You Want How Much!? Comparing the Cost of Business Animation

In my business of creating GoAnimate cartoons for commercial clients I get many inquiries about pricing. I'm pretty up front about my fees which, at the time of writing this, are as follows:

  • Any GoAnimate animation up to 2 minutes in length will cost US$297.00. Additional minutes will be charged at $99.00 per minute. 
  • The final HD quality video will include a commercial license fee of $79.00.

This is the bare minimum cost of creating an animation with GoAnimate. I also include a list of extras that may add to the cost:

  • Script development - if not providing a completed script.
  • Voices - if not using GoAnimate Text To Speech Voices or providing your own voices as MP3 files.
  • Custom image work including custom flash props, backgrounds and animation.

Where possible I try to do as much as I can with GoAnimate's existing content so as to avoid the need to create any custom props or animation.

So your minimum spend with my service is $376.00 for which you can get up to 2 minutes of animation.

Despite my prices I still get people reminding me they are on a very tight budget or asking for further discounts. Which I understand but I'm already undercharging for my service because of the perception that anyone could make quality animations with GoAnimate.

Which is true. If you have the time to learn the GoAnimate studio and some basic film making techniques, then you could make an animation of good quality... eventually. But why bother if you can pay someone like me, who's done all that learning for you and can make your animation right now?

What is my expertise with GoAnimate and knowledge of film making (which I've done courses in along with a lot of book reading on the subject) worth to you?

Time for a reality check.

GoAnimate animations may come with a lot of compromise when it comes to adapting it's pre animated characters to your project but I've seen a lot of fully customized animations (created in software such as Adobe CS5 and Toon Boom) that could have been done in GoAnimate just as effectively.

Hunting around the internet I've found some prices, for fully custom animations, from various studios which I've listed below.

Keep in mind I'm not saying these studios are over charging or not creating quality work (by all means check out their show reels and compare them to what GoAnimate can do). I'm just providing information for you to consider. Kudos to these studios for putting their prices online as most want you to ask for a quote.

  • One Whale - Cost on average $100 per second. ($12,000.00 for 2 minutes of animation).
    Australian based Business Animation Studio working with some high profile voice actors and former Disney Animators.
     
  • Mair Perkins Animation and Illustrations Ltd. - Cost up to 90 seconds of animation £650.00 ($1038.00).
    U.K. based Animation and Illustration studio creating animations for commercial clients. Founded by Animator and Illustrator Mair Perkins.
     
  • Rossiter and Co - Cost of 90 second animation  £1899.00 ($3032.00)
    U.K. based company specializing in video multi-media for business including animation.
     
  • Epipheo Studios - Cost of 90 second animation up to $15,000.00
    Based in the USA, Epipheo has become one of 'the' companies to have your business animation created by. Known for their simplistic animation style teamed with a quirky sense of humor.

When you look at those kinds of prices, $376.00 for up to 2 minutes (that's 120 seconds) of animation, you begin to realize just what a great price you're getting and just how much I'm already saving you by choosing to use my service.

Think of how many animations I could make for you for $15,000.00 with GoAnimate.

Animating Office People with Crazy Talk Animator (Part1)

A few months back I purchased Crazy Talk Animator Pro and have been trying to learn it ever since. It's not that it's a hard program to learn particularly, there's just so much to take in. It's definitely not like GoAnimate where you can be up and running in minutes.

Let's back up a little shall we. If you're not familiar with Crazy Talk Animator it's essentially a 2D animation studio that lets you create character 'puppets' which you can animate on any scene you can create.

The style of animation falls somewhere between cut outs and traditional animation because you can make puppets from existing photos of people, animals or objects or you can draw your own puppets completely from scratch.

As an animation studio it clearly has professional application but it's also great for the hobbyist and anyone who wants to animate but drawing isn't their strong point. It even has a whole market place of pre-made characters and sets which you can buy from or contribute your own art to (and earn money from them).

After several months of not really producing anything other than a really rough Robocop test animation (below), Reallusion (the company that makes Crazy Talk Animator), were offering their video tutorial package for the software at a discounted price. So I decided to buy it.

video

Most of the video tutorials are actually available, free, on the software's Youtube Tutorial Channel however I can't tell you how handy it is to have them all in one place with an easy to navigate menu when you're not online.

I think they're giving me a much better understanding of the software and what it can do. Enough for me to be a little confident in starting my first actual project featuring my own hand drawn characters.

One of my intentions is to use Crazy Talk Animator to offer business an animation service to demonstrate their products. Similar to what I'm already offering with GoAnimate but with the ability to make characters completely from scratch - and even from photos of people in the business (for something a little different). It'll be kind of a premium service just above what I can do with GoAnimate.

To that end I've decided to create a cast of my own office people who may or may not star in my business animations for clients. At the very least they will form the basis of my show reel demonstration video for promoting the service.

I'm going to be producing a series of my Studio Diary videos following my progress, the first of which is embeded below. In this video you see me create the initial characters based on some drawings I did years earlier.


The next step will be to turn them into vector drawings using Serif DrawPlus X5. Followed by importing them into Crazy Talk Animator. Which I'll do in a future post.

Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (Part 1) on GoAnimate

In late January of 2012 I was looking around for ideas to create an epic animated music video on GoAnimate that told a story of a battle against the odds.

Inspiration...

This came about as a result of re-viewing, yet again,  one of my favorite GoAnimations of all time created by GoAnimator, Tripfold, called The Jet Set Concussion (The Blueberry Fiz Contention 2).

I've embeded it below. It still stands up as a great GoAnimation even now.

The Jet Set Concussion by Tripfold on GoAnimate

Animated Presentations - Powered by GoAnimate.

It's an old animation (published in October of 2009) that tells a love story of our hero of sorts in the face of aliens hell bent on destroying the world.

I like it because of how it tells the story with no dialogue. How it uses music to set the pace of the action and that it features plenty of detail and subtle animation techniques, not really seen on GoAnimate at the time (such as paralax movement of objects to give a feeling of depth). Then there is just the epic-ness of it all.

I wanted to do something along those lines so began trawling YouTube for a suitable song. Something that inspired 'epic-ness'.

In late 2011 GoAnimate's Chibi Ninja Theme and sword fighting action packs had been released and I'd yet to do anything with them. GoAnimator, Chaostoon, had had a huge success with his Swords and the follow up Swords II animations. Both are excellent but, for me, didn't quite showcase the moves in the sword fighting action packs in the way I wanted to see them. (Though in hind sight, The first Swords actual sword fight is easily better than what I've achieved in my Yoshimi animation - more on that later).

I first heard of the band The Flaming Lips when they released one of their most successful singles to date, She Don't use Jelly in 1993. It brought much attention to their quirky, alternative and experimental music.

I don't think I've ever bought any of their music but even so, their biggest songs have stuck them in my head as a band that's always done things differently. I was looking for their 1993 hit with a view to perhaps using some of it in my animation  (at that point my animation was going to feature more than one song).

Whilst searching Youtube I came across their 2002 song, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (Part 1) from the album of the same name. I had heard it before, many years ago, but seeing the title alone again was enough to make me think this is the perfect song for GoAnimate's Chibi Ninja theme.

If you read through the comments of the Youtube clip at the link above you soon discover there's some contention as to what the song is about.

The most common theory is that the song is a metaphor for a young girl fighting cancer - the pink robots representing cancer cells in her system. However according to the albums Wikipedia page this is actually the story line for a planned Broadway musical (announced in March 2007) based on the album - as described by the band's lead singer, Wayne Coyne:
There's the real world and then there's this fantastical world. This girl, the Yoshimi character, is dying of cancer. And these two guys are battling to come visit her in the hospital. And as one of the boyfriends envisions trying to save the girl, he enters this other dimension where Yoshimi is this Japanese warrior and the pink robots are an incarnation of her disease. It's almost like the disease has to win in order for her soul to survive. Or something like that.
I haven't been able to find anywhere online where Wayne Coyne confirms this is also the original story of the song. If you listen to the lyrics the metaphor doesn't quite work in my opinion.

Never the less I based my idea for my animated music video of the song on this very concept, though my pink robots simply represent the girls illness, which isn't necessarily cancer. Below is the final result.


Behind the Scenes...

As you can see the clip makes considerable use of several of the Simple Perspective techniques I recently wrote tutorials about in this blog.  It also uses GoAnimate's new scene transitions to cross fade between scenes and the new Enter/Exit feature to fade in and out individual characters.

One thing that only GoAnimators, who are really familiar with the Comedy World theme, might notice is the new camera view of the hospital bed background. I created it initially for variation but it came in useful for having the little Yoshimi fly out the window at the end.

In terms of creating the story, I did actually storyboard about the first minute of this animation because I was having a hard time coming up with ideas directly in the studio - which is how I usually work.

You can see my storyboard below which should give you a sense of how rough my storyboards are.

Yoshimi Story board - click to enlarge.

If you look at the first few panels of my storyboard you can see there's no nurse sitting next to the bed. As I put the animation its self together I added the nurse in and made it some-what ambiguous as to whether Yoshimi is the sick girl in the bed or the nurse.

The girl's father was also an addition because I needed different things to occur each time we came back to the hospital. I didn't want to keep coming back to a bed with a girl sleeping. As the story evolved it was clear the video needed to end with the girl waking up after Yoshimi successfully destroys all the robots.

Choreographing Sword Fights...

I like to think I'm really good at animating sword fights but in reality I don't think I"m all that cut out for it. Not with GoAnimate at least. This animation gave me a new appreciation for Chaostoon's Swords animation. The sword fight he choreographed in his first episode is closer to what I was hoping to achieve in Yoshimi than what I did.

To be fair on myself, it's not easy to create a sword fight where one character is considerably larger than the other. It makes it even harder to match up the preset attack and defend actions. That aside I was starting to loose patience with getting the moves I wanted to animate looking like they were actually hitting their targets.

That's why Yoshimi knocks out the first four robots relatively easily and cleans up the last one by throwing her sword. You really do need a lot of patience to do a good fight animation really well.


I think I've covered all the main things behind the scenes. It's not quite the epic animation I wanted to make but it's a step closer to doing something nearly as awesome as The Jet Set Concussion.

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