Planning to use 2D animation for your business? Today, there are good reasons to create motion graphics, explainer videos or any other type of 2D animation! Primarily, animated videos allow you to deliver various messages to the target audience in a more fun and clear way. It is easy to understand and good to see. 2D animations of high quality are doubly magnetic in games, cartoons, movies, and other entertainment projects, creating a cohesive visual experience. Depending on the purpose, the types of animation vary, as well as animation costs. If you search for 2D animation costs, you will find different numbers – $300, $1,000, $10,000, $30,000 and so forth. If you are going to create something similar to Toy Story, for example, be prepared to pay for rigging, modeling, animation, and rendering.

Well, if the question “How much does 2D animation cost?” arises in your mind, now we’ll try to answer it and provide as many details as possible so that you could plan your budget accordingly. In addition, we will help you find a cost-effective solution that is especially suited to your business needs. Anyway, don’t skip this article if you want to know the 2D animation cost for your project.

Top 7 Factors Affecting 2D Animation Costs

Typically, the final cost of 2D animation or other services remains still hidden or not fully disclosed on most sites, which puts obstacles in proper planning of the project budget. As a result, you need to spend a lot of time contacting various animation studios to collect numbers and eventually make a decision. This is to be expected that most studios want to contact you to find out more about the project requirements, aims and goals, special features, and other video production details that will consequently affect the final 2D animation cost. Endless hours are wasted on phone calls and replies to emails.

Let’s make it less time-consuming for you to wade through innumerable details without contacting someone from a 2D animation studio! Below, we’ll present to you the key criteria of price-formation you may face today.

  1. Timeline. How long will animation go on?
    Whether it is a 10-minute explainer video or full-length animated movie, the illusion of movement is created with images (or frames) changing sequentially over time. Depending on the animation style, there can be up to 24 unique drawings shown in one second of animation (in general, 24 frames per second). You can make a rough estimation if you know that 2D animation will take, for example, 30 minutes.
  2. Complexity degree. How complicated will 2D animation be?
    Along with motion graphics, 2D animation can include many backgrounds, characters, sound effects, scripts, and other assets, that determine how much money you will have to pay for the final animated video. You can figure out how complex a project is with the help of a storyboard – this is the visual representation of animation, frame by frame.
  3. Number of characters. How many characters will be included in the animation?
    It’s one thing to animate a 2D character, it’s another to animate several characters. All this takes time to create and rig a character for the future animation. The more complex the character, the more professional effort it takes to complete the project.
  4. Design. How will it look?
    This question is about both motion design and 2D environment/character design. So, the task is to create 2D environments for the animation, design 2D characters, create a storyboard, choose colors, and other visual details. You shouldn’t neglect the services of concept artists to develop the key ideas of 2D animation and create corresponding concepts.
  5. Extra animation effects. Is there any sound or script?
    All additional options such as music, voiceover narration, scripts must be also considered before budgeting a project. Without any doubt, additional effects will make your 2D animation valuable. But again, the choice will depend on the purpose of 2D animation you’re going to work out.
  6. Video production team. Who will be involved in the team to produce 2D animation?
    Depending on the team you gather to create 2D animation, the final cost will also vary. 2D animators are an integral part of the entire process, from rough sketches to finalizing animated videos. However, you may need additional help from graphic designers, artists, screenwriters, sound engineers, and others to give your audience something worthwhile.
  7. Qualifications of an expert. Will experienced or entry-level but talented animators/designers work on the project?
    This is last but not least to determine the qualification levels of experts you’re going to hire for your project. If you don’t strive for fast good results and want to economize a little, you can hire a junior 2D animator or designer. And vice versa, apply to senior specialists if you’re looking for a high level of competence in 2D animation and want to get a product of high quality in a short time frame.

2D Animated Video: Where to Order & How Much Will It Cost?

This is an example of an animated video to figure out how much time is required to make 2D animation of a similar type (when a 2D character looks realistic and has many details in clothing). So, our experts spent about 15 hours to animate this mouse (including character exporting, rigging and animation itself).

2D Character Animation in Hours

Scope of Work on 2D Animation In total (hours)
Character exporting & rigging – 5 hours
Simple animation (idle, walking…) – 5 hours
10 hours
Character exporting & rigging – 5 hours
Complex animation (attack, fighting…) – 10 hours
15 hours

The hours are approximately calculated to make it clear what to expect when ordering 3D animation. Contact us for an accurate estimate of your project from our qualified experts for free!

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In general, there are two ways to get 2D animated videos – from freelance 2D animators (self-employed professionals who are not necessarily committed to a specific project in the long run) and from specialized 2D animation studios (a team of experts that offer a variety of services). Pros and cons of each engagement model are as follows:

Pros and Cons of Engagement Models – Freelancing Vs. Specialized Studios

Freelancing Services ✔ Special skills and expertise
✔ Short-term projects
✔ Global reach of talents
✔ Flexibility on demand
✔ Cost-effectiveness
✘ No quality assurance
✘ Simultaneous work on multiple projects
✘ Time-consuming to find a good specialist
2D Animation Studios ✔ Extensive expertise
✔ Project-based work
✔ Unlimited resources
✔ Long-term cooperation
✔ Formal guarantees
✘ Time-consuming to find the best animation studio
✘ A little more expensive than freelance services

Let’s see what numbers you are offered in each type of cooperation. When we analyze both markets (freelancing and specialized 2D animation services in companies), we take into account various offers and show you an average cost so that you could turn it every way in mind.

