Exploring the Expenses of 3D Animation and Pricing for Product Marketing Video Services

A 3D animation occurs when a static 3D object appears to move on a screen. Unlike traditional animation, where objects are drawn by hand for each frame, works in a 3D-animated scene are based on computer-generated imagery (CGI). Computer-aided design (CAD) software is used to configure the objects and their motions.

When creating a 3D animation, you don’t have to be able to draw by hand, and the ability can be useful but not required. Creating a detailed model (object) from scratch is a time-consuming task, so using a ready-made asset as a starting point is not uncommon. Assume a 3D animation of a fictional creature with monstrous facial features and strange body proportions is desired by an artist. In that case, it is preferable to start with a pre-designed asset. The asset may appear distinct from the original after some modifications and refinements. There are numerous online markets for such an asset, some of which are free.

What does a company charge for 3D animation services?

Essentially, creating a 3D animation is an artistic work, and as such, standard pricing is difficult to determine. Design, 3D assets required, turnaround time, whether or not the animation uses sounds or music, and, to some extent, where the creator is based all influence the total cost. Prices vary according to project complexity and requirements, such as resolution and duration.

The production process of 3D animation

Every frame of a 3D-animated scene involves a multistage process, similar to a 3D rendering service but with many more elements blended into the final image. All features influence each other and the output quality, so the entire process necessitates unmistakable attention to the smallest detail, and failure to do so is likely to result in a subpar result.

First stage – preproduction 

This stage is primarily concerned with the creation or preparation of the raw materials required to construct the foundation of the 3D animation:

  • Script and storyboard : The procedure is comparable to that of 2D animation. Animators must first understand the script (if any) and storyline that will be conveyed by the animation. It depicts the visual flow, as well as the facial expressions and gestures created within the animation. Assuming there is a script, the animation will later require proper synchronisation between the characters’ speech and lip movements for a realistic effect.
  • 3D assets : Every object in the scene is a three-dimensional model. Some animators buy ready-made assets and then modify them according to the descriptions in the project brief. Animators may have to create 3D models from scratch if the project requires the use of unique characters.
  • Textures and colours : To create the illusion of surface and volume, bare-boned models are wrapped in textured and coloured layers. The procedure involves superimposing 2D images on top of 3D models. Certain characters have complex properties, such as an eye that absorbs and reflects light at the same time. Product 3D animation services typically employ a photorealistic 3D model of the physical product.
  • Rigging : A rigged 3D model is a 3D object that has already been configured for all natural movements. Consider placing a skeleton inside a human or animal figure. The joints serve as pivots for the constitution’s movable sections, representing the natural range of motion. Rigging can be applied to any 3D object. When the raw materials are ready, the process moves on to the main manufacturing task.

Second stage – production

The following stage entails manipulating 3D models. Animators move the models in accordance with the storyline and script. This stage also includes the creation of additional visual elements such as lights and visual effects.

  • Animation : The available range of motion is determined by the rigging procedure. The rigging in a 3D character animation service that resembles a person or an animal should mimic the natural skeletal figure of the character it is meant to represent. The goal is to give the object a maximum range of motion while staying within natural limits. However, rigging can be done excessively by animators if the storyline requires it.
  • Lighting : As previously stated, creating a 3D animation is similar to a more sophisticated version of a rendering process. The basic principle remains, in that good lighting is required for animation to appear realistic. Whereas an image requires only a few lighting configurations, an animation requires one for each frame, depending on the motions. For example, a moving cloud can block the sun partially one second and completely the next. A moving object casts a different shadow than a stationary one.
  • Visual Effects (VFX) and composite : Additional special effects, such as wind and rain, are used to create a realistic atmosphere in the virtual world. Then there’s the compositing process, in which the scene is created by blending two or more files from different sources.

Animators in 3D animation Company only configure the positions of the 3D models for all keyframes to speed up the process. The computer interpolates the natural sequence of motions between those frames. For smooth animation, one second of a scene should contain at least twenty-four frames (24fps). Furthermore, more than two keyframes can occur within a second. Even for a minute of 3D-animated video, the 3D animation designer must put in a lot of effort.

Third stage – postproduction

The visual elements of the animation are now complete. In the postproduction stage, some finishing touches and revisions are made.

  • Sound Effects : Music and sound files are superimposed on top of the animation. When an object or character speaks, its facial expressions and speech must be in sync.
  • Review and Edit : Animators watch all of the scenes in order to look for errors. As needed, minor and major changes are made.
  • Render : The final step is to compile and convert all of the animation files into a single video format that is ready for distribution.

Of course, large studios such as Pixar and Disney employ far more complex operations at every stage than small 3D animation agency. That being said, whether the animation is done by a small team of freelancers or a large company specialising in 3D animation services with full-time professionals, the basic procedures are the same.

Alternatives to CGI-based 3D animation

Depending on the number of objects and the desired motion fluidity, the stop-motion production process can be quite lengthy. More photos enable smoother animation. If you want a ten-degree rotation increment, the 3D animation professional must photograph the object 37 times. Things become even more complicated when different lighting configurations are required for different frames. There are several types of stop-motion animation:

  • Claymation : Clay or a similar material is used to make the objects. Metal skeletons are sometimes used by animators to make the clay structure more rigid.
  • Puppets : Instead of clay, some animators use traditional instruments. Skeleton rigs are also required for the instruments to remain stable.

Other types of stop-motion animation, such as cut-outs and silhouettes, are two-dimensional.

Estimated completion time of CGI 3D animation

Again, there is no standard timeline because it all depends on variables such as project complexity, equipment, and the number of people working on it. The timeline is divided into stages as shown below.

  • Creative brief : 3 Days
  • Script : 2 Days
  • Storyboard : 2 Weeks
  • 3D Modeling : 2 Weeks
  • Rigging : 2 Months
  • Animation : 1 Month
  • Sound Effects : 1 Week
  • Rendering : 1 Week

If a project must be completed quickly, a 3D animation design can be completed faster, though it is more resource-intensive. More team members would be required, as well as high-performance computers. Communication between the group and the client is another factor that affects completion time, and everyone involved in the project must be on the same page at all times.

Whether you need a short 3D animated video or an hour-long film, budget is always an important consideration. A limited budget forces you to seek out affordable services in order to complete the job with reasonable quality. Freelancers will most likely charge lower rates than a 3D animation studio because they don’t have as many overhead expenses, such as renting an office or splitting profits with the bosses. They use personal computers to work from home. The only expenses are likely to be electricity and the software licence fee.

Pricing for freelancers can also be flexible. The fee is largely negotiable based on the project’s complexity. They may employ a standard pricing strategy, but the price may be higher or lower than the base rate. If you believe the project is not overly complex and a quick turnaround time is not an issue, you may be able to negotiate a favourable price. Freelance 3D animators are excellent for short marketing content, product presentations, school lesson materials, and personal (non-commercial) use.

One disadvantage is that a freelancer typically specialises in one aspect of 3D animation work. The person who does the 3D modelling and rigging may not provide sound effects or visual effects, and vice versa. To get a fully functional animation, you’ll need to hire several freelancers. A scriptwriter/storyboard artist, a 3D modeler/rigger, and an animator/renderer must all be part of the team. Only scriptwriting and modelling can be done concurrently to create the story and 3D assets. The animator takes over once the raw materials are ready. In addition to experience level, freelance 3D animators’ hourly rates vary depending on location.

We at Dezpad, a 3D animation video company, are excited to guide you through your 3D animated video journey, Contact Us and start that journey now.

Translate »