess quality and style. Communicate openly with animators to convey your vision. Agree on timeline and budget beforehand. Regularly review progress and provide feedback. Consider copyright and licensing issues. Plan for potential future changes.

What are the alternatives to CGI-based 3D animation?

Alternatives include stop-motion, 2D, motion graphics, claymation, cut-out, and rotoscoping.

How can I create a 3D animation?

 Create 3D animation by conceptualizing, storyboarding, modelling, texturing, animating, lighting, rendering, editing, and refining.

What is the price range for 3D animation projects?

Prices range from hundreds to thousands of dollars depending on complexity, duration, and quality.

What are the types of 3D animation?

Types of 3D animation include character, motion graphics, architectural visualization, product animation, visual effects, and medical animation.

How do I choose a professional 3D animation studio?

When choosing a 3D animation studio, consider their experience, expertise, reputation, communication, cost, capabilities, rights management, and client satisfaction.

How much does a professional animation studio charge for per minute of animation?

A: The cost of animation per minute from a professional animation studio can vary depending on various factors such as the complexity of the project, the level of detail required, the animation style, and the experience of the studio. On average, a professional animation studio may charge between $1,000 to $10,000 per minute of animation.

Can I combine 2D images onto the 3D models in my animation?

A: Yes, it is possible to combine 2D images onto the 3D models in your animation. This technique is commonly used in animation to add textures, logos, or other 2D elements onto the 3D models. It can help enhance the overall visual experience and bring more depth to your animation.

This article was written by Creative Island's founder Filipe Bastos. Beyond being the owner of the studio, Filipe has a background in philosophy and psychology, and loves reading and writing about anything related to human nature. He brings his unique perspective and insights to the work he does, including creating engaging and effective animated explainer videos for startups and small businesses.

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