Commission business animation production
How do you commission an animation?
Jon Draper - CREATIVE DIRECTOR
7 Steps: How to commission an animation for business
A brief guide on how to commission an animation
- Review animation studio’s work to ensure they can supply the quality needed in a style you like.
- Write a short brief that includes goals, estimated length, deadline and preferred style.
- Share your brief with a few animation production companies and request a quote.
- Have meetings to discuss in a little more detail. Then await a quote and estimated production plan.
- Review the quotes and confirm any production options. Then select one that best works to your budget and expected goals
- Sign a contract. Studios will typically ask for some payment upfront (i.e. 50%).
- Animation production begins. Updates will be shared throughout with milestones for approval to keep the project moving forward.
Looking into how to commission an animation for the first time can feel overwhelming with so many options from wide-ranging styles, prices and quality of production.
Animation studios around the world specialise in different niche areas of business, for example, our own studio is focused on bespoke high-quality 2D and 3D animated explainers for businesses.
Others may specialise in visual FX, architectural visualisation, children's cartoons, computer game animation, idents and more.
The cost of animation can vary hugely depending on the needed quality, length, and complexity.
Some studios offer very low-cost explainers which are typically lower quality and use templates but can suit a small local business with limited marketing budgets.
Reviewing an animation studios work:
To do some basic studio research and decide if they're a good fit for your project. It's as simple as visiting a company's website and checking out examples of their work.
Most will have a showreel showing various clips, a montage of their latest and best work. Plus, they'll have a portfolio showing the work they specialise in.
Check out our business-focused animation studio work here - Stormy Studio.
Choosing the right animation studio
It's worth taking into account a studio's reputation for consistently delivering quality productions in an animation art style or level of finish suited to your business.
Your very first step when looking into commissioning an animation should be to review a studio’s animation work on its website. (*We have a growing list of the leading UK animation studios here.)
Then, write a short video project brief and contact the animated video production company that you think is well aligned with your business video needs.
If they're interested in your project there would normally be a bit of back and forth with a meeting or liaising via email. Then once the production options are agreed upon (at a cost that works for your budget) you'll officially commission the animation by signing a contract.
Studios typically ask for a percentage payment upfront before production begins.
More prominent global brands may work via an agency that can manage the sourcing and running of production for a fee. For example, Genero offers big brands a platform and producers to oversee the production. This can take the hassle out of commissioning an animation, albeit with added costs and potentially some increased production time.
Write an animation project brief
A key component of being able to commission an animation for your business is the project brief.
You can use our own animation brief PDF template to quickly create a professional and succinct downloadable animation brief to share with our studio and others. - Find out more and use the online animation brief PDF template here.
The level of detail needed in a brief can vary depending on the complexity of the project and how far along the line of project planning you are.
Initially, you can keep the brief really short and simple. Animation studios may decide a project isn't for them if they're too busy with other commitments or perhaps the project enquiry simply doesn't align with the sort of work they like to produce. For this reason, it's worth initially sharing a short project brief to find out whether a studio is interested and the brief can be expanded on, (potentially with their help) after a discussion or two with the studio.
A succinct brief to commission an animation should at least include these key elements to allow a studio to loosely understand the project scope.
- Subject of animation
- Animation length
- Animation style (links are helpful)
- Key dates & deadlines
- Project goals
Will the animation be what we want?
As with any large and costly outsourced production, it can be a concern that the final animated video will not be what you requested. Fortunately with the way that business animation is typically created there are multiple stages throughout to ensure the project is kept on track with your business goals, animation style and deadlines considered throughout.
Whilst it will vary a little from project to project in most cases you'll go through the following key stages of production. With regular rounds of review at each stage, you (and any stakeholders) can feedback to the studio to confirm details before moving on to the next stage. This benefits both you and the studio as you have time to collate feedback and the studio can prevent any scope creep to make sure the production remains on track and within its expected costs and time frame for the commissioned animation.
Typical Key production stages include:
- Creative Ideation
- Style Frames
- Design (Assets/Characters/Scenes)
- Animation Production
- Voiceover / Music / Sound Design
- Final Feedback and Sign-Off
- Final Render and Delivery
- *Additional Short Edits and Stills Export for Social Media
How much should an animated video cost?
The cost of an animated video can vary significantly depending on some key fundamentals of a project.
The main ones are the length of the video and the complexity of the animation, which is dictated by the subject matter and the animation style and whether there's a need for intricate details i.e. complex 3D modelling, detailed 2D asset design and the need for animated characters.
A simpler video with text, some animated graphics, voiceover and some company branding can be simpler and quicker to produce, thus bringing the price down.
For all these reasons it makes sense to do a bit of research and find studios that produce work that is similar to the animation you're looking to commission.
Then get in touch and have a brief conversation about the project so they can get back with an initial quote. Further discussion and agreement on the project scope and final cost can then be worked out.
|Project Type||Typical Rate|
|Basic 2D Explainer||£2,500 - £5,000|
|Advanced 2D Explainer||£6,000 - £12,000|
|Explainer + Character Animation||£6,000 - £12,000|
|3D Technical Animation||£6,000 - £15,000|
|Traditional Handdrawn Animation||£6,000 - £15,000|
|VFX||£2,500 - £12,000|
Business Animation Prices
Here's a quick reference to show how much a commissioned animation for business might cost, please check out the rate card here that gives a rough indication of final production costs.
The prices are indicative of most business animation lengths, which typically fall between 1 to 3 minutes.
Again, I'd like to reinforce this is just a guide as a longer but simpler animation 9or one that can reuse the same assets) may be far cheaper than a shorter but more complex production.
Alternatives to getting animation quotes
Whilst a typical approach for commissioning an animation has been to write and share a brief and receive quotes from studios.
At Stormy Studio we recognise that sometimes that process can be a bit slow, especially when trying to get a rough idea of the cost when first considering having an animation created for business. Or when you just want to get on with your day.
For this reason, we offer 3 ways to get going as soon as possible.
We have our unique instant online animation pricing tool that gives a quick ballpark quote.
We have 3 fixed price options for high-quality 60-second business explainers.
Finally, we have a subscription option for ongoing productions, ideal for expanding brands and enterprise-scale businesses.
That's a wrap
Hopefully, the steps and information shared on this page help answer the question 'How do you commission an animation for business?'.
Find out how to write an animation brief and use our free online animation brief PDF template here.
Animation is a particularly exciting marketing, entertainment and education tool but does require investment. So finding the right studio to make the process as effective as possible whilst creating the best outcome for your investment is key.
Of course, once you've followed step.1 and have reviewed our (and other) studios' animation work. If you feel we could be a good fit for your business animation project please get in touch and we'll work through those early stages and get your commissioned animation underway.
Whomever you decide to work with for your business animation project, we wish you the best of luck. Animation is such a great medium and can evoke so much emotion and explain complex ideas with clarity.
Good luck and we hope you enjoy the process of working with creatives and producers.