How Long Does an Animated Video Production Take?

4 June, 2018  

If you’re planning to include explainer videos in your next marketing campaign and you’re thinking about how long it takes to make them, then this article is just for you. Because first you will have to delineate a time schedule and high-quality videos require not only time but also a lot of work. Today videos are rocking the marketing world, and that’s no surprise. Almost 60% of potential customers would rather watch a video than read an article. That’s why here we’ve outlined the main steps to produce a customized animated explainer video.

Most often, a high-quality video can take from 4 weeks up to 8. On the contrary, template videos might only take a few days because they are pre-designed. We will go over this later, but generally speaking, the duration depends on the quality of the animation and on how much work the production company has.

So follow us in this article to learn more about how long it takes to make a high-quality animation that will certainly enhance your business’ performance!

How to make an animated video

The whole process includes:

  1. Creating a Script
  2. Sketching the Storyboard
  3. Recording Voice Overs
  4. Illustrating Characters and Other Elements
  5. Animation
  6. Adding Music and Sound Effects

First things first, let’s analyze why investing in a custom video can be more convenient than a template one and what their main differences are.

Custom Animations vs. Templates

The first thing is to be aware of the main differences between customized videos and template ones, that difference will determine not only production times but also quality. Template videos can be produced really fast and with a low budget, you can have it in as fast as one day! They just take pre-designed graphics and merge them into new video content. The problem is that the final product is not designed especially for your brand, to reflect its features or even your prospects. Finally, the video usually results in a low-quality production, with hard movements and bland characters that don’t really represent your brand.

So the most convenient option is to go with a customized explainer video that can reflect your brand’s identity and therefore deliver an effective message to the right audience. How long does it take to do this? Sometime in between 4 and 10 weeks, because the whole production is made from scratch to represent your business’ essence and meet their goals.

Most often, Yum Yum Videos takes 8 weeks to produce a customized animated video. Sometimes it can be done in 5 weeks, with an additional cost since it requires extra hours and delaying other projects. In the end, you will receive a high-quality video with unique visuals and animations that are impossible to make with templates. And what’s more important than making an impact when we talk about marketing?

Let’s see this client’s experience with custom videos:

Taking into account our expertise with video marketing, we can assure you that even though custom videos take more time to produce, it’s certainly worth the investment as the audience can easily relate to the story and characters. And template videos look the way they cost, cheap. That can result in a negative effect on your marketing goals.

It’s also possible to get a custom video in only 2 or 3 weeks, but make sure you’re getting a high-quality one because that’s what will make your audience interested and engaged in your content. Did you ever notice those low quality and boring videos spinning around the web? Do you watch them until the end or do you close them immediately? Think about it. Every bad quality content makes the brand look just as bad. That’s a good reason to invest time and money in good quality.

Production process and timing

We’ve explained that customized explainer videos might take from 5 to 8 weeks to be ready. It’s not a one-man job, but instead, it needs a lot of professionals to work together: from screenwriters, designers, animators, to actors, producers, and directors.

Check out our simple steps to produce animations in this explainer video

The main stages can be represented in these categories: Script, Storyboard, VoiceOver, Character and Graphics Design, Animation and Music and Sound Effects. Let’s see it in detail.

#1. The Script

When you first hire a video production company, they will schedule a meeting and ask you for a creative brief. In that document, you’ll need to specify your goals, describe your target audience, and add some information about your product. A few days later -around 3 to 7 days- they will contact you to hand over the script. The time depends on the number of adjustments in the script. Don’t hurry up in this stage, it’s a vital part of the production process since the script defines the whole structure of the video. Do you want to learn more about scripts? Please download our free e-book “How to write a script for an explainer video”. You can even write it yourself or delegate it to a professional screenwriter, but in both cases it’s always helpful to get a deeper understanding of how a great script is written.

#2. Sketching the Storyboard

The storyboard is the next step once the script is finished. If you haven’t seen one, a storyboard looks similar to a comic strip as it’s a frame by frame sketch that shows all the actions written in the script. The goal of this visual script is to get a preview of what the animation will look like at the end of the production phase. Also, the director will use it as a reference in the next stages of the production chain. In general, it takes around 1 to 3 weeks. Check out this script sample!

#3: Recording Voiceovers

Voiceovers are the voices that narrate what is being seen on screen. They add content and meaning to the message that’s being said. In high-quality productions, voice actors are selected according to the accent, gender and age you want to aim for. Voices are a vital element in every production as it adds soul and personality to the animation. Do you want to know more about voiceovers? Check out this blog post for more info.

#4: Illustrating Characters and Other Elements

In customized videos, every graphic piece like characters and background elements are created to fit your brand´s objectives and your target audience. This task takes around a week to complete. Graphics, in general, are crucial to bring some life to the video and to hit the right tone with the selection of colors and esthetics. That’s what makes it appealing to the audience´s eye, and can increase your engagement. Click on this article if you want to learn more about character design!

#5: Animation

The Animation stage is the beginning of the end of the production process. Now that all the elements are ready, animation will string them together. It usually takes a couple of weeks. The animator will use the storyboard as a reference to represent the right movements and actions. It’s essential that this job is done by professionals in the area, because it is very meticulous work and if it’s well done, it will bring life to the whole production, making it look high quality and fun. On the other hand, a poor animation can make your product look just as poor, damaging your image and all your efforts.

#6: Adding Music and Sound FX

If you got up here, you’re almost ready to complete your animation. Adding music and sound effects is the final step of a high-quality video. Like every other stage, this one is quite important because music can be very effective to deliver certain emotions and tones you want to associate with your brand. And besides that, it can make your video unforgettable. This part may add another week to the production process.

To sum-up

Up until now, you’ve learned how long it takes to produce an explainer animated video and what it takes to do so. It usually takes from 5 to 8 weeks to complete it, as customized videos are made from the ground up. It all starts by defining what message you want to deliver, then translate that into a script, then create the storyboard, record the voices, design characters, and graphic elements, animate everything and, for the final touch, add the music and sound FX. So after all, 5 to 8 weeks is not that much, right?

In case you decide to use a template video because you might be in a hurry or short on money, take into account that the results won’t be the same as a customized video. Because low quality and pre-made templates can be harmful for your brand’s image and your business goals since your audience may think your product is low quality as well or they may even not watch your video at all.

We understand that this entire process may sound difficult, that’s why at Yum Yum Videos we developed a simple procedure to produce high quality customized animated videos that more than 300 companies have already tried out with excellent results!

If you’re asking yourself if you should go ahead and enhance your marketing strategy with a customized explainer video, feel free to get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to assist you.

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