While 2D animations are overused, 3D animations are expanding rapidly and becoming more popular and accessible. But before starting a 3D animation project, one of the most common and important questions is, “How much does a 3D animation cost?”. The prices can vary greatly depending on the complexity of the project and the production studio you work with.
In this blog post, we will provide an extensive overview of the 3D animation costs, the key pricing considerations, the effective factors, different pricing types, and the pricing range for each stage in the 3D animation production pipeline.
How Much Does a 3D Animation Cost Per Minute?
The general rate for 3D animation is between $10K to $30K Per Minute for different art styles and complexities. This pricing range can be divided into 2 categories:
- 3D animations with average quality and number of assets, which range from $10K to $20K per minute.
- 3D animations with high-quality and more complex assets, which range +$20,000 per minute.
3D Animation pricing Examples
Tak Steak is a 3D commercial animation by Pixune Studios that was produced for about $25K. This total budget is for 4 characters, 3 environments, directing, script writing, storyboarding, animatic, lighting, animating, rendering, editing, compositing, and sound design.
Arabic Unlock is a 3D explainer animation by Pixune Studios that was produced for about $9K. This total budget is for 8 characters, 1 environment, crowds, directing, script writing, storyboarding, animatic, lighting, animating, rendering, editing, compositing, and sound design.
To get an accurate estimate for your 3D animation project, the best thing to do is provide our team with details about your vision, specifications, and needs. We can then give you a quote tailored to your project requirements. Feel free to schedule a call with our team to discuss your project goals and get our professional recommendations. Let’s chat!
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Top 3D Animations Budegts
Let’s take a look at different popular 3D animation budgets and production costs.
- Frozen – The total Budget is about $150,000,000 and $32,362 per second.
- Up – The total Budget is about $175,000,000 and $30,382 per second.
- Toy Story 3 – The total Budget is about $200,000,000 and $32,362
- Finding Nemo – The total Budget is about $94,000,000 and $15,667 per second.
The Pricing of Each Step in the 3D Animation Production Pipeline
In the 3D animation pipeline, we have 3 stages, including pre-production, production, and post-production. Each stage has its own steps and unique process. It’s also important to know these processes can vary in different production teams.
The Pricing of Steps in Pre-Production
The first stage in producing a 3D animation includes scriptwriting, storyboarding, animatic, and concept art. There is no certain estimate for these steps, but here is a price range list:
- The animation scriptwriting costs between $200 to $500 based on many factors, and the scriptwriters will craft an engaging script for your animation ideas.
- The animation storyboarding and animatic costs from $200 to $400 per minute. The longer your 3D animation is, the more pricing its storyboard and animatic take.
- Concept art is one of the most important steps in the 3D animation pipeline, which can cost between $200 to $1000.
Production Pricing List
Read More: How Much Does Modeling a Character Cost?
The Pricing of Post-Production
The last but not the least stage is pro-production, including compositing, editing, music, and sound FX.
The compositing and editing of a 1-minute 3D animation can cost between $100 to $500, depending on the complexity of them.
Adding music and sound FX to a 3D animation is an option for becoming more memorable. Music costs from $250 to $2000, and sound FX can cost between $100 to $300 per minute.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a 3D Animator?
Rates typically charged by 3D animators on Upwork are:
Beginner: $20 per hour
Intermediate: $33 per hour
Advanced: $60 per hour
3D Animation Production Hourly Rate
3D modeling hourly rate is around $40-60/hr in North America and Europe. In Asian countries, it could be about $20-35/hr.
Character rigging and animation can be $70-150/hr in high-cost regions. In Asia around $40-60/hr.
Storyboarding can be $30-60/hr. And rendering can be $10-30/hr per CPU hour.
Different Types of Animation Pricing
- A 30-second commercial animation can cost from $5,000 to $10,000 for a simple animation and $15,000 to $35,000 for a complex animation in North America.
- A 5-minute 3D explainer video is about $10,000 to $30,000 for simple ones and $50,000 to $150,000 for complex ones in North America.
- In Asia, these costs may reduce by about 30 to 50%.
How to Manage the 3D Animation Cost?
You can control costs by allowing adequate time for the project, minimizing changes/revisions, choosing a style of animation that aligns with your budget, reducing the complexity and length of your 3D animation, and finding the right studio with a good experience-to-price balance for your needs and the quality you want. You can also read more about how to choose the best animation outsourcing studio. Being flexible on factors like location can also help costs.
Long story short, the answer to how much does a 3D animation cost can vary. There is no certain estimate for that. But a 1 minute-long 3D animation can cost between $10K to $30K.
The cost of 3D animation can vary based on length, complexity, quality, deadline, type, number of revisions, location, and the team’s experience. In order to avoid overspending for a 3D animation, the key is right and detailed planning while setting realistic timelines based on requirements.