What Does It Take to Create a Beautiful Animated Video? More Than You Think

October 28, 2021 - Reading Time: 3 minutes
Category: Social MediaVideo

If you live in Singapore, you’re probably familiar with the yearly tradition of the National Day Parade (NDP) Theme Song. Every year, a celebration is held on August 9 to commemorate another year of Singapore’s independence. A new theme song is also released, along with a music video. This year’s video was a standout and a crowd favourite at the parade screening.

Watching this video has probably inspired you to produce your own stunning animated video. But before you do, you should familiarise yourself with the costing. Brace yourself for a bill shock because according to a study by Wyzowl, the average price for a 60-second animated explainer video is about S$10,800. The same research also states that the average turnaround from initial enquiry to completion is 38.5 days (5.5 weeks).

The cost may seem too high and the time frame too long, but they are indicative of the vast amount of work that goes into every frame. A case in point is the meticulous animation process behind this year’s NDP music video.

But what exactly are you paying for? We’re here to give you a breakdown of the costing for an animated video, as well as some tips on how to avoid incurring additional costs. Here are the three important factors that drive the price.

1. Video Type

The style of video will influence the total cost of production. Hand-drawn animations will require more man-hours as animators need to draw each frame. It also depends on the frame rate of the video. If you’re animating at 30 frames per second, a 60-second video will require 1,800 frames. A higher frame rate will require more frames. That’s a lot of work. If you want to understand how different frame rates will affect the final product, watch this video:

What about computer-generated animation? It’s less laborious in terms of what has to be done by hand, but it requires specific equipment with the right software and computing power. This could drive up the total cost.

Don’t forget—you will also need professionals who actually know what they’re doing. Animation is a very specific skill that takes time to master. With greater expertise comes high service fees.

2. Pre-production

The pre-production phase involves a substantial proportion of costs. Scheduling, conceptualising, scriptwriting, voiceover recording, and storyboarding can increase the overall rates. This stage involves professionals from various fields, such as writers, voiceover artists and sometimes even more. The best way to minimise additional costs in this area is to provide a clear brief and to keep the lines of communication open. Ensure everyone is on the same page before proceeding to the next step.

3. Time

Time overruns can also cause cost overruns. Delays could be the result of mid-work scope changes, inadequate project briefs, and extensive rounds of changes. You can reduce the fiscal effects to a minimum by communicating what you want out of that video project from the start. In our experience, there’s nothing more draining than having to make multiple, seemingly endless rounds of little tweaks. It’s no fun for both sides. To improve efficiency and to avoid paying for additional rounds of changes, you could collate comments from everyone on your team before sending them over to the animators so that all changes can be made in one go. This can reduce the possibility of delays and make the entire process a lot smoother.


We hope this article has given you some insights into the animation process and the costing of animated videos. At the end of the day, if the final video is able to achieve the desired outcome—in the case of the NDP video, to tug at heartstrings—then all the resources that you’ve invested into creating it would be worth it. Many times over.

Masthead photo by Shubham Dhage on Unsplash






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