2D Animation at the Cost of $40 per Hour on Freelancing Platforms

Percentage of Freelancers (%) Hourly Rates ($)
10% $15 / hr
20% $30 / hr
60% $40 / hr
10% $60 / hr

(Data was taken from various freelance platforms and presented using comparative analysis)

Hiring freelancers allows companies to reduce costs. You’ll pay freelancers an agreed amount of money for a project or work completed in a given period of time. What is there in the freelance market for you? A lot of freelance 2D animators are available around the world and ready to implement your idea at different hourly rates – starting from $15/hr. On average, hourly rates of 2D animators range from $30 to $60 on various freelancing platforms (UpWork, Fiverr, Freelancer, etc.) Affordable rates make it more profitable for the company to use freelancing services instead of giving full-time employment to a 2D animator and other experts.

When you hire a new full-time employee, you are selecting from a limited talent pool. Prospective employees should either already reside in your area or be ready to relocate soon. Conversely, if you decide to look for remote human resources, freelancers will not work internally and therefore will not have to leave or relocate to any area. This offers your company worldwide coverage in talent selection for different tasks relevant to full-featured 2D animation (concept creation, sketching, design of 2D characters, storyboard development, creating special sound/visual effects, animating scenes, and transitioning backgrounds).

Specialized 2D Animation Companies

It is true that with direct access to the global talent pool, you’re not exclusively limited to your city, country, or even continent. But is it always wise to rely on someone online without 100% confidence in professional competence and guarantees of quality? There is one more option for you when you aren’t sure about freelancers but want to cooperate with true professionals. This is a dedicated team of creative 2D animators, designers, artists working together in a well-trusted company. They come together with a passion for art and enthusiasm for work on various projects.

Outsourcing animation studios serve as offshoring or nearshoring partners of most growing businesses today for certain functions and tasks (usually those that can’t be delegated internally) based on different engagement models (T&M, dedicated team, fixed price, and others).

Small animation production studios focus on full-cycle development of different animation projects with exclusive ownership of all products created by an in-house team of animators, designers, producers, etc.

Large corporate enterprises started out as small studios and grew into a large corporate business. They are now major players in the global entertainment media who either took over an existing studio or just went their own way.

2D Animation Cost Estimates in America, Europe & Asia

Today, you can reach a wide variety of companies specializing in 2D animation to bring the craziest ideas to life. They are located in the USA, Canada, European and Asian countries. Whenever you turn to, you’ll find 2D animation services, but at what cost? Let’s see below!

2D Animation Costs - How to Estimate Costs and Plan a 2D Animation Budget Correctly

(Data was taken from Clutch.co, GoodFirms.co and presented using comparative analysis)

As you see from the diagram, most American animation companies charge $100 – $149 or $150 – $199 per hour, most European companies offer 2D animation services at the hourly rates between $25 and $100. In Asia, you can hire a 2D animator for $25 – $49 per hour. On the surface, it seems that this is not so cheap. This becomes even more important with creating long 2D animations for cartoons, games, and any other large project that is supposed to be eye-catching.

Eastern European companies are leading among the most popular outsourcing destinations. They are in Ukraine, Poland, Belarus, and other countries that continue to attract customers around the world for the following reasons:

  • Although in Eastern Europe 2D animation costs are lower than in America, the quality remains top-rated among US and Western European customers. For example, TOP 10 world-famous game publishers come to Kevuru Games for 2D animation services.
  • Outsourcing to external resources helps overcome the skilled labor shortage. If you are missing a few people on your own in-house team, you can opt for outstaffing and hire 2D animators, developers, or designers you need for a specific period of time. They can work exclusively with your team, just like in your office. The only difference is that you will save a lot of money and focus on core business functions.
  • As a result of close cooperation with Ukrainian companies, global customers can save 40-60% of their total operating costs and reduce time-to-market.
  • You can simply come up with an idea for your project, describe it to an outsourcing company, and a team of qualified specialists will prepare a detailed project scope and then create the entire product for you from scratch.

How to Budget a 2D Animation Project Based on the Above Stated?

Budgeting a 2D animation project involves many different factors – length, style, type, team, and others. There are two main approaches to budgeting:

  1. Contact a reliable 2D animation studio, state the business needs and goals, and ask them to budget the project for you.
  2. Go to a studio with your own budget (which you can plan with the help of this article) and ask to stick to the budget you set yourself.

Contact us to create amazing first-class 2D animation videos that match your vision and resonate with a target audience. Show your 2D animation project to the world in a skillful way with Kevuru Games!