How Much Does 3D Animation Cost - A Complete Price Breakdown

How Much Does 3D Animation Cost A Complete Price Breakdown

The world of 3D animation is as diverse as the stories it can tell, and as such, the price range for producing these captivating visuals can vary significantly. 

Many factors influence the 3D animation cost, such as motion design, 3D assets, expected delivery date, sound or music, and the creator’s geographic location. However, that’s not all.

Statista states the global animation market is close to $411.04 billion as of 2023. 

That’s why today we will give you a complete 3D animation cost breakdown. Let’s navigate the world of 3D animation pricing!

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What Does A Company Charge For 3D Animation Services?

Both artists and studios set their pricing plans according to the project’s scope and other resources. They may have a base price for the design service, but you can expect to pay additional charges for additional production work and detailing.

For instance, a mid-level animation studio can cost you around $1,000 per minute of Animation. On the other hand, a professional-level studio can set you back around $25,000-30,000 per second for a 3D animation video.

That said, finding the right animation production company is crucial when it comes to getting competitive pricing options and ensuring the success of your 3D animation project. Hancock Animations is a reputable and experienced video production company offering affordable 3D animation services.

Factors Affecting The Cost Of A 3D Animation Video

The 3D animation cost can be influenced by several factors, which include:

  • Length of the Animation: Longer animations naturally require more work, including additional scenes, characters, and rendering time. As a result, the cost tends to increase with the duration of the video.
  • Complexity: The complexity of the animation plays a pivotal role in pricing. Complex animations involve intricate 3D models, advanced visual effects, detailed environments, and challenging character animations. 
  • Quality: The quality of the animation, including the level of realism and attention to detail, directly impacts the price. 
  • Storyboarding and Pre-Production: Before the actual animation begins, there is a need for careful planning. This includes creating concept art, storyboarding, and developing a clear vision for the animation. These pre-production stages have associated costs, which contribute to the overall budget.
  • 3D Modeling: The creation and rigging of 3D models are fundamental to 3D animation. Complex and highly detailed models take more time and skill to develop, leading to increased costs.
  • Texturing and Materials: Adding textures and materials to 3D models enhances realism but also requires additional work. The more intricate the textures and materials, the more resources are needed, affecting the price.
  • Animation: The complexity and number of animations within the video influence the overall cost. 
  • Voiceovers: If your animation includes dialogue or narration, you’ll need to hire professional voice actors. The choice of talent, recording, and editing can add to the budget.
  • Sound Design: Incorporating sound effects and music enhances the viewer’s experience but comes with its own cost.
  • Rendering: Complex scenes with realistic lighting and effects take longer to render, increasing costs.
  • Editing and Post-Production: After the animation is complete, there is often a need for editing, compositing, and finalizing the video. This stage ensures a polished end product but contributes to the overall cost.
  • Licensing: If you need to use third-party 3D models, assets, or music in your animation, licensing fees may apply and should be factored into the budget.
  • Revision and Feedback: Budgeting for revisions and feedback loops during the production process is important to ensure client satisfaction but can add to the overall cost.
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What Are The Hourly Rates For 3D Animators?

You get what you pay for, especially in the 3D animation market. However, you may also get an affordable service that delivers quality.

It’s a common misconception that lower cost means poor quality of work, but that isn’t true. A team of talented freelance animators can charge you less than a high-budget studio.

The table below shows the estimated average rate of animators based in the United States.

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Animation Studios Vs. Freelancers: Who Should You Choose For Your 3D Animation Video?

Choosing between animation studios and freelancers for your 3D animation video is a crucial decision that can significantly impact your project’s outcome. Let’s explore the factors to consider when making your choice:

Freelancers - Low Cost But Inefficient

Budget is an important consideration when creating a 3D animation video. When you have a shoestring budget, you also look for affordable services that offer quality.

Freelancers can provide that for a few reasons. Firstly, freelancers are flexible with pricing. 

The charges are negotiable based on the complexity of the project. Even if a freelancer has a standard pricing package, the pricing can always go either above or below the base rate.

You can strike a good deal with a freelancer if your project doesn’t demand complexity and the turnaround time isn’t a problem.

Furthermore, freelance 3D animators are suitable for projects related to the following:

  • Short-form video marketing content
  • Product demos
  • School-level learning material

Freelancers also have a few drawbacks. They don’t provide end-to-end services, meaning they specialize in one aspect of 3D Animation. For instance, one freelancer who does the 3D rigging may not provide sound effects services.

To overcome this problem, you may hire multiple freelancers. The team should consist of a scriptwriter, a storyboard creator, and a 3D modeler.

Animation Studio: Expensive But High-Quality

We always recommend hiring a professional 3D animation studio instead of freelancers. They can cost you a premium, but the quality of work is worth paying for. Additionally, animation studios have an in-house team making the flow of work structured.

Similarly, with an animation studio, you get a dedicated project manager. The project manager bridges the gap between the client and the production team.

Furthermore, animation studios provide end-to-end 3D animation services. So you don’t have to vet and hire multiple individuals for the project.


Determining the cost of a 3D animation video is a multifaceted process influenced by several key factors, including project complexity and desired animation quality. The choice between hiring a freelancer or an animation studio also plays a significant role in budget considerations, with each option offering its own set of advantages.

Ultimately, the key is to align your choice with your project’s unique requirements and budget constraints. But if you want to hire a professional service, Hancock Animations is a leading video production company offering high-quality animation on a budget.

Ready to explore pricing options for your 3D animation project?

Get in touch with our team for a detailed quote.

Does the length of the animation affect the cost proportionally?

Not necessarily. Longer animations can be more cost-effective per minute because some elements, like character rigging and environment creation, have fixed costs. However, complexity still plays a significant role in determining the overall cost.

Can I get a fixed quote for my 3D animation project?

Yes, Hancock Animations offers fixed quotes after assessing your project’s specific requirements. However, it is essential to provide a detailed brief to get an accurate quote.

Are there cost differences between 2D and 3D animation?

Generally, 3D animation tends to be more expensive than 2D animation due to the additional time and resources required for 3D modeling, texturing, and rendering.