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How Long Does It Take To Produce An Animated Explainer Video?


Before diving into a video campaign, it’s essential to get to know the backstage of the production process so you can plan in advance an accurate timeline. That’s why in this article we’ll explain, step by step, how long it takes to make an animated explainer video. Today, videos are expanding the boundaries of traditional marketing, with an expected traffic increase of 80% by 2019. So stay tuned to read all about the process of making a video, from the idea to the actual animation, each stage takes some time if you’re looking for a high quality production.

Usually the whole process takes from 4 to 8 weeks for a custom animation, while a template one can take a week or even a few days. Why? Because custom videos are made specially for your brand from step 1. We’ll explain this right away, but in general words, the higher the quality, the longer the process is. Like in everything else.

Read on to understand a bit more about how a video is done and how long it takes. Even if you hire a video company, it’s always useful to know the details of what it requires.

We’ll go through all these stages:

  1. Writing the Script
  2. Drawing the Storyboard
  3. Recording the Voiceovers
  4. Characters and Graphic Design
  5. Animation
  6. Music and Sound Effects

But before that, it’s important to understand in detail what  a custom made video is and what the main differences are with a template video.

How to make an animated video

Customized vs. Templates

To start with, the difference between customized animations and templates is decisive in terms of time and quality. Template videos can be not only low-priced but also fast to produce, you can even have it in one day! But they are not created inspired on your brand’s identity and goals. Instead, they grab predesigned elements from a video library and use them to compose a new one. It’s a fast production but they don’t create the content thinking about your brand’s features, your goals, your product’s specs, your target audience or your needs. In general, the result of a template video is low quality animations with dull characters. Something that can really harm your image.

The best option is to go with a custom animated explainer video because it can represent your business with  stunning quality and with the right story to suit your target audience. In general, they take from 4 to 10 weeks and they are specifically created for your brand in order to relate to your audience.

Yum Yum Videos usually takes 8 weeks to produce a customized video. It can also be done as soon as 5 weeks, but that will increase the cost of the video as it requires extra hours and leaving other jobs behind. The resulting video will have amazing visuals and effects that cannot be done with templates. And the key in any marketing strategy is to be noticeable, isn’t it?

Check out our client’s vision on how important their custom video was.

In our experience, although customized videos take more time to produce, it’s highly effective to increase engagement because the viewers can feel identified with the story. As we mentioned, template videos are cheaper but they also look cheap. And that can harm all your efforts.

Anyhow, you can also hire a video production company to produce a custom video in only 2 or 3 weeks. But make sure it’s also high quality to attract the viewers’ attention and make them watch it all the way until the end. I’m sure you’ve stumbled on low quality videos that made you quickly close the tab, right? Your brand is also reflected in the quality of your content, and a bad video will make you look bad. That’s the reason why it takes some time to produce high quality videos that will make you stand out.

Here’s an example of a custom video we’ve done for Gigtown Music, a mobile app for musicians. See how fresh, attractive, and high quality it looks.

Production process and timing

Customized animated explainer videos require a wide team of professionals, such as screenwriters, graphic designers, animators, actors, and more. That’s why, as we mentioned, it takes around 5 to 8 weeks.

You can learn more about our own production process in this explainer video:

In general words, the main stages to make a video are: Script, Storyboard, Voice Over, Character and Graphics Design, Animation and Music and Sound Effects.

#1: Writing the Script

When you hire a video production company, the first thing is to meet and hand them a brief with your objectives, the target audience, and other information about your product. Afterwards, the company will provide you with a script. In general, this can take from 3 to 7 days, depending the number of corrections or adjustments that need to be done. This step is crucial to the production process because the script determines the layout of the video. Take a look at this example of a professional script. For more information about scripts, please download our free e-book “How to write a script for an explainer video”. Scripts can be done by professional writers or you can even write it yourself. In both cases, it’s recommended to learn more about the script’s structure and how it’s done.

#2: Drawing the Storyboard

After the script is finished, it’s time to get into the storyboard. Just like a comic strip, storyboards are frame by frame illustrations that show all the actions described in the script. The idea is to visualize how the video is going to look and if the story works. It normally takes around one to three weeks. It’s done by a creative director with film expertise and the plan is to use it as a reference all the way through the production phase. This is a sample of a professional storyboard.

Video marketing guide for 2020

#3: Recording the Voiceovers

With the script and the storyboard in your pocket, you can proceed to record the voiceovers. This refers to the off-screen narration that, in high quality productions, is performed by professional voice actors, selected based on your target’s accent, age and gender. Voices provide the human touch to animations and finally collaborate to the general tone and emotion of the content. Learn more about voiceovers in this blog post.

#4: Characters and Graphic Designs

So as you’ve read above, customized animations means it’s made to suit your brand. Each visual element of the video, the color palette, the background, the character’s illustration, is designed to fit your brand’s goals and target audience, to make it appealing to their eyes. And this stage takes around a week. Illustrations bring the fun and the beauty of animations, they are very important to increase watch time and make the whole production look high quality, here you can learn more about it.

#5: Animation

It’s time to move on to animation! Yes, with all the graphics ready, you can start animating the characters and every graphic element, just as it was depicted in the storyboard. This is an essential part of the video production phase, it usually takes two weeks and it needs to be done with expertise and knowledge. Because a bad animation can provoke a drop in the quality of the production and also the engagement of the audience. However, an awesome animation can really make the difference, resulting in a high quality and refined video that your audience would want to rewatch, share and finally, buy from you!

 #6: Music and Sound Effects

This is the final step to finish your customized explainer video: adding the music and sounds. Think about how important soundtracks are to bring forward the emotion of a message. Every detail counts, and this one can help your brand be memorable. Adding music and effects may take another week, but a great soundtrack is the key to being remembered in your audience’s mind. Good music and sounds is a good strategy to make your content catchy and shareable.

Tip: If you liked this quick introduction and you’re more curious about how a Yum Yum Explainer Video is done, you can download for free our slide “How does our video process work?”


In this introduction we’ve reviewed all the stages to complete a high quality animated video. As we explained, it generally takes around 5 to 8 weeks for a fully customized video. It all starts with an idea captured in a script, then translated into a storyboard, performed by voiceover actors, illustrated with animated characters and musicalized with a catchy soundtrack. And voilà! You have your customized explainer video ready. And to produce all that with high quality, you will need a complete team of professionals. So it’s not a very long process if you bear in mind all it takes to do it, right?

However, as we also mentioned, template videos are another option if you don’t have enough time or money. But now you know that you won’t have the same results than with a customized video. So think it through before spending money on something that may not work for you. You might end up throwing away your money if no one falls for that video.

If you read up until now, all this information may sound overwhelming. But don’t get nervous, at Yum Yum Videos, we make it simple for you by handling all the tough work. That’s why more than 300 companies trusted us to boost their sales with totally customized animated explainer videos. And the results were outstanding!

So if you want to get a deeper understanding of this topic, you can download our free slide “How does our video process work?”, and feel free to contact us any time to clear doubts or to start your next high quality animation.

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