Building Your Animation on a Budget
When you think of animation, what comes to mind? Most likely, your imagination is flooded with images of animated movies and short videos, with many beautifully crafted characters and scenes. But if you’re a video producer, you may also be thinking of the cost of creating those animations – or even feeling overwhelmed by the idea of a hefty price tag.
However, it is possible to create your own stunning animations on a budget. Whether it’s an ad, elearning course or a cartoon to entertain – you can create visuals that captures your end goal while staying within your budget. With the advancement of affordable and accessible technologies, more and more companies are using animation to entice viewers.
Animation offers versatility and a way to engage end users on a new level.
How Can You Begin Building Animation on a Budget?
- Brainstorm and Storyboard your Video Concept
To get started on creating your animation, you should first brainstorm what the message or goal of the animation is, and what action you want the viewer to take. Once you’ve figured out the purpose and key messaging, you can get to work on drafting a storyboard that details the different scenes you would like to include in your animation.
This step may feel a little bit like putting the cart before the horse for some video producers, as some may be tempted to restrict themselves to ‘think within their budget first.’ However, by allowing yourself the freedom to dream big, and then sort out how you might get creative to accomplish it on your budget – you’re going to end up with a better end product. If you start this process by believing that you have to restrict your messaging or story concept because of your budget, you’re already putting limits (which may not be substantiated) on what you can accomplish.
- Create a Budget for your Animation
Once you’ve figured out all of the different components that will make up your animated project, it’s time to start thinking realistically and creatively about your budget for creating your animation. Even though each project is unique, there tends to be areas of production (e.g. hiring a top-notch scriptwriter) that require a larger investment, and other areas where lower-cost resources (e.g. in-house staff) can be leveraged. Consider the internal resources you have and the skills they possess against the type of production you’re thinking of. Sometimes, using your internal talent can be a great way to manage your budget if workloads permit.
There are several animation budget templates that can help you think through the different resources you’ll need to produce your video.
The one area you should set aside some of your budget for is the audio that may accompany the visuals. You may have a person in mind who has a great voice, however you should try to source a professional voice actor, as they can help set your project up for success. The voice plays a key role in creating a connection with your intended audience.
While you want to stick to your budget, you always want to make sure that you are fairly compensating outsourced agencies, freelancers and voice actors for their time and creativity on your project.
- Figure Out Who You Need to Hire to Get the Job Done
Now that you have an idea of what areas of production may need support from outside agencies or individuals, it’s time to get to work sourcing quotes from outside agencies, and aligning internal resources.
This consultative process, which often involves talking to experts and creating realistic production schedules, can also be illuminating. You may find that as you work alongside others, new ideas for getting creative with your budget come along. For instance, you may find that animators provide you with various options on how the animation is produced – from 3D to 2D and beyond.
In general, if your budget is really, really tight, then consider 2D animation instead. 2D animation is a much more realistic solution to creating an animation that fits within your needs (we also used 2D animation for our Adweek video!) This type of animation is the best according to Kasra Design as it can cost less than other types (3D, motion graphics) and can do just as well if executed by the right team. Ultimately, the success of your video rests on the foundation it was built upon – that is to say – the message and script are the most important.
Animation on a Budget can Produce Quality and Effective End Products
When creating animation on a budget, the creative process is the most important part. You can brainstorm all of the ideas that will effectively get your intended message out to your audience and then figure out what resources are available in order to make your dream a reality – all within the budget you have set out. You can see how Voices created an animated video on a budget – and deadline! It is important to remember that there are cost efficient ways to create an animation that will resonate well with your audience and have the ability to be distributed on an international basis.